The Dancer

Can we just do it all day?  To unstress? To unburden? It seems that the greatest escape from this reality  of immobility and monotony  is found in this form of art called dance. It is never grey. Never lonely. It is not remote. It is an adventure that seeks nothing but movement—movement that defies gravity, disproves logic, and breaks laws. It is the same movement that you feel when you are still.  It is the same movement that enables you to be one with the music and so be one with a single beat of happiness. Yes. Happiness. Joy. Ecstasy.

The dancer is ecstatic. The dancer feels no pain, no sorrow, no doubt, no regret. The dancer blissfully flies and reaches the clouds. The dance makes you forget things and engrosses you into a world not of fantasy but of genuineness as it brings you out from a dull, gloomy body that does not even know how to take side-steps.

Five. Six. Seven. Eight. The dancer learns real counting. What do we count in this life full of unquantifiable lies? Pretensions? What totality do we get from all the hypocrisies and insincerities? How much more do we need to subtract from the roster of human beings who know not of deceit and intimidation? How much more? It is such a waste to ponder over these questions if you do not know your counting numbers.

Timing is of essence. So is time. When you dance, the hands of the clock are gone. The only moment you get back to your mortal senses is when the music fades and starts to stop. But the thing is you can always replay. You can always select songs. You can always can. Dance is a can. Not a promise of will or may. It is a can.

Dance is the only thing in this universe that can humiliate you best. Bow to the idea that you’re always the worst dancer in front of it. You do not even have the right to stand face to face with it. But dance loves the person who dares to perform it.

The dance intimidates no one. It harms no one. It only befriends. Loves. It arouses just passion, and passion alone. It makes you feel beautiful. Wonderful even. It delights you and sees you through. It understands you. It appreciates you. It can be the only one that partners with you when all else have turned off their speakers.

So can we just do it all day?  To unstress? To unburden?

Headache is a purple thing

Headache is a purple thing
But the language is altogether different—
Barely do you see and breathe
As natural as the universe dictates
Due to the mere presence of the nameless
Or the plain buttercup;
Let’s just dance the pain away
But be not the barefooted dancer
Not the dancer without faith
For if you shall be so obstinate
The partner, protective and caring, shall be inflexible
And the dance is a loss
And it causes even more pain.

The Birthday Celebrator

It wasn’t that her day was a mess. It wasn’t that no one in school made her happy in her special day. In fact, she received so many surprises. She had to take home a lot–balloons, cakes, boxes and boxes of gifts–from her students. So many people greeted her too, sincere and insincere ones alike. There was just this feeling that she didn’t know how to label. A feeling that couldn’t be uncovered by any gift wrapped.

After school, she changed clothes. With a friend, she brought home her birthday presents. With that same friend, she went to a mall and straight to the place where they danced. Dancing always made her happy. Dancing was one of her favorite things in the world. Dancing would make all sadness disappear for the moment. But today, even if she was able to dance, that unlabeled feeling still lingered. Yes she felt happy but not really. This time, she was the one who’s insincere.

Exhausted from dancing, she and her buddy went to a Japanese restaurant. While eating, she told him that something’s wrong. Despite the many surprises that she received, not to mention the dancing, she felt a deep sadness. Then she realized aside from her Kuya, nobody else from her family greeted her ‘happy birthday.’ Her Ate greeted her in reply to a text she sent her and apparently, she forgot it’s her birthday. She as well realized that oh it’s her first time to celebrate her birthday away from her family. This year she started boarding near her workplace.

Around 9:30 in the evening, she arrived at the boarding house, with the same unlabeled feeling creeping inside her. She changed into her pajamas, took photos of her gifts, lay down her bed, sat, lay down again, stood, and looked into the mirror. “What’s wrong with me?”

She felt like crying but she didn’t. She just lay down again, then sat at one corner, trying to figure out what could’ve made this day happier. It was too late for surprises she thought. It’s almost 10. Everyone was sure about to sleep. And tomorrow, it would be another day. Not hers anymore. No room for anything now that would make this almost-finished day extra special. At this thought, she felt sadder. The place was getting colder. She lacked something. She missed something. She hated something.

Suddenly, there was light. There were lights. Her room’s door opened and the lights entered. Two candles, each displaying the number two. 22 they said, with wonderful flickers of fire above them. 22. She had just turned twenty two today.

The lights were so tiny but beautiful enough to be blinding. It took a while for her to believe that what she saw entered was real. It was her Ate. It was her Kuya. It was her Ate’s boyfriend. They were real. They were there. They, from far, far away, went all the way to her boarding house just to celebrate her birthday with her. And this was how one spelled surprise.

Now it all made sense. They tried to be cold all day to make it appear they weren’t planning anything. Well, it worked out perfectly. And that made it legitimate.

She couldn’t help crying this time. She cried while being videoed. She was so happy. More than happy. She felt so special. She felt so loved. They all came from work but made time for her. After all, she didn’t lack something. Didn’t miss something. Didn’t hate at all.

Unexpected packages. She recognized that the unlabeled feeling had just been a desire. A desire to spend one of her most important days with the people she loved the most. People who could make her day complete by simply being there. It would’ve still been fine without the KFC, the cake, and the other stuff they brought. They were there and that’s more than enough.

They spent until midnight in her room. Then they had to go. But the joy would stay. Her first-ever birthday memory at this boarding house was worthy of gratitude. It was told.

And this is a true story.