“There is more maturity here and none of the “smartness” which he himself came to deplore.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, reviewed in the July 1925 issue of Vanity Fair.
Someone lost her camera, I stole bites of meat, we were discussing about movies, sex and what have you, and then somebody jokes about me being shot and reacting, ‘awkward’.
Yeah, the most random things.
It wasn’t always a silky smooth sail on a candy colored ocean, full of swimming gummy fishes underneath a sugar coated pretzel boat, underfoot veiny stemming cirrus clouds reflected in colors of ROYGBIV by an incandescent rainbow. There wasn’t always the bright shiny sun wearing RayBan Wayfarers and a cheeky smile holding a bottle of soda, its glow reflected upon every smiling face, warming up their insides making them overdose with laughter.
Once upon a time there was just darkness, a murky river flowing on an endless channel, deeply situated in the woods where thick trunks and branches of trees hugged every space there was for carbon dioxide to peregrinate. Twigs as sharp as knives, roots so deep on the earth they go back to the surface to elongate some more, noises from owls, insects and the unknown. Then the moon lit so bright, almost sinister it gave off light, like a headhunter separated from its intended portmanteau, with spots that mimicked pimples on a face, holes that were passage to deep secrets, forever unexplored.
The glow of goodness was penetrated once more by the consuming rage of the dark. Never will it be defeated from now on. The absence of light a myth, light may no longer even be a word, darkness never questioned, iniquity a prerequisite.
The protagonist has fallen. Darkness not even in existence. Inexistence no longer a word, an idea, a meaning. Then there was nothing.
I read people’s blogs and they always say ‘this is my blog so I’ll post whatever I want!’ I follow suit! #selfiezzzz
His struggle only seemed to make the crowd cheer, but were those ovations for him or for the bull he wrestles to the ground? Only seconds from the screaming, applause and other sounds he only recognizes as noise begin to fade in the background as the proceeding in front of him become the source of what he’s trying to live his life into, a rodeo participant. Framed by a fence made in old wood and a stranger’s plaid back intensifies the twists of his intestines, the dripping of his faucet like pores and the gavel pounding of his heart which accumulate into fear as his eyes were drawn, almost glued, to the brutal constraint of the fierce animal.
He heard his team leader encourage the team, especially him, the frail little one always so willing to prove his masculinity. He looks at the team leader and assures him with a smile to let him know he’s not afraid. The fear wasn’t lingering on his eyes though, nor was it painted on his lips, it was his body that proved it except that it was covered fully in clothing so it wouldn’t convey. He receives an anonymous tap on his back, he turns around and pat reveals the comforting face of one of his teammates, one of the people who looked at him when he spoke during a discussion, never undermined his strength and abilities and believed in his confidence tackling a raging bull thrice his size.
Looking over to the other teammates, the ones he couldn’t get the deserved respect or the support he wanted from, creases form on his forehead and a feeling of disregard shields the forthcoming thoughts he has of them to concentrate on the tournament. To be fair, there wasn’t any disrespect, hissy comments or shady looks, there wasn’t any talking or eye contact either, he felt like a person on a team for them and not a member.
They untangle their inveterate ropes, practice lassoing with the graceful circular motion of their wrists, throw, repeat. Never have two of the members of this team cared so much for him than those repetitive activities they so religiously inhered.
One time, he recalls, he almost got into a fight with one of them. It was during practice when the ‘rude one’ went for the bull’s head to pin it down on the muddy arena when he was supposed to tie its feet. Left with nothing to help immobilize the bull, he leans down near its stomach and quivers to fish out an idea where to rest his weight on the bull for future reference of any solicited aid. The ‘rude one’ didn’t follow the plan infuriating him to confrontation, to claim what he was promised, the bull’s head.
The noise of the crowd came back; slowly its volume went from silence to low, to low to loud, to loud to very loud, to very loud to almost a deafening sound. A group of first timers joining the rodeo, entering the arena pretending not to be scared, holding their ropes with confidence, awaiting for the sweet release of the bull, to claim for victory after a crowd screaming words of encouragement.
Moving in slow motion, the dust flying in their faces, they manage to gain the strength lost as they took the first few steps entering the blood-mud-soaked arena, arranged positions like that of was planned, posture firm and shivering, recalling the strategy, the heavy wooden cage opens, out came the bull racing towards them, its horn facing the competition, then everything went from crystal clear to heartache inducing and body pain blur.
It was as if the contents of their mind have abandoned them, instead of slipping it disappeared like clouds on a hot day, everything but the thought fueling their determination to press the raging creature to the ground, tie it down mimicking those they’ve seen their peers do and incessant research on Western men on YouTube, the trophy on their minds… alas, the emcee has called the period loud and clear, leaving them to still chasing the animal the whole time. Only on the final bouts of their time limit have they managed to successfully pin and tie the animal, but the act solely for pride to finishing the task.
There he was, smiling to his friends, and maybe even to the crowd with cameras in tow, unable to help for the ‘rude one’ took the head yet again, desperate to help but unable to, he uses his charms to fool everyone of his assist and make known his existence in the group with the help of documentation. He leaves the arena not with a heavy heart or dissatisfaction but with relief and an un-existing list he could put a check mark to.
Fish eye lens smothered in Vaseline lighting, slick 60’s hair smelling of powder gel, navy suit shining under the sun, brown leather file case heavy and sweating, a tall building, the man looks up. The lens move upward displaying the tip of the building and the blue sky tinged with cirrus cottons, the sun obliterating his already squinted view, three birds pass from the left, his eyes follow the flying creatures, he stares directly to the sun, he shuts them tightly.
The man opens them slowly, sea blue-sea green-yellows-and-rays of red appear filtering his view, his eyeballs seem a little painful, he adjusts his vision, back to normal again. He looks down on his shoes, brown leather and crinkly, soles almost giving up on the hot concrete, he feels the warmth of his toes, he looks at the building’s entrance, creases form on his forehead. He moves his knees, he follows the loco motor with his legs, both legs moving, he’s walking, his hips ache, he feels his sweat dripping slowly on his left armpit. Entering the building through revolving doors, seeing the surrounding spin a little as he moves—revolving, going with the flow, the chill of the aircondition relieves him from the heat, the smell of cold recycled air wafts like stale pancakes, he exhales.
What if the answer was no and I couldn’t take it? It wouldn’t be the first time I couldn’t. I mean, I should really be starting to accept rejection, not that I haven’t had any of it. Just that usually I kind of get what I always want. But that magic I’ve been bragging about secretly is waning. Maybe it started longer than I’ve noticed but it definitely has stopped rubbing off my lucky ass. Where would I be emotionally, psychologically, socially, if the answer was no?