You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...


-Walt Whitman


17.1.10

stranger than fiction


HE SAT THERE CROSS-LEGGED, eyes squinting on a page of a frayed book he held in his hand. Beside him was a wide window that filled the cabin with pale yellow light. A cup of creamed coffee sat on the table in front of him, its mere aroma waking his senses and sharpening the edges of the words unraveling before his eyes. He would take a sip after a page or two while adoring the places that whipped by as the train he’s on traversed a green countryside. As he read along, his lips slowly curved into a smile: a definite sign that the proceeding hours would turn into a gripping literary adventure.

The man loved reading, fiction in particular. In some ways, he needed it more than wanting it. For him, it was a form of coping rather than a hobby or an indulgence for aesthetic pleasure. He had always seen fiction as a sweet form of escape; that if life would suck, he’d only need a good book to get past a bad day; that he could pretend to live in a world far from reality and to be someone else, at least until he reaches the last word of it. The best part of it was being able to do all these things without anything, except for an open mind and a willing heart to get lost, of course—the only two things he had left to lose.

He flipped a page and started on another, unconsciously and silently mouthing the words. In the page, the author decided to describe a girl. She was beautiful, the book said. She had melancholic eyes that anyone who fell on her gaze would feel an urge to be hopeful to see even a hint of happiness in them.

The man through the years had developed a strange way of picturing characters in the stories he read. He would usually do this, by imagining faceless heads, then one by one, he would think of people’s faces that would fit the author’s description (usually actors or actresses he saw in movies). Having read how the author portrayed the mysterious girl, he took a sip of coffee and momentarily closed his eyes. The gears turned as he tried to imagine the girl’s face; sad but painfully beautiful. However, only one kept on flashing in his mind’s eye. Crystal clear, it arouse from oblivion, crashing hard on his imagination, and burning like a beacon in a moonless night. She was someone of real significance to him. And something that should’ve been buried long ago was unearthed in a heartbeat. She saw her staring at him with those lonely eyes, and moving and speaking in the way the author wanted her to. And with that, the story turned into something more; something beyond fiction. He actually wanted to make the girl happy.

The girl was sitting on a bench, eyes to the heavens as she waited for the rain to fall. From a distance was guy gawking at the girl, captivated by the beauty and sadness she emanated. The man immediately tried to give a face to the guy but ended up giving his face instead without any regards to what the author had said of how the guy looked like. And with that, the story grew a life of its own. Strange, but to the reader, it felt good to meet the love of your life for the second time and see it from a distance. He gave up that love many moons ago, but fiction revived it, stronger than ever before. In the pit of his

stomach, he was wishing for the story not to end. But like all books, he knew it had to conclude happily or tragically. A happy ending was all he could hope for.

Page by page, the man continued to read. The yellow light from the window darkened into an orange shade. Sunset is imminent. The love story would soon end. And it’s only a matter of time before he would celebrate a “happily ever after” or be left empty just like the piece of china in front of him. He paused for a moment and let himself revel in the majesty of the retiring sun, the compartment filled with its light.

He had to intentionally rub his eyes before he could believe what’s in front of him. Sitting on the other side of the table was a woman. He looked into the eyes he knew so well but at that moment, he swore he saw a glint of bliss in them, a little faded but still pleasant to behold. He stole a glance at the open book in his hand and back to her, incredulous expression swallowing his face, mouth hanged half-open unable to speak.

“Hi.” She said; a shy smile amplified the unassuming beauty. “It’s me.”

“It’s you.” His face grew blank. He slowly bowed his head, swiftly browsed the remaining

pages of the book, and looked back. “It’s really you.”

“You’re still into that fiction thing, aren’t you?” She asked.

“Not anymore.” He reached for her hand and closed the book. He knew in his heart how the story would end this time.

Meanwhile in an alternate universe, a boy was sitting in his study. A smile was evidently illuminated by the table lamp. The boy was about to finish the last page of his book; about the story of man on a train reading his way to the love of his life. And soon, it ended, happily as the boy had hoped.









29 comments:

RJ said...

...'ve been missing your writings, Ron. Let me guess, the setting of the story is in England. o",)

Surprisingly, the story happend in the late afternoon. Palagi kasing gabi ang eksena mo rito.

But in the 'alternate universe' there's a lamp in the boy's study! Just wondering why you love dark scenes, black template and a blog name with the word 'coffin'! o",)

In real life, I love happy endings; but in the book or a movie, I prefer a tragedy.

ELAY said...

jeez master, you never fail to amuse me...

Mon said...

base ako? hehe

another great entry! thumbs up luke.

how's 2010 so far?

www.monzavenue.com

lucas said...

RJ: hindi ko maxado napag-isipan ang setting...but yeah, maybe. i love england. hehe! maybe he's on the hogwarts express! hahaha!

hmmm...i'm not sure. i guess darkness is a good figurative element...like everything will come out as a surprise. but generally, i like the eeriness of it. it's the best part of the day to think and reflect.

i love tragic endings too. just imagine if jack dawson survived in titanic. tragedy should stay in the world of fiction. unfortunately, that's not how things are happening in reality. life is full tragedy. no wonder we crave for happy endings.

elay: thanks, elay :)

Mon: not quite. hehe! thanks. 2010's been great. alot to look forward too :)

Andrei Alba said...

hm. just like the movie.

眼淚 said...

happy new year............................................................

havenlei said...

galing ng utak mo 'no? mabulaklak at mabunga.

lovely bones?You didn't read the rest of my entry?tsk.pag binasa mo yun lalo mo hahanapin yun movie nun.lolz. the movie's better than the book.usually namn kapag ginawang movie ang isang novel pumapanget... not with lovely bones.

I died after watching it.waaaaahh!

Mangyan Adventurer said...

Amazed naman ako masyado sa writings mo.. Love it! :)

richard said...

aw.. what can i say.. as usual, nag epistaxis na naman ako... could you translate it to tagalog? lols...

@ rj: emo kasi si ron.. kaya concepts nya- black, night, coffin.. haha

@ elay: amused? i 2nd d motion

Pau said...

That's some writing you've got!! Seriously. Beautiful. Your writing absolutely goes with your layout and music. JUST GREAT.

Keep it up!!
Following you btw. :D
And I'll be putting your blog on my roll if you don't mind. :)

orville said...

ung background ng page na to.. nagbibigay sa akin ng kakaibang pakiramdam. feeling ko nasa dimension mo ako at hawak mo ang bawat kilos ng mga tao.

first time ko po..

lucas said...

andrei: yeah! that movie title popped in my head!

chinese guy???: happy new year!

havenlei: yun na nga eh. kaya hindi ko binasa kasi ayoko ma-spoil ang panonood ko! hehe! i hate major spoilers...hehe! i agree with you. only few movies captures the beauty of the books from which they are adapted. :) thanks a lot!

mangyan ad: thanks again, mate! :)

richard: emo nga yata ako. pero hindi ako tulad ng mga suicidal emos. i don't even have the hair to be emo. haha! thanks! try ko itagalog haha!

pau: thanks pau. i'll visit your blog later, ayt? :)

orville: haunting right? new moon soundtrack yan..hehe!

the spool artist said...

ron, i have a proposition... i publish books on small, guerilla type quantities and sell them on my gallery called poetry here in cambodia. i've published and sold a couple of handmade books from 2 american authors and we split the profit 50/50. would you be interested in having a compilation of your stories and poetry published and sold here?

if so, maybe we can talk about it further and discuss how you want to go about with it...

send me an email!

i am always blown away by your stories and poetry!

richard said...

i hope someday, may tagalog na. lol.. nakakapressured ba? lols... ok lang yan, emo... wag lang magsuicide.. o kaya sa sobrang emo, mababaliw na. haha

Manech said...

A story about a story. I love it. :)

I believe fiction is always there to run side-by-side with reality; fix certain details that reality cannot.

This is a really nice post. :)

kalansaycollector said...

i miss dropping by here. ;)

tomato cafe said...

whoever he is who's spinning the plot of most of my friends' lives makes a perfectly good use of tragedy.

suppose you become the author of my life, where are you gonna put me? hehe

lucas said...

richard: may tagalog naman akong naisulat ah...dalawang piso? hehe. at truth or consequence. hanapin mo na lang. haha!

manech: that's why i love fiction. i can make alterate universes and stretch time at will. :)

KALANSAY: thanks for dropping by!

tomato cafe: it depends. haha!

andrei alba said...

hey.

richard said...

okay.. kung nagkakaepistaxis ako sa english mo, baka sa tagalog mo, sa mata na lalabas ang blood plus hematemesis and hemoptysis.. lols...

Ax said...

i fancy fiction stories. i even asked myself if the life i am living is something made by someone in an alternate dimension living the 'real life.' i supposed i haven't found my answers yet..

if there comes a time in the near future that the answer is given to me, i'll sure to drop by here and storytell what i discovered.

lucas said...

andrei: hey there!

richard: hahaha! hematemesis! hahaha! bloody funny! hahaha!

ax: you have a pretty wild mind, Ax. continue searching for answers and feel free to share... sometimes i wonder what if i am a dream of someone dreaming in his sleep..haha!

Ax said...

the probability that we are in a phantasmagoric dream, of let us say in a chicken's nightmare, is infinite. yes, we are probably in a chicken's dream but we do not have facts to support the statement.

but since our theoretical creature, in an image of chicken, is in it's 57% completion of it's sleeping process. (this is rooted on our imagination that we are living in a someone's dream. and that someone is a chicken.)

so let us say it's a chicken, after all we do not want a shark.

that chicken who created us is in a state of stasis-like stage. one by one he formed us, you, me, and all others in this shared common fictional reality. in the rapid eye movement stage of the chicken's sleep, where dreams occur, is the moment we are talking.. yes, right now.

so, i am hoping that our theoretical chicken will fall into slumber until millions of years. dreaming and providing energy to this part of another dimension, an alternate world, infinite distance from the real 'real world.'

ayun lang, inaantok na ako. hehe.

Dhianz said...

ei... nde koh makita cbox moh.. juz wanna say hi lang po... dehinz akoh makapagbasa kc dumaan lang cmeeh online... hope 'ur doin' aight... namiss koh d2 at magbasa ren... ingatz.. Godbless! -di

Confession Nook said...

loved it..(as if there's anything i don't love in your writings)

i am waiting for you to write a book..i have a premonition..

keep you pen leaking..

Manech said...

True, true. I'm beginning to love it too. And for the same reasons. :)

Denis said...

ron, lets go publish u a book na =)

Dori and Auj said...

when will you write your own novel? I'd be one of the first to buy. :)

Myk2ts said...

happy new year Ron...