Monday, July 30, 2018

The Pact

One of the most moving and thought-provoking novels I’ve read so far. Jodi Picoult just proved that she is one of America’s finest contemporary writers.

The Hartes and Golds were not just neighbors. They were almost like family. They shared almost everything. They were best friends. And more than that, they thought that they would become in-laws since their children were in a relationship.

The friendship and love that blessed these families is something of a fairytale that everyone would wish to have. Until one day, when their children decided to commit a double suicide, and everything went from beautiful to haunting, and heart-breaking.

This book will lure you to the beauty of life and love, make you dream, but in the end it will impose upon you questions on life and death, suicide and the sense of living, on how much love will do to make someone happy. It will haunt you and sometimes break your heart.

When you thought you’ve already figured out everything in life, that your career and the wisdom you’ve gained over the years and friendships you’ve built will be the very foundations that will hold your future together. Then here comes one tragic death and everything falls apart. Is there hope after death? Is there a future for you when you’re slowly losing everything in your life?

Highly recommended for everyone, even to those who are contemplating death or those who are exploring suicidal thoughts.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Tripster A.D. part 02- The Search for the Cleaner

Coming back to Italy reminded me again of that peculiar thought I had on my way to Vienna. Who will clean up my stuff after my death? I need a ‘cleaner’.

People  usually hire lawyers for this stuff, but the exorbitant fees of their services are just enough to kill your dead self again. And besides, lawyers are much more concerned on the legal stuff. I need someone whose services and silence are free, whose loyalty is unquestionable.

You don’t just pick any person for this job. You don’t just bestow a tricky role to anybody, not even to any family member. This is about leaving behind a legacy, clearing up browsing history, and throwing away undesirable things that would have been unthinkable to be associated to your persona, your own High Priest who will dwell in your inner sanctum.
But what exactly would the Cleaner do?

He starts as the Confidante. This is the period when he starts to build up a certain professional relationship with the client- knowing his personality, character and background. In this period, the client will assess whether this confidante is trustworthy enough, loyal and able to handle all his innermost deep dark secrets.

Once he passed the test, he will become the client’s Confessor. This is the phase where the client will share all his secrets and perversions, things he couldn’t utter with anyone else. And this is the time when the client will share the knowledge of what to do after his death, where to look for certain things, and how to dispose everything.

He becomes the cleaner soon after the death of the client. The client must leave a certain will saying that the Cleaner is given right and exclusive freedom and duty to oversee certain items of the dead, leaving such instructions to his lawyer, if he has one.

I have thought this through and perhaps I might go through some details and polish them.
I realized later on, as I was writing this, that I was so occupied on drafting the job description of a cleaner, and so busy writing down names of possible candidates, when at this point of my life, what I really need is a LOVER.

Sigh. Life is so complicated.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Prague and a Series of Misfortunes, part 2

Prague Castle was our main destination on the second day. We decided to go out early to avoid the Chinese-horde-pestilence tour groups. I was overloaded with meds to keep me alive. As we crossed Charles Bridge, we encountered a photoshoot of a newly wed couple on the other side of the bridge, the prettier Instagram-perfect spot. I tried to be nice and congratulated them as they monopolized a public space. No need to commit murder in the morning, I said to myself. The target is the castle.

Full-on photoshoot

The Prague Castle is not just one structure, but a building complex on a hill area that also includes the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral. One of the buildings is the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic, and the official place where state events and engagements are held. On that day, the president was not present in the castle, and there was no state event. 

But one thing was present there, that was always present everywhere- A FUCKING WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT BY A NEWLY WED ASIAN COUPLE!

The photoshoot was all over the place, most especially in front of the beautiful doors of St. Vitus Cathedral. People were so charmed at the bride. I wanted to slap the bitch’s face and tear apart her gown. I do not have aversion towards love and how it’s celebrated. But there’s no need to monopolize a public space. They were acting as if they own the area, not letting other people pass or shooing them away.

St. Vitus Cathedral, the only part where there are no photoshoot by newly wed Asian couples
Due to my poor physical constitution and mood, I dragged my friends away from that place and went straight ahead to the New Town at the Wenceslas Square- the arena of political upheavals, movements that changed the course of history of the republic, and the area where all the best strip clubs are located.

It was already noontime and my body was on the verge of giving up. After devouring a big dish of goulash and dumplings, and a large dose of my caffeine fix, I told my friends that I’m going back to our apartment and rest, but I’ll be seeing Fred and Ginger on the way.

Fred and Ginger are not the couple I had a threesome with in a swingers sex party. They are the world-famous Dancing House, an amazing exemplary of new-Baroque style in modern architecture. This will be my finale here in Prague, so I told myself. And the bitch universe understood my intentions. So as her finale for me, the universe decided to baptize me with water, winter’s wrath, and ice. A freezing summer storm poured its misery down while I was taking pictures and selfies.

Wet, freezing, and sick. I went back to our apartment to dry myself and have some soup.

I thought about the things that have happened in these past few days of my vacation. Somewhere in another apartment, some cruel necromancer summoned from the grave Bananarama’s old hit song, “Cruel Summer”. Who’s celebrating? I wonder.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Prague and a Series of Misfortunes, part 1

It was the second time I’m visiting Prague. It was not how I expected it to be in the summer. It was cold. Gray skies and there was a  hellish outpouring of the heavens. It was literally raining needle-like pieces of ice together with the cold wind and rain. Not to mention, those perpetual photoshoots of newly-wed Asian couples. And when I say photoshoots, I mean they have photographers and assistants, equipment, and the guts to cover the whole tourist spots that are perfect for Instagram selfies.

I already had a slight fever, cough, and a running nose. I was no longer in any mood for “Czech-hunting” (I know, I have too many references to gay porn. It’s so obvious how sex-starved I am at this point of my life. LOL!).

Nevertheless, the old and beautiful city of Prague was too beautiful to miss. 

The Old Town was beautiful and charming. And the square would have been boring if it weren’t for these blokes in beer bikes. 

Thank you Prague for the beer and boys!

I took my friends with me to the Old-New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Europe. Why it’s called in that name, I really have no idea and I won’t be discussing it here because nakakatamad. But it has something to do with a popular urban legend concerning a golem who kidnaps and presumably eats humans. I also showed them the old Jewish cemetery, a place mentioned in a recent novel by Italian novelist Umberto Eco. We were basically there to scare the shit out of my kaladkarin friends. Hehehe!

The Old-New Synagogue

Jewish cemetery

It was almost time for dinner. It was getting cold. My fever was getting worse and my stomach was already grumbling. Too many Czech guys to check out but too weak to do anything about it.

Before the day ended, we went to the iconic Charles Bridge to see its charm and the lovers hugging each other in that cold afternoon. And me, the single poet, sickly and freezing to death, looking over the Vltava River, thinking…. “Where’s the nearest KFC?”

Friday, July 20, 2018

Not Today Jesus. Not Today.

My plans were bound to be messed up on the second day. I had this terrible feeling when I got one of the inspirational godly messages when I was already pondering on how I’d get smashed at night. It was already a glaring red flag. 

It was palace-hopping day and we were determined to reach the Schonbrunn Palace before the Chinese horde-mob-tourism-pestilence tour groups claim the best spots for selfies and destroy any hope for humanity and world peace in queues. 

With wine still circulating in my system and little sleep, I struggled to strike a pose in the gardens and everywhere at the façade of the summer residence of the imperial Habsburg family, but tried to be as vogue as possible. To make matters worse, the universe decided to pump up global warming, so the sun was like, “I’m werkin’ this bitch up!”.

It was so hot that we just had to escape from the sun and find refuge in the summery atmosphere (translation: IT WAS FUCKING HOT INSIDE) of the famous Café Sperl. No AC, iced coffees, authentic Viennese cakes, and cold treatment from the bitchy server. I’m even worse than those American valley girls whining about their first-world problems.  

But if I really have to give an honest and cultivated opinion about the experience: the coffeehouse was everything I expected- delicious summer beverages, exquisite cakes, and the charming early 1900’s interior (which explains the absence of air-conditioning). Not the bitchy attitude of the server though.

Over lunch, we were already making plans for the evening. Suddenly I got these Jesus-freak messages from my bestfriends. For the nth time, they were pontificating on the virtue and fun of being vagitarians. And I was like, “Boys, if you're not sending me dick pics of yours or of any other guys, then you don’t have any business with me while I’m in Austria.” My bestfriends are righteous straight men who really love and support me by trying to convert me to heterosexuality.

Right then and there, I should’ve understood that it was a red flag, that something was coming up to stop me. Deep inside I was saying, ‘not today Jesus. Not today.’

In the afternoon we were in the gardens of Belvedere Palace when I realized that what I was feeling wasn’t just a case of prolonged hangover. My throat was dry. I had a slight cold. I was going to be sick. To make matters worse, my legs were hurting so bad because of the long walks that we’ve been doing that day.

By the time we were having dinner, we were so exhausted, and had no choice but to get back to our apartment. Jesus prevailed.

So I was back again to stuffing my mouth with that Viennese sausage. Come to think of it, who needs a man when you got something like this?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Viennese Sweet Tender Juicy Hotdog

Pride celebrations just finished in Vienna when my friends and I came. I’ve never seen so much sweet-smelling buff guys, cute haircuts, and bubble butts roaming around a city in my life. But then, I’ve never been to any gay pride celebration because I have been too busy wasting my life being slave to the minimum wage.

Even the traffic light is fabulous….

The first day went really smooth. Public transportation is efficient. The city is very clean, elegant, and charming. I fell in love with it, the way I did with Paris. Its rich and opulent palaces reflected the majesty and  former glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the imperial family of Hapsburg.

I went to see the gothic magnificence of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral and went to see Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca outside the Vienna State Opera House, together with other cultured paupers who can’t afford the exorbitant admission fee.

St. Stephen's Cathedral
The interior of the gothic church

Opera for the paupers and hampaslupa like me...

We ended the first night hanging out in front of the St. Charles Church. It seemed like the Viennese summer tambayan. It would have been nice having someone holding you while chatting in whispers in the night.

The men are attractive. The beauty of the Austrian male landscape is quite different from the Latin-lover charm of the Italians. I thought that perhaps I would have the chance (if I had the courage) to discover and thoroughly observe and assess what Austrian men are made of.

We decided to have dinner in our apartment, and save the man-hunting on the second day. Since I won’t be having any action at all on the first day, I bought these marvelous Viennese sweet tender juicy hotdogs.

If you think about it, it’s not really the size that matters. It’s how it can make you feel satisfied and give you a real happy ending. Well, in this case, it was a lot better than an awkward night out with some random guy. I really love Vienna.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tripster A.D. (After Death)- A Morbid Prologue Before Flying Elsewhere

The plane was about to take off when a thought crossed my mind all of a sudden. Death. I could die at that very moment. The plane engine could explode. Or it could be hijacked by some crazy ugly jihadist. Or my heart could have just stopped beating right then and there for having accumulated all the fats and shits that I’ve been eating in the past three decades of my life. 

Since I’m a believer of life after death, I said a little prayer. Confessed my sins. Asked forgiveness. Apologized to Jesus not so much for being gay, but for salivating at the sight of boners and bulges inside gray sweatpants, for belting out a high C pitch when I see my favourite daddy pornstar, or for being madly deeply in love with a straight guy. And by forgiving others’ homophobia caused by my willful choice to lust for penis (that’s what my friends said).
Having done that. I was worried of another thing. After death, who’s going to clean up my shit?

Have you ever thought about the things that you might leave behind? Have you ever thought that instead of leaving behind a legacy or a loving memory, your family and other people might discover your browsing history (because you’re inconsistent in cleaning that up), journals, letters, emails and private messages in your social media accounts, secrets, and shocking shits?

Well, I’m the kind of person who keeps a lot of secrets. They’re not dark unspoken things. I’m just a private person. Very very private. You can’t expect me to perform all those wild sex games out in the open, can you? Nah, just kidding!
I may not have a dungeon of pleasure nor any adult toy, but I do have journals and notebooks, and letters (yes, ancient snail mail stuff, I know right?), books that would have been censured by elder family members, and of course, my porn stash, LOL!
I should organize my stuff early on and find the suitable person to execute this secret will of mine, to clean up all this mess so I can leave behind a long lasting legacy.
So where should the cleaning-up start? How should it be executed? And who should do the dirty work for me?
As I ponder these questions, the plane made an abrupt landing. I was now on solid ground.
Finally! Hello Vienna!