Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to Survive in a Lonely Room

[Part 4 of "The Manual" series]

Stare at the open window. Except for the nimbus crawling at a lazy pace, the view it offers is the same as yesterday—rusty iron sheets, corrugated walls and the distant atmosphere superimposed against the infinite universe. Breathe. Smell the afternoon roast. It exudes an aroma reminiscent of countless conversations under a tranquil summer sky not too long ago. With ample vigor, grip the handle. Plant your lips on the tip of the mug and take a generous sip of the warm brew. Break the taste with buttered toast because lonely people do not live on bread alone; others starve in doing so. Let every crunch cure the twilight silence by obliterating it. Feel the liquid gently settle in your belly. Appreciate the aftertaste. It is as bitter as the arabica beans one hundred and more cups before. Drink to the last drop.

Enter epiphany where cobwebs are without walls and heaps of dust are without floors. Some things never truly leave even after they have gone elsewhere. Memories are coffee granules that dissolve completely on the first stir, but they are still there, one with the liquid, embracing the shape of the vessel. They remain bitter, if not tasteless, which is perhaps why the instruction is right: sweeten to taste. Most often, you need more than mere sugar for that. Sweetness goes beyond the tongue and palate, especially if it is not about coffee.

The stream of faint orange through the window gathers on your face. Fish a cigarette from the pack and smoke. It is a splendid sustenance for death by bronchial infection, if not suffocation, but it matters not. Government warnings take the form of euphemisms because they do not want to divulge what you already know. Nobody needs a purveyor of personal distress, especially if you are already distressed yourself. Feed on the burning tobacco by suckling the filter with as much zeal as a drowning man longing for surface air. Exhale. Make smoke rings. Watch them dissipate one after the next. Continue until all you have left are ashes and bouts of cough.

Tonight is the end of summer. The clouds ahead summon the first sign of rain. By nine in the evening, the wind is cold and the rain patters on the roof. Take a cold bath. Undress completely even before you reach the bathroom door. There are no silhouettes, no peeping eyes, only you and your stark nakedness, with random hairs that garland your most cherished organ. Soap, shampoo, rinse. Shave your beard and mustache. Wash your face. Before wrapping the towel around your waist, you remember something. Or someone. A female stranger whose face is enough to make you forget your name, whose body holds the promise of sinful lust, and whose voice is just as sexy. Suddenly, you realize two things: life is hard, and so is your cock.

Masturbate, for tonight is the end of summer.

At two hours before midnight, browse the internet and sift through online forums. Hide your identity by using your sixtieth pseudonym. Every foray into the dregs of discussion boards always feels like your typical saunter. Bash every pretentious genius who is very fond of his degree from the most popular diploma mill in the world—Google University. Have a surge of laughter courtesy of those who use tautologies for their farcical platitude. Unfortunately, you misspell a word and your opponents rejoice. Achilles’ heel has been found. Your foes turn ecstatic, eager to fire their arrows. Log-out before the first hit.

Hit the sack. No text message. But a few minutes after midnight, there is a long beep. Your subscription to unlimited SMS has expired. Apparently, it is not unlimited. More so, it is a waste of money. You have no one in your phone book. Still, you have someone’s number in your living memory, which is not exactly as alive as it was some years back. Instead of counting sheep, you recite the digits. Her digits. Then, you fall asleep after surviving another day in your lonely room.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


Anonymous said...

Being single seems interesting, from your POV. :)

Hey there Splice, my first time to ask you to read my work, I'm inspired with the way you write, I reread your blog during lunch and I tried to write as randomly and as deep as you. Too bad some of your words stuck on me, I used them on my post. But still, I hope I could see your name on my comment page. Read the latest post and I'll be your fan for life. Haha. Thanks. :)

Camille said...

I tried to read the first paragraph of this post. You may have received numerous compliments, and let me add to those.

You have in you such great power in playing with your words and a limitless imagination transcending stories and souls.

Kudos Splice. Good job. I'll start reading more of your past posts starting today.


SPLICE said...

I read your recent post and left you a comment :)

Thank you. I'll be reading your posts as well :)

gaye said...

bkit walang ROTFLOL icon dito?? lengya ka, tawa ko ng tawa! sakit ng tyan ko...

and i literally read it twice and it made me even laugh harder!

woot woot!