No Sleep

These past few weeks, I have been listening to a certain podcast about supernatural stories. Many of the episodes seem so real that it’s hard to know which ones might have actually happened and which ones are just made up. The fact that real experiences may be interspersed with fiction scares me the most. Although, there’s a chance that all of it is made up, and I just didn’t read the forum’s fine print. Either way, I can’t really get myself to listen to the podcast alone or at night. It’s great for long commutes, though.

Listening to these stories remind me of a time when I used to gush about everything in the horror genre. I used to save up to buy horror-themed novels, even though they’re usually TV tie-ins. I was only able to buy a few of them, leading me to read and reread books about certain episodes of “Charmed,” “Angel,” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” At BookSale outlets, I was drawn to novels with dark-colored covers, blood-like font types, and sinister synopses. I was so proud of my finds, which I usually circulate in my high school classes. I can still remember feeling devastated when I lost my copy of the Devil in Connecticut after it had been passed around. Stephen King, of course, played a huge role in this fascination although I wasn’t able to read as much of his titles as I would have wanted to as a kid. His novels are far too expensive for a high school student like me. I was fortunate to have borrowed one of his novels from my cousin while on summer vacation. I don’t think I let that book down for a minute. That was when I realized that I am deeply interested in reading about the macabre, especially when they are written well.

Now that I think about it, these horror-filled pages were the ones that piqued my interest in reading and writing. There is something attractive about venturing into the unknown; there’s something cathartic about immersing in a world of questions and emerging with answers. While these stories may really keep me up, I guess, that’s a small price to pay. Besides, in real life these days, it’s getting harder to know which ones actually happened and which ones are just made up. In a way, the supernatural feels more natural. Imagine that. There’s no sleep tonight, after all.






In Good Fate

When I was in college, only one guy hit on me that I know of. (And a lot of other imaginary dudes, probably personal demons, who were too shy to say a word.)

I was a Junior back then taking up a communication class, if I remember correctly. We were part of the same group for a report, which is how we got to talking. I remembered having no clue about his intentions. He was nowhere near my radar.

One day, he asked me which way I’m headed and I said I have a class in a nearby building. Or did he ask me to go get food first. The memory’s hazy. Anyway, he walked with me saying that his class is on the way. It wasn’t. He just wanted to talk to me, though, I think.

He started sending messages. As anyone who knows me will know, I am thrilled with a good conversation. I guess he felt that and tried to make things interesting, only, not in a way I imagined. He told me up front that he has a girlfriend studying in one of the oldest universities in the belt. He also told me he likes me. I guess that was my first icky foray into the confusing world of romance and third parties. My gut reaction was a mixture of amusement at his candor, anger at his poor judgement, and discomfort at being put in the middle of a crazy circumstance. I have no amorous feelings for this guy at all and wish to be no part of his sexual fantasies. And yet, I indulged my curiosity and asked him about how he thinks I should react. This is one hell of a juicy story to tell my block mates, I thought.

He asked, “Do you believe in fate?”

I said we make our own fate. Really, dude, fate? That’s all you have in your ammo?

“I think each of us has our own fate, but the ending changes depending on our decisions.”

To be honest, I have always been closed off to the idea of fate.Having someone whom I have poor confidence in tell me certain possibilities about it caught me off guard. I guess I wasn’t prepared for that question.

Anyway, it didn’t work, mostly because I detest him. I told him to take care of his girlfriend. He told me he just wants to have fun. I never talked to him again and I didn’t even remember his name after that semester.

In his head, I guess he expected me to run off with him because we talked that one time and had the same class that one time. This idea of fate is how he must have planned to convince me that it’s going to be worth it. Too bad, he is of no consequence to me. I guess he tried that gig on others, who, I expect would also see through the bullshit. We study in a state university, damn it. We’re not stupid ladies.

He was a nobody and yet his question remains. Fate, huh.


If you want to be remembered, hum them a song. Should there come a time when they have forgotten details of your moments together, trust that they will remember you with that song.

They may be quietly reading some cerebral book while sipping a creamy blend of iced latte in a mall cafe nook out of town totally lost in the book`s message in the foreground while stressing about some ongoing dilemma in the background before the song suddenly plays. That ought to give them a start.

If they were me, they would look up from their book in recognition of the slow warmth emanating from their stomach to their chest just like how kids react when they hear the tune of their favorite ice cream truck.

As this fondly remembered song plays, they will laugh rather loudly while listening to the lyrics. They will remember the person that they were then, probably someone naive and idealistic, and then they will laugh again. At that exact moment, the song will interrupt their train of thoughts, singing, “Cinderella said to Snow White `How does love get so off course?`” They will then wonder why certain parts of the song stick more than others. Why do some memories stick more than others?

At this moment, know that they will remember you. Before they drink all of their coffee and walk out into the dazzling light outside, they will pause to wait for their favorite part to play before they walk outside, singing.

That exact moment you allowed them to enjoy, that bit of nostalgia your song caused, imagine that exponentially multiplying into the various lives you have touched. Now that is your legacy.

Always make it a good song.

Total Recall

Recently, I have been rewatching a television series about a mentalist who helps the police solve crimes. As with the first time I watched it, I became intrigued with the idea of building a memory palace to remember details. It`s a technique similar to the mnemonic device with the way that it uses hooks to remind us of what we’re forgetting.

What I like about the memory palace is how each of us can choose our own place, one that we are very familiar with. Imagining its nooks and crannies should be second nature. In my case, the first thing that came to mind is an apartment.

I tried memorizing a short grocery list using the details of the apartment where I first lived alone. It was funny imagining eggs dropping on my face, finding a turkey breast in the closet, smelling bread as its fragrace wafted through the window, hearing the Magnolia ice cream man’s jingle on the street, and seeing a mouse eating cheese strings on the floor. It was amusing and perhaps that’s why it worked.

I realized how easy it was to take this big chunk of skull-protected meat for granted. Our brains are so powerful, it can move our bodies on autopilot. It’s so powerful, yet we never really use it for what is important. It`s so easy to forget.

I keep on wondering how many memories I have suppressed, why certain smells and sights seem so familiar yet hard to associate with anything. Sometimes, I wake up dreaming about scenes I have experienced in the past. As with many of my dreams, I let them affect my waking thoughts knowing full well that I’ll eventually forget them again. Why do our brains push them to our conscious thoughts? Are we bound to remember? Why is it, that despite knowing they’ll be forgotten, we just let them drift away? Again?

I wish I can hold on a bit longer to what matters, even if I don’t know them yet. If I have to build a town or a country in my head, I would. I don’t want to forget again. To be forgotten is one of the worst things that can happen to anything. Or anyone.

Owner of the Sky

Daily Prompt | Day 3 | Sky

On that Saturday, we both wore gray. It was unplanned, as with all of it. If I were to go back, I would probably blame that clear day with its blue skies and fluffy clouds. I would wish for it to be raining, if only to help warn the version of me who was staring straight in your eyes, laughing at the instant she saw both of us wearing gray.

How soon the sky changed its mind. It turned gray, that one morning we were together. Cloudless, it blew heavy winds our way, almost pleading. Careful, now. Our only response was to hug each other closer, unaware of the damage that the skies are causing or the ones caused by our own internal storms.

During the early morning of your first goodbye, I can’t quite see the sky. My eyes, which had glinted every time your silhouette passed, were almost shut in pain. Tired, they were from accommodating endless streams to pass their way. I only had one glance of that sky at first light. I have always loved mornings before that.

Fast forward to the time a common friend brought me to the mountains, aware of the grief I would carry. As I was climbing the concrete pavement, the temperature dropping with each step, I can’t help but look back at the sky. One minute, it boasted a shade of sweet salmon, the next it was gone. Darkness engulfed us long before we ever got to the top. At night, the sky have always been clear or perhaps that’s just how I imagined it. The sky have always been filled with uncertainties.

For whatever happened, I can’t blame the sky nor its owner, if there be any. It was just a witness. Or was I the witness? Were we? Under the sky, I feel helpless. Under something so vast, I feel as though I’m nothing but a speck, save for that one sunset. In the summer of my life, I witnessed the most beautiful arrangement of the skies, one cradled by a backdrop of ancient mountains and a calm sea. If I were to remain only a speck, let it be under this beautiful sunset that I can witness for the rest of my life. I will wait to see it again, hopefully, before the storms arrive.