Friday, June 29, 2012

Kane and the City: Josh


"Good morning ... =) Kaloload ko lang. Musta? --- Josh here," the text read.

I mentally scanned my memory and suddenly remembered a guy a couple of nights ago. Semi-kalbo, moreno, and tall, Josh caught my attention even before we entered the club.

"Ano sa tingin mo? (What do you think?)" I asked Chris, pointing him out.

"Puede," Chris replied, nodding his head.

Target spotted. Game on.

"Uy Josh! Kamusta? Ahhh ... How'd you get my number?" I texted back.

"Well ... it wasn't exactly hard to find. You were practically on everyone's phone book," Josh said teasingly.

What the fuck. On everyone's phone book? I am not on everyone's phone book. Or ... am I? Jesus.

"Ikaw talaga. Hey, sorry ha, about the other night," I said. "I got so drunk. Nakakahiya sa iyo. Naabala pa kita." By the end of the night, I had passed out and was softly snoring while everyone else was eating breakfast and Josh took care of me.

"Ok lang. You're cute when you're wasted and tired. Hahaha."

My God, I thought to myself shaking my head. Mga lalaki talaga. (These boys!) They'll say anything to get into your pants. I suspected what was coming next.

"How are you?" he continued. "I am bored. Walang magawa. Let's meet up?"

I knew it. Sigh. Men can sometimes be terribly unexciting. There are a thousand and one ways to ask a girl out and Josh chose the "I'm bored, let's go out" route. I don't mind if all a guy wants is sex, but come on. Excite me, thrill me, make me tremble.

I was about to decline but ... Josh was cute. In fact, he was very cute. The kind of guy I can ask to escort me to balls and parties. Might as well, I told myself. Sayang naman,

We agreed to watch Prometheus, a science fiction film I had been mildly curious about. I made an effort to look nice. I put on a nice shirt, dabbed some perfume and off I went. On the way, I suddenly wondered why I didn't have his number. If I like a guy, I normally would ask for his number, Something was pricking my memory, but I couldn't figure it out. Never mind, I said to myself.

I was idly fantasizing how the date will go. Are we going to hold hands? Kiss? How will his lips taste like? Will he ask me to go home with him? Will we have sex? What's he like during sex?

I was getting ... excited. First dates are always thrilling. There's always the mystery shrouding the person, the volumes of unanswered questions in your head, and the promise of a good fuck. I know, I know ... I sound like a guy ... waitttt, I am a guy. And I guess like any other guy, I think of sex 99.9% of the time.

You know when you're in the middle of dinner and your date is talking about his trip to Cambodia and how amazing the Angkor Wat was but in your head, instead of seeing temples, you're already mentally undressing him. Or how you're already planning the steps that will lead to both of you fucking in your bedroom. Disgusting, I know.

By the time I arrived at the meeting place, I was all hyped up. And then I saw him.

Waittttttt ... he looked bigger than I remembered. From where I was, Josh looked uhm ... a little chubby. I cautiously approached him. Yep. Definitely bigger than I remembered. Okay, I can probably let it go, I told myself. I was determined to have a good time and he does have a pretty face. I can do with that.

After the usual hi's and hello's, we began chatting and that's when I suddenly remembered why I didn't get his number. Fucking shit.

Josh baby talks.

God. I wanted to smack my face. Why, oh why?

Josh and I ended up having a lot of fun. We ate afterwards and he told me all about himself, his closeness to his mom, his friends, what he likes to do. We had several good laughs and he even brought me home. I could sense he liked me, but by that point in time, he was firmly segregated into the friends category.

"Hay honey, nakakainis," I lamented to Arlan. "He could have been really hot, bakit kasi ganoon siya. I mean, I just don't get men who baby talks."

"Hindi mo kayang palagpasin na lang? I mean, ok naman siya otherwise."

"Hindi ehhhhh."

"Ang arte mo kasi. Kaya tuloy hindi ka nagkakaboyfriend."

"What? You mean, (gasp) it's me? I've always thought it's them."

"No, K. It's you."

That night, I got to thinking about all the failed dates I've had in the past three years.  I've been pretty lucky since I somehow manage to meet guys every now and then. Most of them were great, they were fun, we had a lot of good times and I enjoyed being with them.

But there was always something lacking. They weren't smart enough, or cute enough, or they were too young, too old, too girly, too fat, too thin, too simple, too complicated. When things eventually end, I always say "Hey, it's me, it's not you". But in truth, I thought I was just being kind. Sparing them the hurt and pain; let me be the bad guy. It's my fault.

But now I wonder, is it really them ... or was I unwittingly telling the truth all along? Is it me?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ray Bradbury and Mr. Electrico


I was a very young boy when I started reading books. I was four or five perhaps, and my mom said I would drag visitors to our house to a corner of the living room, and I would read to them my favorite stories. I'd open one of my books and begin.

One upon a time, in a land far, far away ... 

The world would stop for a moment, and suddenly I would be somewhere else. I was with a girl with hair so long. Or a sleeping princess held captive by an evil dragon. There was magic and elves, and mermaids and it was oh, so beautiful.

As I grew older, my taste expanded to other genres but my love for fantasy and science fiction has never waned. I started reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings at thirteen, Asimov's Foundation and Robot series at fourteen. Science fiction and fantasy, Ray Radbury says, gives romance and adventure to little boys and girls. It pushes them to go out into the world and decide to become special.

Ray Bradbury was one of the most acclaimed science fiction writers. His books have sold more than eight million copies in 36 languages. They include the short-story collections “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man” and “The Golden Apples of the Sun,” and the novels “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

He died this month, at the age of 91.

In an interview with Paris Review, Bradbury recounted his experience with a man named Mr. Electrico who he met when he was a young boy and who changed his life forever. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

Yes, but he was a real man. That was his real name. Circuses and carnivals were always passing through Illinois during my childhood and I was in love with their mystery. One autumn weekend in 1932, when I was twelve years old, the Dill Brothers Combined Shows came to town. One of the performers was Mr. Electrico. He sat in an electric chair. A stagehand pulled a switch and he was charged with fifty thousand volts of pure electricity. Lightning flashed in his eyes and his hair stood on end.

The next day, I had to go the funeral of one of my favorite uncles. Driving back from the graveyard with my family, I looked down the hill toward the shoreline of Lake Michigan and I saw the tents and the flags of the carnival and I said to my father, Stop the car. He said, What do you mean? And I said, I have to get out. My father was furious with me. He expected me to stay with the family to mourn, but I got out of the car anyway and I ran down the hill toward the carnival.

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I was running away from death, wasn’t I? I was running toward life. And there was Mr. Electrico sitting on the platform out in front of the carnival and I didn’t know what to say. I was scared of making a fool of myself. I had a magic trick in my pocket, one of those little ball-and-vase tricks—a little container that had a ball in it that you make disappear and reappear—and I got that out and asked, Can you show me how to do this? It was the right thing to do. It made a contact. He knew he was talking to a young magician. He took it, showed me how to do it, gave it back to me, then he looked at my face and said, Would you like to meet those people in that tent over there? Those strange people? And I said, Yes sir, I would. So he led me over there and he hit the tent with his cane and said, Clean up your language! Clean up your language! He took me in, and the first person I met was the illustrated man. Isn’t that wonderful? The Illustrated Man! He called himself the tattooed man, but I changed his name later for my book. I also met the strong man, the fat lady, the trapeze people, the dwarf, and the skeleton. They all became characters.

Mr. Electrico was a beautiful man, see, because he knew that he had a little weird kid there who was twelve years old and wanted lots of things. We walked along the shore of Lake Michigan and he treated me like a grown-up. I talked my big philosophies and he talked his little ones. Then we went out and sat on the dunes near the lake and all of a sudden he leaned over and said, I’m glad you’re back in my life. I said, What do you mean? I don’t know you. He said, You were my best friend outside of Paris in 1918. You were wounded in the Ardennes and you died in my arms there. I’m glad you’re back in the world. You have a different face, a different name, but the soul shining out of your face is the same as my friend. Welcome back.

Now why did he say that? Explain that to me, why? Maybe he had a dead son, maybe he had no sons, maybe he was lonely, maybe he was an ironical jokester. Who knows? It could be that he saw the intensity with which I live. Every once in a while at a book signing I see young boys and girls who are so full of fire that it shines out of their face and you pay more attention to that. Maybe that’s what attracted him.

When I left the carnival that day I stood by the carousel and I watched the horses running around and around to the music of “Beautiful Ohio,” and I cried. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I knew something important had happened to me that day because of Mr. Electrico. I felt changed. He gave me importance, immortality, a mystical gift. My life was turned around completely. It makes me cold all over to think about it, but I went home and within days I started to write. I’ve never stopped.

Seventy-seven years ago, and I’ve remembered it perfectly. I went back and saw him that night. He sat in the chair with his sword, they pulled the switch, and his hair stood up. He reached out with his sword and touched everyone in the front row, boys and girls, men and women, with the electricity that sizzled from the sword. When he came to me, he touched me on the brow, and on the nose, and on the chin, and he said to me, in a whisper, “Live forever.” And I decided to.

Days have passed and I still cannot forget this interview. Bradbury's stories continue to haunt me at night; pushing me to dream further ... farther. When I grow older, I want to be more like him. I want to feel alive every single moment of my life. I want to feel passion, wonder ... at the world and the infinite possibilities offered to us. And though he is gone, I can still feel his voice in my head telling me that I too, can live forever. And I decided to.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Goodbye Kiss


Gossip Girl: The Inglourious Basterds

"Short hair is more commercial, more sell-able. And I ... I wanted to be sold. As the locks of hair started to fall, I felt like all the heroines in all the books and films I've seen. I'm Romeo's Juliet, I'm Dante's Beatrice. I'm Serena and Blair, I'm the Devil Wearing Prada."

"From now on, no more Mr. Nice Guy."

Gino had to leave earlier so Lloyd and I were left alone the next day. It was the second time we hung out together, so the atmosphere was less tensed, more comfortable. Lloyd was polite. soft spoken, and surprisingly sweet. He had come from the province to work in Manila and he was supporting himself, as well as some of his siblings.

He had just begun work as a real estate agent and he was worried about his prospects. He was telling me about the nature of the job, the potential gains as well as the difficulties.

"If it's unstable, why not look for another job?" I asked. "I mean, you could earn a lot in the BPO industry."

"Yeah. In my previous call center job, I could earn 25,000 pesos a month or more, but that's not enough Kane."

"Ha? That's a lot of money already," I protested. "You mean, it's not enough?"

"Not if you have to support not just yourself but others as well. My brothers and sisters are still in high school. There's still college."


The more we talk, the more I found Lloyd endearing. He's hard working, charming, kind, not to mention cute and extremely talented in bed. He snuggled up beside me and we lay together for a few minutes, neither one of us talking.

This, just like this, I thought to myself. I missed being intimate with someone. It has been awhile and though I tend to drown myself with work, parties and sex, the need for human intimacy has always been there. The quiet moments you spend with your lover, a simple kiss, a hand held.

"Hey, I gotta go soon Kane," Lloyd said. "But I really had fun," he said and grinned. "Salamat ha. (Thank you.)"

I  nodded. "Sure. I mean, I really enjoyed your company," I answered. "Come, hatid na kita. I'll bring you down."

The evening was quiet. The street, which was often raucous and noisy during weekdays, was still on Sundays. Lloyd hugged me tightly just as he was about to leave. "Mmmm," he whispered and nestled his head on my shoulder.

"I'll see you soon, " I said, and gave a soft smile. I kissed him on the lips even though there were passerbys in the street and embraced him. I didn't want to let go, I wanted the moment to last forever. I squeezed him tighter, and tighter ... aching in the thought that I will never see him again.

Yes, that's right. I won't be seeing Lloyd again. But why, perhaps some of you will wonder. The answer is simple. His time is up.

But he doesn't know that yet. That knowledge will come later. Much, much later. When he stops being invited to hang out with us, when he no longer gets asked to attend parties with us, or even simply for sex. When his messages are answered late, or perhaps won't be answered at all. Slowly, he will understand. But not yet. We still have now; this moment so sweet and exquisite its memory will burn into my mind and last for all eternity.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Piss Off


Gossip Girl: Bed Aftermath Part 1
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think three letters are enough to adequately describe this photo. 

"Honey, I read your blog," Arlan said. "Alam mo ba, may haters ka? Nakakaloka!"

"Actually, it's not me they hate," I quipped. "It's you. They hate you and Gino. Ang maldita mo kasi."

"Gaga. Ikaw ang maldita," A said. "I was saying sorry to you last night for being late. Ano sabi mo? 'Isang pitcher!' Sabay irap."

"Ako naman, bili agad ng Kamikaze!" he said laughing.

"Oh my God! I'm so sorry honey! I didn't mean it."

"Of course you did. Kilala kita. (I know you.) When someone pisses you off, they have to make it up to you."

"Ahahahaah fucker ka. Pero nasobrahan ata ako. I did something ..." I said and stopped.


"I can't say it. Nakakahiyaaaaaa. (It's too ... uhm, embarrassing.)"

"Arte. Ano na nga?"

Earlier that day, I woke up with a massive headache. Groan. Fucker. I was still trying to recall the sequence of events last night. There was a birthday party, then we went back home, then we went to the meet other friends. It was quite a night; lots of dancing, booze, and men.

My senses were starting to slowly revive when I suddenly smelled something. My room smelled a little ... funny. I suddenly realized I had guests and I frantically tried to trace the scent before everybody else wakes up.

I finally tracked it down to ... hmmmm, my laundry basket? The scent was disgusting. I still couldn't figure out what it was until finally I reached in and realized it was ... urine. Oh my God! I was horrified. It can't be. Did I actually piss on my clothes?

Apparently, I did. In the middle of my drunker stupor. My shirts, jeans, polos, underwear, shorts ... all of it was drenched in my vodka-, tequila-, cranberry-, soda-, juice-, and wine-flavored piss. My poor, sodden clothes. It smelled ... horrific.

Years from now, when we are old and grey and my friends and I would reminisce about the good old days, when we were young, beautiful and ... drunkards, we'd probably be talking about all the times I got fucking wasted.

"Do you remember when you passed out in Bed?"

"Or the time you were puking in Bed?"

"Or, outside Bed?"

"In the middle of Malate?"

"In Republiq?"

"In Distillery?"

"Or when you were too wasted you actually went home with that guy????"

The list goes on. And on ... and on ... and on ...

I once said a man has got to choose his vices; and I ... I've chosen mine. Men and liquor. But I did promise myself to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever drink too much ever again.

But then again, you and I both know me. Until the next party.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Gossip Girl: The Inglourious Basterds


Farewell, My Concubine

"Although he rarely spoke of his failed relationship, I knew it was always in his thoughts, in the way his eyes would cloud over, in the way he would hug me tightly with his eyes closed at night. I knew those were not for me, but for a ghost in some distant past."

A Decade After (I)

"Honey… I kissed someone. And it was electrifying. That one kiss… changed me."

"Yeah. Kung gusto mo (If you want), we can have a threesome."

The Truth About Travis

"Travis is dead, the message read."

Summer is coming to a close. And as everyone knows, our favorite girl has taken quite a beating this season. With his mood down low, this once bright star is turning into a fading star. The only question is: do we dare say Kane's heydays are officially over or will l'enfant terrible resurrect and prove everyone wrong?

Carlo, Chris, and Gino and I were having dinner to catch up over the weekend. Over a mountainous serving of grilled mussels, squid, fish and shrimps, we chatted about the recent events in our lives. Chris has a new job and new boys, Gino's birthday was coming up, Carlo was moving to a new company. All in all, everyone seemed to be doing pretty well. Everyone ... except me, of course.

"Sabi ko na nga ba. (I knew it.) I smelled something fishy," Gino said. "Ang dami pala ninyong nilalandi niya, hindi mo alam. (He was flirting with a lot of guys and you didn't know.)"

"Hayaan mo na. Forget it. It's in the past now."

"Ikaw kasi, nagpapaniwala ka agad-agad. (You believed in him too easily.)"

"I know, I know. Tama na nga eh. (Enough.)"

It's all in the past. But the past has a funny way of sneaking up on you just when you least expect it. You never know what could trigger a memory. A shared joke, the color blue.

After supper, they decided (against my protestations) to crash at my place for drinks before going out after.

"Hay. Sige na. Kayo na lang. (You guys go.) I'm not really in the mood to go out," I said, gulping a shot of vodka laced with pineapple and cranberry juice.

"Hay naku, K! Ano ba yan, I mean, don't tell me you'll stay home and mope? Where's the girl I used to know?" Carlo said. "Besides, I want you to meet my new guy."

"Again?????" I exclaimed. "Weren't you just sad and heartbroken a month ago?"

"Hahaha. I was … I really was," C said. "I really did care for Louis. But what is it that we always say: you can only be sad for too long. Now take a shower and put on a nice shirt!"

At the club, Carlo introduced me to Brad, the guy he's sort of seeing. He was exactly how C described him: boyish with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

"OMG! He is cute!" I whispered to Carlo. "I always knew you had great taste in men."

"Hahaha. Of course. You taught me well," he said, laughing. "Besides, you gave your stamp of approval the first time you saw him. But you were drunk, so you forgot. But you told me then: go!"

Carlo and Brad were dancing together, smiling laughing under the spray of red and green lights. Every now and then, I'd see a guy approach Brad and introduce himself. Apparently, he was the latest "It-Boy". I had to give it to my friend. Bravo.

We were all dancing and drinking. "I wanna dance … in love … and dance again …" The song played and Chris and I hugged each other and swayed and smiled as the alcohol slowly took hold of our senses. I was starting to have fun, to lose myself in the music.

Gino came towards me, and suddenly, he popped a question. "Ano … puede ba tayong mag-uwi ng lalaki? (So ... Can we bring home a guy?)"

I stopped dancing and stood very still. Gino was grinning, teasing me, using all his charm to get me to agree. I thought over the question carefully. I knew my answer would forever define our friendship and its boundaries; who we are to each other and the things we could do together.

If I said yes, a whole world of dirty, raunchy, meaningless, mind blowing, nerve wracking, fuckfest would open up to me. Together, Gino and I could persuade a plethora of men to have sex with us. A guy we fucked with once said: it's like the best of both worlds, you get the hot muscular guy and the pretty boy.

But ... if I said no, I also knew Gino would never ask me that question again. It was now ... or never.

"Sige na! (Come on!)" Gino repeated, cajoling me.

I looked him in the eye as I pondered the implications of my decision. "Sige (Okay)," I slowly said. I haven't had sex for a while, and the alcohol, sweat, and smoke made me want to fuck. I wanted in.

His face lit up. "Sige, diyan ka lang. Ako ng bahala. Sino ang gusto mo? (Don't worry. I'll take care of everything. Who do you want?)" I scanned the room and spotted a guy. That one, I pointed.

Uh oh, guess which band of brothers is back in business boys. Is this the reunion we've all been waiting for? Watch out Upper Eastsiders. Now that K and G are back together, it looks like three just became our favorite number.

The next day, Gino and I decided to hit the gym before he goes home. We were talking and laughing, recapping the events of the previous night.

"Ano ... gusto mo ba, may i meet pa tayong isa? (So, do you want to meet up with another guy)?" he suddenly asked. "Out of 87 messages sa (in) PlanetRomeo kanina (earlier), siya lang ang okay. (He's the only one who's okay.)"

"Ha? (What?) It's Sunday. Ano ka ba. Time for rest and reflection."

"Anong rest and reflectiong pinagsasabi mo diyan, Ano? (What are you talking about: rest and reflection shit. So what? Game?)"

"Ayoko. Pagod ako at malungkot. (I don't want to. I'm tired and I'm sad.) Besides, does he know how I look like?" I asked.

"Ano ba ... Naayos ko na. Okay sa kanya at gusto na niyang pumunta ngayon. (I've already arranged everything. He's seen it and he wants to meet up now.)" Gino said. "Sige na ... Halika, papakita ko sa iyo photos niya. (Come, I'll show you his photos.)"  
"Gino, ano ba ... ayoko nga (Come on, I really am not in the mood)," I protested as he dragged me to the computer. "Pagod ako. Ayoko. Ayoko. A ... YO ... (I'm tired. I don't want to. I said I don't want to. I ... DON'T ... WANT... )"

And then suddenly the guy's photo popped out. I paused and my sentence was left hanging in mid-air.

"Puedeeee," I said out loud. "Oh my God. He's so cute. Tara na! (Let's go!)"

Gino was laughing so hard. "Tignan mo ito, ang daming arte. Gusto naman. (See? Told you.)"

Lloyd was lean, and cute and oh so adventurous. After all the contortions and exertions, we were all thoroughly exhausted. Magaling. Mahusay.Game na game.

He cuddled up beside me and hugged me. "You okay?" I asked him. "You want water, juice, anything?"

He shook his head. "Nagka girl friend ka ba?" I asked him.

"Oo (Yep)," he said. "Pero kasi, pagbabae gusto relasyon agad (But the thing is, girls always want a relationship.)

"Hahaha,. So ang gusto mo sex lang?" I asked.

"Sa ngayon. Mas hindi kasi komplikado, mas hindi hassle (For now. It's less complicated, less of a hassle.)"

"Yan ang gusto ko sa iyo eh. Madaling kausap (That's what I like about you. No hassle)," I teased him.

After everyone left, I took a shower and started preparing myself for bed So another week is ending. It had been fun, but somehow I couldn't shake off the familiar melancholia descending over me. "When will I see you again … You left with no goodbye, not a single word was said ..." Adele was crooning in the background and I was starting to feel a little sad and lonely.

I couldn't sleep so I opened a book of poems given to me by a friend.

Oh, gallant was the first love, and glittering and fine;
The second love was water, in a clear white cup;
The third love was his, and the fourth was mine;
And after that, I get them all mixed up.

Oh God, this is good. I snuggled into my pillows, wanting to kiss the book. I read another poem.

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

Oh God, this is really good. I stood up and opened a bottle of wine and poured myself a glass of Chardonnay. I sipped it and it was fruity and light, and the taste stayed on my tongue as I continued reading. The loveliness of the poems, the solitude of the night made me remember Mr. Big. He was one of the very few people who truly understood me and made me feel safe. All of a sudden, I wanted to talk to him.

"Neil," I said when he picked up the phone.

"Kane?" he said. "Kamusta ka?"

"Hay Neil." I missed him, the sound of his voice and the way it echoed in my soul.

"Why, what happened?" It must have been the sigh, or my slurry speech or the way I said his name.

"It's a long story," I said.

"I've got time."

After the tale ended, I asked him how he was. "I'm tired too," he said.

"Oh. I'm surprised to hear that. I thought you were having the time of your life," I responded. His photos and updates in Facebook showed he was happy with his boyfriend and he had told me they were going to live together soon.

"A wise woman once told me: we need to go to as far as where our pain will take us. Does that make sense?" I continued.

"I want to meet that wise woman. Kane, I am happy. But I never learn, Again I find myself rebuilding my life around this one person. As an architect, I should know better than to build my structure on one foundation," Neil narrated. "I'm worried. Scared that I'll go through something more painful than my divorce."

Wow, he really is serious with his boyfriend. I was tipsy and his words floated in my head like dancing ghosts. "happy". ... "rebuilding my life" ... "structure" ... "divorce" ... What do these words mean? For a moment, I felt a tiny pang of ... was it jealousy that he loved somebody else? Or envy that he has someone and I have no one. Who knows. Sometimes our emotions can be tricky to understand. Why do we feel the things we feel?

"Anyway, ikaw kasi. You trust too easily," he said. "You take care of yourself. Sometimes, I think you're too nice."

Too nice. Is there such a thing? Is there a point where you become too nice and people start making a fool out of you, I wondered. Sigh. All these questions and no answers. I've always thought people ought to be nice to each other, to trust rather than distrust, to treat each other with respect and dignity. Maybe I'm too old-fashioned.

Neil and I went on chatting until I felt my eyes starting to close. "Neil, I'm sleeping na ha. I'm happy we got to talk a little."

"Hey. You'll be fine," I said, trying to comfort him. "Remember, you always have me, whatever happens."

"Good night K. And you ... me," Mr. Big said. I know Neil, I know. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe what Neil said, maybe it was the hot sex, or the beautiful poems but that night, I slept soundly for the first time in a long time.

I cut my hair the next day. Short hair is more commercial, more sell-able. And I ... I wanted to be sold. As the locks of hair started to fall, I felt like all the heroines in all the books and films I've seen. I'm Romeo's Juliet, I'm Dante's Beatrice. I'm Serena and Blair, I'm the Devil Wearing Prada.

The last strand of hair dropped to the floor. I slowly stood up and looked at myself in the mirror. From now on, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

They say a death marks one of the largest transitions there is in life. It is an end and a new beginning, another step in our evolution. But evolving is a tricky thing. You can't change without changing the world around you.

And not everyone might see your transformation the same way you do. But if you can make it through and truly be reborn, then maybe so can I. 

So beginning today, the past is just a prologue. It all starts from here.