Inconvenience, Stored.
October 21, 2008

By Pol Arellano, 2008

Hello, sir. Fine morning isn’t it?

Hm, yes, quite.
Will it be cash or card sir?

Card. Here.
[BEEP]
I see you’ve found the new 17-in-1 coffee. It’s all the rage nowadays. Haven’t tried it out yet, though. Is it any good?

Uh, I really don’t know.
Oh, good, good. That’s okay, sir. Good. Trying out new things is good. That old brand must have taken it’s toll, huh?

Hm.

[BEEP]
[BEEP]
[BEEP]
[BEEP]

I’ve actually tried this brand of shaving cream and let me tell you sir, it sucks mightily. I’m not punching this in sir. To buy this would be a crime, a heinous crime.

Wait, that’s my favorite brand! What are you doing??
Believe me sir, I’m doing you a service. I’m here to serve sir. It says right here on my button, sir. See?

Yes but please put it back.

Besides, I know for a fact that you’re sick of this shitty thing’s smell anyway.

This is pointless. I give up. Don’t punch the damn thing in.

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

Ooooh, I see you’ve got the missus’ favorite bubble bath. She hates it when you buy the floral kind. Says it reminds you of your old secretary. Yep, the one you spent ten fun-filled days with on Bo-raaa-cay! That’s her alright.

HEY! How the hell did you know that?

That’s why vanilla’s her preference. It reminds her of your first date.
Who are you? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

Well, to be honest sir, I was there.

HOW COULD YOU HAVE BEEN THERE?

Sir, you may want to keep it down a bit, my manager is eyeing us. Can’t have the big boss snooping in on us, can’t we?

How could you have been there? What are you talking about?

You see, sir, I was there. Like I told you.

[BEEP]

I was the pavement you fell on when you crashed your neighbor’s bike when you were 13. I was the ice cream cone you threw away because it leaked and it didn’t look too good on your first date. The matrimonial bed, that was me, and let me tell you sir, I didn’t enjoy that all too much.

[BEEP]

I had been your sink, where you lost your wedding ring, while trying to wash away blood on your hands. You killed a small boy when you were out hunting for geese. By accident, of course. You hid him underneath the velvet sea.

[BEEP]

I was the pen you used to sign illegal documents. I was the desk you made love on with your sexy, exotic-looking secretary. I was the sea, the one you skinny-dipped in with her too. Five out of ten days, your dangling sex punctured my aqua.

[BEEP]

I was the second-rate bouquet of roses that you got for your wife when a girlfriend of hers saw you feeling your mistress up. I was the bathroom door you waited in front of when she refused to talk to you.

[BEEP]

To appease her, you gave her me, for I was a pricey diamond ring. You bought another me and gave it to your secretary/mistress on your anniversary.

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

You owe me P 2350.50, sir. Let me swipe your card. Ooh, that tickles.

Thank you for shopping at [BEEP], have a nice day!

The Long Trip to Itay’s Heart
October 20, 2008

By Pol Arellano, 2008

Inay woke me up early today.

She wiped the sand off my eyes and told me to get up. She went to my wooden closet and took out one of my prettiest dresses, the ones I wear to special occasions, like when lolo died last summer. My dress is so pretty, so red, like a mad asteroid. Or that yummy-looking apple in Inay‘s old recipe book.

She told me to get up, and stop pretending to sleep already, because she wasn’t “in the mood”. I was a good pretender. She just won’t admit it.

Get up, she yelled, we’re going on a trip.

But I’ll ruin my pretty dress on the trip, I mumbled. Our old car has very lumpy seats. I sometimes think that all my lost things ended up underneath its icky green seats. Like my striped fat cat, Ninglat, and my pink and purple spin top.

It also smells bad. Like bagoong, pandan, eucalyptus leaves and Inay‘s cologne gone wrong.

No worries, the trip won’t be long, Inay said as she pulled me out of my three-legged bed. Get up, she said, her nostril slightly dancing.

Where are we going? I asked.

We’re taking a drive to your Itay’s heart. We’re going to look for something there. Inay said as she fixed my blanket.

Okay. I said. But it sounded like Hohkhaay because my yawn got in the way of my okay.

We got in the lumpy car and drove for an eternity. Inay lied. I guess she was a better pretender than me.

Our car moved like an old man, walking with a stick in one hand, on the bumpy, crisscross road.

Inay gave me a plastic bag just in case I had an “accident.” I made a face and pretended to make puking sounds but stopped when I almost vomited my pan de sal and salted eggs.

After singing “Bahay kubo” a hundred thousand trillion times, Inay told me to knock it off. She said we were near Itay’s heart. Finally. But Inay was a good pretender, so I started to sing a made-up song about pretending. In the song, a black, furry and gassy dog named Jun-Jun was peeing everywhere. In the end he married and got kittens for kids. Inay laughed and told me that I could be the next Lino Kamo. I told her that it wasn’t a very funny joke.

We’re here, Inay said.

I stirred. I fell asleep. I was about to say something but my throat felt scratchy. I looked out the window and saw nothing but darkness and outlines of willowy trees. Their branches seemed to be dancing to the tune of some elegant music. I wish I were a tree. So then I could hear.

Inay went out of the car. I went after her. She held my hand and in the darkness, I saw her eyes. They were luminous than fireflies, fierier than the sun. Inay has very pretty eyes.

We walked. And walked. And waaaallkkkkeeeeddd.

I hate walking.

We saw giant roosters, three of them were dead. The living ones were making noises like a backed-up toilet.

We passed by a row of beer soldiers. Thousands of them lined up the path, with cold piercing stares. But it wasn’t too long before they softened up to us. Their eyes smiled as they sang a song about a man who’s celebrating his birthday. They weren’t good singers.

We went inside a house made of cards. In it was a dog made of chips. The dog was cute but he made too much noise.

After walking, and walking and waaaallkkkkinggg, Inay stopped.

She announced that we were going home.

She pulled her hair back, smiled at me, and led the way back to our lumpy car.

I wish I were one of the trees. I wish I could hear the music. I closed my eyes to make the wish come true. I read that in a nursery book. In school. I closed my eyes. I promised not to take coins from Inay’s wallet. I promised to do all my homework. I promised to eat yucky ampalaya.

I opened my eyes.

But I still can’t hear the music.

The trees, they were still moving lines in the darkness.

But Inay’s eyes looked like dead fireflies. Like a cowardly sun.

I closed my eyes and wished that I were never born.

Kings are sweet all the time
July 31, 2008

By Pol Arellano

If you could defeat me

You could count on my sweet, splendor-filled promise

That the sun between the moving valleys

Belonging to the lazy giant you’ve stoned

To infinite irritation

Shall be yours to keep

You can count on that, dear friend.

If you could pin me to the ground

And rip my rusted crown

Out of my bulging head

You can be sure to enjoy

The graveyard my people have been nursing

For years plus a thousand

Yours will be the green vastness

That turns into a lovely shade of black and gold

When treaded by the right footsteps

You will have dominion over their

Dead myths and hopes

Their fantasies and dreams

Their weaknesses and lusts

Buried

Six to seven feet below the

Sweet, sweet lips of the ground

Yes you can.

If you could slit my throat

And free my screaming crimson

Out of its obedient frame

You may keep the Dancing Swans of Eden

Who will dance unceasingly

Till your eyes vomit salt-trimmed manifestations

Of grief, greed and gusto

You shall listen

And move your bloodied fingers to the rhythm

And swords and bayonets

May not disturb your solace

You may.

If you could puncture my fist-shaped beater

With your indispensable spear

You shall bed my lovely daughters

The princesses of my land and life

All seventy-nine of their milk-like complexions

And strawberry dispositions

They will line up

All in their best gowns and perfumes

To give you their chastity belts

And persuade you to spend

Some saccharine sweat

On their majestic mattresses

But you better watch your back, my lad

Daggers are easily hidden

In maddening whispers and soft light

But all of these

You may have

Yes you may.

If you could cut my thinker off

In one swift motion

With your ambitious sword

Hold me by my golden tresses

And raise me up high and proud

Let my blood flow to the clay-colored earth

But be sure to silence my mouth

For I may just praise you without apparent end

And proclaim your courageous victory

To the uplands and lowlands

So that they could bow

And asphyxiate you with their stares

And you might just feel

Like you would want to sew me back in place

Sew me like a milk-maid would her daughter’s

Beaten-up rag doll

But the deed is done

The deed is done

And you can count on it

Yes you can

And you may

Yes you may

For you shall

Oh you shall

If you behead me

Then the crown is yours to keep

Until another behead-er

Beheads you

Of your glorious state

Or you could always defend your crown

If it fits

If it fits you like your favorite Levi’s.

Come on In.
July 28, 2008

This is an interesting assignment for our Cinematography class last semester. We were tasked to photograph vandalism on school premises and create a story out of it. Guess the last visitor in the story. Prize: A brand-new fountain.

Come On In

By Pol Arellano

Life has been sour for the likes of me. Or so people thought. Or maybe a part of me did, too. Or still does. After all, we are the Putrid Pradas of this neon-colored graveyard called world. The creative minds behind Britney Spears’ orgasmic dance steps, this season’s modish couture, the brilliant airline commercials that haunt you even in your middle-class dreams, are the ones whom the Vatican thinks are f**king Sodomites bent backwards.

And because they are the Vatican, what they think is almost immediately considered as a religious relic of some sort, thus I took it upon me to treasure their mindset. We are f**king Sodomites. We are f**king Sodomites. Call Rico the hairdresser and set up an appointment. I want my hair to look like an authentic Sodomite’s. Or maybe I’ll just run around the living room a couple of times, rumple my hair and stay true to the f**king part of the equation.

I met Christopher Anthony on the cafeteria one summer afternoon. He smelled like sweat, testosterone and sexual uncertainty. I stared at him as I took a bite out of my sandwich. He looked at me briefly, ate his spaghetti and fifteen minutes later, we were doing the deedinside the Throne, my favorite cubicle. It was hardly satisfying, the hot weather getting on my nerves like a bug that just can’t die, but he did kiss me softly on the lips afterwards, as if he fell in love with me some time during his ejaculation. And for his sweetness he went on my little hall of fame as lover number one.

This guy called me up, saying that he got my number from a friend’s friend and said that I could help him out with something “clandestine” in nature. I could sense that he was a hotshot of some sort, from the way he messaged me to the way he pushed me inside the Throne. He pushed his pants down and mounted me. I couldn’t think straight because his perfume was suffocating me; his smell was murdering the pleasure of the act. I kept imagining his popular girlfriend waiting outside the men’s restroom, wondering what the hell his Student Council President boyfriend is doing inside. But whenever I begin to think that his girlfriend would come wandering inside the restroom and find two thrashing bodies inside the last cubicle, his perfume would pull me back to reality. He finished, shoved a couple thousand pesos in my hand, put on his cap and went out. I called him RL, for his pungent perfume and his snobbishness. I wrote his name on Throne’s door and flushed his money down without an ounce of regret.

November showers are irritating. Especially in Buster_Arouser89’s case, he has to wear white all the damn time, he said. I met him on cyberspace and he expressed his desire to spend some quality time in the Throne. He was clean and robot-like. His movements were almost numbered and I could’ve sworn that he was counting all the way to seventy. When he whisked-off his condom, he seemed to have finished a 15-hour brain surgery. He gave me, of all things, vitamins and told me to take care of myself. For his sterility and health care advice, he was immortalized on my favorite cubicle’s door.

Algebra was the sexiest subject I ever had. There’s something about men and numbers that make me swoon. So when the class’ delightful duo, Nathan Dwight and Ian Nathan followed me to the Throne one cold December evening, I knew that it would be a moment to remember. The cubicle was never that crowded and I was never that satisfied. Only when we heard footsteps outside the restroom did we even think of stopping. The twins fixed their pants, promised to do my algebra homework some time if I promised to agree to a group study next week and went out.

It’s been three months and I’ve been getting mysterious letters. In impeccable handwriting, the sender writes of my perfectly formed anus, my wonderful thrusts. He tells me that he knows what I’ve been doing in the Throne. He says he can change my future. He says that I should kiss him, torridly on the lips as he rips my clothes off. I’m guessing he’s a powerful man. And I’m going to find out soon enough. I’m meeting him tonight in the Throne. Wearing my lucky boxers, I sit and wait. He signs his letters with perfect letter Gs. And so I write the letter G next to Ian Nathan’s initials, just in case I wouldn’t get to do it again.

I am, after all, a f**king Sodomite.

And it didn’t end all to well for the likes of me.

My mistress lives in my mouth.
July 28, 2008

By Pol Arellano

I was on my way home when I passed a woman sitting on a battered suitcase in the middle of the road. She waved at me. I looked back and checked if there was someone else behind me.
There wasn’t.

I stopped and scratched my head. Twice.

I stared at the woman. She was wearing a red dress shorter than the hideous scar on her right leg. She had bright eyes, almost shining. Her curves were luscious.

My heart began to beat faster. She was staring right back at me.

Hi, mister.
Oh, her voice was so sexy.

Hi.
I said and twitched uncomfortably, hoping that she didn’t notice my bald spot.

I have nowhere to go.
She said, with pouted lips. She crossed her beautiful legs. I took a good old swig of my own warm saliva.

You could, you know
She slowly uncrossed her legs and bit her lower lip. A man walked by, she followed him with her gaze. The man took a right before Siping road and the woman fixed her gaze right back at me. I shivered.

.. invite me to live with you.
She flipped her hair, just like in the commercials. She smelled like the ocean in springtime.

I can’t, I mean, I can’t ‘cause
I fidgeted and stared at my leather shoes.

.. my wife, she’s,

Well, I have a wife.

She doesn’t have to know about me, Art.
She stood up and placed her hands around my neck.

I could be your little
She touched my belt and my hands were glued to my sides.

.. wonderful
She licked my cheek. I shivered and closed my eyes.

… sexy, little secret.
She whispered on my left ear. I touched her waist.

So I took her with me. Lila. That was her name.
She sang while we walked towards Siping road. Then she stopped singing.

Are we going to your barrio, Art?
She asked me as I tried to carry her battered suitcase in my left hand.

Uh yes. The barrio.
I said.

But what about your wife? Won’t she know about me?
She pouted and asked.

I’m leaving her anyways. She hates me. It’s okay.
I said, nearly stumbling on a protruding tree root.

No! I want to be your sexy little secret! Sexy little secret!
She shouted at my face. I stopped and stared at her in disbelief.

You want to be a secret? I’m planning to make you my new wife!
I said, momentarily dropping her suitcase.

No! I want to be your sexy little secret! Sexy little secret!
She shouted once more.

But where would you stay? Everyone knows everyone in the barrio. There are no secrets in the barrio.
I told her.

I want to live in your cave, Art.
She slowly said while conveniently showing me her cleavage.

My cave? What cave?
I asked, swallowing hard.

Your cave, the cold one. You know, the cave. I can live there. I can be your sexy little secret there. It will be so much fun, Art. Let me stay at your cave.
She pleaded with those cute pouted lips.

I don’t know what cave you’re talking about, Lila.
I said, perplexed.

Your cave! I can’t believe that you don’t know your own cave!
She exclaimed.

Well, I don’t.
I said truthfully.

Come on, I’ll show you where it is. I’m going to have so much fun there! Pick up my suitcase and let’s go.
She said.

I followed.

She went northward, to a path I’ve never seen before. I saw two identical dark caves.

Is that it?
I asked, pointing to one of the caves.

No, don’t be silly. That’s not a cave.
She said, rolling her shining eyes.

Oh.
I said.

Then we went down an unusual staircase in the middle of a plateau. She jumped down. She wasn’t wearing knickers.

Here we are, Art!
She said, smiling.

Oh.
I said.

This is my cave?
I asked.

Yes.
She said.

I’ll stay here. Stay here for the night, Art. I’ll make it worth your while.
She smiled and I thought that for the first time in 17 years, I finally agreed to a woman’s words. It was truly memorable.

And so I stayed.
She made it worth my while. Worth my every little while.

Then morning came.
As I gathered my tie and shoes and prepared to leave, Lila woke up.
She stretched sexily. Her curves looked so delicious.

Where are you going, mister?
Lila asked as she stood up, not bothering to cover herself up.

I’m going home. You know, to my wife. I need to.
I said.

Fine.
She said. She started to walk towards the cave exit. She opened her large suitcase and hurled out a green entity of some sort. That’s the best I could come up with – green entity.

I looked at her hands that are now covered in green goo. She held it like a piece of corn and started to take a large bite out of it.

I shuddered.

What, what are you looking at? Haven’t you ever seen someone eat before?
She asked, her mouth filled with green and black goo that seemed to be writhing uncontrollably within the boundaries of her quick tongue.

I haven’t seen anyone eat something like that before. What’s that you’re eating?
I queried with a scrunched-up nose.

It’s one of my sexy little secrets.
She said, licking two of her fingers at the same time and winking at me.

Oh.
I said.

Well, what are you waiting for? Off to the missus you go, then.
She said, turning her back at me.

I told her that I’ll be back.
I left.

That night, I left the barrio. Thinking that Lila couldn’t eat that green garbage for the rest of her life, I went ahead and bought her two loaves of bread, marmalade and some grapes. I walked towards “my” cave. No. I mean my cave. I guess it’s really mine after all.

Walking has never been this exciting.

As I neared, I heard music coming out of the cave. Loud music. It sounded like Hungarian folk music, if there’s ever such a thing.

I saw that there were rocks on the pathway to my cave. Big and small rocks formed an army of the most obedient kind, warding possible trespassers and door-to-door salesmen away. Lila must have been so damn bored.

I peered through the cave, almost positive that I would see Lila facedown on her unbelievably comfortable blanket, talking to herself, or hell, her bloody green garbage.

Of course, I was wrong.

Two nuns sat at the middle of the cave, playing a children’s clapping game. They were smiling from ear to ear and singing the game’s song with apparent glee. Lila looked on with amazement in her black eyes. I stood there for what seemed like half a lifetime before one of the nuns noticed me. She stopped clapping and singing and smiling. She stood up and went to the corner of the cave, like I was some sort of a party pooper. I wanted to climb back to the plateau and die there.

Don’t scare Fatia like that! Come over here and sit down! You’re scaring her! Lila exclaimed, obviously pissed at my ruining the nuns’ game and ending her amazement.

I didn’t know you have guests, I’m sorry. I said, feeling like I’m blushing like a newlywed. I looked down on the ground and wished that I peered inside after the game has been finished. I couldn’t see Lila’s face but I could feel a slight glare puncturing my beet-red nape.

There, there Fatia, don’t worry, he is Lila’s paramour. Don’t fret now, dear. The other nun soothingly caressed Fatia’s back, almost like she was comforting a virgin after her first encounter. She kissed her Fatia’s hands and looked at her face with seemingly immeasurable love. Or was it passion?

Fatia responded with a meek smile and stared back at the other nun’s face. She seemed momentarily unaware of her surroundings. And as if someone shouted loud at her left ear and her facial reaction changed dramatically and she looked at me with a silent fear in her eyes. Needless to say, I felt thoroughly embarrassed.

After a few minutes, the nuns started to curl up and talk in hushed tones, their faces so close to each other I wondered if they were kissing in between sentences.

Lila stayed in her side of the cave humming a made-up song.

What do you have there?
She asked me with a small smile.

Oh, some food. Real food. I thought you might get hungry.
I said.

She heaved a heavy sigh as if she was extremely exasperated. As she was about to comment, three bald men came to the cave. They were so quiet that not one of us noticed them approaching. The three men kept glancing at one another. It’s irritating to look at so I stared at the loaves of bread in my hands.

Ah, more guests! Come on in!
Lila exclaimed, brushing off imaginary dust from her dress.

The three men came in without so much as a smile. They positioned themselves in strategic points in the cave. They stood there like guards and continued to glance at one another. The second bald man stood near the nuns. He looked at them and glanced at the other bald men from time to time.

Lila started to hum again. I felt awkward.

The men started to dance. I felt scared.

The nuns started to kiss. I felt shocked.

I wanted to run.

But where to?
This is, after all, my cave.
My cold, creepy cave.

I sighed and started to reach for Lila’s green goo.

End