the five people you meet in your head

a friend from work told me that you could only master a maximum of 5 versions of you. meaning, you had only 5 aspects of yourself that you could expect to do well, and anything beyond that will be stretching yourself too thin.

at first, i was a real cynic; being the brat that i was, i didn’t appreciate anyone wagging a ‘general rule’ to my face and telling me what i can or cannot do. why stop at 5, right? who was i supposed to be?

but then now, i stopped to think — what’s so wrong with being flat? maybe i should just reset, start with one thing — just ONE thing — and then be satisfied. if ever later on i should feel that i’m stable enough to add something else on, then it’ll be time to reassess. yep, that’s the safe approach; God knows that some focus would do some good for my heart. Or my sanity for that matter.


in my head

in my head, i’m always dancing. whether i’m typing, commuting, sitting, standing, zoning out — when the beat picks up, i dance. i don’t know if others see it too, but i just do.

one night last week, while waiting for the UP-Katipunan jeep to get filled, the guy to my right starts drumming, using his hand, his leg, and the seats. the guy to my left does the same. i wonder if we all hear each other when we’re wrapped into our own little worlds.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

i’ve been devouring books lately, mostly because i’m taking advantage of the sembreak. admittedly, i got drawn to buy james frey’s ‘a million little pieces’ because of its cover (the piece looked like candy sprinkles… how can i resist?), but the story turned out to be not bad, not bad at all.

it’s about an addict’s account of his stay at a treatment center. although it claims to be an autobiography, a friend just told me that the author owned up to making up some of the parts, but still that does not make the book less of a good read.

it’s the type of book you guzzle in two sittings. the author writes in such a way that you can peek into an addict’s mind, and find out that whatever you thought about how being addicted must feel — YOU JUST HAVE NO IDEA. i like the part where he goes off at a tv show for glamourizing addicts & alcoholics; he’d like to lock the show’s writers in room, feed them all the crack they could swallow and then watch if they can make their doctors fall in love with them and walk away with their pet golden retrievers. honestly, i don’t think i’ll be able to relate to a person who’s not sarcastic or ranting at least half the time, and the author did not fail me at all.

the only thing that put me off was the love angle. the book throws me grit, cursing, despair, and then magically, love conquers all. i was like, ‘what the hell?!’. seriously. here he was: broken. hardened. furious. an addict, an alcoholic & a criminal, who at 23 has been through hell so many times it’s like the park for him. and then the only thing that makes him say the ultimate ‘NO’ to drugs is the girlfriend he met at the treatment center. dang. the author let me down on that one. because if love is the only thing that can save the utterly hopeless, then i’m seriously screwed.

The Man in my Basement by Walter Mosley

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“If suicide meant giving up, then I’d be dead by now.”

I got chills from reading. I don’t know whether it was because of the book’s dark theme, or because never had I identified this much with a book character — and he was a grown black man who was also a drunk unemployed thief. It was as if someone has found the words for me to articulate not just my thoughts, but my angry musings.

And to think I almost passed this book up. Powerbooks was having a sale, and although I’ve never heard of the title nor of the author, the premise was promising, so I spared 99 bucks. 99 bucks for this surprise whack in the head. sweet.

I also liked the part wherein the lead was asked the quintessential question, ‘Have you ever been in love?’. He did not pretend to stare off deeply and say ‘yes’; for him, if others described love as like gravity for its unexplicable but irrefutable attraction, then he was a floating astronaut. ditto.

thumbs up for walter mosley.

Hello, I'm Ish, and my mission is to have fearless joy! Once I figure out what that means, I'll let you know how it goes.