Archive for February, 2009

February 27, 2009

By Pol Arellano

It’s eleven o’ clock and all the fight ran out of me like a schoolboy being chased by six-foot bullies.

I just had about enough of waiting.

I’ve been waiting for her to come out of her room, that oftentimes putrid and sometimes haven of a room. She stayed in for hours without coming out for air. I ordered Chinese food and waited for her. I ordered hotdogs, hung out, and suppressed my pee. I curled up on one corner and stared at her yellow green door and let sleep come to me.

I didn’t think that apologizing would be this hard. Or this perilous to my health.

It’s my second day outside her dormitory room. Students living on the same floor as hers looked at me like I was a rat whenever they passed by, maybe because I already smelled like one. I couldn’t care less.

I stared at her door for how many tick-tocks now and whenever I close my eyes, her door lingers inside my head. It has become more than a memory. It is now a state of mind; a reality that mocks me and my powerlessness to open it. The yellow green door with the pink knob for me is, at this point in time, the most insensitive thing on the face of the earth.

I didn’t think that falling in love would be this hard. Or this perilous to my health.

Before the second day came to an end, I heard a creaking sound.

The door opened at last. Though not particularly wide enough for me to enter, but big enough for me to peer into. I scrambled to my knees, and stood up. I squinted hard and held my breath.

I went in.

I walked past her kitchen. Roaches were swimming in gray and yellow sink water, jumping on unwashed plates and cups and saucers. The refrigerator door was wide open, the dim yellow light cast shadows on three pieces of eggs, two of which were broken.

Her table was upside-down. Clothes were piled atop her LCD television screen. Her computer was an understatement of a mess, if there ever was one.

Her chihuahua lay stiff on the floor. I watched in fascination as two thousand ants tried desperately to pick the dog up. Saving for winter, I believe. Or probably for a big birthday party.

The house probably looked a lot like hell right now. She must have been really high.

And she didn’t even think of inviting me for a shot.

Women. They’re like freakin’ circles. They’re hard to freakin’ draw. Even when you’re sober.

I went inside her bedroom.

That’s when I saw her lying on the floor. Her eyes were like deep wells, empty and dark. Her arms and legs were moving frantically, moving up and down and sideways. She was convulsing. She was moving rhythmically, fast and violent.

I felt scared.

I felt the color fly swiftly out of me, escaping from my every crevice.

I ran towards her, pulled her head up, and tried to see what was wrong.


She continued to move, almost gyrating to an impossibly fast-paced tune, undecipherable to human ears.

She moved, and moved.

I asked and asked.

The fight ran out of me like a sissy schoolboy, running away from six-foot bullies.

Inside her room, the floor spinned as she convulsed.

She was screaming now.  I held her head and stared into her face, looking for answers in her pale being.

As I peered into her eyes, a scream escaped me, ripping my tonsils out of my throat.  It escaped faster than a bullet train, faster than time itself.

I screamed.

For her deep, empty eyes mirrored my own.

And so I convulsed next to her. Like a pair of coked-up dancers, we gyrated.

As I spasmodically moved, I wished that there were enough ants in the world to carry me to salvation.

Move, a short story.

Inspired by Andres Barrioquinto’s Dead Can Dance Exhibit at the Tala Gallery.


Love, Illustrated.
February 6, 2009


Illustrations by Pol Arellano, 2009.