Thursday, January 22, 2009

Drama in Beer

It was an awfully dry sunny Sunday. Almost everybody got no work and had no choice but to get wedged in the box-shaped rooms. But when the sun got higher and higher, everyone got out like ants poured with hot water by a human intruder. Being allergic to boredom, each one had his own antidote.

The occupants of room #16 busied themselves to do the laundry though their intention was obviously not much of the laundry itself. There were a couple of ladies wearing something that showed off their delicately semi-porcelain legs. There was even a suspicion that they just took their clean clothes from their closet so that they could have coy chitchats with those girls.

The next room was buzzed with a Sunday-music from their “hissing” speaker. But it was all right. Everybody was agape and hypnotically mimic the old stupid country songs. In room #14, there were only Noy Ben and I. My other two roommates were out. Stephen King's Needful Things put me under its spell. It was my kind of enjoying amid the day. If Noy Ben was effective in finding relief of this jaded day was a big question. He kept on walking from every direction of the fa├žade of the boarding house. To whatever was his reason, I did not care. He finally climbed to our room and invited to have a drink. I said my dense “No” so he tempted the guys from the next room, where he agreed to have a drinking session.

They bought some bottles of SMB and some stuff of which they called “ingredients for Mestiza”. Noy Ben said to me in vernacular “You're such a good boy… you don't smoke and you don't also drink… keep it up…” He received only a sarcastic nod and a dull smile. I was on the climactic chapter of the book I was reading. My eyes felt a little twinge due to a long period of not blinking. But it was endurable. The session, which Noy Ben started, were getting noisier as the pitcher level got lower. But the noise was feeble over my concentration to journey in the Castle Rock1. It was almost 3 PM when I reached the end of the story and it was when the sting of the roof and every bit of their laugher engulfed me to my worst nuisance.

The towel, which rested on my deck, flew to my shoulder toward the shoulder. I splurged singing in the shower room longer than my usual period of bathing. The cold water splashing over me stirred up my mind.

From church, I was excited to retire from the fierce of the day. It was dark when I arrived but the session was still on its fire. The pitcher was still half-filled with urine-colored liquid with fresh soap-like bubbles buoyed on top of it. Noy Ben and his chums looked like roasted men. They looked like their faces were about to explode with so much redness. I passed by them without even having a snap glance to their direction. I changed to my tattered clothes. I finished brushing my teeth and splashing some water. But I could not sleep yet. They're really too disgusting to my senses. The topics they talked about were too scanty to my level. I could not stand to listen to their nonsense so I escaped from their presence.

After I spent a breathing moments with some people whom I felt worthy to have conversations with, I found Noy Ben sitting at the entrance of the door. He was so alone. He looked as if time and being deserted in the galleon galloped him. He said sorry to me. I had no idea of what's the drama behind it. I replied a numb “Ok.” But he explained “I would want to apologize to you in advance because I am too noisy when I get drunk.” “Ah… Ok…” was what he got from me because I hate to talk to a drunk. It was a technique of shutting a person from talking, which I learned somewhere I read. But it was not effective to Noy Ben. He kept on talking, which later on I felt like a counselor, listening from someone's tribulations in life. Or worse I felt like a kindergarten schoolteacher listening to a pupil who held himself from crying even after being snatched with a lollipop.

As the tall tale got any longer, I realized that I have dove into his sentiments. I sympathized the murk of his personal stories. He had so many regrets. He even recalled his aunt asking him to be serious in his studies. But like many teenagers he revolted from his aunt's advices and went on his own preferred way of living. He spitted series of laughs while detailing his experiences. But there was nothing in it but a clue of mourns. He was smiling though. Also, he expressed his jealousy over his former classmates. He said with pride that his classmates and used to be his playmates were now in a luxurious house with a couple of cars parked in their garage. He was proud of the memories he had with those friends of him.

I kept hushed more than intended. I felt obliged to say “That's Ok Noy Ben”, but my mouth was rather zipped close. I felt guilty of thinking this man is stupid the first day he stepped on our room and that very same day he had a drinking session with the neighbors. I really have thought he was a tough guy. I even suspected him responsible of snatching my phone and stealing my two hanged pants. These were the reasons, as much as possible I avoided him. He was affable and talkative even if he's not drunk actually. However, I just didn't like him. That's all. After a period of silence, he broke “I am even jealous on you. I am also intimidated to talk with you.” I was numb-struck. I didn't know what made him feel that way. He said he really wanted to make friends with me and the other roommates. He could not do it because I was according to him invulnerable and probably aloof. I did not know what to answer. I was not sure if the complement was flattering or insulting. I didn't even think of it as a complement at all. All I know is that I began to drop my shoulder and chew over Noy Ben's words. Somehow, it made me reflect on how I see things in life.

I could feel how sad it was to be in his shoes. At his age of 45, single and having an unstable job is something I prayed not to happen to me. But for this man, racking on my right side made it through. He was able to survive with his head up. He may not know it but I salute him. Now I understand why people like him, despite how small their income, would resort to drinking liquor. The spirit of beer is so strong to make a tough guy to confess his weaknesses.

I ascended to my deck-bed and closed my eyes and almost pretended to be asleep. It was roughly midnight when he jumped into the room and into his deck. “Oh God…” I could hear him whisper through his lungs. After a moment of silence, the roof tickled with the falling rain. It was so mild enough for me to hear a series of sobs. Noy Ben cried like a child. “Lord, help me… lord help me…” is all he sighed.

A Desperate Love Story

This is a collection of love stories, which could be associated as a mark of desperation. Each story has not defined a certain ending and thus kept hanging. I don't intentionally arrange them in chronological order. I just dig in the stories that have a vivid sketch in my memory. As I read a love story of a couple how they met, I began comparing my personal experience. As supposed in the story, it ended well, mine on the contrary.

It happened a few years ago when I was still in college. I came from home on a summer vacation. No matter how dreadful this twelve-hour travel was I was so resourceful to find a bit of subject for my enjoyment. Whenever I'm on a trip, I always make sure I'm packed with books, "music gadgets", etc.

My final trip was on a bus. I was halfway to my destination when I recognized there were more and more college students like me rushing into the bus. However not one of them was familiar to me. I guess it wasn't the last trip but the sun's almost setting down. That's probably the reason of their hurry.

I was seated on the front-most seat right next to the door. There were two doors actually. One near the driver and other was at the middle. I was with the latter. I was alone. Again the bus made another stop. The door next to me opened as if it was in a slow motion. There was a sudden rising of blood in my face. I could just feel it. Perhaps it was due to the change in pressure that caused me feel dizzy. Right through such door, a lady with a soft aura came in. I could barely notice myself breathing. I just found myself standing voluntarily at the edge of the seat. I realized myself eyeing blink-less at her. She only mouthed “Thank you.”

Now I began to enjoy this once a boring travel. I used to hate it when somebody's hair touches my skin. But it's different this time. I even wondered how I enjoyed every strand of her hair brushing on my face. I smelled its fragrance, which gave me some relief. I also noticed her skin was so soft and sensitive and it made me to giggle while rubbing through my shoulder. I did not talk to her though I desperately wanted to. I was slacked-jawed. Words never came out through my mouth.

“Are you from MSU, too?” she started. Oh my God, she's interested on me to. She could be the one I have been praying for. Her voice is so melodic and sweet. It felt so soothing to hear such a chime. In her tone she must be kind. And she stressed those words very smartly but pleasantly. She must be smart. And she was smiling. She must have a pure heart.

“Yes…”, was my timid reply. My answer must have some back up details. I was from MSU but I was sure she meant the other campus. I was from MSU-IIT. When I opened my mouth to explain, an old lady walked in front of us with her head stretched high looking for vacant seats. But there was no vacant seat. I was so sure of that. With no shilly-shallying I offered to her the most precious spot I was seating on. In return, I received a kind “Thank you” and a generous “God Bless”.

I was then squatting in front of my previous seat. But I did regret it. I had much more clearer view of the lady I was seating beside with. I was contented to smile at her. And I was even filled with so much joy when she unselfishly widened her smile on me. The more then that my mouth froze until I arrived at my bus stop. I went out of the bus first among the passengers. I turned around her seat but it was empty. I looked for her at the terminal and I saw her standing at a short distance from me. She gave her farewell smile, which I thought would trigger me to at least ask her number but lightning stoke me numb.

Hurray Nostradamus the Poet, Boo the Prophet

No one would have thought a once simple boy born from St. Remy, France, Michael de Notredame, most commonly known as Nostradamus became famous. Lots of scholars, experts and critics from different places (ranging from his own hometown to anywhere else in the world) have cited his famous book “Centuries” as perfect predictions of events. Nostradamus was brilliant because his works have continued to win curiosity even centuries after his death. However, he was far from being a prophet.

At the early age, he had already dealt with mathematics, astronomy, Greek, Hebrew and Latin subjects. When he got his license in medicine while he was in his mid 20's, he traveled to many places and helped patients especially the bubonic plague victims. “Also at this time he developed an interest in the occult, alchemy, and magic, topics he pursued in the library of Avignon. Although his fame had gone before him, his ability could not be denied, he obtained his doctoral degree in Montpelier.”

Nostradamus was not afraid to try new things, even which seemed fictional during his time. As a physician, he refused the methods other medical professional practiced to treat patients. Like for instance, he strongly protested the use of Bleeding as a method of treating variety of illnesses such as migraine, pneumonia, etc. He also suggested the use of sunlit bed for the sick. This idea caused many frowned reactions since it did not exist in his place during his time. Still, nothing could have seemed to stop him. In fact most of his medical practices were unorthodox.

“Centuries” was the greatest achievement of Nostradamus. It is composed of a thousand four-lined verses called quatrains. When it was published in his place, people including those from Royalties and people with great influence had been quoting his ideas during speeches and campaign. The reason could probably be that his quatrains are written with deep sense of meaning. Some accounts though telling that “Nostradamus wasn't a great poet” simply because of some rules of poetry by which he disobeyed. This unconventional style of poetry writing nevertheless drove much attention from the public. Mixing different languages and fascinating rhymes in each quatrain made it seemed peculiar but appeared scholarly and more interesting.

“Not all of his predictions came true.” In fact, none of his writings on the “Centuries” did come precisely true. Everything, which many believed to have come true, was absolutely based from assumptions made by several acclaimed scholars who interpreted the quatrains. They were absolutely made by making logical analogies. The interpretations could not really be what Nostradamus had originally meant.

He was a poet. A brilliant poet could magnificently put anything "under the sun" into writing, which could appear to be real. Nostradamus mentioned submarines and other medical gadgets, which did not exist during his time, and this was not really a prediction. It was rather a wish of having a more advancement that later coincidentally came true. "Landing on the moon" was also mentioned in one of his quatrains. This was his dream-like but metamorphic idea that he expressed through his words but he could have really not literally meant landing on the moon. However, years after that someone had actually landed on the moon. It was a pure coincident. Nostradamus was really brilliant in playing with words. Thus, he was an excellent poet rather than a prophet. If he were a real prophet, then all of his "predictions" would have come true. Some could be referred to as if it had come true; but they were actually only halfway close to the truth.

Same-sex Couples

If two people are in love with each other, they should have the full pledge of their love through marriage. Legalization of same-sex marriage will give same-sex couples enjoy the full benefit of a "true couple".

Canadian Court finally legalized same-sex marriage in 2005. Before this approval, still a lot of same-sex couples had already married in the country. With this civil marriage act, the couples could fully enjoy being married like those of man-woman couples. It also allows them to take advantage of the legal benefits a real married couple.

Same-sex marriage is a term for a legally recognized marriage in which two people of the same sex live together as a family. Historical and anthropological evidence around the globe shows that same-sex couples have formed intimate long-term relationships. Some same-sex couples have enjoyed social and formal recognition of their relationships. They were even granted the rights to have their own children through adoption.

Marriages or relationships involving two people of the same sex had been condemned in the society. Its moral issues have remained controversial. Morally, marriage is intended only for a man and woman. Thus churches would continue to oppose this even if courts would issue the couple their license of marriage.

Everyone has the right to enjoy of being in-love. If two people are in-love with each other, regardless of gender they should have the full acclaim of it. If marriage is the only thing that could fully nourish the couple's love, they should have it then. There would be many lengthy arguments about the morals of same-sex marriage. For as long as the relationship does not cause any harm or danger to the society, same-sex couples deserve the respect "normal couples" have. Lots of families built upon same-sex partnerships have become stable and they have contributed to humane societies. A stable and committed relationship is what the society needs most. Therefore, same-sex marriage should not be considered as immoral.