Thursday, September 20, 2007

...too much of hollywood...

I have had too much of Hollywood.

I imagine myself saying the words so playfully coined by Ari Gold, his half witted remarks doubled up or tripled up, more than make up for the profanity that they actually convey. I imagine myself the beauty that is Vincent Chase, followed maniacally by hordes of pretty women like the Pied Piper of Hollywood, lulling the ladies with a smile.

Sometimes I am Turtle, relaxed, content with being behind the limelight of it all, and yet always the one everybody else falls back to. At other times I am Johnny “Drama” Chase, the boisterous has-been-television-series-star-turned-movie-hero-wannabe who is still running after his almost shinning fame. I have a few dreams that I’d like to see lived through, in this lifetime.

But often times, I am Eric Murphy. Loyal, trusting, hardworking, and always on the lookout for true love. Minus of course the fact that he can’t get laid without stringing himself up with the girl. Have I ever thought I could be Lloyd?


I am lost in my fantasy of living the highly strung life of Hollywood, the glitter that it brings, and of how easy things would be if your worries are when your next movie will be released, or which car dealer would you give in to today, Mercedes or Bohemian? It would be so nice walking down the streets of LA with an entourage of my own. And then I look down on my two feet. They’re no longer on the ground.

There are times when I think that there had been a mistake in how and where I was born. My intended birthplace is really Hollywood, but someone made a blunder and had me chopping wood instead. I feel I am comfortable with brushing elbows with the Dennis Hopper, or raising a glass to Steven Spielberg. I can easily fit in the clubs frequented by Paris, while throngs line up outside, envious of me. This kind of life, I was made for.

But then again, I fall back to reality. The closest I could ever come to this life is through the remote control.

I have had too much of Hollywood.

Monday, September 17, 2007

...a new evolution...

“…book me up a new evolution, ‘cause this one is a lie…”
Learn To Fly,

I hate this world.

I woke up to the incessant nagging of a persistent alarm clock. 6:30 am it says, like it’s my fault time moves so fast. It seemed that I had just closed my eyes and bid everyone goodnight, when it’s already time to greet the sun for another day. I hate the world for it.

Moving around half awake, I finally managed to do my rituals faithfully. I had, of course, my usual cursing and cussing with an un-open-able toothpaste cap, or a door that would love to bump my elbow, or keys that elected to play hide and seek with an unwilling me. The heat is always attempting to kill me, if the humidity doesn’t do that first. I hate the world for all of it.

Driving around the streets of Manila, I find new reasons to hate the world. Everyday, I see poverty, pain, and reckless imprudence of stupid drivers, especially the public commute types. A little girl with a bunch of flowers which looks like it’s about to decay comes up to my window asking for change. She never even offered me to buy her flowers, and I thought this was taught to her by a sorry excuse for her mother. She couldn’t be more than 5 years old, and she’s spending her time trading her wares, instead of trying to be a child. I pitifully buy her bunch, and told her to go home. My words fell on non-understanding ears, and she happily hops away with her loot.

Further ahead, I drive past shanties by the railroad, and more shanties under the bridge, people living in subhuman conditions right in front of our fat rich eyes. I paste a grin on my face as I notice a black BMW X5 zoom past in contrast to the forlorn background of makeshift houses. An old lady guiding a blind fellow starts to work when the traffic light turns red, putting forward the empty tin can they carry for people in fancy cars to spare them a peso. The first three cars they tried had their tints very dark, and I doubt that the occupants even notice the couple begging. I doubt if they ever see anything at all behind that dark tint. I wish they’d just cross the railroad and let the train drag them to kingdom come. The light turns green and the old couple goes back to the island where they await the next chance to ask for a few salvation. I cranked up my window close as I drive past them, feeling sorry that the lights didn’t stay red enough for them to reach me.

I remembered the news report on the television this morning as I was hurriedly trying to finish my hot coffee in one gulp. It wasn’t good. It was about a crime that happened last night in some part of the city, where the lights are off and the eyes and ears of those nearest are miraculously shut. With a population density of about a hundred people per square meters, it’s such amazing to know that there are still places where your body can be dumped without anyone noticing. The deaf and the blind are everywhere there is crime.

I cannot believe in a god that would allow these things to happen. I cannot reconcile to my values the thought of leaving man to fend off for himself, and to defend himself against himself. I was brought up to the sole belief that everything happens according to the will of one heavenly divine being, and a good one at that. My faith came crashing down when I realized that pain, hate and all other inhuman traits are so prevalent, it couldn’t be his will alone. There must be some area of human activities that he has no power over, that man himself has overruled his dominion.

I reached my destination with a heavy heart, as I always do. I go through every day thinking this day is yet another forsaken day for the unfortunate. Life is only fair and wonderful for the affluent and the pretentious. I don’t belong to either. And 8 million other people in my country don’t either, the same 8 million people that wonder everyday when their salvation will come. I go about my work, unappreciated and unthanked, like the other 8 million laborers I share this city with, plus the others who carry faded flowers and small empty tin cans.

I drive home seeing the same sorry things I see the morning before. I don’t think they work in shifts, it’s actually them again, or still. They work twenty-four hours a day because their hunger is a twenty-four hour thing. I throw them an I’m-so-sorry-for-your-state-and-I-wish-I-could-help look, and imagine whipping myself in the back as penance for my helplessness. I hate the world for this.

I go to sleep at night, tired and feeling abused. But still cursing and cussing over unceremonious things like the stupid traffic jams, late night bad news on the television, and that fucking un-open-able toothpaste cap. Lately, I had been debating if I should be thankful for being alive another day, or be so ill-fated enough that I should wish for this world to stop existing. I’ll open my eyes tomorrow to the incessantly nagging alarm clock, and I will hate the world yet again.