While Perfect Ruin is very much like Lois Lowry’s The Giver in many ways, it has a lot of unique elements to it that makes it special. With colorful poetry in each word, DeStefano paints a world accessible only through a dream. You will wonder how it will be to be living a simple life afloat in the sky. You will find yourself jealous of what innocence those characters who haven’t been to the “edge” exude, while deeply feeling the quiet bitterness of “jumpers”, through Lex, whose ability to see life from a positive direction was disabled just by being curious and called by something hypnotically wondrous. You will hope that betrothals exist in our world and wish to experience that young, untraceable fondness for someone that can eventually turn into true love.
I recommend this book to those who would like to dream, daydream, experience love, loss, and utter curiosity about things that are beyond wonder, and most of all, to those who dare to “jump” into adventures, even when everyone disapproves.
The Maze Runner is promising and has a very intriguing foundation. I feel intimidated by the plot, scared for the boys and what awaits them, and the more I learned about what happens in the Maze and the Glade, the more thrilled I have become to get out and see what is outside.
Having finished reading the book, I can say that I truly liked the plot, but on the other hand, I fell that the story-telling could use a little fine-tuning. The beginning is dark and foreboding, and has sent trickles down my spine which I loved. Compared with other stories I’ve read in the Dystopian genre, the book has a something special to offer although it could do better with simplicity and less details that do not support the story very strongly.
The protagonist (Thomas) has a mysterious persona, which has kept me awake up until the middle, but the twist in his real personality is not as grand and it has had me expecting. His confusion does not seem to match his actions. There is no very distinct characterization. Save from their individual slangs and speech mannerisms, it often feels like every character is the same – who they are, how they act at certain situations, what makes them motivated or mad. The likeness in their characters makes them shallow and predictable. The boys who turn out to be antagonists do not seem to have deep and relatable causes to justify the course of the actions they took, even looking from the younger minds’ perspective.
Furthermore, what I do not like so much is that the humor is often off and out of timing. There are times when a serious situation is being portrayed but then one of the characters would throw in sarcasm and it ruins the mood, makes supposedly substantial events look trivial. I find the reveal of the big plot contrived and a little too drastic compared to how delicately the pace has run from its onset. I enjoyed the shroud of darkness and uncertainty covering the story at the beginning up to the the 3rd quarter of the story but my amusement was somehow disrupted by the unraveling of the truth behind the boys’ predicament that can be more subtle.
Overall, in spite of the few imperfections I found, The Maze Runner is a decent young adult novel, in my opinion. It is remarkable to me how pictures of the claustrophobic Glade, the Grievers and their unique mechanical monstrosity, the eerie Box where kids are transported into the Glade, the devilish Maze and its snaking ropes of ivy, and other elements of the setting were painted vividly in my imagination. The author is successful in his imagery. He gave the world he created some realness to it. It gives me chills remembering how the walls move nightly, their screeching sound against the floor echoing in my ears. I cringed at how excruciating Changing is, and felt nauseous about how deep a jump the Cliff might have been.
The story might not be perfect for my taste but it aptly got me interested. I am certainly buying the next book to find out what happens next.
If you have read the book, feel free to share your thoughts.
A bowl of my mother’s sweet spaghetti brings me back to my early childhood Christmases when life was much simpler and her sweet spaghetti was all I would look forward to on a Christmas Day. Today, life is much more complex, I look forward to bigger things, often (and guiltily) wanting more than what I deserve. Today, I am thankful for Christmas (and my mother’s sweet spaghetti) for reminding me that I can be a kid again and life can get simple at least once in a year.
There’s nothing very uncommon about the ingredients she uses – pork, a few bits of hotdog, banana ketchup, cheap cheddar and pasta (two packs you can buy for the price of one – every store has some kind of a promo), but mothers have this thing about their hands that everything they put together turns out to be something really special.
This is how salt is produced in Anda, Pangasinan, Philippines. When the sun fully dries the sea water contained in these man-made ponds into salt, it will be scraped off, held into sacks and stored in these small huts until small trucks pick them up for delivery to towns and cities. Salt-making provides living not only to many of Anda’s folks but to rest of Pangasinan’s.
We passed by this quaint asinan (salt factory) on our way to Anda’s Tondol White Beach, one of the North’s unpopular but absolutely gorgeous beaches.
Pangasinan is a province situated at the Northern, mountainous region of the Philippines and its name translates to “The Land of Salt”.
The Purge is a 2013 film by James DeMonaco that introduces us to an annual spree called “The Purge” during which all criminal activities become legal for 12 hours. Ever since its institution, the United States of America hits all-time low unemployment and crime rate, all attributed to this practice. From 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM every year, all citizens are allowed to discharge all repressed negative emotions in any way they want. In the movie, we arrive at the Sandins’ suburban household, as they prepare for The Purge.
The conflict started when Charlie Sandin, the youngest of the two Sandin children, lets a stranger into their highly-secured home during the first few hours of The Purge. The stranger is running from a group of masked participants who is willing to kill anyone, including the Sandins, to get a hold of the stranger.
As thought-provoking and ambitious the plot may be, there are some things that felt awfully wrong about The Purge:
For a seemingly strict, overly-protective, difficult father, Mr. Sandin handled his emotions very well at his son’s grotesque stupidity, letting a stranger into their supposedly Purge-free home. If I could gravely screw up without being grounded, I’d sure love to be adopted by the Sandins.
Mr. Sandin, just like any other head of the family, is so willed to protect his family, no matter what. Just like any other father, he does the right thing, out of his unquestionable love for his family, by readily choosing to hunt down the stranger that intruded their home and give him away to the masked Purgers, before the Purgers does the hunting themselves, killing his family along the way. He’s determined to fight to the death, until he changes his mind after five minutes and chooses to save the stranger, with the Mrs. Sandin and Charlie’s help that did not have a hard time convincing him to do the moral thing.
Mr. and Mrs. Sandin finally catch the stranger, manage to knock him unconscious, and are now tying up the stranger up in order not to get free. Regaining his consciousness, the stranger wiggles to get free, which makes the tying difficult. To knock him dead again, Mr. Sandin instructs his wife to press on the strangers side wounds with a letter opener (which she has to fetch at the faraway side table), thinking that this works better than knocking him on the head with something, say the vase they used about three minutes ago to knock him dead.
When they realize that their lives might be in danger now that the masked Purgers have broken into their house, the only safe place for Charlie to hide is the basement. But why doesn’t Charlie or Mr. Sandin lock the basement door when Charlie went there to hide? And is he trying to get caught by playing with that flashlight?
Even when you let a bleeding stranger in, angered a group of murderers, or leave your hiding place accessible, The Purge shows that in times of grave danger, someone will always be nearby in time to save your neck:
Just before the bloody stranger kills Zoey, Mrs. Sandin hits him with a vase. Zoey is saved.
Just before a masked lady kills Charlie at the basement, Mr. Sandin arrives and shoots the attacker. Charlie is saved.
Just before Mrs. Sandin is slashed by a masked woman, a masked man pinning her to the ground, two of their neighbors arrive just in time to save her. Mrs. Sandin is saved.
Just before the leader of the masked Purgers shoots two of the Sandins as they gather around the dying Mr. Sandin, Zoey happens to be just around to shoot the leader dead. The rest of the Sandins are saved.
Just before the Sandins are killed by the crazy neighbors, the bloody stranger grabs one of them shoots another, interrupting the killing. Once again, the Sandins are saved.
As overly cocky and fearsome as they come across, the masked group of Purgers seems to have lacked proper purging training. They seem to have exerted more effort putting together their rhetoric and picking the best outfit than actually working on how to efficiently kill. They only have a helpless family of four to kill (which includes two women, and a nearly-adolescent boy), yet more than half of them ended up killed before dawn.
Mrs. Sandin finds Mr. Sandin bleeding at the staircase. What better idea to save him than to shout on top of her lungs for her kids to come over, calling out attention from the leader of the masked Purgers who happens to be hunting them? Charlie, by the way, happens to be around and immediately join the scene for the Purger’s convenient killing.
When Mrs. Sandin says there’s no more killing, she means it. And although they outnumber the Sandins, and for a motivated group of The Purge participants, the neighbors meekly obliged and waited for The Purge to finish at 7:00 AM and everything ended OK.
Why is this bloody stranger being pursued by that masked group of Purgers? What did he do that was so wrong to anger them? Are the masked Purgers a group of vigilantes? What do they fight for? Why does Charlie feel so strongly about letting a stranger in? What is the family’s moral take on this whole idea of The Purge? There was so little disclosed about the Sandin’s “imperfection” that has compelled the neighbors to purge them – why are they so angry at them?
And most importantly, (and I probably should have asked this first) why does the youngest member of the family know the password to the house’s high-end security system?
There are just too many questions that are unanswered and so many possibilities that are not explored. The story, although promising, is served half-cooked, and there is no strong basis to excite the viewers. The characters are flat; they lack real motivation that we can identify with. It almost felt like a foreign idea was shoved down my throat and I was expected to digest it without water or taste. There’s just emptiness, and if there was any deeper meaning to the story, it is just lazily told, hence, anyone would find it hard to make sense of. The viewers’ imagination cannot always supply it all. At the end of the 85 minutes’ worth of the gunshots, blood showers, mad laughing and screaming, I was tired, confused, and disappointed.
If this concept was given enough time to be developed and mastered, if the story-telling was carefully planned, the film would have been a masterpiece. Until another filmmaker revives the concept a few years down the line, this film will just be another messy slasher film.
Salutations, my bros & sisters in goriness & the macabre. If you thirst for some good ol’ teeth-clenching, muscle-tensing bloody goodness of the art of human disembodiment in films, try reliving Sam Raimi’s vintage Evil Dead through the 2013 remake by Fede Alvarez. If you haven’t seen the 1981 original, before you’d feel like having heart attack before the movie ends – worry not, my friend – just like many other thriller that promisingly establish the horror at the beginning, the ending might strike as a little bit funny and almost clownish (to my taste at least), which must have not been as bad in the ’80s & considering how badly predictable these movies have been over the course of 3 decades. But it sure is not short of blood (you’d see that I meant that literally if you managed to stay conscious to see the final sequence). Enjoy!
Inferno has just taken me to an incredible journey. If you’re a Dan Brown fan, you can, as usual, expect twists in almost every chapter. And it’s present on this new masterpiece – when you’d think you’ve guessed the riddles right, no, you didn’t – there’s always going to be something to figure out until the very end. The startling revelations compel you to read a few chapters back to make sure your mind was not deceiving you.
If you’re planning a trip to Florence and Venice, try reading the book and see if it saves you the trouble. It sure can make you feel like you’ve been to these great places Robert and Sienna have been to in search for clues that lead to an impending catastrophe. The references to great places and artists of the world are strikingly vibrant.
But the picturesque, cleverly-structured, fast-paced adventure is just icing on the cake. Dan Brown once again shakes its readers’ moral compass, tackling yet another issue involving everyone on this planet. The possibilities in real life are frightening. The story makes its readers realize that the choices we make will define each other’s future.
This novel has made me regret that I didn’t pay so much attention on my high school English when we tackled Dante’s The Divine Comedy, in terms of its lyrical beauty. However, I’m glad it captured the great poem’s true meaning – that there is hope for mankind if everyone summoned the courage to go down and through the pits of hell in order to climb up to paradise. In this world, we all must make a choice and inaction constitutes consequences catastrophic to humanity.
Since I wouldn’t want to spoil your own journey reading the book (those who haven’t), I’m not giving out any more details save for this quote from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno that best summarizes the Dan Brown’s Inferno: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
Warning: This writing is judgmental. Read at your own risk.
Disclaimer: This piece does not represent anyone in particular, but paradoxically speaking, if deep in your heart you felt that you do what’s being described, then there’s a strong chance that you really do (and everyone who reads this would know if you contest and leave hateful comments below – see “warning” above). You may think that I only see these things because of the kinds of friends I have on Facebook, and yes, I agree.
To me, this is a compilation of all interesting stuff I notice my friends, and myself, do on Facebook, consciously or not. To you, these may be things that make you think of cleaning up your friends list or closing your account for good.
Without further chit-chat, here are the things that go a little too much on Facebook today:
Too Much Info – Are you having troubles burping? Did you just bought a bottle of Coke from 7-11? Have you discovered a new mole on your body? We would love to know!
Too Much Selfies-ness – excessive posting of pictures of your favorite person in the whole, wide, world: YOU. Normally taken by no other than your favorite person in the whole, wide, world: YOU (usually disturbingly showing a portion of the extended arm taking the picture from a short distance). May include shots on the bed, in the tub, along the highway, etc. Commonly closed-up, face shots, with captions ranging from: “Finally visited Vienna!” or “Marvelous scenery!” to the explicit: “Am I getting fat?” “I may not be pretty on the outside, but I have a genuine heart,” or “I love you, boo” (tagged: girlfriend/boyfriend living overseas). When the disturbing arm isn’t visible anywhere within the frame, you would notice a portion of someone else’s shoulders, cheeks, or any other bodily parts, carefully cropped out to look natural (common caption: “Having fun with my close friends!”)
Too Much Drama – Oh we enjoy compassion. And what better way to fish for some than to broadcast your issues with a person whose name or identify you couldn’t muster the strength to mention. These posts are normally followed by equally malicious, drama-loving chums who always seem to know what’s going on, leaving comments, likewise as vague as the original post, carefully thought of to trigger interest, pulling the curious, innocent, you into the trap of finally asking “What happened?” Because these are riddles, you wouldn’t get a direct answer, no you don’t. Furthermore, this also comes in the form of I-live-in-a-cruel-world, suicidal posts, whose problems may include (but not limited to) lone lines at the mall, being dumped by a crush, or serious family issues, making us Google help hotlines or consider venturing into clinical psychology. These posts could be so stressful! A few years back, when I discovered Facebook, I remember seeing only stuff about all things fun e.g. quiz answers to which Naruto character you could possibly be in your past life, etc. Now, I seem to be developing cancer cells each time I see my newsfeed full of hateful posts.
Too Much Liking – This only goes too far when you start liking your own posts.
Too Much Tagging – In the past, tagging has reminded us that we need not to look too wasted at parties, has trained hundreds to sleep with a closed mouth, and had thrown parents and bosses away and out of our Facebook life. Today, we can only thank God and Mark Zuckerberg there’s Timeline Review.
Too Much Game Invites – This is probably my biggest pet peeve. Apart from the fact that I don’t play games, nothing is more disappointing than seeing 82 notifications one day, discovering about half of which are freaking game invites. And no matter how you block game invites one by one, there’s always going to be a new game your friend will discover and invite you to play.
Too Much Poking – Shame on you if you poke me once. Shame on me if you poke me twice.
Too Much Indifference – I seriously racked up my brain thinking of a new, flattering way to smile. All you need to do is Like the selfy I recurringly share or repost or change my profile pic countless times into, you cold-hearted bastard.
Too Much Ranting – Similar to Item # 3, this includes carefully structured complaints about the weather, government, politics, and other things you have absolutely no control over. These posts seem to aim to change the world based on the number of likes gained or something. Similarly, these could be rants about how people post on Facebook like it’s their damn business.
Dear Facebook Friends: Don’t let this piece stop you from doing what you want on Facebook. Please don’t stop being you! And if you have Lady Gaga, Pink, Beyonce, or Joey Mcintyre on your iPod, you probably believe that you can be whatever you want to be. As much as what you may be doing may be made fun of by sleep-deprived people who don’t have better things to do in an afternoon than write a distasteful article on Facebook faux pas, please don’t forget that the world is free and so is the internet. Just like what your company vacation leave benefits, government loan benefits, or your basic penile function teach you: Use it or lose it.
OK, so instead of posting mellow-dramatic stuff, broadcasting on social media how miserable my life is (seems like posting stuff about personal issues people are remotely interested in is the new trend, in my country, at least), I decided to post something actually useful in the 21st century: How To Freaking Use Hashtags.
Now that hashtagging is going to be an official Facebook function very soon, I feel the strong need for me to do my part in educating my fellow social media peeps on how this is done without looking funny. Consider this my first gift to mankind.
1. Hashtags cannot contain other punctuation marks other than the pound sign (#), so no smileys or spaces between hashtags please.
2. In addition to item #1, please keep the pound sign as close as possible the word you’re hashtagging and never put it at the end of the word.
3. Keep it short. Let’s not tell a novella via hashtags. Moreover, let’s try not to hashtag #each #word #you #say #like #you #want #every #word #to #trend #worldwide.
4. Just use two to three hashtags that strike interested or embody your post. Putting in a bunch of hashtags makes it heavy to the eyes as there’s just too much to read, it’s annoying.
5. As I mentioned above, Facebook’s making hashtags function the same way as on Twitter very soon, but until then, let’s not put hashtags yet on our Facebook posts (unless they’re fed directly from other social networks where hashtags function in the present), it’s just pointless.
So those are just a few, basic how-to’s on hashtagging, my dear Facebook friends. For tips on how you can use hashtags work effectively for your business, see this article.
Chris Nolan’s take on The Dark Knight series has made me never want to miss anything he writes, directs, or produces. Now he, and the directors of Man of Steel, sure know how to turn classic geekiness into a contemporary, badass masterpiece. The non-stop, action-packed, visually superb scenes are just a start; there are real realizations valuable to life that fans (especially young boys) may take away. In this version of Superman, not only does Clark, as a kid, learn (the hard way) to choose the kind of man he wants to be in order to eventually satisfy his purpose, he also realizes (finally) a more fundamental life lesson: suits go over undies.
Starring The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen, Jennifer Lawrence, and My Soul To Take’s Max Thieriot, House At The End Of The Street tells a story of seventeen year old Elissa who falls in love with a troubled orphan who lives next to the gorgeous home she and her mom recently moved into. After her divorce, Elissa’s mom, Sarah (Elisabeth Judson Shue) decided to move to a small, rural town and into a beautiful home, and took (or dragged) her daughter with her. Elissa is seventeen and doesn’t have much of a choice but move with her mom, leave her band, and transfer schools. She’s the typical angsty type, as many girls of her age are, being part of a newly-broken family. She finds connection with the sad and brooding Ryan Jacobson who lives next door in a creepy house, who, like her, longs a happy family. Ryan was all that’s left of the Jacobsons. His parents were mercilessly killed by his younger sister Carrie-Ann, whose brain was damaged and made her mentally ill due to an accident Ryan is very self-remorseful about. Opposite of what the whole town has been nagging about (and Sarah fears), the young Jacobson is absolutely tame and in fact very likable as Elissa notes. To Elissa, he’s just another kid who’s part of a very sad story, as her. But there was more to it she discovers, as the story builds up to its climax towards the end.
The film has all the elements you expect from a thriller: mystery, subtlety, surprise. The sadness Ryan has creates apathy, and much of it can be attributed to Thieriot’s portrayal. The prologue is pretty straightforward. You see a young girl walking around with a pick at the middle of the night and killing her parents in their sleep is another girl who is either possessed or mentally ill, the question more is, why did she do what she did that night. The unraveling was simple, many details were revealed at the early part of the story, almost to a point where it seems that there’s nothing more to be excited about, and the fact that there indeed still is, is comforting. The twist was modestly delivered.
I didn’t expect so much out of this film. I knew it would be predictable, and it really is. I must say though that cinematography isn’t bad. Shots were decent. The action scenes were fairly exciting. Lawrence’s did a good job portraying her young, angry yet passionate character. This film is written by David Loucka, directed by Mark Tonderai, and also features Lawrence’s beautiful singing voice.
I thought exorcism movies are so passé. In the past 2 decades or so, a ton of filmmakers have kindled the interests of horror junkies like me in demonism, possession and the like. Like any other type of horror films, delivering a straight up freakish overall ambience of a real demonic intrusion and being able to sustain it until the end without boring the audience is tricky. Some of them are able to deliver, some aren’t. The thing about these movies is that they’ve been around for a long time, they’ve become so predictable. Filmmakers who would like to scare the crap out of people through another exorcism movie should take it to a different level. Sometimes, simple is different and interesting in many ways and that makes it unpredictable. Less is more and it’s true in this exorcism movie I saw a week ago, The Devil Inside.
The filmmakers made use of a simpler approach to an old idea:
The story had to be told via a documentary. The shots were simple but they for sure were well thought of. Sometimes for something to look simple and natural, you have to pour a lot of artistic juices to it. Many films went to this direction but some were not very successful doing it. Some of them looked posed or they tended to be boring. In this film, the filmmakers thought of ways on how the camera would capture the scenes without making it seemed planned. It’s been established on the early parts of the film that the car they used to go around Rome had cameras so at the final scene, when the demon possessed Isabella and Mike and drove them to death, the scare was perfectly captured. One flaw I saw though was that scene when Isabella first met her mom, Maria, after she was sent to Rome. All through out the movie, most of the characters acted conscious of the camera/s being around, which was how normal people would. On this scene, Maria show no regard for the camera, or at least the man (Mike) who was behind it. It’s a bit unnatural that all Maria noticed was Isabella.
The first scene depicts a 911 call by Maria Rossi, followed by a footage of investigators’ going through the house after the incident.
Although the film was shot as a documentary, it did not come across as boring and sluggish as they included only the scenes that were substantial to the story. Other documentary-type films had scenes that show no much action but they were there for the purpose of making their audience feel the boredom of real life interactions. It doesn’t work for most people like me. If you’re posing it as a documentary, just like a real one, you would have to choose the parts that are best contributing to the story without making your audience sleep. It bore no special effects save for the changing demon voices and it worked perfectly. The final scene could leave your jaw hanging and your mind thinking of how terribly the characters’ fate had turned out to be in the hands of the demon. We could attribute it to the fact that the final scene was a short one and the editing was abrupt and aggressive and giving no time for audience to think of would go on but after the film itself.
Now, what is an exorcism movie without a great contortionist. We just love seeing women do shapes with their bodies that make us cringe. One thing I noticed though that people possessed by demons on these exorcism movies had to be skinny. I haven’t really seen real-size people possessed and being able to contort. On this film, you’d see that only Isabella and Rosalita, fairly skinny, did those weird shapes with their body and not Maria and David (the priest) who were real-size but were equally horrifically possessed.
The battle between the belief in supernatural and science carried on in this film. Science claiming everything that happened had a logical and scientific explanation and the church believing that some can only be explained by faith. Science told us that possession is impossible and those who were said to be possessed were having some sort of a dysfunction in the brain, but they would not succumb to the fact that people, for example, inexplicably float and could be wildly thrown somewhere during an actual exorcism. Despite the conflict between two ideas, the two priests, David and Ben, used science to aid them during exorcism. They had medical tools to monitor their subject’s heart rate, blood pressure, their changing pupils, they had muscle relaxant and other sorts of sedative. “Possessed” people shows intense physical disturbances; whether or not it’s caused by demons or nature remained the question, but the priests did not discount the fact that science could have a role during an activity not supported by it.
It’s been customary to exorcism movies to show possessed people do disturbing things. On this film, you’d see a good amount of cringing stuff: Maria cutting inverted crosses on herself, the infamous devilish contortions, Rosalita’s bleeding while being exorcised, Ben drowning a kid during a baptism he’s conducting and shooting himself in the mouth, demons thrash-mouthing everyone on the room in 3-4 tones of voices, and others.
Isabella’s hospital scene.
Maria at the Centrino Hospital
The characters’ motivation were things real people in such ordeals can identify with. Isabella was torn between what to believe; she’s being led to believe her mom, who killed three people during an exorcism being conducted on her, was psychologically deranged, while taking the idea that her mom could be a home for a tormenting demon. She’s in desperate need of help to find out how she could bring her mom back to the normal world when two priests extended the attention she needed, both with motivations of their own. The two wanted to prove to the Church the whole world that demonic possession is real and something science could not resolve and exorcism should be legally conducted by people like them who were fully capable of it, to help those science claimed they could cure but couldn’t. When Isabelle and the two priests were making a lot of progress, they were seized by ugly things they might have done in the past, brought about by the demon through the possessed. Towards the end, their weakness was used by the demon to its advantage of taking over them.
Everyone loves a good scare and I think The Devil Inside was able to provide it. Overall, I’d say the filmmakers made good use of basic ideas and approaches to deliver a decent exorcism movie, something that could interest that twisted junkie inside you and make you ask for more. Some people are not used to this simplistic style mainly because in the world of mainstream media, we’re used to being spoon-fed of every idea up until the end and none was left to our imagination.
Not as hard, at least. The day before was a sunny one. I remembered myself taking photos of the clouds from the bus window, admiring their beauty and serenity.
“Here we go,” she said, rather excitedly. My thought was startled by her loud voice. It’s always been that loud ever since I could remember. Some found it angry-sounding; she’s always thought to be a cruel woman. But she wasn’t. that’s just how she naturally spoke. And people kept on judging her, and not only on the sound of her voice. We disembarked the bus we sat in for almost two hours and headed to her sister’s home where everyone was excitedly waiting for our arrival. It was no ordinary day after all. There were food (lots of them), happy people, and a promise of a good day.
The town was lively. People were everywhere, go to and fro places, busy greeting one another. The air around people celebrating fiestas was refreshing. And her eyes showed excitement she would always have over visiting people she loved. She brought a friend with us. They planned to take a tour to the famous perya and have a little bit of fun. That’s what she’d long for – fun, after long weeks of working in and out of the house in an urban, dirty place she called home.
The day progressed and all went as expected. She was smiling, showing the gaps on her teeth. here eyes had a glow different from what she’d have. She enjoyed her day very much. At night, we had to go home and say so long to the place that brought her joy even for just a day.
The next day, we woke up, at home, and the rain was pouring. The air was cold and was a relief from the humid air we’d normally have. I told her the good news – I got the job I’ve been wanting for so, so long. She put down her cup of coffee to cry tears of happiness. It’s been more of her dream than mine and whatever excitement I felt when my boss officially told me I got it was no match from the immeasurable joy I felt seeing her happy. She kissed me on both cheeks and right then I promised myself that I’d do all I could to keep the job and make her prouder.
No one knew though her cat would die minutes after. A car drove by the font of our house and hit the poor cat while hurried crossing. Scene was disgusting. I gagged when I say the animal’s head crushed and missing an eye ball.
She hurriedly ran to confront the driver who killed the cat. Her tears mixed with rain drops on her face.
“I loved her, didn’t you see she was pregnant?”
I had to pull her off of the driver’s face to have her come back into our house.
I flashed the driver an look that could have killed him. As we walked away I wished him death for what he did – making my mother cry.
Talking to one’s self is more so listening than talking. Talking to one’s self in public, however, is creepy and potentially dangerous.
It gets more frequent everyday – I more often catch myself speaking alone and it freaks me out. I know my mind can be so active at times and that my brain could not shut up especially after an overwhelming situation. But everything to me is overwhelming and I am just a thin hair away from being out of control.
Speaking to myself, for the longest time, seems a bit normal to me. I’ve been doing it, consciously or not, since childhood. I was not the active type – I was quiet, timid, and alone-in-the-corner kind of kid. I did not have many friends. I dislike (or fear) people. Every day I made it a point that I’d made the most minimum contact to people possible. I was the only child, having no one but my mom to grow up with. My everyday routine consisted of waking up for school, going home after school, finishing my homework on my own and watching TV alone in between. It’s not that anybody forced me to be a loaner; some people thought I grew up that way because my mom never wanted me out of the house and of her sight. It’s been more so a choice since I was ignorant of the whole world and did not have to think of anything serious. And I just did not want to play tag and get all sweaty and stinky, and likewise, I did not get bullied or hurt by any stupid kid whatsoever. Reading and TV-watching were two of the activities that let me use my imagination. Since then, I loved making up stories, and have to say that it was difficult for me to draw a thin line between creatively making up stories for the purpose of making art, and actually lying. I did not have too many fellow kids to share my stories with so I tended to share to the most faithful companion that I had – myself.
OK, so I have forgiven my juvenile and seemingly deranged self who grew up (or at least tried to) fairly normal. But now that I’m on my early adulthood, I felt so compelled to set standards for how myself should act. I only have one rule anyway: everything my whole body does should be something I know and approve of. I know that, naturally, the whole body and mind should work as one unit, a system of complicated components but is naturally capable of functioning harmoniously. But I find this notion hard to carry out a lot of times – it becomes more ideal to me than natural. Over time, I’m finding my mind and body so apart from each other that they both have their own sets of interests. I feel like being in between situations when I am chasing one part of me crossing a dangerous street while grabbing the other by the arm as it attempts to roll down a bushy cliff. And one clear sign of this problem is me speaking alone, not only to myself when I am alone, but also, and it’s becoming more frequent, when I am out and with the company of several people. Sleeping is also an avenue for me to speak to myself. My mom, and Joan (my wife-to-be) would make fun of me when I wake up, showing me how I had been as I was sleep-talking, and I would laugh with them at the situation, but deep in me, I am scared. Joan calls it paranoia; I call it an honest-to-goodness fear of losing control.
When your body does something your mind does not know of, it scares you. I remember catching a documentary on the Crime Investigation channel about this woman who was violently killed by her significantly younger fiancé subconsciously while they were making love. The intercourse was a bit violent; they wanted it a bit sadomasochistic so to speak as it gave them the thrill; but at the night of the murder, the violence had gone way too far. The woman was strangulated to death. The young man, her fiancé, came to the police saying, “I might have killed my wife.” It was later found, through the medical investigation the young man went through, that he killed his fiancée while he was sleeping. This scared me a bit as I have been found doing something else too while sleeping. I only did as much as speaking while sleeping but I this had me thinking: if speaking is a physical activity and it’s something that I often do while asleep, then It’s not impossible for me to learn to do other things while asleep; and what those things could be is something I’m afraid to know.
I have a book or two that talk about psychological imbalances and psychiatric diseases, or whatever the right terms are; the topic always fascinated me, and it’s more than about learning the matter, it’s more so about wanting to know and understand myself. I never finished reading them, perhaps because I am depriving myself of the idea that would confirm my thoughts of me being potentially a basket case. I kept on considering the idea of getting professional help, from a therapist perhaps, but I am embarrassed to do so, or maybe it’s just a bit early to seek help from one when the signs are just too insignificant for other people. For now, I’m finding comfort in the thought of having a companion, who I can always rely to in times of feeling irrationally needy and the one who would always listen to me when I need to speak. Joan is my unpaid therapist and a very patient one. Many times, when I get stressed and upset, she goes to me with the desire to make me feel better in any way she can and I could not be more thankful. A hug, most of the time, suffice. A warm talk often brings me back to my senses, reminds me that I am alive. She never fails to make me find the connection between the seemingly insurmountable gaps my mind and body separate themselves with. I think a guy like me, (the not-quite-crazy-but-getting-there type) only needs somebody to talk to and help us get out of whatever kind of cage our childhood or whatever the situation we had to go through built to surround us forever. And for now, having Joan’s company, her selfless care that became a refuge at my disposal is reassurance enough for me. Losing that refuge, however, is the fear that I reserve for tomorrow.
Rowena was one of those girls Jonathan admires. Or perhaps, admiration is a little weak; he thinks of her almost every lunch break is over, that’s after Rowena gets off of her table at the corner of the office pantry. He spends his breaks staring at her as she eats her daily Kare-kare; he imagines her walking to his lunch table, grabbing him by the collar, wildly kissing him with her bagoong breath. As she eats, he looks at her lips and takes note of its every move. He could die when she chews. There’s just something about her mouth. He, at times, would find his jaw hanging open, thinking of himself being the meat she puts inside her mouth. He could be in love. Or just salivating. You have to give it to the girl; she’s got the kind of body existent in every guy’s delusion, the kind all the nosy women at the office wanted to strangle her because of. Rowena had just been with the company for less than a month. She left her previous employer for an undisclosed reason and the jealous women, counting Jody, were itching to know what kinds of skeletons were in her closet.
Rowena’s just a little conservative, or to most guys at the office, weird. Every day, even during hot summer afternoon shifts, she would be wearing long-sleeved, turtle necked blouse on top of a pair of black pants barely showing her ankles, and gloves. OK, so the girl dresses like suman, but there’s just something sexy in her, and like the food, you have to peel the covering off of her to have a taste of the sweet, soft surprise inside. Jonathan thinks she could just be the girl he’s been waiting for the past 5 years or so. He had just recovered from a hurtful break up. It was something that scarred him forever and no matter how many tempting girls his best buddy Freddie had introduce to him, he could not find the one that he felt compelled to spend time with. Now that Rowena became a part of the finance team not over a month ago, he felt ready to fall in love once again. Contrary to the image he represents, he’s a sweet romantic guy longing for true love.
Jody was seated opposite Jonathan. On his peripherals, he could see her eyes noticeably fixed at him and it was creepy. Jody was creepy. She’s that girl who buys him food every day and checks on him during breaks to see if he eats it. He had to dump the food as he thinks it’s mixed with gayuma or something. He remembers her professing her love to him by rather embarrassingly asking him if he’d like a night with her in Sogo. He turned him down several times in past year alone and for good reasons. Jody was not his type, nobody else’s. Not because she’s fat and her face was covered with layers of zits, or for any superficially discriminating reasons. The guys just did not find her one-night-stand offers enticing (yes, she asked 8 out of 9 guys to Sogo; she would have asked the ninth guy if it wasn’t the janitor who was diabetic and suspected gay). For the guys at the office, if you had to portray the role of a corporate slut, you must have the physical requirements of being one; otherwise, do not even think about buying micro-minis. Rowena had to present to a group of finance officers in a meeting that afternoon. Getting in the conference room was such a torture. If Jonathan didn’t know Rowena would be gracing the boring meeting, he did not know where to heave out the motivation to come. He just could not stop staring at her, ignoring what she was presenting about. He almost asked for more time when the meeting adjourned after 3 hours. They have been dating for three weeks now and it’s all rainbows and butterflies. He finally had the courage to ask her out, and as it turned out, she likes him too.
Jody approached Jonathan on his cube after the meeting. He’s exhausted, his eyes, all teary from the three butt-bruising hour meeting, but he could see her face all covered with cheap make up and not doing anything to hide her fuzzy zits. “Stay away from her!” was what he could make out of what she said. “The girl is a freak; she’ll do you nothing good!” I know where this would all come to, he said to himself. “Alright, Jody. I have to finish a report tonight and I will potentially stay in front of my computer until at around 2 AM. Go ask Freddie out this time, OK?” he politely said, pointing at Freddie, at the cube opposite his. “You have to be ashamed of yourself, Jonathan. I am not here to ask you out, not that I’m not going to in the next few days, but I was just saying that Rowena is a freak and you have to stay away from her, or at least stop staring at her when I’m around,” Jody blurted out with such emotion. This is one of the many times Jody attempted to talk him out of asking Rowena to a date. She really was pathetic and he felt bad for her. “What do you have against the girl? She’s been nice to everyone and to you especially even after you accidentally poured hot cappuccino to her hair. Leave the girl alone, will you, and please stop asking me out?” “That’s just hurtful, Jonathan. But I’m not quitting until you come to your senses. Rowena is a freak, a monster! I saw her at the washroom with her body all hairy. Stay away from her, she might kill, or worse, eat you alive.” It was just a sad attempt by Jody, Jonathan thought. She really was desperate enough to come up with such absurdity. “Yeah, it’s the rumor you’ve been trying to spread, and it’s ridiculous, not to mention desperately funny.” He could see the hurt in Jody’s eyes and he felt bad from having to say those words to his face. He tried to grab her arm to stop her, but Jody ran away, obviously upset. They did not hear from her since. Everyone barely spoke about her and nobody really showed care. The guys especially enjoyed the peace of not being annoyed every afternoon by sick sexually abusing offers.
Rowena’s laugh echoed in the restaurant as Jonathan sliced his steak.
“A freak? Did she mean it figuratively?”
“I know, can you believe how desperate the girl was? She thought you’re some monster.”
“I would not blame her. What kind of girl would not fall for you and not be as pathetic?”
“I can just imagine you having 8 legs, each with black stockings on. Strangulate me with your web later, will you?”
After the dinner, they went home to Rowena’s pad somewhere in Ortigas. It’s a quarter after 11 PM and they decided to have a drink. The night was beautiful, the moon shone through the windows and the room was washed with such romantic air. The two kissed; it was their first. Jonathan did not expect he’d be as gentle of a man waiting for their first month for their first kiss to happen. He truly was in love, and this time, it’s more than just about screwing another gorgeous office mate, he felt that true love had dawned at him.
And so they kissed for half an hour. Every minute was to cherish. He felt he waited long enough so he started running his hands on Rowena’s chest. He tried unbuttoning her turtle neck but she moved away.
“What’s the matter?”
“I don’t think I’m ready.”
“That’s bull, come on now, honey, I waited long enough.”
“No, Jonathan, please.”
Jonathan became aggressive. He held Rowena’s arms away from her body and kissed her on the neck. Rowena let out a faint cry as he wildly tore her clothes off. Night clouds covered the moon, blocking its light from passing through the windows. The room was dark and cold and Rowena moaned as Jonathan was kissing her on the neck. It was just hard to unbutton her blouse, but when he finally was able to, he was surprised to taste blood on his lips. He had to stop for a minute. His lips were burning, it’s pricked by something on Rowena’s chest. He tried to get up and off of her chest but he couldn’t. Then something seemed to have stabbed him at the back.
He woke up after a few hours. He couldn’t move. His head was light and he felt nauseous. When his eyes fully adjusted to the light, he realized everything was upside down. Then something was approaching him and his vision became wriggly. He looked to his left, and a fat body was covered in white thread-like something. Its head showing and he could recognize the cheap make up and zits. He tried to move but he couldn’t, he looked at his body and he was covered with the same white element and he’s stuck. Then that’s when he heard footsteps coming to him. Pairs of long hairy legs came to him, attached to an abnormally huge segmented body.
“You enjoy your lunch my sweet ones. Mommy will be back in a month with some more.”
With that, Jonathan believed he fainted. He would never find true love.
So he gets up from his bed hurrying, his orange blanket hugging his torso, sweeping the pile of DVDs carelessly placed on the floor. They spread like cards on the ground when he ran over them, one of them has Mary Elizabeth Winstead, flashing her fierce look on the cover of some flick he spent his dateless nights over, and he had just a little too many of those. The last time he had the glossy thing spinning in the player was last night, or perhaps a few hours ago since he remembers himself hearing an old neighbor’s rooster cock-a-doodle-dooing which signaled him to sleep, and it was in fact the reason he had to scurry over the stalk of DVDs, avoiding Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s face, hurrying to the door from where a series of knocks are coming from, early in the morning. You know when you had to get up from bed from a very short sleep and your mind tells you Jesus had just came back, checking report cards for some entrance exam or something? That’s how his rudely awaken subconscious was acting when he heard the knocks – only that, when he finally finds how to go about unlocking the door, the person who stands in front of him is uglier than a 2000 year old dead man, and he had the smell to match.
Song: There is someone, walking behind you by Beegees. I don’t know about the subtitle though. (Some video I found on You Tube Uploaded by GingerOreo on Sep 18, 2009)
OK. So at one point of his life he had to break a promise. Or maybe two. Or several promises. Or perhaps, some out of this world force had driven him to lie or tell something a little different from the truth. But he had reasons, you see. And good ones too. As you may have learned from a worthless hobo, one with a good reason cannot be called a liar. When his mom asked him when his high school graduation would be, he had to skip dinner abruptly as he had a few more really hard logarithm assignments to pass first thing in the morning. After a week, when his mom, now with the dad, and his able 2-inch cop’s belt, came to him and asked when the graduation really was, he just had to cry, breakdown, hug his parents with his trembling arms to basically tell them that he did not find his name on the graduation list and it might have been because Mrs. Candelaria was a forgetful bitch and that he might have lost the tuition money over a bet on Pacquiao vs. Marquez (back then, the Pacman was such a dud from losing to some Guido). But none bought it, not especially his father who, with the help of his mother, decided to send him to his auntie in San Miguel, where he had to help making pandesal for cash every single, hopeless morning. And he did not find bags of flour fun to drag towards terminals to get a decent tricycle ride, neither did he find that preteen attractive, the one who was selling aged coconuts and the same frog-eyed whore who would lower down her neckline every time he had to drop by and buy something. Please, I might just be interested to check you out if you had some real boobs or if someone bribed and/or threatened me, he thought. And after an unsatisfactorily saturating meal of green papayas stewed in coconut milk, he went down to the silongto grab his pre-packed bag with his belongings, haled a tricycle without any intention to pay the driver. How he’d gone off from the tired and furious driver, no one really knew.
The résumé had to be a joke. The writing was totally unreadable. It’s printed in what seemed to have been remains of what used to be a manila envelope, and the questionable white smudge on its lower right hand side could not be hygienic. As the fat guy, who had to read through the résumé, quickly decided to throw it away, he sat carefully on the wooded chair, and internally pep-talked himself to be calm and collected, just the way he remembered one speaker advised in one career seminar he joined for free meal. Thinking about it, he should not have taken the free meal as the knowledge he gained from the seminar was reward enough for bruising his butt down for three hours, listening to some sort of used car salesman talking to a group of teenage hooligans about getting a job after graduation. That level of sophisticated thinking was so not him. “This package has something not even worth your life. If you lost it, used it, ate it, especially, sold it to somebody else other than the person who lives on the address written on the package, I would not need to apologize if I heaved your guts out from your anus, you understand me?” the fat guy said after struggling to get out of his arm-chair. “Yes, yes, I’ll regard it as my penis.” he said, with a used car salesman-esque swagger (again, credits to the seminar). While walking towards the bus stop, he could not stop thinking why the fat guy hired him, let alone entrusted him of something that could only be as important as Kryptonite. But what the heck, I’ll deliver this to the person who lives on the address written on the package,get the job done and excellently, make his fat boss a cup of coffee or two, be his willing BDSM slave (or master) on weekends if the situation asked for it or if he didn’t have enough to watch movies, and perhaps be qualified for a promotion. Now that he’s got himself a job, he could only think of “how do I see myself in five years?” (Yeah, the seminar, I know.) When he got on the bus, he made sure the old woman tripped so that she fell on some guy’s lap, so that he got to sit at the back, where bus conductors rarely goes to inspect tickets. But the sophisticated part of him conquered. The light magically shone on him as he gets his wallet from his butt pocket, get’s twelve pesos and hands it over to the bus conductor. He was so proud of himself. The first step to achieving success in the networking business is honesty (and we’re all like, stop fucking about the seminar already).
He walked towards the door and knocked lightly. Somebody opened up and a hand extended towards him. He was quick enough to hand over the package, and the inexplicable hand slid back towards the inside. When it got back, the hand extended a brown envelope, mysteriously duck taped at the opening. “Have a good day, sir! I protected it all my life…just so you know or you might want to tell my boss about how I delivered that excellently…OK, bye.” he said before walking away and to another bus stop.
The money was one thousand three hundred pesos. The envelope that contained the bills had the scent of newly found freedom and shopping cash. He knew what to buy: an MP3 player. Or perhaps an MP4 player, one of those that can play videos. He’s always been a lover of art and his favorite artist was Maria Osawa. When he got to CD-R King, an MP4 was a bit ambitious for the money he had, so he settled for a yellow MP3. He hated the color, but the sales woman was either untrained or incompetent enough to not be able to look for something that was of guys’ color. But he did not care. A simple music player’s all he wanted and he got it – his first ever investment and he just got to celebrate the accomplishment; he went inside an establishment full of drunk spinsters to get a bottle of beer.
Not having to look closely, you can really see thin clouds of smoke go out of the fat guy’s nose, and the guy quit smoking since he joined this online movement on overcoming global warming. He’s furious alright. The force which has had him land on a counter or something is an undeniable proof of anger. “I’ll pay you back, I promise! Please don’t kill me.” The guy said something that has to be loud, but in his mind he was like, yes I was a dick for taking your money blah blah, mom said that already. He is certainly not somebody who regrets what he does or deprives himself with simple pleasures, but at that point, he said to himself, almost loudly, I should have not stayed all night watching DVDs,I’d otherwise have the muscle strength to knock this fat guys down (he’s naturally weak during mornings, most people are) or I should just promise I’ll pay and beg all the gods to make the fat guy believe me (when the truth really was that he did not think a 40 year old comic writer would have not imagined any of those to have worked against the fat guy’s rage.)
He has this belief that if you’re lucky enough to escape death, then it skips the ‘death cycle’, therefore death escapes you and, you’re basically not dead. Or something to that effect. He recalls that scene where Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks at the pictures and figures it all out – they had to do something to prevent death from happening and people will stop dying. It was so clever he was teary-eyed. So he smiles nodding his head to the beat of Situations thinking how on earth he managed to escape the fat guy’s rage that nearly took his life. Well, the lesson was, if you had a gun, buy something to put inside it, say bullets, and it might jus serve its purpose, otherwise you’ll walk out pissed off having to say “I’ll get back to you, we’re not done yet.” Ha. It was all meant to be, he was meant to live at least long enough to enjoy his new and shiny, ochre MP3 player. Ha. I escaped death, therefore I don’t die. With earplugs on, he walked across the road, nodding his head to the loud scream.
When Nida thinks that tonight was just another night before supper, and without their pesky son, who they kind of miss and think about every day, she receives a call from a San Miguel police officer asking if they knew a boy, relatively skinny, with a birth mark on the face, and earplugs on, and that he had been crushed dead by a 12-wheeler truck while crossing the road. Upon hearing what happened, she had to hung up because Mara-Clara is on and Gary just slapped Susan and Nida was like, “fuck you, asshole. The least you can do is to not hurt your hardworking wife.”
Situations – Escape the Fate (You Tube video uploaded by traulet on Oct 2, 2007)
I mean, it just beats all charity work Oprah and Brangelina had been claiming they enjoy to do – nothing’s just more fulfilling than an ipis (cockroach) looking you to the eye and begging you for mercy and you can go right ahead and be like “You should have thought better than jumping at me you filthy hairy bitch, you deserve death better than Justin Bieber.” To some pro-life activists, they may see this differently and once again, these judgmental hypocrites may call you “the bad guy”, killing what god created, or to Hindus – killing your long dead grandpa, grandma, or whoever close to you who may have passed away and would have been enjoying their reincarnation by then. I mean, seriously? So I am the bad guy, and not the ipiswho just, for some deranged
reason, jumped at an innocent guy, trying to take a crap at peace, scaring him to almost shitting along his guts? I believe in co-existence, and trust me; I have been trying so patiently to co-exist with these freaks – you know, ignoring them as they conveniently walk on a surface of your own property, say a keyboard, TV, etc. Even as they sneak at night, double dipping at your food. I didn’t do anything and for years. The helpless me screamed inside my head like a prisoner of some war. But those days were over – oh yeah, you hear me, ipis– it’s O-V-E-R. And the end began when my mom started talking to our neighbor, Kris.
My mom seldom makes friends. Whenever she does and if it does not work out in two days, she keeps this never-ending grudge towards that person who may have wanted to make friends with her but did not just passed her standards – may the reason be that you talk too much and she thinks you back-stabs her or that you always ask what the ulam (dish served with rice) is comparing it to yours, making them too nosy, etc. etc. (thinking of it, there’s just a whole new article dedicated for that subject). OK, so one day, as mom tells me, Kris loudly knocked on our door early morning. My mom was like, I haven’t even contemplated on how bad my morning breath was and there she was, waking everybody up at break of dawn. She was carrying these catalogs and smiled as she them over to my mom. “I don’t have my glasses to read them, what the hell are these?” “Oh I am your Avon lady now. Go on, choose your color.” Kris said as she opened the catalog and pointing at cosmetics and the clowns who were wearing them. My mom’s eyes grew wide, “No, I’m good with my 11-peso Magic Lipstick.” Seven more pages and an annoyed smirk after, my mom seemed to have won the battle of who-walks-out-of-the-house-first-or-so-god-help-her. Kris disappointingly got out the house with her catalogs, but when mom glanced at the table for her coffee, she saw one of her catalogs left. It wasn’t anything similar to those having those sticky cosmetics, and mom found it rather odd that it was of household products such as all-purpose toilet cleaner, air freshener, glossing furniture spray, insect sprays, and all that – those products are being cataloged now, aren’t they? My mom’s eyes, blurry for not having her glasses on, stopped at one product: Insect Sprays. Bottles containing a chemical that kills insects; ones that lets you kill in a few seconds; ones that give you freedom to exist without feeling insecure; ones that we badly need to arm ourselves from those insidious flying freaks.
It was an absolute nirvana for me seeing the bottle sitting at the table one afternoon. I could not help it but run to my mom, who’s all sweating from washing my unmentionables, kiss her, and with an emotional stint, I whispered to her ears: “Thank you.” It was the glorious moment of my life’s history. Finally, a weapon of destruction; a bomb that will bring Armageddon to that cave-like hole on the bathroom door where all the freaks of all freaks hide and plan their daily viciousness. I just could not wait to use it. So at a split second, I run to the god-forsaken bathroom bravely swung the door closed, and pointed right at the growing hole where you would see the ipis would get out of. With my game face on, determined to kill, I sprayed right through the freaking door whole, with a loud battle cry. No, they unfortunately did not come out as I expected, but if they did, I was ready with one absolute mission: to kill them all. These guys made me curl in fear in toilets, bathrooms, or places where you have to be half or fully naked, and you could not exactly get out as quickly should they attack you. They’re stealthy; they would attack you at your weakest. But I would not go anywhere those places unarmed. I could only be thankful to Kris for that day she obnoxiously knocked at our door that cranky morning. Some people just fulfill their life’s purposes before their 40’s and I’m glad for Kris for being able to do so. We’ve never have bought any of these chemicals before due to mom’s profound hate of their smell, second to mine during sweaty summer days, so we never got the chance to appreciate such wondrous product. I was like “Where have you been all along?”
The day following, after my grand attack to the ipis territory, I saw a pile of ipis cadavers on the bathroom floor. And I almost cried as I tasted the Baygon-smelling air of success. From then, I knew that I would never have to be scared again. And no one would ever have to be. To those who share my traumatic story about how I was abused by those stealthy freaks, here’s what I can say to you: your neighborhood may seem unfriendly and quiet, but there would always be someone like Kris who would one day alarmingly wake you up before dawn, extending their money-making help.