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When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep.

Her head leaned on the car window. It was dark and rainy, and she was tired. He was too. It was hard not to let the physical exhaustion translate to their emotions. Words have been said and tears have been shed, but throughout it all their hands never let go of each other. It was their little thing, this secret gesture, as if feeling guilty in advance for all the things that are not to be uttered but are nonetheless put out there. At last the verbal warfare ceased, it began with her. She shut up, as she always did, but not because she had nothing else to say but because she was just tired. Tired, and because she didn't want to fight anymore.

His eyes followed the wipers as they moved from left to right. The rain was pouring hard outside and the sound from his stereo was almost drowned out by the heavy shower. But through it all, the song resonated, making its way into the chorus. He looked at her; eyes closed, lower lip bitten. He didn't like seeing her like this, holding back. He wanted her to cling to him, to need him. She always insisted on being independent, but deep down he knew she wanted to be otherwise.

She looked at the clock. The black numbers on the orange clock screen said 6:57. She must be going. She had a lot of work to do, and so did he. She wanted to hold on to him, never wanting to leave his side. But she didn't have the courage to admit that that was all she ever wanted to do. She couldn't imagine herself dragging him along with her to frustration.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones

She squeezed his hand. His gaze met hers. He squeezed back. And the rain was silenced by the downpour from her eyes.

And I will try to fix you.



Major major stress.

In the attempt of making my life a little less chaotic and a little more efficient, I decided to list down all the things I still need to accomplish (and their deadlines) before this semester ends. At least this way, I get to see them in plain sight, and I can mentally (and emotionally, and physically) prepare myself for what's ahead -- hopefully making life less stressful.

English 21 2nd Critical Paper
English 21 Final Paper
English 42 Long Exam
English 42 2nd Short Paper
English 42 Final Exam
English 42 Final Paper
Italian 13 Midterms
Italian 13 Finals
CL 115 Report
CL 115 Essay
CL 115 Final Anthology
CW 110 Final Short Story Draft

Uhm, wasn't this supposed to alleviate me somehow? I posted this list beside my mirror, and everyday when I comb my hair or check my outfit, I think I hear evil laughter and a menacing voice: "SORRY, YOU'RE NOT THE FAIREST ONE OF ALL.* THANKS TO US! But at least you're pale and white."

Where's my fairy godmother* when I need one? All I have is this nagging voice inside my head. Not always effective.

Now if you'll excuse me, my inner Sleeping Beauty* is reckoning. I know I can't do anything unless I recharge myself. Please wake me up after one hundred years. (Or at least after this semester.) And please be a Prince Charming.*

* Use of fairy tales in hopes of attaining a happy ending.


Climbing up the walls.

With all the stress that acads have been throwing at me these last few weeks, I'm surprised I still find myself in one piece when I wake up in the morning. The demands of school are crazy and I'm trying my best not to let them get to me, but on some days, it's just really more difficult to get out of bed and put up a brave face when all you want to do is snuggle in between the covers or take solace in corned tuna all day long. I know this too shall pass, and sooner or later, hey it's September, then before you know it, October: hello, sem break. Or if you want to look at it long term, one day I'm going to miss the frustration that is college. This is all part of life, blah blah.

I've been thinking-- well, for the last few days, I've been honestly getting adequate sleep and enough food. I don't skip meals, and I haven't been staying up as late as usual (although still not the required eight hours, but hey, forgivable for a college junior). I'm still getting things done and so far I'm still on the right track (or so I'd like to believe). And yes, that's something to be grateful for. But the thing is, no matter how much I try to put myself together, there will be days of exhaustion. And right now, I just really feel so tired. I'm super stressed-- I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO DO and God, it's just endless. Despite me still functioning normally, I'm getting more drained as days go by. Not so much as I'm on auto-pilot, but more like, spare battery. I haven't entirely lost all enthusiasm but I'm just not as fueled as I was, and I'm afraid one of these days that's exactly what's going to happen. I sense burnout coming my way.

I'm guessing this is only probably because of The First Semester Doldrums. Or maybe just my hormones going whack and making me feel emotionally unstable. (I am the unluckiest girl when it comes to PMS.) Or maybe -- the alpha-female in me does not want to admit this but -- I'm just really missing The Boyfriend. (Seriously. It's not that I'm beginning to be co-dependent on him but I'm not going to deny that actually seeing him, as opposed to texting, keeps me sane.) Well, whatever. Something's wrong. I'm not usually this clingy/needy. But in times of great stress I find myself crumbling and just wanting to retreat. For once, I'd like to take off the independent-and-responsible mask and just let go. I'm tired. Really.

In the meantime, I find solace in great music. And hot people. Case in point: Esquire's Good Morning Megan video. Yes, the Megan Fox. Look it up -- I swear I cannot even begin to describe it. Incidentally, the background music featured in it, "Climbing The Walls" by Chris Cornell (of Audioslave) just completely encapsulates the frustration I'm feeling right now. It also doesn't hurt that it sounds like such an awesome song to a hot make-out scene. Haha.

Sigh. Here's to hoping we all get through this semester (or even just this week) alive.


A checklist of sorts.

Sometimes, it takes the most random of songs to make you evaluate how life has been for you since you last heard it. Thank you for the nice little surprise, Panic! At The Disco. (And consequently, thank you Shuffle mode.)

[x] Things are shaping up to be pretty odd
[x] Little deaths in musical beds - More like, little deaths in every verse and rhyme
[x] So it seems I'm someone I've never met - !!!

[x] You will only hear these elegant crimes
Fall on your ears from criminal dimes
They spill unfound from a pretty mout
h -
My increasing indifference is both a boon and a bane.

[x] And everybody gets there, everybody gets there - Eventually. But when you get there you realize there's a whole new journey ahead of you.
[ ] And everybody gets their way - Not all the time.
[ ] I never said I missed her when everybody kissed her
[x] Now I'm the only one to blame - Because I don't think I want to blame some cosmic force behind life anymore. Although a part of me still resists. (As evidenced by my belief in the power of Shuffle.)

[x] I want to go where everyone goes - I want to go somewhere; some place where being who I am won't stop me from doing stuff I want to do.
[x] I want to know what everyone knows
[ ] I want to go where everyone feels the same - Not particularly.

[x] I never said I'd leave the city - I've always been a city girl, and I have no plans of leaving.
[x] I never said I'd leave this town
[x] A falling out we won't tiptoe about - It's best to talk about some things rather than let it slip away quietly.

[x] Things have changed for me, and that's okay
[x] I feel the same, I'm on my way, and I say
[x] Things have changed for me, and that's okay

Two years ago, when I first heard this song, I was lying face-up on my dorm bed, with tears falling down to my ears, wondering why college has been so harsh, so different. The transition was difficult; it was hard to make things okay again. And now, hearing it again made me think: Life's not any easier, if anything, it's much harder. But life is different now, and I've settled into this complication. Maybe it's maturity, or maybe just a matter of getting used to things -- nonetheless, I'd like to believe I've grown up. Perhaps. Possibly. A lot.



There really is no greater elation for a bibliophile like me than buying new books. ON SALE.

As much as I enjoy buying new earrings, shoes, and clothes, still nothing comes close to that feeling of satisfaction after purchasing a brand new (or sometimes, even really old and used) book. No matter how much it costs, just leafing through its pages filled to the brim with stories and prose is enough to make every penny worth it.

Today I had a merienda date with my grandparents at Cafe Mary Grace in Trinoma. It's cake and pastry heaven, I swear. I think half of my mother and I's accumulated dessert-related expenses go to that shop. Anyway, it's conveniently located in front of National Bookstore and just above Fully Booked, so it's technically a piece of gustatory heaven sandwiched between bibliophilic heaven. The call of the "Up to 75% off!" signs were more than enough to lure me in.

And what did I get out of literary paradise?

The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis, The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fieldings, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and Sexing The Cherry by Jeanette Winterson. Four books for only Php 648 (!)

They are all part of the Vintage Classics Collection, packaged in pairs depending on the theme. I've been looking for these books for more than a month now, especially The Rachel Papers, which is said to be an edgier version of Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye, albeit set in London. I've scoured National Book Store in Katipunan and MOA, and even Fully Booked and Power Books, but to no avail. So when I saw those books in the lowermost shelf of the Classics section was priceless, I literally went "Oh!" -- I think my heart skipped a beat then went out of sync for a minute. I told myself I just had to buy it, lest I end up regretting the seeming last chance of getting my hands on them.

An afternoon of delicious cakes and great books. I am a very, very happy kid.

It strikes me as fascinating that despite all the reading I've been doing for (exasperating) academic purposes, I still find reading a pleasure, a way of relieving myself from stress. Although there are days when I just want to close my eyes and never see words again, for the most part I still really do find satisfaction in just lying in bed and reading. I never get tired of it. I hope I never do.


An Ode to The Pillow Book*

Things that are lovely to touch: Satin pillowcases. Silk pajamas. Blow-dried hair. The keys of a piano. The keys of a typewriter. Bread. Touch screen pads. Stress balls. The hair on a man's legs.

Things that are sexy but classy: Lace. A woman wearing glasses who does not reveal too much skin.

Breakfast is the most whimsical meal of the day. Bacon, eggs, blueberry pancakes, cereal. Just add milk and someone to share it with.

Upsetting things: Cramps. Not being able to speak because of cramps. Not having enough loose change. Not having enough paper bills. Having no umbrella. Hearing a lie disguised as truth. No peanut butter. No shoe size. Forgetting a pen. Torn paper bags carrying heavy books. Being ignored. Being always noticed. Gutter balls. Realizing you have to part with someone you miss.

Things that excite the sense of smell: New shoes. Coffee. The scent of a newly-opened notebook. A newly-bought book. Adidas Ice Dive. An old book, with yellowing pages. Vanilla. New cars. Old wine. Baby powder. Pheromones.

Things that stop you: Stoplight. Fear. The voice inside your head.

An affirmation of togetherness is the shift in pronouns. "We like peppermint mocha," or "We'll be there in a few."

Things that are sexy but never classy: A woman in a relationship who still entertains other men. Just because she can.

Things that are better when planned: Birthdays. Lunch dates. Midterms. Baking a cake. Eight hours of sleep. Entrance exams. Finals. Movie dates. Assassination plots. Wars. Oral reports. Interventions. Outfit. What earrings to match your outfit.

My idea of attractive comes with an intellectual requirement.

Unpleasant surprises: Quizzes. Rain when you have no umbrella. Sneezing inside a crowded bus. Bright, sunny day when you brought a jacket. Blood on your underwear.

Beautiful surprises: Free cuts. A good score when you studied. A high score when you slept all night. Gifts. Strikes and spares. Togetherness in the silence. When someone takes care of you even when they don't have to.

An affirmation of constancy is the use of present tense. "You're beautiful." An affirmation of certainty is the use of future tense. "We'll be okay."

Things better unplanned: Talking with your best friend in the atrium. Sleepovers. Brainstorming. Wrestling. First draft of a short story. Putting potatoes in corned beef. Kisses. Road trips. Drinking sessions. Foot massages. Seeing someone in between classes. Good night calls. Hugs. An Ode to The Pillow Book. Sunsets and walks in the rain.

*My take on The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon.

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Poetic attempts.

For most of my Saturday, I was stuck at home reading Marlowe and Raleigh's "bickering" on love by way of the iambic tetrameter. I'm not really much of a poet -- actually, no, I'm not a poet at all, period. I cannot write poetry to save my life, even if I wanted to. In fact, I think I am the antithesis of poetry. There is nothing poetic about me, which is tragic, considering I am a CW major. I guess I have to thank the gods of Fiction and Non-fiction for saving my literary ass.

But I did do something close to poetic and that is getting myself a knitted top from Freeway's National Artist Collector's Series featuring Jose Garcia Villa. It has the poem "Farfelu" on the back and can be worn as either a top or a mini dress. I will put myself under the illusion that maybe wearing clothes with poems on them will rub off on me physically, then eventually mentally and emotionally. Ooh, I hope the gods of Poetry somehow repay me for this one day. There should be points for effort.

Since I am hardly ever poetic, I can never give anyone the satisfaction (or humiliation) of getting poems from me. Not even songs. Nope, not for Valentine's, for birthdays or other special occasions -- expect nothing. My words find other means of being coherent: they come together in sentences, not verses. I can, however, give someone the humiliation (or satisfaction) of being mentioned in this blog through perfectly adequate nonfiction: an anecdote.<br /> <br /> The other night, I couldn't fall back asleep after having awoken at one in the morning. I can blame it on stress messing up my body clock, or my body missing my dorm bed, or my thoughts cluttering my mind but nonetheless I watched a movie in my iPod to free my head of all the weariness. Finally, I dozed off but not without the stress. I dreamed I was in the passenger seat, driving around the Oval, feeling frustrated and tired. It felt like I just had an exam or a paper to rush, and I was physically and mentally bruised. But as the rain slowly sprinkled the windshield to make up for the tears welling up in my eyes, he whose hands rested on the stirring wheel pulled over just in between Melchor and Malcolm Hall to hug me.<br /> <br /> I woke up, feeling like it wasn't a dream. The rain, the setting, all the other elements were poetic. Even the words. But it wasn't just a dream. And I know. Though set in slumber, it was creative nonfiction at its finest.