Smells like (short) nostalgia

Screw you, Charles R. Cross. Screw you and Heavier Than Heaven. Screw you and your research. Now I can’t let a whole day pass without listening to either Bleach or Nevermind or In Utero… and feeling the soul-crushing weight of April 1994 again. Screw you and your damn book to hell.

Of course, I’m aware that many have dismissed Heavier Than Heaven for being based mostly on the narrative of the most untrustworthy of sources — the blabbermouth Widow. But that doesn’t make his story any less painful, at least to me, a 90s kid who’s more than just a casual listener of his band and, for good or ill, considers him some sort of a personal hero, corny as it sounds.

Now excuse me while I scratch old wounds.

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Guy named Richey

MSPListening to “A Design for Life” on YouTube. Manic Street Preachers keeping me company at 2 a.m.

Just finished reading Manic Street Preachers: Sweet Venom by Martin Clarke. Details of Richey Edwards’ harrowing battle with mental illness — the self-mutilation, the eating disorder, the dependency on drinks, and finally his disappearance — shook all the sleep out of my system. Like death, mental illness has always been a terrifying and yet fascinating topic for me.

Richey Edwards. Left his hotel room without checking out in 1995 and was never seen again.

I could follow up on his sad story by reading Rob Jovanovic’s A Version of Reason, but I’m afraid doing so would put me in a very dark place inside my head, and from there it would be a long hard crawl back to the light, and even then I doubt if I could come out of it whole.

So I picked The Hot Kid instead, by the late Elmore Leonard. Critics can accuse Leonard of a lot of things, but writing depressing stuff is not one of them.

“A Design for Life” has just ended. I think I’ll listen to it one or two more times, jump to bed with The Hot Kid (man, that sounds… weird),  read until sleep comes and the vision of a lonely boy with cuts on his arms fades away.

And tomorrow when I wake up, I’ll welcome the sunshine more than ever.

And so that was the holidays

Writing this on the first day of 2014 while taking advantage of a little downtime at work.

December 2013 had been a lousy month. It started with a promise, and then somewhere along the way it spiraled down and never recovered. It was the month my daughter Raven got confined two times — at Makati Medical Center from Dec. 10 to 13 for acute tonsillitis with severe allergic reaction, and at Antipolo Doctors Hospital from Dec. 22 to 24 for UTI. She recovered, thank God, but damage had been done on our holiday plans, not to mention wallets, and it was beyond repair. Murphy’s Law, I guess.

Other stuff made my December look like it should be crumpled and chucked into a wastebasket, but I’d rather not elaborate.

Biking provided solace. Never was I happier than when I’m pedaling alone on those fair-weather weekend mornings, randomly picking streets and side streets, testing my endurance on uphill climbs, freewheeling on downhill roads, eating cheap lugaw for breakfast—just me and my raggedy-ass ride and the wind on my face. And my thoughts, too. Been doing a lot of thinking these days, and perhaps that’s where the problem lies. I’d never met an over-thinker who’s happy in life.

Notable events that happened between my Japan trip and now:

All fun and memorable in their own way. And yet, as religious scholars are wont to say: Shit happens, man.

So: 2014. New hope, new page, new leaf. All that crap. Right now, I’m only thankful that my family celebrated Christmas and New Year complete and in relatively good health. A lot of people, especially in those Yolanda-hit areas, can’t say the same thing.

Rockstar obituary: Karl Roy

Karl Roy, 1968-2012

Something weird happened to me today.

I was on board a tricycle on my way to work when I was suddenly gripped by fear of death so strong I couldn’t shake it off. It was a stray feeling that left me depressed and totally freaked out at the thought that one day I’ll leave this world for good, and there’ll be nothing but darkness. No wind, no sound. Just darkness. Forever and ever.*

I was still freaking out when a friend texted me about Karl Roy’s death. Cardiac arrest, he said. 43 years old.

It was a bleak nine-hour grind at the office.

*The religious could argue about the afterlife, about an everlasting existence with God and His angels, and on a normal day I would believe them. But on a day like today, with overcast sky and rain threatening to taint summer, there’s hardly any room in my head for butterflies and sunshine. Forgive me.