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Otros Demonios
14 November 2007 @ 09:31 pm
How I want to be asked outCollapse )
Otros Demonios
28 October 2007 @ 11:45 pm
Scientists have created the world's most powerful antimatter beam.

And they're NOT using it to blow shit up???

I feel all my childhood science fiction fantasies folding up like lawnchairs of disappointment.
Otros Demonios
12 October 2007 @ 11:47 am
Recently CNBC.com's Managing Editor, Allan Wastler, wrote an open letter explaining why he took down their post-debate online polls, reasoning that supporters of Ron Paul somehow craftily manipulated the results to give their "second-tier" candidate 75% of the vote. So,

Dear CNBC,

Two questions:

1) Why do you keep running these polls if you think they're so easily cheated?
2) What's the point of taking down the results when you don't like them?

Maybe if only people who watched Cable TV, had no internet, and voted in polls by landline were surveyed, perhaps you'll find the undoubtedly accurate "temperature reading" of the "audience" you seek. Just be sure those sneaky Ron Paul supporters don't spam the polls on November 4, 2008.

Dude, the internet isn't a series of tubes anymore. Claiming your own polls are bullshit only proves you're being narrow-minded and willfully ignorant of what people think. And telling me who can and cannot win an election insults my intelligence, and I take issue with that.

No love,
a non Ron Paul supporter who thinks you guys are full of shit
Otros Demonios
30 September 2007 @ 11:14 pm
So Arjuna and Krishna, they're hanging around on the battlefield. Arjuna's, like, tired of war. He's trying to get out of this battle.

So Krishna drops a little science on him. He says, "You know, it's the way of spiritual growth:

A man must go forward from where he stands. He cannot jump to the absolute, he must evolve to it."

And Krishna says, "At any given moment in time, we are what we are. And, Arjuna, we have to accept the consequences of being ourselves. And only through this acceptance can we begin to evolve further.

We may select the battleground. We cannot avoid the battle."

So Krishna tells Arjuna, "It follows, therefore, that every action, under certain circumstances and for certain people, may actually be a stepping stone to spiritual growth."

Arjuna has to do the best he knows, in order to pass beyond that best, to better. How can we prescribe what our neighbors do, when it's so hard just to know our own?

...The pacifist must respect Arjuna

Arjuna must respect the pacifist...

Both are going towards the same goal, if they are really sincere. There is an underlying solidarity between them, which can be expressed:

Each one follows, without compromise, the path upon which he finds himself.

For we can only help others to do their duty by doing what we ourselves believe to be right. It is the one supreme social act.

So Krishna's reply to Arjuna occupies the rest of the story. It deals not only with Arjuna's immediate personal problem,
but with the whole nature of action,

the meaning of life,

and the aims for which Man must struggle here on Earth.

At the end of the conversation, Arjuna has changed his mind. He is ready to fight. He is ready to go ahead on. It is the way of spiritual growth:

A man must go forward from where he stands. He cannot jump to the absolute.

And the battle begins.
Otros Demonios
24 September 2007 @ 11:46 pm
errata: What I meant to say was I highly approved of Iran and Ahmadinejad's foreign policy in light of the pressures put on them. It's his domestic policy that I take issue with.

Well of course you can't have homosexual rights when you don't even have homosexuals!
Otros Demonios
24 September 2007 @ 01:24 pm
From the transcript of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's interview on 60 Minutes:

PELLEY: What trait do you admire in President Bush?

AHMADINEJAD: Again, I have a very frank tone. I think that President Bush needs to correct his ways.

PELLEY: What do you admire about him?

AHMADEINEJAD: He should respect the American people.

PELLEY: Is there anything? Any trait?

AHMADINEJAD: As an American citizen, tell me what trait do you admire?

PELLEY: Well, Mr. Bush is, without question, a very religious man, for example, as you are. I wonder if there's anything that you've seen in President Bush that you admire.

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, is Mr. Bush a religious man?

PELLEY: Very much so. As you are.

AHMADEINEJAD: What religion, please tell me, tells you as a follower of that religion to occupy another country and kill its people? Please tell me. Does Christianity tell its followers to do that? Judaism, for that matter? Islam, for that matter? What prophet tells you to send 160,000 troops to another country, kill men, women, and children? You just can't wear your religion on your sleeve or just go to church. You should be truthfully religious. Religion tells us all that you should respect the property, the life of different people. Respect human rights. Love your fellow man. And once you hear that a person has been killed, you should be saddened. You shouldn't sit in a room, a dark room, and hatch plots. And because of your plots, many thousands of people are killed. Having said that, we respect the American people. And because of our respect for the American people, we respectfully talk with President Bush. We have a respectful tone. But having said that, I don't think that that is a good definition of religion. Religion is love for your fellow man, brotherhood, telling the truth.
Otros Demonios
25 August 2007 @ 09:46 pm
There is a 42" HDTV in this house with the whole extra innings thing paid for. Baseball is the only thing anyone watches on it.

Uncle John is here. He is the brother of my father, and has lived longer in New York than in Manila. He is also the biggest Yankees fan in this family.

I am currently the biggest Red Sox fan in this house. I am also the son of my mother, the biggest Red Sox fan in this family.

My grandfather has been living in this house for the past fifteen years. He only watches the Angels and the Dodgers. You know he's lucid because when there's a variation in the Dodgers' batting order, he goes nuts and starts bitching about it.

He also owns the TV we watch all the games on. The next few days will be interesting.

UPDATE: This is how the dinner table conversation got going:

Grandpa: So, Yankees lost to the Angels...

Uncle John: Two games to one.

UPDATE 2: The reason I'm making this post, for those of you not baseball-inclined, is because the red sox are playing the yankees next week. Their rivalry is such that it's normal to walk into Fenway (the Red Sox' home field) and yell "Yankees suck" even when they're not playing the Yankees.

Oh, we'll be watching.
Otros Demonios
23 August 2007 @ 09:15 am
Justin Chua suffered a fatal accident. His wake will be in the Sanctuarium (735G Araneta Ave. corner Quezon Ave., beside Jollibee). He will be at the 3rd floor, Oleander Room, and will be there from 3pm today until sunday.

I got up at one-thirty this morning to find this message waiting for me. Since graduating, four kids from my year in high school have passed away. Every time one of them died, I felt obligated, as a writer and friend, to eulogize them somehow, if not for others at least for myself. But every time I come to the keys for it, I... can't somehow. Something inside me stops.

Howell died in a fire he should have been able to escape from. Justin Ong died in a car accident driving his girlfriend back from a party. Thomas, one of the first people I called friend and meant it, was murdered by men who came to kill his father. I wished I could say something but I couldn't. When people told me about them, all I could do was sit in my room and remember what they looked like, and realize that that was the only way I'd ever get to see them again.

And today I hear about Justin. I think back to the last time I saw him, which was when I had lunch with him last week. He was a tall, lanky guy with hair all over the place with a smile that did nothing to hide his peerless goof. If you could imagine a walking tree on some kind of magical drug, you'd be seeing him somewhat the way I see him. The kid was smart, though, damn, he was smart. A 4.0 from CMU isn't anything to sneeze at. He was supposed to fly back to college today.

That he was found dead in a bathroom of his house on the day of his flight and that his family had him cremated immediately, that's all I know, and apparently that's all anyone knows right now. I really hope his death was as accidental as it's being told because God - God, he was my friend, I didn't want him to die alone.

All of them died back home. Every time I found out, I was away. It didn't make me any less grieving, but I wish I had someone to... cry with. Someone who knew them too. Not just someone who knew what it was like to lose someone, but someone who knew what it was like to lose Thomas, or Justin. I want to go to their parents, their brothers, sisters, friends and people who knew them and loved them and will spend the rest of their lives wishing they'd done something differently and tell them that I will miss them too. I will.

And I don't think this ever really gets said enough. Life is fast, too fast sometimes for some of us to see where it's going or who gets left behind. And I don't care what Hobbes says about it. It's short, but it's definitely not nasty and brutish. It's beautiful. And everyone that goes reminds us that we've got to go on loving for them. To fill the gaps and voids where they used to be. We've got to do it for Howell and Thomas and Justin and Justin and everyone else. It's all we can do.

I love you, every single one of you.
Otros Demonios
19 August 2007 @ 05:35 am
By the second verse, dear friends
My head will burst, my life will end
So, I'd like to start this one off by saying
"Live and love"

I was young and at home in bed
And I was hanging on the words some poem said
And thirty-one
I was impressionable
I was upsettable

I tried to make my breathing stop, my heart beat slow
So, when my mom and John came in, I would be cold

From a bridge on Washington Avenue, the year of 1972
Broke my bones and skull and it was memorable
It was half a second and I was halfway down
Do you think I wanted to turn back around and teach a class
Where you kiss the ass that I've exposed to you

And at the funeral, the University
Cried at three poems they'd present in place of a broken me

I was breaking in a case of suds
At the brass rail, a fall-down drunk with his tongue torn out and his balls removed
And I knew that my last lines were gone while stupidly I lingered on, other wise men know when it's time to go
And so I should, too

And so I fly into the brightest winter sun
Of this frozen town, I'm stripped down to move on
My friends, I'm gone

Well, I hear my father fall
And I hear my mother call
And I hear the others all whisper, "Come home"
I'm sorry to go
I loved you all so
But this is the worst trip I've ever been on

So, hoist up the John B. sail
See how the main sail sets
I've folded my heart in my head and I wanna go home
With a book in my hand
In the way I had planned
Well, this is the worst trip I've ever been on

Hoist up the John B. sail
See how the main sail sets
I've folded my heart in my head and I wanna go home
With a book in each hand
In the way I had planned
I feel so broke up
I wanna go home
Otros Demonios
05 July 2007 @ 06:29 pm
Now THIS is a classy internet cafe. The computers are better than mine, the internet is fast, users have admin privileges, it's airconditioned, there is free cold purified water, it's open 24 hours, and it's QUIET. There is only one person playing games in here, and he's playing Chess. And there are other games to play, too.

So far my internship's been amazing. Don't get me wrong, just because I don't write about it doesn't mean that there hasn't been anything to write about - there's a TON. I just feel overwhelmed a bit when I try and pick and choose what goes in here and what doesn't. But let's try and have a little summing-up before I go off for some fried chicken and pandan rice.

Two and a half weeks ago I flew from Manila to Iloilo to start my summer internship at Taytay sa Kauswagan (Visayan for Bridge to Progress) Incorporated, a microfinance firm that my mother's first cousin, Tito Angel, runs. The story of the company is this - twenty years ago, Tito's career is peaking - One of the Philippines' largest banks put him in charge of roughly one-third of their branches, and he's raking it in. Then, to the dismay of many, he decides to sit down and have himself a mid-life crisis. The usual I-have-my-dream-life-but-I'm-not-happy stuff. So he does something really crazy and asks my dad for advice. You may or may not be aware that my dad is a hippie so raging that my grandparents forcibly exiled him to Hawaii during the Marcos years for fear he'd get himself strung up and thrown into the Pasig with some concrete shoes. My dad tells him that microfinance will be big in a few years (he meant 20) and so TSKI was born. Now, they're pretty much the biggest microfinance operator in the central Philippines, operating 76 branches, employing 1,600 employees and catering to more than 230,000 clients. And they're still growing, thanks to grants from the Spanish government, Jimmy Carter, and a ton of other big-name bleeding hearts.

So what did I mean to tell you by giving you that little bit of history? That this shit is bigtime and I'm really, really excited to be here. Working for TSKI, I mean, because "here" hasn't always been the same place for the last two and a half weeks. After spending a week working the office and the field in Iloilo, I got rushed around pretty much all of the central Philippines by my uncle and my handlers, a.k.a. his area managers. I've been going places, interviewing clients, taking pictures, living cheap (mad cheap) and generally having a really, really awesome time.

But don't get me wrong, this isn't a tour, this is an internship. Which means there is work, and it is serious. Growing up in one of the best neighborhoods in the capital of the Philippines meant that all I knew about the rest of my country came from beach resorts, scoffs, and the occasional headline about rising poverty or terrorism. "Far" for me was a twenty minute walk, until I had to travel three hours to get to work. "Tight" for me was my jeans after dinner at Cirkulo, until I had to pack into a Jeepney with thirty other people. "Stench" was the smell of the sneakers I spend a few weeks' pay on, until I smelled myself after a day out in the field. And I stank. I stank of the world and all the hopes and fears of everyone and everything I touched. It smelled like experience. And for sweat that I could wring out of my jeans, it smelled really good.

More to come. The chicken's smelling mighty good right now.
Otros Demonios
14 May 2007 @ 11:19 pm
At lunch Bugoy/Angela managed, between mouthfuls of Ruby's cheeseburgers, a comment about how something about time going by faster in the states. We all know Einstein threw absolute space and time out the window with his goings-on about relativity, but that stuff isn't something I ever saw in third-grade, even senior year science labs. Nothing moves faster than the speed of life, and nowhere does it move faster than in America.

Here I am once again, in my grandparents' house in Anaheim, just like in August last year - except with a tattoo, an X drawn into the top of my head, and a suitcase full of sneakers out by the door. I twitch my ankle and there, without fail, is the same ripped-up ligament I was walking on back then. Most importantly, though, instead of I can't believe this is happening it's now I can't believe this just happened. The sum total of everything that happened from the time I first left Manila last year is in me, and I know that it's there, but as with many other things, I just don't know what to make of it.

I know what this is, it's that hypothetical feeling that everyone's made a thought experiment out of at least once - the feeling that one day, you wake up and you're different in some profound way, but you know you've changed. Ovid and Kafka's Metamorphoses. I am the same and different at the same time. Grown up? Perhaps. Hope so? I don't know. Sometimes I find life too marvelous to realize that it's happening faster than I can take it in.

Sifting through my recollections of the year that nearly escaped me finds a moment when my Philosophy professor, in response to my suggestion that Nietzsche be added to future syllabi for introductory classes, remarked that Nietzsche was "a fantastic writer, but completely corrupt." This was describing somebody whose philosophy I felt should anchor all of humanity. One thing college has taught me is that your views will be challenged. Another thing it's taught me is that it's never a bad idea to shut up when it can get you further than fighting. Oh well, too bad for him if he can't get on the Overman boat when the shit hits the fan.

Hmm, I seem to be at a loss at where to proceed from here. How amazing is it that a man can compose a novella in an afternoon and at times be confounded for days and not manage even a few lines? Although I'd hardly call myself an accomplished author of fiction. I was always a better journalist, although like all, I am doomed to eternal imperfection. Everything that happens to me is seen through my eyes, colored with my bias and preference. Worse still, everything I see is seen from my vantage, denying me other perspectives that would reveal everything I need to complete the picture. But it gets even worse - in my construction of the account of my world there are an infinity of moments that go by unrecorded - every time I scratch on my pad I miss scenes that would win Pulitzers.

This would all be very saddening for me now, if not for the fact that one thing I recollect from freshman year is that I don't actually want to become a journalist. In fact, that drivel I just spouted sounds better when I realize that I also am seriously considering a philosophy major. Never mind that when I present my choices of IR, Econ, and Philosophy to Dad he unfailingly supports an IR and Econ double major every time. When did my life start becoming about what I want?

I search the missing year for the answer. The aggregate mass of feelings, joys, pains, lessons, confusions, loves, losses, laughs and cries tells me that that was when it happened. The tattoo on my wrist. The X on my head. The reading of Nietzsche for leisure coupled with mass every Sunday.

My life is about mine now.
Otros Demonios
03 May 2007 @ 10:44 pm
American Political Discourse Through History:

"We hold these truths to be self evident..."

"Four score and twenty years ago..."

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself..."

"Ask not what your country can do for you..."

"I'm the commander guy."

Now's a good time to go cry.
Otros Demonios
01 March 2007 @ 12:35 am
So, I finally have spring break plans!

The whole Florida trip didn't pan out, so I'll be going to New Orleans on Tufts Volunteer Vacations with Vincent Santos and Kenji Kaneko, aka the two most ridiculous people at Tufts University. I can already see this materializing: aid distribution and habitat for humanity-style reconstruction by day, and Bourbon Street debauchery by night. From what I hear, it's gotten up and running again on the spirits of the locals who still see the tradition and sanctity in knocking back a cold beer.

But seriously, I have to see this in person. New Orleans has pretty much fallen off the map this long from Katrina - Reggie Bush's phenomenal play last season has led many people to think everything's back to normal. But many parts of the city still can't get clean water. Less fortunate parts are still under water. New Orleans may be on its way back up, but she still needs help, and she's gonna get some.


Thinking about Spring Break saddens me a bit when I realize that some of my best friends at Tufts are upperclassmen. I guess I'll have to pick a better time to be saddened.
Otros Demonios
23 February 2007 @ 03:03 pm

One by one
Only the Good die young
They're only flyin' too close to the sun
We'll remember -

Goodbye, Thomas. I know you're somewhere better now.
Otros Demonios
13 February 2007 @ 04:27 pm

Happy Valentine's Day! Have a good one!
Otros Demonios
10 February 2007 @ 02:07 pm

The idea of the eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! What does this mad myth signify?

Putting it negatively, the myth of eternal return states that a life which disappears once and for all, which does not return, is like a shadow, without weight, dead in advance, and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime, its horror, sublimity, and beauty mean nothing. We need take no more note of it than of a war between two African kingdoms in the fourteenth century, a war that altered nothing in the destiny of the world, even if a hundred thousand blacks perished in excruciating torment.

Will the war between two African kingdoms in the fourteenth century itself be altered if it recurs again and again, in eternal return?

It will: it will become a solid mass, permanently protuberant, its inanity irreparable.

If the French Revolution were to recur eternally, French historians would be less proud of Robespierre. But because they .deal with something that will not return, the bloody years of the Revolution have turned into mere words, theories, and discussions, have become lighter than feathers, frightening no one. There is an infinite difference between a Robespierre who occurs only once in history and a Robespierre who eternally returns, chopping off French heads.

Let us therefore agree that the idea of eternal return implies a perspective from which things appear other than as we know them: they appear without the mitigating circumstance of their transitory nature. This mitigating circumstance prevents us from coming to a verdict. For how can we condemn something that is ephemeral, in transit? In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.

Not long ago, I caught myself experiencing a most incredible sensation. Leafing through a book on Hitler, I was touched by some of his portraits: they reminded me of my childhood. I grew up during the war; several members of my family perished in Hitler's concentration camps; but what were their deaths compared with the memories of a lost period in my life, a period that would never return?

This reconciliation with Hitler reveals the profound moral perversity of a world that rests essentially on the nonexistence of return, for in this world everything is pardoned in advance and therefore everything cynically permitted.


If every second of our lives recurs an infinite number of times, we are nailed to eternity as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross. It is a terrifying prospect. In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. That is why Nietzsche called the idea of eternal return the heaviest of burdens (das schwerste Gewicht).

If eternal return is the heaviest of burdens, then our lives can stand out against it in all their splendid lightness.

But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid?

The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.

Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into the heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant.

What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?

Parmenides posed this very question in the sixth century before Christ. He saw the world divided into pairs of opposites: light/darkness, fineness/coarseness, warmth/cold, being/nonbeing. One half of the opposition he called positive (light, fineness, warmth, being), the other negative. We might find this division into positive and negative poles childishly simple except for one difficulty: which one is positive, weight or lightness?

Parmenides responded: lightness is positive, weight negative.

Was he correct or not? That is the question. The only certainty is: the lightness/weight opposition is the most mysterious, most ambiguous of all.


I have been thinking about Tomas for many years. But only in the light of these reflections did I see him clearly. I saw him standing at the window of his flat and looking across the courtyard at the opposite walls, not knowing what to do.

He had first met Tereza about three weeks earlier in a small Czech town. They had spent scarcely an hour together. She had accompanied him to the station and waited with him until he boarded the train. Ten days later she paid him a visit. They made love the day she arrived. That night she came down with a fever and stayed a whole week in his flat with the flu.

He had come to feel an inexplicable love for this all but complete stranger; she seemed a child to him, a child someone had put in a bulrush basket daubed with pitch and sent downstream for Tomas to fetch at the riverbank of his bed.

She stayed with him a week, until she was well again, then went back to her town, some hundred and twenty-five miles from Prague. And then came the time I have just spoken of and see as the key to his life: Standing by the window, he looked out over the courtyard at the walls opposite him and deliberated.

Should he call her back to Prague for good? He feared the responsibility. If he invited her to come, then come she would, and offer him up her life.

Or should he refrain from approaching her? Then she would remain a waitress in a hotel restaurant of a provincial town and he would never see her again.

---- Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Otros Demonios
07 February 2007 @ 12:35 pm
Do not tell me that there is no such thing as akrasia, you vapid husk of a memory! To say that my will does not falter is to deny that I have will at all - as if I seek goodness with the visceral hunger of a brackish beast, as if we all are evil insofar as we seek goodness in manners ignorant -

To hell with you! I choose to falter and fall to pieces! Instead of laying bricks for your grand monuments, I choose to smash them! I seek absurd, meaningless pain because it is all that is left that is less contemptible than your opiate naivete! I loathe you who presume me seeking good, because I say to you now - I am not! I am the one you call fool, troublemaker and traitor, the one you shall cast out and forget in your grand self-delusion. You will seek to punish me before all, to flay me in the town square to foment fear among your herd. But this is because you fear me, for in addition to being the subversive and dissident voice I am also the destroyer, and I alone possess the swords to tear your world out from underneath your planted feet. You hate me because you fear me, and you fear me alone because I am the only one who you have not been able to blind. When all is said and done, I am the only one truly sane. So banish me, deceiver! But know that I shall arise in every town and city, in every age and generation there will be one like me, each one stronger than the last. My spectre will haunt you forever until one tremendous night, I will have driven you to what you call madness. And then I will know that I have won.
Otros Demonios
07 February 2007 @ 11:49 am
So CNN has a panel discussing discrimination against Atheists in America. Would be interesting, except for the fact that, uh, there isn't a single atheist on the panel. That's some pretty fair and balanced stuff right there.

I'm a Catholic. Some of my best friends are Atheists. I have nothing against them at all because when you think about it, Atheism isn't much different from say, Judaism, Protestantism, or Islam - there are infinite ways to hell and damnation.

Humor aside, this just speaks to the kind of marginalization and discrimination that Atheists have to face as a result of their beliefs. Thank God for guys like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett who speak up for them in the mainstream.
Otros Demonios
30 January 2007 @ 09:45 pm
Really, it was my desk strewn with the trappings of wage slavery but in my imagination it was Camellia's room. The Florentine carpet laid on the floor was thick enough to almost remove the effort from walking, yet fine enough to not feel like overgrown brush. The walls papered with subtle flecks of gold rose into a high ceiling, its palatial proportions belonging to an age before concrete was poured to check the growth of mansions. Hanging off the sides of the windows were heavy, exquisitely embroidered drapes. Pulled shut, they admitted no light, even from the magnificent transits of the sun on the coast that her room overlooked.

The posts of her bed rose high and terminated in the heads of four lions, each one facing a corner of her room. Indeed, Camellia's room was one of the most frequented locales in the otherwordly hyperbole of poets, wayward Casanovas and would-be Don Juans, although the lady herself was admired for her chastity. The truth, however, was entrusted to me in a secret I would carry through all the loves I would have until the day I died.

For in her bed, in the soft spaces between heaven and earth that her sheets covered, I was welcome. Her form was perfect against light but it was the darkness of her room that her beauty became truly magical. My senses were subject to frenetic, seemingly random rearrangement with her. With my hands, I could taste the fragrances emanating from the softness that my lips found on every part of her I explored. Yet even this pleasurable scattering of my perceptions does no justice to the truth of what I knew when I knew Camellia.

The truth was that my senses, my intoxicated senses, were extraneous to my experience with her, in the same way that an eagle's talons seem but ornamental next to the glory of its wings. I knew her, and she knew me on levels that the sharpest science of the senses will woefully never be able to understand. With her, I needed not my flesh so easily discarded for her splendor, her magic, every wisp and whisper of her perfection made its way so deep into my soul that nothing, no thing ever proceeding from me would ever be devoid of her. So did she touch me every eternity we spent together.

Mere minutes have passed when I reawaken to the world of my senses, the rigid world of rote servitude where I will never find her. Would that I did, surely I would degenerate into a hideous wretch, grasping in vain at every shadow that bore the agonizing memory of a pleasure no longer there.

But I know where to find Camellia: in her room, where she was when I sought her countless times before, and where she will forever be when I seek her hence.
Otros Demonios
13 December 2006 @ 11:00 pm
I wanted to talk about Tufts' Naked Quad run in this entry, but the words aren't going to come out right if I don't talk about something else first.

On Monday a freshman pre-med student from Massachusetts named Lily Diana Karian killed herself in her room with a plastic bag. With most of the campus off inebriated and happy off on the quad with the townies and the naked people, it was the one opportunity she'd never get again.

Besides first hearing about her in hushed whispers from friends and reading about her in a calm-sounding letter from the Dean of Students, I didn't really get to find out much about what happened from anyone. Talking about her turned a jocular conversation into an awkward silence, and what was there to know, really? She did herself in with a plastic bag. Her roommate or somebody found her. Oh yeah, she changed her Facebook picture right before she killed herself. Creepy. So, how many finals have you got?

Yesterday and today I've been trying to shunt the thought of her somewhere where I'd forget it, and what business did I have not doing that, anyway? The dean's letter, summarized, basically told me to turn my iPods up a little louder, study hard, and call for help if I got depressed. Dwelling on her won't do anything good. I didn't know her. I never met her. Hell, I knew that she died before I knew her name. Why the hell was she on my brain so much? Why could I not stop thinking about that eerie picture of the girl in the santa hat with the photoshopped tears saying "Merry Fucking Christmas"?

What if it happened to me? What if I was walking home and I had to see TEMS furiously trying to revive one of my friends on a stretcher? What would I be feeling? If they told me my friend wasn't going to make it, what would I say to that? What would I ask them? What would I ask myself?

Why? Why now? Why didn't I see this coming? Why Why do this? Why do this to herself? Why do this to all the people who love her?!

I've heard a lot of people, mostly self-help authors and inspirational speakers, say suicide is "cowardly" and "incredibly, inconsiderately selfish". And the one that made my stomach acid boil - "If you commit suicide, I'm not going to your funeral." I wanted to clock that high-and-mighty bastard right in the jawbone for that one. I didn't want to hear some callous bastard tell me he was so high above being hurt by "something so stupid and selfish."

I'm not about to defend killing yourself, but I vehemently disagree with that sort of characterization. Suicide isn't born from cowardice - it's born from desperation, one of the traits that history often mistakes for bravery. It's what happens when people feel they have no other options left, when they feel they've become so weak that falling down is the only thing worth making an effort for. It's what happens when you've seen your will fail you so many times that you don't think it's worth hoping in anymore. That small but not insignificant difference in will is what separates a heroic stand from a "cowardly" capitulation. And selfishness? It's not too hard to be focused on yourself when you feel everyone's let you down.

Note how I use the word "feel" a lot. That's because your logic, your rationality, your facts don't matter shit here. It's what people </i>feel</i> that drives them to take a life. And if that doesn't sound rational, well, suicides hardly are, are they?

What if? was another question I was asking a lot. What if someone had been there? What if someone called her just a little earlier? What if someone sat with her at lunch that day? What if Lily dropped her books that day and someone picked them up for her? What if, that night, someone extended a genuine invitation to her to have some shots and run naked with them? What if someone wrote on her facebook wall telling her what a great time they had with her? What if hours, minutes, seconds before, she had been on the receiving end of one, just one goddamn ray of sunshine, one cheesy, cliched random act of kindness, one smile, one pure smile smiled with sincerity and a genuine desire to make another person's life better?

One of my best friends in high school told me that the only three words just as powerful as "I love you" are "I am here." To laugh with you. To drink with you. To walk you back drunk from the quad. To call TEMS if you really need it. To listen. To cry with you. To be a warm hug when the rest of the world is cold. To remind you that someone in this world enjoys you when you are here and misses you when you are gone. That's what I am here for.

There's no deeper way to hurt every single person that loves you than to violently rip yourself out of their lives. I don't want that happening to me, or to anyone I know.

So, to anyone reading this, whether we talk a lot or a little, if at all, whether we see each other every day or less times than we can count on one hand, whether we've been friends for years or just for a few days, I have three words for you.

I am here.