Monday, July 18, 2011

Anatomy of a story, or: The Little I Know About Women

by Ewong.
for the girl across the big room.



Strangeness springs from hospital hours, among first-time residents gone mad from illness, of affairs both of the heart and gut. It was the final week of summer.

Now rains have come, and rains have gone, and summer seems to have claimed upon the earth and its drenched-souled men again. A certain change has filled up the uncertain emptiness, or returned to the old feelings apparently long gone: a change for the better, the elders would say -- but who really knows what's even good?

Someone looks up the book of words and discovers this relationship disparity between a pair -- a lover can be a friend, but the latter can't necessarily stand for the former. Some book, indeed. It is definitely not the dick-tionary. Let me read (it/you) further.

Cut to:

Her sister a few weeks ago she tutored about the reproductive system -- apparently the first topic in grade 5 science class. In her best attempt at sounding clinical, and quelling all malice and awkwardness pressed by such unnerving anatomical concepts, and with the textbook and internet both open, she taught her the mechanisms behind human organs called penis, vagina, scrotum, testes, and fallopian tubes. It was torture, for both of them. There were daunting terms like 'fertilization' and 'menarche.' At the end of her teaching, the fifth-grader was still confused as to who possesses the 'vas deferens,' man or woman? There is a vast difference. But she, the younger one, doesn't need to understand it all now.

Even the older one has not fathom much of it yet.

Fact: The human circulatory system is a better subject. And much more romantic.

Dissolve to:

Something Theatre proudly presents "The Indefinite Pronouns"

Someone wrote somebody a poem. Or poems. Someone likes somebody. Someone, perhaps, is already in love with somebody. Someone fears. Somebody feels. Someone feels something else, though -- like that of being stalked. Somebody hopes for something else. She says, or does. He says, or does:

a) Too much?
b) Too little?
c) Too soon?
d) Too late?

Sometimes someone thinks that somebody is onto something.

Music: Summertime, and the livin' is easy.*

Summer, it feels like summer all over again. Summer, o how it rhymes with forever, but these are words not fit for a beautiful poem, in a beautiful book of beautiful poems that is published in some other beautiful world.

One of these days, someone is going to have his or her heart broken. Or more likely, both of them, only over some other someones. Characters from different books, they are. Or different volumes of the same set of books. Like encyclopedia, a kind of literature which sounds like a dream from the ancient times. But now, encyclopedia that comes back to life -- but in digital format.

Cut back to:

Hospital hours. She will never forget how her own heart beat ever so slowly in her last days in the room. She feared. She felt. As if for the first time. She did not die, of course, but something else died, and something else was reborn. And he, the object of her subtle affection, was somewhere else. In another hospital. In another sense of words, in the vocabulary of the cyclically ill and broken.

There are three characters in this story set in summer that's not really summer. Or shall we better call it the rainy season without the rains?

Metaphor by morphology: Rains are like tears. I hope no one of these characters has cried, or is crying, over the other yet. That would be (too much/too early) a drama.

I would write them in the same book. One that does not have entries (yet) for fallopians or androgens. If I scanned the pages, I would chance upon this word: kiss. But this is like a drunken part of speech. As a back-story, I would write that it was a very short instant, void of any romance or anything like that, certainly one that doesn't count as a 'kiss.' Simply a casual touch between a man and a woman. And this is neither a good time to mention the word 'lust.' Let me annotate on this for revision:

"a very brief, prurient encounter."

She feels that they are on the same page. It's been awhile since she felt like this. She raises her hands up against the bright, blinding incandescent light to count her fingers. She reckons one hand is enough for her counting. Nevertheless, she thinks that he, the present object of her subtle affection, was, or would be, in a significant non-physics-sort of movement:

a) moving closer?
b) feeling weightless?
c) orbiting toward a center?
d) falling a freefall?

Music: We could have been so good together, we could have lived this dance forever.*

There are also some minor characters that, if I may bravely claim so, could be reminiscent of Francois Ozon's brilliant film 8 Femmes, adapted from a play. All the women there loved the man, but who "killed" him?

I have not written a poem for a long time now. (This statement could serve as a clue.) Is it time for me to learn the play? (This statement is not pun-ny at all.)

I haven't read a book lately either. I haven't read much at all. I fear that I can no longer read well. I've been misreading words lately. I've been misreading people too. I could be misreading myself. I need to bring out the dictionary and chew the pages off, from A to Z.

Montage during the internal monologue (voice-over) of a deaf-mute:

Fiction: He would have killed the 8 women, if he had the chance. But that wouldn't be a musical comedy-slash-mystery-thriller anymore. That would be a massacre of hearts.

Art: And then the image of hands. Hands.

Music: My hands are [not] small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own.*

Melodrama: But you can hold one of mine now.

(...for the other is doing the writing.)

He is on his way to the bookstore to look for this best-selling title published in some other world: Complete Idiot's Guide to End Quickly the Falling Slowly.

He would read it, and then hand it to her as a gift to commemorate their end of friendship.

Excerpt from the preface of a book that must have been either poetry or biology: "It's amazing how testicles and fallopian tubes are so alike and different at the same time. Both are in pairs. Both secrete the gametes. Both have reference to what are called 'eggs.' But the former is outside, exposed to the harsh world, while the latter is sheltered deep inside, lonely and longing. And that is why nature compels them to always meet halfway."

She (from outside, looking in) cannot remember if there was any other male character in Ozon's film. But in this other story, she (from inside, looking out) realizes that there is another man.

Caption of a photo from a book from another world: If (you/he) were an egg, I would break (you/him) into a bowl of hot Soup no. 5.**

And the plot suddenly becomes culinary.

There is no end to this story.

____________________________________________
*Lyrics quoted are from the songs "Summertime," "Careless Whisper," and "Hands."
**For the non-Filipino readers, Soup no. 5 is a special dish with cow testicles, sometimes penis, too.

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