Amusement Above Regrets June 7, 2007Posted by garapata in Love Potion, Random Musing.
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The world is lonely and the fading voice of Janis Joplin singing “Maybe” strains the last air into the darkness. Two young people sat in the bar of an anonymous restaurant. The girl is wearing pearls; her mouth is slowly dragging on a cigarette. The boy is consciously sipping his beer, quite looking straight into the wall opposite the bar. The lights are dim and the air was cold. Suddenly the girl leaned over the boy.
Conversation:Sigh June 7, 2007Posted by garapata in Love Potion.
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“Show me who you are..”
“Words are not enough to show who I am.”
“I am a living person and I need to do something to show who I am.. words are not enough..”
“Show me how.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“Look at the stars, if given the chance where will you start?”
“I guess I’ll start with the one that shines the least”
“And what is that? Digress.”
“The one with the least brightness…. A sigh.”
He starts smiling. Then sighing in a long pause.
“Don’t break the thread, please. Do you think all the stars are yellow?”
A long pause.
“Why do you say so?”
“Because they differ in intensities in regards to their heat.. Just like fire.”
“Just like you?”
“I guess so.”
“I want to know who you are. I demand to know who you are…”
“It will take time to know who I am… Are you willing to take that time?”
Sigh. A miraculous sigh.
“Don’t evade me with your beautiful elusiveness. I know you’re sad being alone.”
“But sometimes I want to be alone…”
“Just me. I want to spin away…”
“You are so beautiful.”
“How could someone so beautiful be so sad…”
“Let’s go somewhere else.”
Obituary— So It Goes April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Opinion.
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The news of his death halted me to continue Lolita. Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007), the man who gave life Kilgore Trout, died from suffering brain injuries after a fall at his home in Manhattan.
I have been working this article since his death, started writing as requiem for the man who wrote novels just for indulgence to Planet Tralmafador. No, requiem isn’t the right word. Maybe it’s an elegy for the comic writer who farted in his writings. Or maybe to pay my last respect to the black humorist who thought me the beauty of war and human frailty. I don’t know. I am no death vulture. Besides, dude, I am just a groupie with a cute ass trying to call himself a lover of his crappy novels. But Vonnegut is different.
One, Vonnegut is a writer. Two, he is one of my God Poet. And so on.
I used to snatch his books from the musty corners in Recto along with the other authors I care to read. I am his kid, dude. I can feel his fusty books, as Jedi feeling the force, rotting like hell in dingy corners in Recto or book stalls. I remember I bought Slaughterhouse Five for only 30 pesos (Oh, the book reminds me of a luscious dream). I chose Breakfast of Champion instead of Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich. I finished Slapstick in just a night contemplating every word of it in our bathroom enough to suffocate me from the smoke of Lucky Strike, the night I lingered the scent of my Ice Princess (Ha-ha, I can still remember what song I played while reading the book). Some of his novels I read are HTML files downloaded directly from IRC chat-room.
I thought the only thing that could stop the motor of the world is writer’s death. I am wrong. It saddened me that the world is still changing; the camera of life is still rolling, spinning its beauty in dismal vogue. The world seems doesn’t change at all. His death is just an ordinary day in a pixilated world obsessed with info-porn. No the same funeral fashion like what happened to Jean Paul Sartre funeral march. I am not kid who feel sad over the death of his kitty, but frankly speaking, dude, I haven’t got laid since his death.
Perhaps I’m just vain. Looking for something to write, something he can call himself a grand thing. And Vonnegut is the perfect character, a god in cage whom I can play with. A writer’s death is someone’s vanity. So why am I writing this piece? To borrow from Breakfast of Champion: “Because I felt like it, you stupid machine,” The Man said to the bear.
Kilgore Trout summed up our masquerade and what we really are in The Man’s tombstone: Not even the creator of the universe knew what the man was going to say next. Perhaps the man was a better universe in its infancy. Don’t ask me its meaning, dude, I don’t understand either.
I sure will read all his books again, as if reading like a kid for the first time, skimming with awes on its theme and style of episodic non-sequitur stories. Playing with The Postal Service’s Iron and Wine, I wonder how much yosi I can consume reading Sirens of the Titan.
I’m not sad. My only regret is that I never had the chance to thank him.
So it goes.
Indulging in Prowess April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Random Musing.
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by Juliana Theory
When you learn that candies and chocolates aren’t the sweetest things on earth and prince turning into frog isn’t the saddest, you are now beginning to accept your defeat – with the elegance of an adult and not with a childish grief.
You brace yourself for your next fight after you have risen from your fall. This time, that fight will not be about who will fall or who will be left standing. This time, it isn’t about who’s going to be happy and who’s going to grieve. It isn’t also about how things end but on how you will pick up yourself to start again.
It isn’t about the things you have lost but it’s about the lessons you’ve gained. It is your perspective and outlook that shall control you. This world shall continue spinning, maybe observing but unbothered by whether you make your life miserable or worse.
Taking risks can be alarming. Do not let hatred take control of you. You might weep again and it would not be sweet.You cannot justify your actions if you would obtain something or if you would lose everything that you’ve got. Nevertheless, it’s that peculiar feeling inside you that will keep you going.
And when you learn to understand things, congratulate yourself because you have overcome the greatest challenge of your life – and that is your triumph over your nightmares for your good dreams to continue.
Life goes quickly. To hurt and be hurt is a privilege.
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Good Morning, World! April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Random Musing.
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From the start I knew that I hold the key to my freedom but due to some serious emotional disturbances and cerebral malfunctions, I allowed myself to be embraced by an entity covered by a vast shadow of darkness. It was destructive – but I did enjoy every minute of it.
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Pink Films: Revealing the Unconventional Practicality April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Montage.
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by Juliana Theory
God created man and woman and because of our biological function, some believe that homosexuality is a disorder, yet there are certain factors that call for the need of an individual to adjust to its ever changing environment. We are now living in the 21st century; the Filipino people have to prepare themselves for the acceptance of gay and lesbian culture since whether we like it or not, homosexuals do exist in this world where morality matters yet possibilities are open. With issues so controversial and personality so odd, people decided to penetrate the subject into the world of film making.
Pink films shown in this era of global movie industry are not about the usual oppression and cruelty to homosexuals. These are nice oppositions to the usual dramas of superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile infatuations that are currently dominating our cinemas. These shows some issues that need to be addressed but are being ignored by the government. These teach the viewers to treat gays and lesbians normally because they have already asserted their position in the society. Homosexuals are no longer the stereotype often times ostracized individuals. They deserve to live peacefully as long as their goals and intentions are geared towards the good. Pink films reinforce our changing perceptions we think we know about the third sex that aren’t necessarily true.
Some people try to change the homosexuals’ orientation through psychiatric treatment but learning to manage one’s feelings and life style may be a more realistic goal. What schools and universities dare not teach us are the issues that one sector in the society is lamenting. The rise of pink films eradicates our ancient perceptions to the third sex and explain viewers something that our culture misled us. It displays a world so familiar yet still full of things to discover. In this era where homosexuality is continuously rising, pink films have the perfect time to come out to the world to set everything right and break the mainstream movie taboos.
Growing up is free. Open your mind
A Fairytale of Sort April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Love Potion.
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What is there beyond grimy windowpanes and asinine treetops?
His incomprehensible grasp through loving and maturing is near dementia in his heart. He tries to devour every single female that happens to pass by his side. His desire for them is not of the heart; it is of the flesh. He is never with someone, he is always alone. Alone and threading in his dark hole, with pizza and beer, contemplating. His ideas of conspiracies collaborate with the changes in time, for there is no morality available. That’s what he thinks. He uses himself as his canvass on which he wants to show everybody how his life works.
Oh, such and such. He agonizes the whole night with bitter despair and random invectives to the world.
What is forgiveness? He asked his beer bottle once. It’s the old in-and-out! For a loving girlfriend or a loving friend? That is forgiveness. He believes he can’t concede to any frivolities of the heart— like conscience or love. His heart only knows despair (well, as he sees it) and he longs for it. He wants solitude, feel the bitterness and impending doom in his solitary nights. That’s what he craves for, being alone. But isn’t he alone right now?
He brings out the sadism to all the women he attracts, or those who looses their way into his dingy room. His dark and sarcastic aura, his mobile gazes and his insulting laugh, he have mastered it all to compensate for his inability to feel love. Thus bringing the girls into an apathetic state to just bash him, lash cruel words at him, scratch out his eyes, bruise his skin and thus deflating their souls of humanity, and all the while he enjoys it. Because, as how he sees it, he grasps their souls in his hands and locks them in a cupboard of his thoughts.
He sucks the energy of all the female partners he have had. And when he gets tired, he blames it on them. He gets angry at them, seeing that they are beginning to be happy and contented with the life they are having, the truth is, he can’t penetrate into their sanity. He wants to digest them, to disembowel them, to scrutinize their hanging torsos and throbbing internal body organs, and eventually throwing them away in a pile – rotting and smelling.
Until he met Marthinna. The name still put shivers down to his throat. How Marthinna made his sanity leave him (or as what the white penguins hanging around his room said) and how she managed to wreck his despair still puzzles him. He did not once heard her abuse his name, nor felt her palms slapping his cheeks. He is a self-confessed Alex DeLarge (a wannabe that is) to women. He feels nothing and treats them as mere sexual objects. There is something in her eyes that befuddled him so much that he wanted to ravish her and spit at her face at the same time. She has the cruelest stare among them all. He still sees her eyes, groping into his mind, eating his flesh – his soul. She managed to take away his soul and spoil all his despair. And he loathed her more. The more he ravishes her in his mind, the more he becomes happy, and the more he hates her. He is just rotten, rotten inside. Or so he thought.
“Open your eyes,” he heard it sprang from Marthinna’s sweet, edible mouth, as if hearing from Penelope Cruz in Vanilla Sky. He cried with her name over and over while retching in the toilet bowl. He can’t even seem to touch her; he longs to see the passion of her humanity inside her. Marthinna, you will be the death of me. He ravishes the thought of making her insanely angry. Yes, that is what he wants, the part where he wants to spit at her face.
Cruel boy, but she is not charmed. He follows her everywhere, making him look as pathetic as he is. “Oh please be the Julie Gianni of my lucid dreams!” He thought as he sat by the cafe window, looking through the dirty, emaciated panes and asinine treetops below, less eagerly now, knowing that looking down at those trees is amusing. He gets a thrill out of it, holding his beer bottle, talking, talking and just talking to himself. How did she wreck his life in just a week? She humiliated him by going out with other men but him. Damn it! She knows he’s craving for her.
After weeks of agony, too much contemplation and pathetic gestures, he finally succeeded by buying a cup of coffee with her. They talked less and just stared at each other. He was dumb-founded. Never has he seen such stare, full of cruelty and miasmic beauty! He thought he is winning her.
Time is such a merciless punisher. “I am afraid I am in love with you,” said Marthinna. He felt love with her cruel eyes. He was shattered. He slapped her face hard. With blood faintly staining her lips she smiled at him and said “I love you” again and again. “Why do you love me so! Hate me! I have defiled you, hate me!” he cried. He grabbed her head, bashing it wildly at the wooden post of the room. She still said nothing. She looked deep into his eyes, not even a tear springing in her eyes. He let her go. Yes, he was angry and glad for it. He felt her love yet he hated his feelings. He stiffened at the sudden realization. Time is paying him back. Then she laughed. She laughed that sweet, sweet laugh of her. He felt every note of her verve leave red, swollen marks on his flesh. “Why, Marthinna, why do you hurt me so?” He asked her, half-crying and half-biting his lips, tasting blood springing from his tearing flesh. “Oh please be the Julie Gianni of my lucid dreams!” she said, laughing and laughing. Every laugh is a pain in his mind, a slap in his ego, and an insult to his life. Then she swooped up his face, kissed him tenderly, biting into his lips. When he started to kiss her back, she pulled away and spat at his face. Then she laughed, said her indomitable I love you’s and ran to the door, out to the streets. Her faint laugh could still be heard in his walls. Her smile won’t seem to take itself off his mind. So he made his way to his bedroom, groped for his dresser and grabbed his .35 caliber Smith and Wesson, it was just in time, he just oiled it last night. He wrote For my Marthinna in a piece of white paper, folded it three times, and then dropped it next to his feet. Then three gunshots fired in his apartment.
Luck played his life. He didn’t die. He was rushed to hospital. The gunshots did not penetrate any vital organ. The gunshots hit one part in his mind and altered his subconscious. In every woman he sees, he sees the face of Marthinna. He gasps and makes a choking sound whenever he sees Marthinna’s face. He became withdrawn until his body recovered.
He then got a shot of reality:
“Floyd, about this Marthinna, she’s just a character in a story you’ve been reading. Listen, she isn’t real.”
“No! She’s real! She went to my house. I can still feel her warm spit in my face.”
“You have to accept it, Floyd. Marthinna doesn’t exist.”
After a long time he has finally recovered. In his bed, after finishing his meal, felt a pleasant contentment in his life.
“It’s just delusion, Marthinna does not exist. I am not insane.” He smiled. He felt sleepy, as if he finally unearthed the bitter truth after a long time of self-delusion.
“Maybe my thoughts took a hold of me. Everything is just a thing in my subconscious. It’s a conspiracy I created against me. I have finally waked up from living in that sordid dream. Now is the time to reunite with reality.” He slept. He slept as if he had never slept before. He dreamed being born again, as a child, smiling at his mother, sucking her breast for milk, going to prep school, enjoying Christmas like children do, enjoying the sweetness of first love, dreaming about his happy life again.
He woke up, still didn’t open his eyes. He felt a slight caress of soft palm in his forehead. It’s comforting. The soft touch is familiar to him. Then he felt a kiss, a kiss so sweet, a kiss he knows from someone he truly loves.
“Open your eyes.”
A faint music brings him back to life.
My Thousand and One Arabian Nights April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Kultura.
by Stiban Graffiti
Three years of eating shawarma and kabsa and still I can’t wait for my next Arabian breakfast melee with two Saudi officemates.
Last Monday, Nassar brought two pieces of tamis with a plate of stir-fried lamb liver and that slimy banana pudding that I decided not to eat. Nonetheless, it was still another good meal but instead of finishing it with a cup of shay, I chose to give myself a cup of hot coffee. Coffee is still best than that Rabea tea and the smell of it brings some nostalgia of the good heydays.
Saudis like drinking teas. They take it as if it is their daily eight glasses of water. Speaking of water, one liter of mineral water here is more expensive than a liter of gasoline. In peso, a bottle of water here cost P13 while a liter of gasoline will only cost you half the price. That is why gasoline stations here are not that lucrative unlike in our country coz it is more profitable to sell water in the streets.
If there is one problem that until now I haven’t solved in my stay here – it is the ‘lost in translation’ problem. Two years ago in Riyadh, speaking Arabic was not a necessity because there were only very few Saudis in the construction company that I was with. Most of them knew how to speak English and all the other nationalities like Pakistani and Turkish workers understand basic English. My boss then was French and was eloquent in speaking English. If I just stayed longer with Saudi Oger maybe at this time I have already added few French words in my head. And there were those who didn’t understand English and would only talk with you in basic and fragmented Arabic that you can already manage to squeeze out the thought from it. But I did manage to overcome my basic translation class long ago especially the Arabic numerals. It took me a week before I was able to memorize how to write 1 to 10 in Arabic numerals. The numeral 1 is the same – only it is slanted here, 2 is just a refraction of 7, 3 is the same as the Arabic 2 only it has two inverted arcs on top, number 4 is a mirrored 3, 5 is a small circle, 6 is a slanted 7, 7 is written as a capital V, 8 is an inverted V, 9 remained the same but slanted, and 10 is simply a dot. Still, learning how to communicate in Arabic is not that important to me because unlike other OFWs here, I don’t see myself spending my eternity here. Perhaps two more years is enough for me and I will head my way towards other country to conquer. If you didn’t know, I am still dreaming of Japan. Coz it is more interesting to learn Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana so that I can fully enjoy watching hentais.
Aside from the language barrier, there is that wide culture gap. Adopting with the conservative culture of the Kingdom was a maze rather than a shock for me. Their culture was very different from ours but, in some way, I admire them because they have kept with their traditions and moral values. That simply explains why Saudi Arabia has maintained its low crime rate compared to other countries. It is only married couples and family members who can walk together in public. So for those who want to meet and screw a girl here, doing it here especially in public is a forbidden act. If a policeman catches you, for sure you will spend a day or more in the prison – that is if you have no marriage certificate to prove that it is your wife that you are with and not your next object of sexual desire. Aside from the policemen, there are the so-called Muttawas observing around who are Saudi elders with long beards that are strict in keeping the Kingdom in its order and moral standards. They are the counterparts of our grandparents. They might hit you at the back with their sticks.
Saudi women and the rest of the women of other nationalities wear black robes called abayah and never would you see them wear casual dress in public (with the exception of those who are working in the hospitals). I even saw in a department store here the most conservative Barbie doll that wore an abayah and it even came with a face net. I just wonder if she also goes crazy towards Ken. Perhaps not.
It is unavoidable for me to compare them to our Filipinas of these days and it is quite depressing to know that many of our Pinays are now losing their Maria Clara standards and instead they prefer to be the clones of Britney Spears. Many of them are now involved in immorality and are tied-up with their horny and asshole boyfriends for giving free sex every night. In cyberspace, they are pornstar wannabees because just right after few exchanges of emoticons and f_^*ng lies they will start removing their skirts and bras and off their cleavages and tits to be flaunted in front of their webcams for the gratification of cranky late night YM users for free again. Why go to Avenida? Why pay for a prostitute? There are many free whores around especially in the university belt. All of us should go to hell, if there is such a place.
What is happening with our women now? Is this what they call women liberation and social equality? And is it Angelica Panganiban that I just saw wearing skimpy bikinis for a men magazine? Maybe not, because that girl is not the same pretty little girl that I saw few years back in the children movie ‘Princess Sarah.’ But if she is really the Angelica Panganiban that I first knew then I must start to prepare the Manoling Morato in myself to accept the possibility that Charlene and Kiray will someday be the cover girls of FHM and Maxim. Argh! Am I just blinding myself from the reality that our country is not as it was before? Or am I just losing the dickhead in me because of my awful celibate life here in the desert?
Shada! What am I thinking about? I should go back to my topic before I find myself lighting candles for the enlightenment of our country’s crumbling morality.
Good timing! I just emptied again a can of Bebsi and this just wraps up another worthless contribution of mine for now.
Emptiness In Filled Diner April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Journal.
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by Rica Dueñas
It’s in those long rides that I see Truth in the horizon, motivating me to push the throttle in its fullest to touch it, yet it is unreachable in my grasp.
It’s like eating a burger with (unsure) meat, and the bread that is too toasted and drinking the most tepid coffee inside an (almost) dilapidated diner. I can smell the decay of flowers in the pot beside the window of my seat. Where does the truth lie? Tom Robbins saw it in a pack of Camel cigarettes. Alexander Solzhenitsyn saw it inside a bitter cold prison. It’s as if Truth is a wandering Jew; whenever you see it, the maddest of luck comes with it.
Where does the truth lie? Tom Robbins saw it in a pack of Camel cigarettes. Alexander Solzhenitsyn saw it inside a bitter cold prison. It’s as if Truth is a wandering Jew; whenever you see it, the maddest of luck comes with it.
Inside the empty diner, I saw myself reflected in the fragmented (and damned) mirror in a corner. I see myself clearly, making me feel that I have my 20-20 vision again. But when I touched my temples, I felt my eyeglasses.
Looking at the beautiful lumps of meat inside a warm bun is like tasting it; and smelling the smell of burning tires outside the diner (the window is just too open for a diner window to be) alters my glaze, from a tasty piece of meat into a rubbery, distracted taste. Is this the Truth, I wonder, as I brush away a trace of morning dew on my nose.
My teeth were chattering, all the way from the highway into the nearest open diner. Until now, when I finished eating my lonely burger (which once had been beautiful) and drinking my tepid coffee, my teeth are still chattering. What is in there beneath the chills and thrills of driving? What motivates drivers to push farther and farther to where they came from?
And then, in a sudden stillness, a ray of sunshine spots the dirty white tablecloth where I am stationed. A car pulled over.
The next thing I knew, I was again chasing truth in the horizon.
A Tragedy April 26, 2007Posted by garapata in Counterview.
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The wide Manila streets, that January morning, swarmed as always with cars and buses, cabs and limos, ambulances and people that, tired of motor vehicles, had chosen bikes, roller-blades, or skateboards to reach their jobs. A wan sun, firmly decided to make its way through the pearl grey clouds, sprinkled a pale yellow light over the wet asphalt, and the hard skyscraper’s cement, giving slippery glows to the numberless windows. The City, awaken and fizzy like the air that filled up Clara’s lungs, looked washed and ready to live the beautiful but cold day that was starting up.
Clara had just dropped her children off at school, but she didn’t feel like going back home. The City seemed to invite her. She decided to challenge the cold weather and reach a little store on First Avenue, for she knew she would find the Italian newspaper there. Afterwards she would probably walk by the bakery shop and breathe the scents of sesame, poppy seeds, and freshly baked bread, and then… who would know?
A ten minute stroll divided Clara from the little store, but with the freezing January wind blowing up to her face, a ten minute walk seemed much longer to her. She felt relieved when she pushed the shop doorknob and heard the familiar tinkle over the door that announced new customers, as she entered the well heated small store. The shopkeeper welcomed her from behind the counter with a friendly smile and a “Good morning” that revealed his strong accent: he was Indian and had long, gnarled hands and witty eyes.
“Good morning,” Clara answered, and started to look for the Italian paper.
Again the tinkle announced a new customer. He was a middle aged man who took a lotto ticket and started to fill it up leaning on the counter at the shopkeeper’s right. Clara found the newspaper she wanted, she slipped it off form its spot, and neared the shopkeeper with the intention of paying. At that moment she heard the familiar tinkle again: with a gust of cold wind, from the open door, entered a… a…. man…
He was a medium sized, black man who tried hard not to totter from the top of his high heel shoes. The black fishnet tights enhanced his powerful claves, as the hem of a long beige coat, tight at the waist with a black belt, covered the knees. The deep V-neck showed the naked skin under which stuck out the clavicles. It was easy to guess, further down, a manly chest, but the broad coat lapels were pumped up with fake breasts. He was holding, through the bloody red long nailed fingers of one hand, a golden, smoky cigarette holder. A beautiful crocodile purse was hanging down from the other gloved hand. Neither the pink blush nor the bright blue eye shadow— that covered the upper eyelids up to the eyebrows, the black mascara, and the cherry red lipstick— couldn’t soften his masculine features, nor could the golden, whorish earrings that dangled on the two sides of his jaw. But it was the little narrow brimmed, black hat with purple fake tiny flowers on top, and its short black veil covering the forehead that gave to the character his final touch.
Clara couldn’t prevent herself from stopping and staring at him. The customer that had entered after her had stopped filling up his lotto ticket.
“Do you have Camel cigarettes?” Asked the black man in a low, velvety voice.
The shopkeeper tried to pretend to have noticed nothing, he held the cigarettes out to him, and said: “Yes, sir…”
“I AM A SHE!” Burst the black fellow. “I am a she, how dare you call me sir?”
The man with the lotto ticket started to sneer as the shocked shopkeeper mumbled. “But… I… but…” And then, without meanness, in a terrible mistake, he just let out the fatal word again: “Sir…”
As a thunderstorm came the answer: “YOU’RE INSULTING ME, I AM A SHE, I AM A WOMAN!” Screamed the black man. He snatched the cigarettes from the shopkeeper’s hand, threw the money on the counter, opened the door making it tinkle again in a cynical sneer, and rushed out of the store still yelling out loud: “I AM A SHE, I AM A SHE!”
The door banged. For a few moments a heavy silence fell upon the store. Finally the shopkeeper started to mumble: “But… But…” He was confused and looked at the man with the lotto ticket, who was laughing sarcastically now, then he met Clara’s eyes, “How can he live like that?” He asked her.
And what could Clara answer?
Her nice, promising Manhattan morning, had started like a nightmare for that miserable fellow who, certainly, had spent an incredible amount of time, and many energies to try to look, to himself and to the world around him, like somebody he wasn’t, and would never be.
A tiny little three letter word, in a fraction of a second, in the country and the city where— as everybody says everything is possible— had destroyed all his dreams.