Monday, October 29, 2012

REBECCA

REBECCA
















Kuwento ni Rose Flores – Martinez



30 Piling Kuwento 2003



Editor: Danilo S.Meneses



Introduksiyon ni : Reynaldo S. Duque









Makikita pa rin ang maraming bundok sa daan papuntang Bicol. Hindi maikakaila ang masukal na mga lugar. Sa bintanang salamin ay matatanaw ang lumang simbahan, na parang makapapasong tingkad ng liwanag, dala ng sinag ng pusyawing asul na ilaw ng krus sa gilid ng bundok.









Hindi ko maitago ang pagkamangha sa ganda ng kislap ng pusyawing asul na ilaw ng krus, hindi rin makapagsisinungaling ang aking damdamin.









Maganda nga, napakaganda ng kinang ng liwanag, ngunit sayang at hindi ko man lamang nadama ang hiwaga nito. Malamig ang dampi ng hangin sa paligid, may init ang sinag ng pusyawing asul na ilaw – katulad ng magkahalong lungkot at saya na aking nararamdama. Kung hindi nga lamang dahil kay Lola Basya …









Ano iyon? Mga ibong gubat? Marami pa ring ang mga kikik na nakakubli sa hinganteng mga punong kahoy sa gilid ng kabunkukang aming dinaraanan, pumupuno sa puwang ng iilang bahay sa tabi ng parang.









Kaya nga ba maririnig and mga usap-usapang nakakatakot at mga kuwentong hindi kapani-kapaniwala. Natatandaan ko ang mga kahiwagaan sa San Jose – ang mga engkanto, ang mga lamanlupa. Natatandaan ko rin ang pagkamatay ng isang malayang kamag-anak na tinatawag kong si Lolo Dado. Isang makisig at matandang lalaki nang magkasakit ay unti-unting namayat. At sabi-sabi, kapag gabi ay may makikitang aaali-aligigd na maga aso at baboy sa silong ng kanilang dampang bahay.









“Kain ka,” sabi ng katabi ko sa upuan.









Hindi ako makatanggi sa pag-abot niya sa akin ng kanyang kinakaing mani. Nakita ko ang masarap niyang pagnguya at pagkagat sa malulutong na butil.









“Salamat.”









“Sige dagdagan mo pa.”









“Tama na sa akin ito. May sira kasi ang aking mga ngipin kaya hindi masyadong makakagat ng matitigas.”









Nagsinungaling ako. Ang totoo, sa pagkuha ko ng ilang butil ay amoy na amoy ko ang matinding pagkagisa nito sa bawang. Ayaw ko ng bawang! Bagamat sa pagdaan ng panahon ay natuto rin ako na paunti-unting tumikim nito.









“Taga-rito ka rin ba?” tanong ko.









“Hindi. Dadalaw at magbabakasyon lamang. Maganda kasi rito sa Camarisnes Sur, lalo ang mga dagat. Talagang probinsyang-probinsiya. Maganda ang lahat, ang mga Bicolana – tulad mo! Kaya lang ang paligid, kung minsan ay nakakakilabot, masukal ang mga bundok. Sabi nga, marami raw ditong ‘anlayug’?”









Hindi ako sumagot. Minadali ako ng sigaw ng konduktor sa pagtigil ng bus mismo sa tapat ng aming malaki at lumang bahay. Nakalimutan ko tuloy ang magpaalam sa aking katabi. Parang kumukulog ang aking diddib sa lakas ng pintig ng aking puso. Nasasabik akong makita si Lola. Ang pag-ihip ng mabangong hangin sa aking mukha ay tila isang halik na nakapagpapasigla. Totoong takot akong umuwi, mayroon akong pangamba, ngunit iba ang sinasabi ng aking kaloooban.









Halos lumipad ako papunta sa pintuan.









“Tapo po…Tapooooooooo…..!”









Bumukas ang pinto at sinalubong ako ng isang matandang babae.









“Magandang tanghali po…po!” ang bati niya.









“Kayo ba ang bagong katulong?”









“Ako nga…Ako si Tessie na inirekumenda ng inyong katiwalang si Blandina.”









Tinitigan ko siya mula ulo hangaang paa. Matandang posturyosa! Napansin ko ang kanyang mapupulang labi dahil sa lipstick.









Binati ko si Tessie nang papuring may kasamang pa-insulto. “Para pala kayong artista, pinagsamang Rosanna Roces at Ai-Ai!”









Ngumiti siya, tuwang, tuwa dahil napansin ko. Nagliwanag ang dati’y nanlilisik na mga mata. Dahan-dahan, may pag-arteng hinaplos ang buhok na nagtatayuang parang alambre sa tigas.









“Ang dilim naman. Bakit sarado and bintana, ang aga-aga pa?”









“Malamig. Bawal malamigan si Lola.”









“E, and mga ilaw, bakit hindi ninyo buksan?”









Sinindihan ko ang mga ilaw, inikot ko ang bahay upang mabuksan lahat ng switch para magliwanag. Pinagpagan ko ang mga mesa at tinanggal ang alikabok at mga sapot ng gagamba na nakadikit sa mga sulok.









Pagkatapos, hindi ako nagpaliban pa ng mga sandali para Makita si Lola Basya. Ito ang panahong aking pinakahihihtay. Marahil ito na, ang panahong aking pinakahihintay…



“Kumusta ka, Lola? Andito po ako si Rebecca, ang inyong paboritong apo,” ang aking bulong sa kanyang malalapad na tainga habang lumalapat na marahan ang aking labi sa kanyang noo, sa kulubot na pisngi, sa pagod na mukha.









Nangatal ang aking laman sa hitsura na bumungad sa akin. Payat na payat ang matanda. Maitim ang kaniyang mga kuko at labi, hirap sa paghinga at mahinang-mahina. Parang may hinihintay. Wari ay maghihintay pa…









Ang lungkot na aking nadama ay hindi ko maipaliwanag. Sa muling paghalik ko sa kanyang noon ay may tumutulong luha sa mga mata nang naramdaman ko ang isang kalabit.









“Magme…meryenda ka muna, Rebecca,” sabi ni Tessie na nagdudumaling pabalik sa kusina. Sinundan ko si Tessie ng tingin hanggang matapat sayi sa salamin at kung paano nag-iba ang anyo ng kanyang mukha ay hindi ko alam. Pumapangit ang hitsura niya, lumalaki and mga mata, humhaba ang dila at tumatayo ang mga buhok. Guni guni?”









Sa isang kisapmata, napasunod ako sa mabilis na paglakad ni Tessie, ni Manay Tessie. Nakalimutan ko ang lahat. Ang napansin ko lamang ay para siyang dala ng hangin. Maliksi ngunit walang ingay ang mga yabag. Pagkatapos, gumuhit muli sa alaala ko ang lahat sa pagkalam ng aking sikmura. Hindi ko na hinintay ang paglamig ng mga pagkain.









Nanonood si Manay Tessie sa aking pagsubo, tinitingnan ang aking pagnguya. Nakangisi. Tuwang-tuwa.









“Ma… masarap?” tanong niya.









“Oo. Sino bang nagluto ng mga pagkain dito? May mga katulong ba galing sa bukid? Si Blandina?”









“Ako na rin. Sabi kasi ni… ni Blandina ang bilin mo raw ay huwag nang kumuha ng iba pang katulong…”









“Masarap ka palang magluto. E, kumusta nama ang pagkain in Lola?”









“Mahirap ngang pakainin si Lola Basya. Ang lagi kong ibinibigay sa kanya ay ang nasa.. sa latang pagkaing gamut na inireseta ni Dr. Rosales.”









“Ganu’n ba? Ano ba ang sabi ng doctor?”









“Talaga raw ganyan. Baka naman iba ang gu-gusto ng Lola mo…”



Hindi ako nakasagot. Sa pakiramdam ko, siya ay nanunuya. Hindi ako tanga. May itinanim na palaisipan para sa akin si Tessie. Nag-init ang aking mga tainga, bahagyang sumulak ang aking dugo, namula ang aking balat sa inis. Tiningnan ko si Manay Tessie ang matalim, parang mangangaing aking titig, tagos sa mabilis na kurap ng kanyang mga mata. Napayuko siya. Napahiya. Pagkatapos ay nakita kong may isang basong tubig na ako sa mesa.









“Mamayang alas-siyete, baka pupunta uli si Dr. Rosales. Makabubuting kayo na po… pooo.. ang makipag-usap,” sabi ni Tessie.









“Linisan mo na lamang dito,” ang aking madiing utos.









Inis pa rin ako. Sa malakas na boses ay ipinakita kong ayaw ko sa kanyang pabalagbag na sagot. Ako ang amo, ako ang dapat masunod. Hindi ako dapat pangunahan.









“Simula ngayon, ako na ang mag-aalaga kay Lola Basya. At siya nga pala, huwag mong patayin ang ilaw sa kanyang silid.”









Pilit kong pinigil ang aking sarili sa pakikipag-usap sa kanya kaya nalunod ako sa katahimikan. Naisip ko ang lungsod. Kapanglawan ang tanging yumakap sa akin habang nakatitig ako sa pagkakahiga ni Lola. Malapit na… Iiwan niya ako.









Si Lola Basya. Si Lola Basya ang nag-alaga sa akin buhat nang ako ay maulila. Ginawa niya ang lahat para ako ay makapamuhay nang masagana at tahimik sa kabila nang sabi-sabing lintek na sumpa sa aming angkan. Hindi rin siya nagkulang sa pagpapa-alala sa akin tungkol sa kabutihan at tiwala sa Maykapal, kahit alam niyang ako ay may tinatagong poot at hinanakit.









Nagtatampo ako… sa simbahan. Ngunit umaasa at naniniwala.









May lagay na napakalaking krus si Lola sa isang lugar ng aming bahay, tulad ng pusyawing krus sa simbahan. May mga angel na palamuti sa bawat sulok nito at tinakpan ng mga luma at makutim ng tela. Natabunan ng alikabok.









Tinanggal ko ang mga tela.









“Hindi kita bibiguin, Lola.”









Narinig ko ang ugong ng electric fan sa silid ni Lola Basya. Ang ingay na ito na tanging bumabasag sa katahimikan ng paligid. Umaalingawngaw ang ugong sa maluwang na kabahayan na kinukurtinang ng asul.









“Isa… dalawa.. tatlo…nararamdam ko pati ang pagpihit ng malaking orasan. Malapit na nga. Halos pahiramin ko ng pahininga si Lola at isipin kung mabuti sa kanyang pisilin ang kansyang ilong para matapos ang kanyang paghihirap? Malakas ang aking kaba. Lumalakas sa paghihintay kung ano ang sunod na mangyayari.









Gusto kong bulabugin ang langit! Gusto kong isigaw ang aking mga tanong. Lagi akong nagtatanong, laging nagtatanong sa Diyos kung bakit kami ay kanyang pinabayaan. Hindi maarok ng aking isipan ang mga kakaibang pangyayari sa mga pagsubok na ito. Pilit kong iniintindi ang kahiwaagaan, ang mga sakit sa aming buhay, na hanggang ngayon ay hindi ko maintindihan at mahanapan ng lunas.









“Re… Rebecca! Manood naman tayo ng TV. Tapos na ako sa aking mga gawain.” Naistorbo ako sa aking pag-isiip at pagkakaupo sa ulunan ng kama ni Lola.









Sumusulpot si Manay Tessie nang pabigla-bigla. Noon, napabulaslas naman ako ng halakhak sa bigla niyang pagharap sa akin. Napagmasdam ko ang kanyang napakaputing mukaha na parang pinadukdok sa arina.









“Sige, buksan n’yo na nga.!”









“Alam mo ba? La…..la…. lahat ng Channel ay mayroon dito sa atin. Kaya ng lamang ay malabo. Ang marami ay….ay mayroon na ring cable channels na kanilang tinatawag. Sila mayor yata ang unang nagkaroon dito.”









Namangha ako. Sa hitsura niya’y parang hindi niya alam ang cable ngunit… masyado yata akong makapag-isip. Itinuon ko na lamang ang aking atensiyon sa pinapanood na palabas. Naguguluhan ako.









Maya maya pa, sa kagagala ng aking mata ay muli kong napagmasdan ang matandang katulong. Napansin ko ang langis sa kanyang mga payat na braso, sa kanyang mga binti. Lalong pinakikintab ng langis ang kaliskis sa balat ng kanyang mga paa. Nagpapadulas…









Pagkasuklam ang nararamdaman ko para kay Manay Tessie sa pagtuklas ng maraming bagay tungkol sa kanya. Tulad ng pagtalikod niya kapag matatapat sa malaking krus. May kakaibang amoy rin na iniiwan ang haplas niyang langis. Mabaho. Sabi niya, ito raw ay parang Omega Balm, gamot sa nananakit na mga buto at kalamnan.









“Ang mga aswang ay may ritwal na ginagawa,” kuwento ni Lola Basya. “Kailangan sila ay maghaplos sa buong katawan bago magpalit ng anyo.”















Inusisa ko ang pangalan ng panghaplos ni Manay Tessie. “Ang baho-baho! Bukas bibigyan kita ng lotion para mabango ka!” sabi ko.









“Sa i…Instsik ‘to…Hindi ko alam ang pangalan . Sa sitsiriya ko nabili noong nakaraang piyesta. Malansa ba? Bibigyan mo ako ng bagong lotion? Kung gusto mo imamasahe pa kita, Rebecca.”









Lalapit na sana siya sa akin ngunit pinigil ko. Pagkatapos may nakita ako ng mga posporo sa paligid niya na nangaghulugan habang ang isang istik ay ginamit niyang parang toothpick.









“Ang mga istik ng posporo ay ginagamit nilang pampalakas. Ito ay babala ng isang aswang,” naalala kong muli ang kuwento ni Lola.









Sa mga oras na iyon, matalim ang titig sa akin ni Manay Tessie. Ang singkitin niyang mga mata ay parang nagdiringas at tulala habang kinukutkut niya ng posporo ang kanayang ngipin. Nakita ko rin ang posporo na pula ang dulo, kasing pula ng dugo. Hindi ko lang pinansin. Pagkatapos hindi ko na napigil ang antok.









Kinaumagahan dalang-hangin na naman si Manay Tessie na papalapit sa akin. Inilalantad niya sa aking harapan ang bila-bailaong mga prutas na galing sa bukid. Inaalo ako. Bakit?









Mabilis ang tiktak ng orasan. Hindi ko iniwanan si Lola Basya hanggang sa paglubog ng araw. Hindi ko rin kinausap ang matandang katulong sa buong maghapon tulad ng dati. Nagpakitang gilas si Tessie. Sa dapithapon ng maayos na ang lahat ng kanyang trabaho ay nagpaikut-ikot naman siya sa bakuran. Nakita ko ang kalungkutan sa kanyang mukha na nakatingala sa langit. Nag-iisip parang nagmamakaawa…









Tumabi akong muli kay Lola. Inayus-ayos ang higaan niya. Tumingala din ako sa langit, sa itaas – at katulad ni Manay Tessie ay nagmakaawa…









“First Friday pala ngayon,” bulong ko sa aking sarili. Dinapuan na naman ako ng lungkot. Hinaplus-haplos ko si Lola Basya.









Madilim na. Malakas ang hangin sa labas. Maraming ibon. Tahimik ang gabi. Bilog ang buwan. Ang liwanag ay sumusungaw sa maliit na kawang ng bintanang kapis. Nakakahalina ang liwanag. Hindi ako mapakali. Maya-maya may nakita akong asong itim sa gilid ng bakuran. Mala-dambuhala, kaya isinarado kong mariin ang mga bintana.









Mabilis, may nag-udyok sa akin para lumabas ng kuwarto. Natigilan ako. Wari ay may humihila sa aking mga paa papuntang pintuan. Sinigurado kong nakakandado ang lahat ng mga pinto at itinarangka itong mabuti. Binuksan kong lahat ang mga ilaw. Ang aming bahay ang pinakamaliwanag sa buong San Jose! Parang piyesta, parang may prusisyon ng Santakruzan sa tapat!









“Nakahanda na ba ang mesa? Manay! Manay!”









Hangos ako sa paghahanap kay Manay Tessie. Takbo ako papuntang kusina. “Ayyy, naku!’andiyan ka na pala bakit hindi ka nagsasalita?”









May apoy ang mga titig niya. Nakapapaso. Nagsimulang magtayuana ng kanyang mga buhok, kumpul-kumpol. Natatandaan ko ang mukha niyang nakakatakot ng makita ko ang kanyang mukha sa salamin sa sala., noong ako ay bagong dating.









“Ano ang tumutulo sa iyong damit?”









“Regla!” Nagdudumali si Manay Tessie. Hinila ko ang kanyang kamay at kinaladkad papuntang sala, pinaharap ko sa malaking krus. Pilit siyang nagpupumiglas. Hinila ko ang kanyang buhok na nangagtatayuan. Dahan-dahan, parang nahahati ang kanyang katawan na nagpausbong sa luwang ng kanyang damit…









“Dugo ‘yan ni Lola!”









“Bakit? Di ba gusto mo rin ng dugo?”









“Walanghiya!”









Umikot ako sa hangin at tinadyakan ko si Tessie ng malakas, malakas na malakas. Paulit-ulit. Pagkatapos ay mabilis akong nagpunta sa kusina.









Pabalik, hinarap ko si Tessie…









Ilang sandali pa mahinahon na ang hangin. Nalilito ako sa susunod na gagawin. Ang natatandaan ko lamang ay ang simbahan… ang pusyawing asul na ilaw ng krus.









Sabi ni Lola, ang simbahan daw ay luklukan para makapagbagong- buhay. Ito raw ay may kapangyaringhang bendisyon sa unang iyak pa lamang ng sanggol hanggang sa huling hantungan ng kaluluwa.









Kuwento ni Rose Flores – Martinez



30 Piling Kuwento 2003



Editor: Danilo S.Meneses



Introduksiyon ni : Reynaldo S. Duque









/posted 10.07.2009



rosalinda flores - martinez



http://iwrotefiction.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

AWIT AT SAYAW

Show for dance scholars



AWIT AT SAYAW, a fund-raising musical and dance production, will be presented on Nov. 15, 8 p.m., at the Music Museum in Greenhills, San Juan City.



YOUNG DANCERS (front row) Obia, Israela Joana Aliermo, Katherine Ann Gayon, Piol, Kimberly Gayon; (back row) Nowell Joseph B. del Rosario, Marquez, Israel Jeru Aliermo, Bulig, Mark Jayson Gayon, Fernando and Cejrich Daniel B. del Rosario

The show will feature a dozen ballroom dancing scholars of Dance 116, which is owned by Emily Silva.

The scholars are Angelou Obia; Israela Joana and Israel Jeru Aliermo, whose father is a school driver and whose mother is a government employee; Katherine Ann, Kimberly and Mark Jayson Gayon, whose father is a janitor and the mother is a housewife; Dannah Joyce N. Piol, whose father is physically handicapped and the mother is a housemaid; Nowell Joseph and Cejrich Daniel B. del Rosario, whose father is unemployed and whose mother is a freelance travel consultant; Juan Paolo Marquez, Adonis Franco Bulig and Adonis Fernando.

Norie Sayo is director and musical arranger. Featured performers are Pilita Corrales, Nonoy Zuñiga and Filipino Tenors.

Tickets sell for P1,500 each. Call 84664232 and 09175693932 .



--

regards ,

jek:dR

/ Also in PDI

Saturday, October 20, 2012

WALDEN 3 (From You Tube)

ONE LAST CRY


ONE LAST CRY

It was the moment I was so afraid to come. It was the moment of truth.

You, whom I loved so much will go away and never come back. But I trust GOD would hold you. That is how I accept things. It’s the dead end, when its time letting go, we hold nothing but the light and love of GOD.

The sickness that wearied your body made you leave me and separate, in some way to find some time for yourself and your remorse. Maybe, like St Peter. I realize in your actions the love you had for me and your gaze so far and deep could not explain in words all that you wanted to tell me in the words: because I love you. I knew it. It knew it.

Our wills never met, except in the love of GOD. Our bodies never entwined because your body wanted someone else.

I heard you cried softly in your agonies. You always came to me and told me about the love you had for Zita. Zita who wouldn’t love you because she thought you stole her virginity where she was blooming a dainty pink rose. She thought you even raped her because you can be as old as her father. Yes, you were old as her father. She was your nurse and every time she went to your house to check on your health, I knew you lusted for her.

Remember you once told me you wanted virgins? And you were dreaming of Zita to be your next prey. You were a rich man and you could pay the price of your desired commodity. I thought Zita was one of them. And so it happened when you always gave her presents like the signature watches, bracelets, expensive clothing and dined her to the finest restaurants. I may say she had some amazement in those things you offered her and she thought she was smart enough trading her virginity. She got you under her wicked spell.
You knew her mom was a single parent and raised Zita just by selling gambling tickets. I gave you a warning how her family could be indecent.

Zita. I envied her because you told me you wanted her so much. I wished I were her and I wasn’t your bestfriend who was like a mother or a sister. I wished you saw that I loved my body, too, and wanted sex.

We didn’t keep secrets.

You were blushing as you spanked my butt every time I said,“Yes, I wanted sex.” But the time I wanted to do it with an attempting lover, I couldn’t. Maybe I only ached for a moaning hug and a whining stretch of muscles.

“Here, hug me,” you would always say.

And we laughed together.

You told me I might be sick of frigidity. Though how much I tried to want sex, deep in my thoughts, it was sort of a lie. My curiosity zoomed in. I wondered what a kiss meant with someone you adored, when Zita and you smacked in front of me. I wondered how it felt to kiss someone you love so much. My few kissing experiences with my ex–boyfriends couldn’t satisfy my desires. I just couldn’t move my mouth and stick my tongue. I felt nothing turned me on. I just had the knowledge about it in books. Yes, you knew I was a virgin and my hymen was not broken. Several times I told you that. Yes, how I dreamed someone would break it…

“Someday, I want to break my hymen and bleed for love.”

“Really…?” Your eyes were twinkling and asking. You held my hands and I could feel the blood gushed in your manly veins. Your anatomy and discipline, the stability of your age and stature were more than big muscles to me, more than the careless vibrant youth who knew nothing , but just sweat it out in a burst of animal instincts.

When we’re both submerged in this kind of talk, we stopped.

That was nothing to you, you who had countable love affairs. Many times you came to me and whined your emotional discontent. My nights turned miserable while we drank beer and I got hangovers due to those sleepless nights just talking and talking about your sissy girlfriends and how gullible you could be. Well, I remember how you filled my house like a refrigerator with all my favorite goodies! Zita couldn’t do that. She was the woman who hated house chores and cooking. And though she might have loved you now, she had been blinded by your material wealth. She loved your estates, the diamonds she could buy, and how she could look more attractive each day. But it was funny because people saw her like a satirical sketch. Mask and make-up and anime. Your marriage had failed. That was your deadly punch. It had weakened you and brought you low. And I didn’t want that for you.

Oh how I hated Zita! Yet, I always hoped she’d take care of you and try to string back your affections together.

My desire to feel like a woman was never completed. I never knew how it could be completed. If being in love made life colorful, then maybe I had it, or I had not. The fairy tales I read was real perfect and bigger than my life. “Maybe there is no such thing as real bliss, except in ones faith. And a kiss makes a difference books tell. Because Snow White wakes up in a kiss. When you love someone, - it means the whole world, today and tomorrow, yesterday and forever – The sky is the roof, you can run in the forests – naked , and the stars watch over.” You understood my fantasies would never be real.

“Your fantasies are impossible! Only if there’s magic, and there’s a fairy godmother or an angel who goes down from heaven. Or a real prince charming. Mwhahahahah,” your laughter would fill all the space around us.

“Zita is so different from you. She’s wild and lives in reality.”

”Please don’t compare me. I am only your bestfriend, I’m not your wife.”

Yes, Zita was naughty. Men thought naughty girls were attractive. She even showed me the sex gadgets, the rings and helmets you were using, one afternoon while I waited for you. She was too forward to tell me things I didn’t want to know. My flesh shivered, and deep inside I was so afraid. In her actions and insincere smile, I saw she was jealous of our very old friendship. I wanted to scream at her and tell her to stop, but I was being civil because I esteemed your household. She told me how you did things and how she enjoyed your every thrust until your release.

The last time you came to me you were so sick. You gave me white roses and boxes of assorted flavored cakes for my birthday. I said you were so sick because you didn’t talk about Zita but just held my hand and told me ”You aren’t ZIta because you are way above my wife. You are the fairy tale that reminds me the sun will shine, and there’s Atlantis. You’re the strong tower I look up to, bigger than my buildings. You remind me of kindness and just by holding hands, you give me security. Zita can never be like you.”
Your words satisfied my day. I thought you were acting out a drama to please me.
From hereon, I never saw you and Zita. The next day you buzzed me you would be going to America for a heart operation. It was too soon.

For months, we haven’t got any communication, except when I visited your parents in the province where we grew up. Your parents liked me a lot. Mama thought we could be nice as couples but you didn’t like that idea. We grew up like siblings.

“Yuck. Maristela cannot be my wife. Look at her!”

I didn’t know what’s your yuck for because I also got what other females could show. I’ve got contoured measurements and breasts that are so full. Only I acted roughly, and never feminine like other women.

“What do you want of me to be your wife?” Thoughts kept playing up on me.

I missed you then. I worried. I wished I were there with you. Not Zita. I dreamed I was your wife…

One day the news hit the loop. It stunned me. It says your ZIta left you in America for a richer merchant, once your friend. It made me flare up in rage, but I couldn’t do anything. I cursed Zita for her sin. I wanted her nailed inside a coffin. I hurried to the province to check for your condition.

Mama confirmed the news to me. She cried on my shoulders. I became restless.

The next morning you had to go back to Manila. They said that you were okay after the operation but still recuperating.

Before I could meet you at the airport you were buzzing my doorbell, loudly.

“That is Howard!”

I ran to the door and you hugged me tight.

“How are you?”

“You don’t look like you’ve undergone an operation.”

“I’m fine.”

I hugged you and kissed your cheeks. I adored you so much.

You swooned me to the kitchen and you let out your tongue in my mouth. I was gasping for my breath. I forgot my sanity. There I knew the meaning of a kiss. There I knew a kiss is GODs precious gift to people who love each other. There I knew a kiss could be for everyone. There I knew a kiss could be sacred where a man and a woman becomes one.

You knew I heard about the news. I didn’t ask. We just ate. You had chocolates for me. I could see you cut out on your food intake. You were not so strong, and your were hiding it from me.

“Can I sleep here tonight?”

“Yes.”

You slept in the sofa while I watched my favorite cartoon films.

You looked so tired but peaceful. You were forcing to close your eyes for some reason. I could see the innocence of your soul in the situation your were hiding from me. You were avoiding a conversation - that Zita left you for another man.

Good night my Maristela. I pray your fantasies would come true.

Pray?

Ok. That word seemed strange for you. Maybe you learned your lessons. But I was too busy on my cartoons though I felt happy with your utterance.

Finally, I got tired and was getting up to my bedroom.

“Howard we would sleep. Would you like to use my bed? I could use the other room. Howard…”

I was shouting.

Your hands were cold. You wouldn’t open your eyes. You appeared so tired. Instead, I tried to pull you down the sofa so you would hit the mat floor hard and feel your body ache and you would wake up… you were into deep sleep.

I curled my body next to your body, my fingers felt your senses. I was shivering. I rested my head on your chest, unbuttoned your shirt, and unzipped your pants. And then kissed you from your head, your ribs, down to your feet. And then kissed you all over. My body pressed against your body. It felt nice and warm. My breasts were full adoring you, my beloved.

The kiss of a goddess. I kissed your lips again and let my tongue get into your mouth. I thought of your last breath. But your eyes wouldn’t open. I wanted to wail like a child because I demanded the fairytales, and Snow White or the Frog Prince, and the happy endings would come true. It didn’t. But it was Pieta, or the Lady of Sorrows…

Here it worked. And so I raised your head, covered you neatly with a white cloth, and let you hold rosary beads of your first communion, in which you traded your rosary for my high school antique pen.

“You are more than my wife…”

”I am more than your wife…”

Thinking about this conversation, I got back my roughness and gait. I would call your Father Confessor. I would call Mama in the province. I would call the funeral service for a white coffin.

My tears rolled down softly. The sky was dark, it was raining outside.

Rose Flores – Martinez, Oct.8, 2008
Revised, Sept. 17, 2009

Posted http://iwrotefiction.blogspot.com, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NET CHAT

Net Chat (A Fiction Story)


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NET CHAT



Madness creeps to explore new possibilities. How many men can a woman have in a day? I was curious. It was discovering a feeling I had not the luxury in life. I was in a barred, cemented walls that was almost like a tomb. A core in a crust. So I plunged my fears and swam across depths of time and space. First time.

I would taste the pleasure of emotions in words. It was a trance. A temporary exit to the power-playing people around me in the real-now. I began to find the answers to my complicated ideas, deconstructing and reconstructing every word; trying to separate water and oil. I would like to think, there is a knife on my neck and every wrong move I make would slit a cut on my throbbing throat like killing a helpless chicken.

Maybe, I can become what I dream now. In this development of technology, words and letters are like people talking to me face to face.



Connecting…



“Hello and heller!”

Everyone greeted everyone hello. Well, not hell and below, I suppose. It was a greeting of cheers like “Aloha” in Hawaiian and “Ciao” in Italian. I thought all eyes were on me. Searching me head to foot, undressing me, my heart and my soul. But I was armed and shielded. I was wearing a complete battle gear. I floated with the cursor throbbing systolic and diastolic. The keypads wrote the murmurs in the blue sea of fiber optic cables, wires, and wireless connections of the internet.

“How is everyone?

“I want to join in.”

“Nice and happy to be here!”

“Where are you from?”

I could not pretend. I got recharged by the electronic vibrations, pulling my fingers. My emotions were letting go. I needed someone to talk to – like a friend. Maybe another thrill seeker in a machine, or an android at my bidding. On and off with my PC, I was giggling – to this my net baptism. It seemed like exploring a part of the earth where a star would burst and become another planet.

Well, this is technology.

“Asl please…”

“What is asl?” My ignorance let me ask.

“Age, sex, location.”

“Okay.” I got so excited because these were the things I didn’t know.

“Asian, female, between 35-45 years old.”

I went private. At first, I was scared about these private domains. I was foreign to this idea of being too personal, and afraid of some people who were lewd. But I needed these experiences that could break the walls surrounding my routine and sad life. “ The Edge of Things” by Edith Tiempo, pushed me to “that brink or threshold, none other may enter.” And that “leap of faith,” which Kierkegaard calls, let me jump into the abyss or beyond the abyss.

My fight, mhwhahahahah… I’ll do it in cyberspace – I have to make out of something, or else I’ll just be keeping everything and I would die, too. I had to free these golden butterflies inside my stomach and shreds of heaven-threads in my veins if for moments of releasing my act of faith.

I met Eazymaan, Medicate, Caterpillar, Virgo Woman, Pilot, and Wild Fire while I hid on the pseudo Moon and Stars. I thought I had the whole world right before my eyes. Tasks were done at the same time as I searched for the books of Exupery, the Essays of Montaigne and the Reflection of Solitude by Thoreau. I was in the chatroom, inside my room with only the beating PC.

For hours, unrelenting thoughts fell on the monitor, every letter captured the moment of truth and illusions. I found rooms full of people from different places and different time zones and different clothing. I met them as ants would kiss each other and stop and go. And then I’ve learned tags on this new dimension of Science. A new dictionary on the internet.

“LOL.” LOL means laugh out loud. You say that when someone goes funny.

“BRB” means: Be right back.

“Mwah” means a big kiss. Chatmates offer and receive a bunch of flowers as token of

appreciation, a cup of steaming coffee from Starbucks, munch chocolates – Hersheys, Kisses, and Snickers, or Life Savers candy. Yummy! Pick your choice. It was a room full of everything. Illusions over life. This became not a portion of my reality, but my reality. It was fun.

Deprived of power and feeling destitute that time, I explored possibilities. The big difference was taking Jose Rizal’s “Touch me not.”

I got close connections with some chatmates all over the globe. Some names I couldn’t remember though…BUT there were two of them who became my best of friends. Here I found out that people in the chatrooms were not bad, not bums, not stupid. They were ordinary and loveable people just like you and me. I would like to think a few were machines, or maybe models to promote a product. They could even be members of a cult. I don’t know. But above all, proper rules were observed in the room. We called it “netiquette,” which means internet etiquette.

My first private chat was full of oohs and aahs. I was curious how the conversation would go. My chatmate being a gentleman taught me how to be technologically literate and updated. Adriano, I could recall his name. I couldn’t believe he was a sexy star in Italy. I tried chatting with him and when he asked me about my vital statistics, I boasted a perfect measurement of “36-24-36.” He went gaga over me, while I described the features of a beauty titlist, the softness of Venus de Milo, and the charm of Monalisa. I seduced him to beg for my virginal words, until he told me he was aching. The dialogues were spiels in a movie spinning to manifest desires. Adriano thanked me and I laughed out all my stored energy that almost drove me mad.

And you know what? He owned a villa and a number of cars that bestirred my financial desires. How I wished I could reveal my true identity, but because it was in Italy, and Rome is in Italy, the home base of the Pope – I had second thoughts… The act was disgraceful for a respected woman. Besides, I did not have that Aphrodite figure, I was more huggable like Winnie the Pooh bear than a sexually titillating bold star. We were two different worlds.

Good bye Adriano.

I continued searching for unlimited territories. I tried saying hi to all, baring sweet words. The thin line between words and emotions almost cracked like abyss. A word especially written would crush a heart and rip a soul if not thought of carefully. Yet positive words encouraged dreams, strengthened confidence, and saved lives.

Switching from one site to another searched me the stories told long ago. It reminded me the fairy tales, the narrations, and the poems, that gave hope. The stories chanted me to fairy land. The journals of Virginia Woolf, the Diary of Anne Frank, and the letters of the Philippines’ Bienvenido Santos took my breath away. And because I was Filipino, I also found Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo plus the recommended and popular articles that inspired ambitions and made heroes, and Saints. Of course, I never forgot chapters on the Book of Wisdom, the Koran, and the Holy Bible written through the ages – those that until now introduce the words of the prophets, the words of Yaweh, the words of Allah, the words of Jesus Christ.

Cyberspace gulped me. Here’s the evidence of the evolution of language, communication, and words. From the writings of the Nambikwara, the scribbles in the caves to the cultured populace, for ordinary people and literary gods – words are life.

Each passing day the computer was my pal. In the computer were my friends now, and unlike my first time – I realized these people were people who could be trusted – better than those next to me, better than those next to my house. Some of them better than families. Well done! I had my men and the rendezvous I wanted. It taught me that life could be meaningful and exciting as the night closes and the day begins.

The internet thrilled arid fields of my activities . I didn’t know why. My friends laughed at me because I was really growing mad while I tell them stories about chatting. “Find a boyfriend? Why not? I could do that, I told a friend.” And so did I. I chose names from different sites and tried to match; flaming, crossing out, comparing names I felt were charming. I thought their names suggested something, I thought it meant something. Until, I clicked my mouse to an American chatmate, and got agitated when he shouted at me. “Whore!” I knew he shouted. The texts were in BOLD letters.

My blood rose to my head, “ Be careful of what you say!” I could not fight him to the hilt because I was new in the game. He kicked me out of his domain, and I didn’t expect he’d do that. I tried to get even with this rude character.

I shouted back at him…”You are ugly!” “Ugly!” “Ugly!” The colors of his letters changed in rage. He was so angry. And shouted again “Get out of my private!”

I was shocked, his words got into my nerves. I thought he was in front of me, and he made me feel nervous. I could slap his cheeks. I thought I’d shut down. But no —

Instead, I chose another name, “Marksman.” I clicked on Marksman. Because I thought he could shoot him. I ran to him.

Marksman was Jake. Jake was an Indian. He was a Muslim. He lived in Kuwait.

“What’s the matter?” I told Jake, the American kicked me out of his domain because he shouted impolite words at me. He told me to relax, and so I calmed down. It was kind of getting instructed. The chatroom was in a commotion. Then Jake popped up to me in his kind words, “ It’s over. Don’t be furious sweety. Take a deep breath.” Jake saved me from the rude limping white mouse who was hiding in a black cloak.

Marksman and I had become the best of friends. We exchanged ideas and he gave me good literature. His words were profound, you know Indians are identified with the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi and Teresa of Calcutta. I learned a lot from his one liners and tried to memorize his evoking thoughts. He told me that I would succeed. This gave me confidence. And from here I knew that there were good people around. It’s not because of ones race, or belief, or sex, or religion, or status in life, or even education, that people become friends but people become friends because they respect each other.

Jake was so amiable. He called me Florentine which means a beautiful flower. Jake was proud to tell me that he had lots of women on the net but he had only one wife. He observed Ramadan and other Muslim holidays.

Yakub was the Muslim name of Jake. I told Yakub “We’d watch the stars together.”

After Yakub, I found another bestfriend. His name was Norman. He was based in the United Kingdom. He lived in a house on top of a hill at Yorkshire. I could imagine his house like a castle. What’s fantastic to me was because the movie “Dracula” was shot on that place. And so I was sort of intrigued about this new friend Norman. “In Yorkshire, at night, the fog was a shade of purple,” Norman told me.

Norman was a paramedic. “My job required most of my time and what’s sad is because people only recognize us during emergencies.” Though he told me, that was okay because it’s a way serving people. He was devoted his work so much and told me stories about his job, his schedules, his promotion, his new car, his favorite things. Then he laughed out loud, typing the keys, “LOL.”

Norman was real romantic. He was the sweetest person, ever in this planet telling me about my possibilities and that I was the most beautiful girl in this world. He said he would move the world if I were ill, and would be devastated if I leave him. I fell in love with him on the net, and revealed my wounded soul. Here, I’ve realized that love is faceless (anonymous). Serving the other as in reciprocal love. No one using the other. It is reflective of the Divine (Carol Wotyla). Days and nights had passed, and I did not miss a day writing him. Sometimes we’d chat, sometimes we’d just leave IM’s (instant messages). I thought he was right in front of me. He was the husband I never had and he called me a wife. I promised him a lot of things. I even swore to him and had the guts of a divorce in my marriage after 3 years and I would fly and live with him in UK. We’ve known each other for more than a year and at the close of each day we’d say good night.

One time we had a fight because I crossed some limitations asking him to come and get me. He let me recognize I was too dependent on him and that we were just living our lives in fiction. That struck my head and split my skull.

The plight made me see that I lived quite a miserable state. It opened my eyes to examine my life. I wanted to deny the facts, but it was evident that my spouse had another family. My miserable marriage would in some time, freeze me alone. Fairy tales can’t come true. And cyberspace is abstract and intangible. Should I want to fulfill something – I have to accept my spouse doesn’t love me anymore. The root of this madness is the marriage problem, not the internet gigs, not my Englishman chatmate. And so for three nights and three days, my tears wouldn’t dry living my fiction.

I acted the protagonist who could not decide how to end the fate given her by the creator of the story. Day by day I constantly went online and was surprised on the fifth day checking my inbox: “I’ve got mail!” Norman was too good to start again our unfinished love story. He said I’m sorry and cheered me up. This time he tried to weave a better story for me. I thought we were Romeo and Juliet.

I felt so loved without exerting much effort, just typing on the keyboard: words, living words. I had that intense and affectionate feeling of being the only woman in Norman’s life, a woman who satisfied a lover, a woman with great power over a man to let her bleed and bloom. Norman made me a woman who exulted her man as the toughest among all men to conquer love at the apex of eternity.

He wrote me a letter:

“I could never chain you to my heart.

That would mean that you would forever be a prisoner of my love.

I want willingly to give your life to me.

Your embrace is my wish.

Your touch is my dream.

Your love my salvation.”

I was mesmerized! He held all my senses, he embedded my heart in his and his in mine. For me, this prose was the best poem of my life.

At 12 o’clock midnight, Philippine time, we would get online for five to ten minutes then he would go. We would communicate about us, about work, and some ideas – a lot more. It was worthwhile as I’ve learned a pattern of how an Englishman speaks, his culture, and how he treats a woman, just by the email exchanges. Norman was kind and unselfish of his time chatting to me, as if I was getting a tutorial online for free. And more than that, he made me feel like a dainty wine glass carved with diamonds. He told me he would kiss me anywhere, and would be so proud to have me in his arms, “And if just holding each other’s hand would still be special,” to make me happy.

I kept a journal of our love stories immersing in my dream fiction. From sunrise to sunset my thoughts would not free me, had I not written something and bled for words for Norman. Here – I regained the dignity I’ve lost. 1440 minutes a day, Norman became my real husband. I forgot my problems. I forgot my husband, his devilish mistress.

Norman’s love conquered space and time. His mwahs taught me about a kiss that breaks the glass of age into pieces. Our hearts became one and had thought if we could make love together. It was impossible! Although at times, I felt my ears red and my body weaker every time he teased me he wished for a release. He told me we could have sons and daughters, and if none, he would still love me. “As long as you are with me.” He promised “We would live in the shelter of our love and we would make love while the sun slides down slowly. Then we would sleep together while the stars watch over us and wake again to make love with the rising sun.” Norman was my dream.

Everyday I felt so excited and so beautiful. I was not the dumped wife. I was then the wife of an Englishman. Mrs. Peri.

For a year again we chatted and lived our perfect love story. Him – my husband, and me – his wife. There was that enchanting feeling of being loved and cared for. And though the oceans parting us from different lands, I could never betray him. “Take care of my heart.” He always reminded me. “My love is for you alone.”

How would one contend with this madness? Of living in books? Of living in fairy tales? Of living a life on the net, without seeing, without knowing, and without real touching. Soulmates should I say, or could he be a creature like me? Dying for words? I knew how to differentiate fiction from nonfiction, but now I’m forgetting the rules. Am I getting crazy?

One day my spouse came home at dawn, and noticed me getting online those sleepy hours. He didn’t care. Neither did I. He often mocked, “Stop imagining things!” He exclaimed that I was a deranged writer who could never be satisfied with reality. I was imperfect and I was almost like a chip in the computer programmed for stories. I couldn’t have flesh, I couldn’t have urges, I couldn’t smack, I couldn’t satisfy. I’m only good at words, and that is all. His friends teased I was not a woman, embarrassed by the thought of accused frigidity, maybe.

While time passed by, my situation became more transparent to Norman. I asked him if we could really be together should I get an annulment. He confused me with a vague answer, “ I could not break your marriage vow, it is sacred.”

What? I turned pale and unbelieving. He was playing up…

“Liar!”

He swooned me, got into my soul, melted my heart – let me believe our love was real now he’s telling me he couldn’t break my marriage vow? He couldn’t fight for me.

“Coward!”

His arrogance showed like his well-chiseled pointed nose, “Don’t you know I was just making you feel good? How could you think I would marry you for real? I thought it was clear we were just making up fiction?”

I wanted to kill myself at his insensitivity. How belittling his strong words went through at me, then leaving me with a blank space. That time, I hoped I would never wake up. My marriage was a failure. And now my love affair is a fake. Love dries up on me. My lovers come and go leaving unexplained memories, drowning me in tears of remembering dreams that would never come true – so my flashes of reverie.

Norman swore to me “I adore you.” He was at my disposal.

“I am yours and you are mine. I think of you and yearn for your touch every waking moment. My heart is yours till the sun fades from the sky for the very last time…”

I lament this lying poetry. He lied to me like Genaro. I am one stupid woman.

For several days I was out of touch. I felt I was one of the most repressed persons on earth where I could not email and chat. I forgot my other friends and denied my global community on the World Wide Web (www).

Still, some friends emailed me but I didn’t email back. “Whats up? Why aren’t you getting online now? Keep in touch and take good care of yourself.”

Yes, my friends cared for me a bit, too. But I wouldn’t tell them anymore. I couldn’t figure out the limits from hereon. I felt so broken for weeks, couldn’t escape what I’ve been through. It would be funny and unreasonable for people to know that a deadly computer virus hit me, maybe a damaging Trojan lurking in my soul, crashing my humanity, feasting on my breath.

“Heaven please give me dignity!”

For months I never emailed. I swore I wouldn’t go back to my inbox, never ever. A guy tricked me again! I curse Adam. How I thirst for the male blood and urging to burn his flesh. But then, the internet isn’t human. They’re just wires. I should never be affected. I should understand…

As I am locked in an inadequate marriage, the romance of my life is only an untouchable fulfilling shadow of an earth of technology under the sky.

If for times I had happiness with this creeping madness, then I would sign in. Chat again. Maybe science would extend Norman, once my haven and a dummy, zoom another Norman in tiles and icons, chips and softwares, around space and time. And sometime, online – we would find each other; or, I would find another him among millions chatting, an offspring perhaps, for the rest of my life.

Signing off.



Note: The names and identities of persons here are not true. This is a fiction story.



copyright rosalinda flores – martinez 2009
reposted/copyright rose flores martinez; rosevoc2.2012
iwrotefiction

Me. In October 2017