Some magic in a single text message, and how I sometimes fall into scrap

This is one of the most frustrating times, for a columnist, even for a monthly. How I would start drafts and die at the middle, realizing how my words are going nowhere special or interesting. How I would avoid that instance when I will receive another text message from the Editor-in-chief, asking me, Katrina draft mo! That exclamation mark was only my doing, despite my failure to meet the deadlines sometimes, I believe that it never came to a point that I was so lost in the calendar she had to use this “!” in her texts.

Perhaps this is the stress of the mid-semester I would not like to acknowledge as “inevitable,” because I feel like doing so would mean that I was dormant and lazy and not diligent to prevent it. Still, it hovers in my head, right now, as I type this, what will I do with my thesis proposal? Where is it heading? And how do I finish reading King Lear in three nights? Perhaps through this:

I read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, succeeded up to the 25th page but grew tired when I felt there was a lack of speech from the characters. I want novels where girls talk and boys admit their sentiments and cry and fail in liquor. So my search for diversion went on.

The other day, I was facing SM, the retail giant, pretending to tower above us all, as I joined quite a number of other enthusiasts who oppose the tree-cutting plan. I felt it sapped a lot of my energy and tore away much of my skin, so I chose to loiter during the weekend. Saturday afternoon, I received a text message: “Kitty, Mt. Cloud tayo.” I thought it through, quite intently, only to end up devising an excuse. “Masakit ulo ko eh, next time na lang.”

There is stupidity in that, you might say, which even though you won’t, still I’m putting on myself. I found myself dramatizing the distress and fatigue I earned from the week, excusing my inappropriate bed rest at the nascence of the weekend. I had the chance to have a walk, smell early evening pine scents and leave my destructive dormancy, but I blew it off. I tried to make up for it, with a tight resolve, I picked myself from the bed and promised I would finish the column before dinner. It should come easy. If I can’t flip the pages of King Lear or open that word document in my desktop with the name “199 crap,” I should be able to finish something.

So here we are.

Thankfully, I have now almost left writing long hand for typing at the keyboard, in that case, there would be no crumple-the-paper-then-throw-them-at-the trash-bin scenes for me. Our trash bin would have been already full right now. But I am not killing my pens and blue notepads, I still rely on them when I am in a ride and something cute gets into my head or when I’m in an unexpected encounter with a genius who can’t run of poetic insights to say.

Like I don’t have them now.

Still struggling, someone texted again, the same person. “Kitty, may nakita akong Junot Diaz! 170 lang!”

Now that is something! What did I do? Put on some decent clothes, fixed hair, went to Mt. Cloud. And made Saturday a bit worthwhile, not to say productive; then return home and write about everything. And mailed, hey mam, here’s my draft.


*For last night, this was already my third draft for the January column, and I was out of blood after that, felt like this was already the most decent I can show them. So without surprise, they gave these kinds of edition, comments which no matter how harsh sounds, beget no denial or counter:

General comments:

1. parang naiba personality mo kitty maria. Dati,ikaw ay laging maraming nasasabing kakaiba sa mga mundane na bagay sa mundo. Ngayon ay wala na lang talagang masabi.


Isa pang general comment:

1 Maligoy ka Kitty.

2. Successful naman sa pagdedemonstrate na indeed, this is one of the most frustrating of times. Ang kaso, you still need to relate to your readers, would they still find this interesting? may tangent pa kaya ito sa buhay nila, maliban dun sa fact na nakakatamad ang akads?

3. isa pa pala, nasan ang issue na dinadala mo? may sa attempt na magsabing involved ka pa rin, hindi apolitical, kahit paano, dahil sumama ka sa movement. pero naiwan iyong hanging. so ano nga ang iminomoda mo dito kitty?  Ang point siguro, ay wag mahulog sa tendency na magpabasa tayo ng isang random moda, since ang space mo precious. at worthy of greater something kittyness. Baka namimiss na rin nila yung Kitty na may kaunting angst.

4, I suggest a total scrap. : ) you can still improve this though, or you can start from scratch, at iwan ang lahat ng frustrations sa himpapawid, o sa kanal.

5. Labas ka Kitty, para may Makita ka pang ibang bagay na pwede mong isulat-an.

6. Pass your next draft ASAP. Thank you. meow. 




How to start the new year with a loss

On New Year’s Eve, people were crying in excruciating pain, having lost an arm, or a leg, or a lover’s fingers, curtailing all chances of holding hands moments in the future. In the more placid neighborhood where I happened to drive away the evil spirits for 2012, something similar occurred. Someone from a few blocks away exhibited clumsiness in the wrongest of instance, when the Sinturon ni Hudas is already on fire. Until it became difficult to distinguish his right arm from the firecracker.

Is not that a very fitting way to welcome the New Year, a fitting way to mark the loss of a time frame we called “2011” and begin our wish lists and fancy hopes for a touted beginning? If you happen to feel like sarcasm has been missing recently, you can locate it in somewhere in this article. When something is lost, the hopefuls, mostly the old ones, will say that a replacement is about to come, usually for the better. We have to thank science sometimes, there is the miracle of prosthetics. Then I wonder, what needs to happen for the miracle of change to push through? What losses are we still waiting for us to seethe with hardened teeth and erupting veins in arms and call for a replacement of everything that is in place. I wish, just for the fancy of it, that there would also be prosthetic justice, prosthetic equality, prosthetic social justice. If there would be, I’d summon all the gods so we can altogether wear those prosthetic ones, pronto!

Before 2011 killed itself, we witnessed a lot more losses. Gloria, the favorite president of this generation, lost status, even only a bit, when she was prevented from leaving the country, and then mistaken to be part of the new Naruto series, and then house arrested. Perhaps Pnoy wished he would suddenly get rid of some of the soundest brickbats thrown at him by his critics, for having arrested his notorious predecessor, perpetrator of countless crimes against the people, her constituents, and her conscience. But Gloria’s arrest, however petty it looked and however transitory it would be, is not Pnoy’s triumph, it is the people’s. What we should guard against now is for losses to be recovered and be replaced with more evil vindications.


Corona lost the judiciary crown, almost. And if that would mean the loss of an Arroyo court, my fingers are crossed, and I hope yours as well, that it would not be replaced by an Aquino court.

Palparan lost some status, but his laughable pluck and confidence remains. Why laughable? Hehe, who won’t laugh at someone who claims confidence despite the obvious crimes he has committed? And then we wonder, the retired old man may have already lost his military stature, but his network and bosses’ nod may have still remained.

And then one might chastise me. Hell kitty, what happened to your New Year opener? Why proceed on some lousy, and not to say, downgrading politics in the midst of your essay after a cute start? I am just basking at my own discussions of loss, my neighbor will most likely lost an arm, so why don’t we see all the trifles and superficially merry lost outright and start the year right by asking the more relevant questions, pondering on the more relevant matters? And to Gloria and Jovito, I say, get lost!