As defined by the dictionary of obscure sorrows; exulansis is “the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.”
Exulansis is me finding reason in letting thoughts loose, never checking how they’re arranged, puzzling equations grasped together and intertwined; my mind is racing, never appeased and a constant. All is as it is.
i. I used to be so scornful of love too – you know. It would never happen to me. Your sorrow is like a film; begging for weary eyes to send themselves to. It will pass. Let me sneak of arms and warmth in hallways when we think nobody is walking by – fall through the sky over and over on concrete clouds, tiptoes dancing, the world watches and scorns us – but we are gangrel daughters of the sun and we have hated love and thanked it more times than we have said infinite variations of those three words combined. Damnation threatens the way of adeciduate outlines; be it a sin if I memorize lips and mouths more than salt-soaked cotton. God, it feels good to know that there is more to the world than my solemn clutches of breath in late-night trials to find oneself.
Is it really falling if we never touch the ground? Is it really falling if I find myself in countless more infinities and highs with the way I drown in your sound?
ii. Oh child, you are not better than anybody else. We both sit in ashtrays, glimpsing at the windowsill, starstruck eyes and absolve to finding ourself in others. Blessed be the pure and those who kiss their wrists doused in sin. You are alone and you are bleeding, but you are still a part of the cosmos. Stained teeth and morning prayers; are you not in the church of finding reason?
iii. Who knew that I would love the taste of alcohol — bottle-first, condensation crowned, cooler-throttled succulence.
iii. Believe in me, we are all tired of stained glass. It warps us, twists the light, bends it into hues and formations that take us captive in its unreality; nothing beautiful is allowed to be if I am not as it is. Pirouette across the shards but always fall — stars shoot across the sky knowing that their transcendence is in sparks, air that overtakes and surround them, that temporary isn’t always the sum of who we are. You warp both space and time, illuminate the cosmos and magma seizes you in your descent. Never were you alone, just burn brighter; sometimes death is living and to live is just a slow burn.
He finds God in the bottom of his showerhead, riverruns and overpasses. She finds God in blue light and moonlight cries; they are lost in the pews and found in the chapel bathroom. Bow your head and re-read the prophecies of your tomorrow. I found my prayers in the corner-cut edge of a school desk and find myself nodding along to cherry chapstick ladies and smudged pocketbook compensations. It is tiring, I know — but we have to listen to the words that they speak in order to find our own. Calling me to solitude, there is so much more I learn when under the throes of an after-dusk sky with the black gash of the aging keyboard. Guess where after-school runaway nights and take-out charades with suited men at jest have taken me?
iv. They are of pricked voyage, idle keys and fear of words. Living is a prohibition so they capture it down yet never quite word it right. This is why we pick up words from those who have long died. Why we draw out different words and meanings when the author — no matter how much they deny it, only had one meaning in mind. This is why we replace another’s love letters with their own names. Why humankind reads poetry and greets each other with dollar ninety-nine gift cards and little envelope certificates. We are picking up pieces of love since we all know it is a constant that we all share — we are picking up pieces of each other and weaving them into words we do not have courage to say, yet still can’t find impeccable. Don’t you love it when someone hands you an ink-smudged love letter? Don’t you wish there was a little bit more?
v. Sometimes I get this endearing burst of inspiration wherein I believe that a piece of my writing or a loud-toned, fragile speech would suddenly change the world or make an impact around me. So I get up on Thursday, leave out flashing screens (I tell myself that it would detract from my performance, that they would look me in the eye and say they are new) in lieu of a brazen voice. Withering was never for me. I stand for art, the harmonies, the world — this is what I live for; despite everyone telling me to change and that I am wrong and that I have left another heart out. I hate because I can, I hate because as strong as it is I am like all the other acataleptic cases. High on the sky, on words and in fictitious figments and branches of life that could never be.
Believe. Rise. You speak up against the crowd that refuses to stare at you for your own sake, you emit a silent thank you like you have constructed your mind to do on command. Mimic the brave and all that you never will be so well that they believe you are even better.
But of course you are the fool, the mockery, the lacking. Red marks tear down your soul but you lie to yourself and say that you would have preferred an impact over a letter-press card. So you settle down and compare the impacts of the clapping and deduce it to selective hearing, selective being. Correct me if I am wrong but there is always the fear of emptiness and isolation when all you want to do is to change the world. Welcome to the veldt of people classified into generations, ages, birth years, dates. Another one who is trying so hard to vie for attention since we are so lacking of which — perhaps there was an error in the first place. Just another teenager doing it for the thrill, just another teenager begging to be noticed, because they’re compensating, because they’re lacking — because perhaps, I want to be. Maybe it is not attention yet an audience that I seek; maybe I want the world. And I do. Perhaps they are both the same thing; that nobody stops by and drops claps and changes minds on the succinct breathing patterns and amiable pauses after the eleventh punctuation mark on the second paragraph.
vi. Find yourself in pieces of strangers. From today, everyone you know is a stranger and a love and a friend and everything in between. Live in moments and passages; mark your way and bid them hello and goodbye. Become the vivid memory, the bystander, the constant reoccurring dream in the head of a stranger. Look at the sky and at the pavement cracks, the one who talks to everyone, the one who talks to no one. Cradle the arms of your lovers a little bit longer than usual. Tell yourself that one day, family won’t be a bad word anymore. Be the girl that they whisper about and flash by in their serene three AM thoughts when you are lost in your own. Write down the words that you wish you could have said, the ones you never should have said, write every memory down and cut away the bad. Believe in realities more than dreams, believe in the sunlight a bit more than the rain – this time. Listen to the songs that others play in their ear, tell them a song even if you know they won’t listen to it, and smile. Speak volumes in little words, make your lifetime the years of a thousand others.
sealab 2012 – high
joji – medicine
user-999 – dream land (end of intermission)
During the start of the school year there was nothing I felt but distraught. In a flash, my life could have changed and forever I wonder; what could have happened if I said a bit more? If I wasn’t so nervous, if my sheltered heart and nights spent doing nothing and telling myself that I would change when I didn’t — if I actually started earlier, if the attempts worked and if I tried a bit more, if I knew how to fill in more than six items and write less than back-to-back with plastic grip giving in — what would have happened? Who would I be?
It moved me forward, I know it did. I am pushing myself, and now begging to push again. I am losing myself in passion and rest and am borderline fiction and love. Marching straight towards the library and fueling myself with coffee and more coffee, tricking myself into believing that I am functioning when in reality I am so broken down — I am getting more restless, and this is merely the third year. In all honesty, everyone’s attempts into helping is diluting the way I see the world, making everything worse. Making it more untolerable for me, making living harder.
Of course the dire reality is, I say “thank you,” and shed back tears. Because this is for focus, for my own good, for love, and they bring me into offices and tell me that everything is positively perfect; that girls like me should be grateful and list down everything that I don’t have. We can trade, and they can turn me into all those episodes of kid-marketed shows, animated for brainwashing and dissipation, and again I will go back to the white leather couch before it was soaked in oil and sold to graveyards. I remember the plot distinctly – it happens over and over, a million times, instilling morality and kind-heartedness plotted by cash-driven conference rooms and mommy e-mails. They wish for something, everything goes awry, beg for their return, and evermore accept what they are given – learn that the life they have is so fortunate and is an utmost blessing. And death and mental illness is called to be a disaster, and I am not a mistake yet a devastation for the way my mind has forced me to work. Why they call children selfish and unknowing and lie about everything they have lived for.
Nevertheless, failure has driven me forward. I do not know the names nor the faces of those who have been called on — but isn’t there something grand about being the only voices in the room, crying tears of unreality while they stride forward so smoothly, with no support? Like this had been arranged and planned, like a downfall for the ones who are the singsong souls is so pleasantly arranged, all according to the alignment and flow of the world.
Forward is a plummet in ways, forward is always stopping and looking back and wondering what could have happened if it did — perhaps I’d be so far ahead that this never would have happened. Sometimes the journey to something is slow, sometimes the summation of all our life is in the events of another, sometimes it could be better — and others regard life to be egotistical remakes of the grand finale, and others only the walk towards it. Whatever it is, I dislike them both. I favor the aftermath, when everything is according to more than just nights and days, places and moments, mistakes and wishes. When the world has summed itself in poems and textiles, captive clocks and baroque craft. When I am more than a number, mistakes, could-have-been’s and what-if’s. So for now, I will say thank you, and they will point at the door and pat themselves on the back for such a good job, and sigh at how self-proclaimed depressed kids are nowadays.
The world is crumbling, and I am praying. All souls, save yourself and all that you can. I am but one of many, and forgive me — even if I don’t talk about it much and press on my own world-revolving-around-thyself events, you are still on my mind and heart. Nice, Myanmar, Turkey — the news that revolved just around the past two days. America and all the black lives that walk the streets in fear of being killed, one day you won’t have to hold down banners and memorize your IDs and numbers at the back of your head in fear of your life being taken in an instant. To my dearly beloved Philippines and the nation that I had never known yet am returning to in just a week — your conflicts are brutal and the pain is wavering, there is more to world than land and sea. There is life.
It’s so tantalizing to not be able to do anything when I myself am afraid of the rapture that is going down in my own city. Millions of people, I feel so divided and I cannot bare the will to care for senseless comments and death threats — learn and breathe, please; one day the world will be at rest and everything will be as it should be. Equality is a word that has lost its meaning, so has feminism and the color of lives. We all taint it so quickly, please remember though that they are still worth fighting for – that you cannot let the stains ruin the pathway to righteousness. We are on a conquest for justness, on a fairytale massacre of the decade; I cannot forgive nor forget the world that is rampaging in bloodbaths and forgetfulness when here I am, just praying for the rain.
People are so lost, so confused, so weary, so innocent. There is nothing that I can do, as much as you say that I will make an impact, that the combined actions of us can make an impact. There is nothing we can do but watch the ones with power, the ones who gain it in a second or in the disastrous heaven after life. Here I am, making little articles for no one to see and music-filled sorrow compromising the days that I could spend outside. Whatever I choose to do, you will still keep fighting the fight. And here I am, I know of you. I know of your struggle. I know of people stretching their hearts out, tears held back in front of indifference and apathy, trying to point out the world that she is afraid of living in, the doorsteps tainted with fear and threatening hazards. I am one of you, reading speeches in classroom settings for grades when I tell myself that this is for the world, for my nation, for my city, for the people in front of me — and for myself. The world is crumbling and I am reciting unproofread parchment and personal angst logs. The world is crumbling, please stand up if you can. Try. Know. Understand. Believe that there is more.
Last night, I finished watching the Case of Hana and Alice. I am still trying to figure out the right words for it, piecing it together — but what I have so far is: extraordinary.
We will find all the words for everything, someday. We’re trying to piece everything together, aren’t we? Find it in phrases of others, take it and mend it, heal the words that others have left broken and make it our own; but it will always be theirs at heart, too. This is the world that wasn’t meant for us, but we are trying to take it and we even dare call it home, and it’s let us be. (At least some place within, I’m still finding it, personally.) Cage your fears, embrace what surrounds you, every little moment – every step, every corridor turning point, learn how the glass in your mirror is made, sleep in a position you’ve never tried before (unless you do it involuntarily throughout the night.)
On my obligatory school retreat, we were brought into a place that mirrored things I thought I would never see. A deck next to a little top-floor Church, overlooking forestry upon forestry; though you would see the buildings and lives and homes and stories just beyond. When I peered, you could make out the cars that were driving through the highway before vanishing again – I wonder where they’re meant to go, who’s in them, are they well? We were too late to catch the rising radiance, too early to look at the stars beyond. But it was just so beautiful that you could imagine it in it’s quiet light. Not making it quite there — we caught the orange sky with the sun in its ceiling, little moons and planets bowing down to the earth to say its daily routine for us. Rain-soaked, dew and humidity, navy green bomber jackets and cold voices, groggy and weary tones. It was so beautiful, so ordinary, so captivating — I want to go back. Beyond the world, look at the little highway and all the people in their tinted cars or cramped together in colorful rusting jeepneys. The world is so beautiful, and I am a part of it — yet still learning.
So many things I wanted to say, so many things that ran through my mind, drifting off, finding itself in its own time; candlelight and time on time isn’t the best way to gather restless souls. Our problems have evolved from seeking to finding, yet never reaching. Addicted sips and cigarette-butt stained forearms — you aren’t ever alone, as much as you feel like you are. You are allowed to be sad, you are allowed to find the world unfair, you are not required to kiss and rejoice in the arms of your abuser. If only these were the words we told each other. Instead, we say it will be alright, because we can never say you can let go of them.
Again and again, nobody will listen – nobody might really care. But it matters. Piece it together, heal yourself, find what is lost. It’s always been in you. Look beyond.