My Thoughts Are Stars I Cannot Fathom Into Constellations

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I.

I have read The Great Gatsby years ago. While I appreciate the unfortunate reality it showed, it’s a story where its characters are miserable and unhappy. It is not a love story, and it has always made me wonder why some people make it as such. What it is, is a story of society’s double-faced treacheries, people’s refusal of change, one man’s ideals, one man’s hopes, and one man’s love for a girl. I think it a rare thing to meet someone so hopeful as Jay Gatsby. It is not always that you meet someone who has both the fortune and the misfortune to readily throw himself into his illusions and his dreams. It is just as unfortunate that his illusions led him to put Daisy Buchanan in a pedestal as high up as the stars. So when Daisy does tumble short of Gatsby’s dreams, no one faults her for it. But while blameless she is the tumble, the pretty and delicate Daisy Buchanan is anything but likable.

Did Daisy Buchanan love Jay Gatsby? No. Because you don’t treat the people you love like that. And this is not a love story.

They say The Great Gatsby tells of The American Dream. Perhaps it does. Perhaps the American Dream is Jay Gatsby’s self-made shady millions. Or perhaps the American Dream is what Daisy Buchanan is to Jay Gatsby: his, but never completely. Shallow, materialistic, and a tease.

Frankly, I do wonder why it’s considered as ‘The Great American Novel’.

II.

That said, I think F. Scott Fitzgerald is a truly terrific writer.

III.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we can pack up one day and leave behind everything? Go to a new place where no one knows you, meet new people, have a new set of friends. Get a fresh start for a new life…

We are all escape artists.

IV.

It was like a splash of water when it finally hit me: quarter-life crisis exists. I sometimes find myself battling in its midst, sometimes I co-exist with it. I hate it and then I leave it be, but then I’d hate it again. I have read once that we should all “bet in the great surprises of life.” In my better and my best days, I do. In my worse, I ponder on my lack of direction. That you wonder on whether you may or may not know what you want is both a funny and a wretched pill to swallow..

But at the end of the day, I trust that the answers will come. And so I live the questions now and bet on The Great Perhaps.

V.

At least I never had an existential crisis. I never looked inside myself or looked up at the stars and questioned why I exist. And I pray to the heavens that I never will.

VI.

A decade ago I was one of those people who can, with great pride, announce to everyone and anyone that I don’t really care what they think of me and mean it. At twenty-five, I have learned that this is not the case anymore. You would care what people think of you, and you would wonder why they think of you that way when the truth is actually so far off. Cliche’s may tell you not to mind others’ opinions of you, yet those cliche’s will not keep you from feeling down when you realize that people have such a low opinion of you. It may take a while, but you eventually realize that people will see you however they want to, and there is absolutely nothing more you can do about it. It’s a freeing realization.

VII.

It’s also freeing when you learn not to take things so personally.

VIII.

When the amount of shit you get exceeds the amount of fucks you give? Well, in the words of today’s acronym obsessed generation: TTGTFO.

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You are a Lawyer. But Who Made You Holier-Than-Thou?

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Are the words “Earn Me” such a difficult concept to grasp? We are not entitled to anything. The universe does not owe us anything. Society however, finds it hard to catch up to this. And for some people, if not a lot, it’s an idea that is hard to grasp with.

See, just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t mean people ought to kneel before you to worship your intelligence and your lawyer-iness. You are not a ‘Your Grace’ or ‘Your Highness’, your IBP identification card is not a magic card of outright life privileges, the title before your name does not mean no one is to cross you as you go about your routine and the mere fact that you’re a lawyer does not mean that you are Holier-Than-Thou-Who-Is-Not-A-Lawyer. 

Not that I am dissing lawyers. I am a lawyer too. And it gives me all sorts of pride that I am. I am proud that I graduated from one of the best law schools in the country; that I am part of the batch of Bar passers with the second lowest passing rate in history (as of now); and that despite how passive I can be with my readings (and believe me I am) I not only passed the Bar Examinations the first time I took it, I made it to the original six percent of the passers without any grade falling below 50%.  (I still wonder how that came to be. But I think my indifference greatly helped me during the exam.)

But there’s a fine line between being proud and being a braggart. There is also a world of sameness between being a braggart and being an elitist. One thing leads to another and often, the words blur together. And I hate elitism and elitists. The fact that I am partly surrounded by such people since I was sixteen makes me frown at them more.

I cringe at the elitist bragging. Maybe it was meant as a joke, but the fact that it was thought about and words did come out says a lot. It’s still frown-worthy. If I’d get a hundred Pesos for everytime I have to not-say to someone ‘So what if you’re a lawyer?’, I’d be binge shopping every now and then.

The law profession is an exclusive social circle. Does it sound so hypoctrical if I say that I like the fact that it is? Perhaps. But then I would defend myself by saying there’s a wall the size of the Great Wall of China between being proud of the exclusive membership and shoving it to people’s throats expecting to be treated oh-so-very-well simply because you are a member of that exclusive social circle.

Television shows glamorize the law profession too much. (I’m looking at you Suits.) So do we. It is a source of hypocritical, conflicting pride. I do realize that there are innate privileges to being in the law profession such as people being in mild awe at your accomplishment and (quickly) getting things others can’t.

It’s not that I’m being ideal. I am far from being an idealistic person (anyone who says otherwise do not know me at all).

What happened to humility? In Bisaya, hilas ra ka kaayo. I just hate elitism.

 

 

The Tragedy of Damon Salvatore

"Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving."

“Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving.”

Unlike majority of the viewership, the older Salvatore crept up to me slowly. He was the show’s proverbial karma-houdini bad boy – pretty, charming, flirtatious, dangerous, insecure, lonely. Yet he was and remains to be not among my favorite characters. But his complexities and deep-set insecurities makes him the most interesting character out of them all. I once read Ian Somerhalder (the actor who plays him) describe him as someone who “can’t get any true anything”.

That sounds tragic and I didn’t get it at first. Many episodes later, I finally did.

Damon Salvatore doesn’t know what it feels like to be loved. Or his insecurities are so high up the wall he doesn’t realize he is, in fact, loved. He doesn’t get real love and when he somehow gets it, he wonders if it’s even true. And what a cruel thing that is, to be given a taste of what you have always wanted only for you to realize a second after, that it was never meant for you in the first place. (But then again, what do we know? The show’s far from over..)

I like the fact that somewhere along the way, he found two people who decided he was worth saving. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if someone decided you were too? I like the fact that no matter how many times his brother gave up on him, they still always manage to save each other in the end. I like the fact that he can love someone so loyally, so tragically, so unrequitedly. I like the fact that that statement is sad.

I like how much of a bound-in-leather-jacket-trainwreck he is. Damon is, after all, the hottest mess in the show: an irresistible broken chaos that needs to be fixed. And just like him and Alaric, like him and Elena, it would be tragical, the aftermath beautiful or disastrous. Like a carcrash waiting to happen.

 

***

I have been meaning to write something that doesn’t involve any legalese a while back. Believe me, Damon Salvatore was not on my mind at that time. It just so happened that a friend of mine mentioned him hours ago… and I thought, hey, I got an excuse to write the sentence “Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth it” in the internet without people giving their own unwelcome interpretation of it.

Now back to work.

My Second Attempt at Suicide

I realized long ago that these demons that haunted me ever since I was a child don’t really go away. They grasp with claws and never let go. Clinging like parasites and sooner rather than later, they become these ugly insecurities that somehow manages to shape you. Suddenly there it is, compartmentalization becomes me. Most often, I pride myself how easily I can do it.

I know rejection very well since it looked me in the eye when I was just seven years old. I would never forget the mocking voices which had echoed so close to me for two years. Or their backs as they walked away from me that day it finally hit me. It is both funny and tragic – how I managed to put up with such sham and crap. But I guess when people desperately want to belong somewhere, they can put up with anything before they crack. Even six and seven year olds. And although I remember thinking how good it felt to finally end it, the damage has been done and the consequences had been imprinted: If you’re going to ask me to imply from your actions, to presume and to assume something that’s actually good for me, then I’d tell you quite honestly that I can’t do that. I’m not built that way. My default setting has always and sadly, will always be:

“The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?” 

P.S.: The title is figurative. My First Attempt at Suicide was when I was in third year college when our Psychology professor told us to make a 10-page autobiography and I just couldn’t quite skip this part of my life.

Anyway, Back to Me

I don’t write much about myself. Probably because I don’t find it comfortable to do so. I don’t relish a blogged narrative of the terribly personal things in my life though I admire those who can do so with theirs. (OK fine, so I did it one time but I made it so private that only I can see it.) So I stick with my movie reviews, my opinions on books and the television series I have bothered to write an opinion on. And I realized, as I was looking at everything I’ve ever written here, that I am horribly limited.

It’s unfortunate, it’s sad, it’s tragic. This box that I have confined myself in.

So I sit here, and I think bugger that all. I’d like to write about me. 

So here it is… 25 THINGS ABOUT ME (a.k.a. 25 Topics I Randomly Picked From My Rambling, Unorganized Mind) (25 because I’m turning 25 this 24. The Mayans are wrong, I’ll still have my birthday even after the end of the world!)

having something like this in my own house someday would be like dreamland and paradise rolled into one. (wait, is there a difference?)

  1. My first love are books. Fictional ones. Not biographies, academically-oriented books and other sort of non-fictions and most definitely not self-help books. (Due to this I have yet to read The Purpose Driven Life and I have no intention of doing so.)
  2. I do, however, read the Bible. And while I have shamefully not been able to stick with a one-chapter-a-day as I have promised myself, I make it a point to stick with that promise as much as possible.
  3. I am in a lifelong search of completing my top 5 favorite books of all time. I have already found two that top that list: The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are contenders for the remaining three spots: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, The Harry Potter books of J.K. Rowling and A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. But contenders they still are. They didn’t change my life in a way that The Bourne Identity and Pride and Prejudice had. Those two books sent me on a life mission to buy every book Robert Ludlum and Jane Austen has ever written. I’m proud to say my collection is almost complete now. Almost being the operative word.
  4. Someday when I have a house of my own, I’ll build myself my personal library with shelves and shelves of books. Like the picture above. Now that is heaven for me. (To my dear husband-to-be, whoever you are. Thank you and much love. 😀 )
  5. Ironically though, I don’t like non-personal libraries (that is: public libraries or school libraries). I don’t know why…
  6. I believe George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire (the Game of Thrones in television vernacular) said it best when he wrote this: (Though I just have to say that I think I prefer the Towers of Minas Tirith to the war-laden Westeros. At least you know who your enemies are in Middle Earth. The same cannot be said of the Seven Kingdoms… Enemies there are like weeds sprouting everywhere, anywhere and even in a most treacherous manner.)

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”

  1. I love the smell of Christmas morning and the feel of the cold Christmas air. Like a lot of people in the world, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love Christmas for the same reasons a lot of people do: good food, family time, christmas caroling, presents everywhere… the list is endless. But I think it’s an extra special holiday for me just because I was born on the day before Christmas. You can frown any day of the year but not on Christmas day.
  2. When I was still a little kid I thought that the smooth white top of the grocery counters were like snow.
  3. Like every other girl in the world, I have a love-hate relationship with food. I love them but I don’t want to get fat. Rachel Weisz hit the bull’s eye when she said: “Los Angeles makes you feel ugly. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t secretly wanted to be super-skinny, because all girls do.But I have a woman’s body, not a boy’s body. Most women do and should feel proud of their butts and their breasts and their bellies.”
  4. I don’t like going to bars or going to parties that much (I still like to go occasionally). I just think there’s too many people there and sometimes I’m too lazy to bother with everyone. Compared to a roomful of glitzy people, I do sometimes prefer the company of a small group of friends or a night spent at home with my family, watching a good show or reading a good book.
  5. I would love to travel someday and look good while doing it. I haven’t the slightest money to spare to make this come true right now, but someday I will. I haven’t been to a lot of places, but someday when my money finally permits me, oh the places I will go.
  6. Someday, I’ll be in Paris. I’ll watch a Broadway show (or a theatre). I have no interest in joining the Mile High Club though. No matter how clean it is, I never liked the smell of public transportation toilets. (I don’t know why I wrote that.)
  7. I’m an animal lover. That being said, I don’t like worms, bugs, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies. I like snakes though. I love everything in the Cat and Dog Family (the hyena, not too much) most of all. I like wolves. But since I know I can’t pet them without my hand being bitten off, I’d settle myself with Siberian Huskies instead. Someday, I’ll swim with sharks and come out of the water alive, uninjured and with all my limbs still intact. (Let me have my fiction here…)

Rome! By all means, Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.

  1. I like old movies like The Sound of Music, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire.
  2. The Sound of Music remains as my favorite movie of all time. I love to sing with Maria, the Captain and the Von Trapp children  as the movie goes along.
  3. Scarlett O’Hara is my favorite female movie character. Emphasis on the movieI believe I have ranted about this back then. Incidentally, Vivien Leigh is my favorite actress.
  4. My favorite Audrey Hepburn movie is Roman Holiday (see picture above)One of the reasons of which is because I discovered Gregory Peck. I found Breakfast at Tiffany’s boring, but it had the best last fifteen minutes of any movie I have ever watched. (Perhaps if I watch it again, I won’t find it so boring.)
  5. I love movies. Among my favorite directors is Hayao Miyazaki. Among his movies, I love Spirited Away the most. I’ll also watch a movie simply because a creature like Brad Pitt is there. I also find Jeremy Renner roguishly, macho-ily irresistible… I have strayed off topic. I, like every other female in the planet, like romantic movies, romcoms and chickflicks. I also read mangas. I like josei and a few shoujo mangas so long as it doesn’t involve dumb, give-me-back-my-first-kiss, crying heroines (which would be about 70% of the time). Thankfully, I discovered the works of the amazing Sakisaka Io and I confess to having devoured her works like a junkie that needs her fix. (Your mangas are the only remaining ones that I care enough to read Ms. Sakisaka Io. Now if only they can NOW translate the latest chapters of Ao Haru Ride…)

  1. I’m vain. I think the people who knows me knows that.
  2. I have been domesticated. Lately, I have found myself liking being in the kitchen. Who knew I would ever be interested in learning how to cook? (Certainly not the me a year ago.) That said, my favorite part is still slicing stuffs up.
  3. I love how cold and clean my bed feels just after I have poured copious amounts of alcohol all over it. Yes, I waste a large portion of alcohol on my bed.
  4. I’m going to treat tretinoin as my best friend.
  5. When I was a kid, I told myself that I would never take up law when I grow up. I wanted to be a rich international master thief wanted by Interpol, not some boring, formal lawyer. I want my dangerous adventures. (Blame it on those Lupin cartoons back then.) Twenty years later I proved myself wrong. I realllyyyyy want to be a lawyer.
  6. I hardly make promises to other people. I think validation is important. I believe you can have your closure on your own; a blogger once wrote that “there is no such thing as closure, at least when you expect it from another person because that shit comes from inside.” The blogger’s words, not mine. I just so happen to agree.
  7. Oh darling, I’m having my adventure.

–  Lovelies, Dearies, Darlings. Thank you for your time. –


I’m Making a List

 
“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more….” 
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
 
“But, really, it’s healthy to be shallow sometimes.”
― Princess Christine Carlobos
(she who will be celebrating her birthday and Christmas next week)
 

 

I know how it looks like. But really, this isn’t a Christmas wishlist. It’s more like an I-Really-Really-Want-These-I-Wouldn’t-Mind-If-I-Get-Them-On-Any-Other-Season-Of-The-Year List.

a Swiss Army Knife

L’oreal Make-Up

shopping spree at Forever 21 (or any mall stores)

Levis jeans

black leather jacket  

(This, I want to buy with my own money.)

Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived Forever

Harry with Hedwig

There is, in every decade, a phenomenon that marks it. It etches the world and casts its name into Eternity’s elusive memory, forever remembered, forever loved.

In 1990, J.K. Rowling was sitting in a train station. While she was waiting for the delayed train that would take her from Manchester back to London, young Harry Potter was born. In a few years, this bespectacled, black haired boy took over the world. Harry Potter became a phenomenon.

“It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.” – Alan Rickman

J.K. Rowling has quite an imagination. And what an imagination it is! She showed us a world whose society, culture, beliefs, politics, educational system, social mores and traditions are so like ours. It is a world like our own, but not quite. She gave us Quidditch, she made us wonder what butterbeer tastes like, she showed us Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she singlehandedly sacked Boogeyman and replaced him with Dementors, and she gave humankind another scientific name, Muggles.

She is also blessed with a frightfully terrific talent at writing.

pottermore

I remember the first time I met Harry; it wasn’t the most promising of memories. It was through an article in Newsweek chronicling how the release of the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, has made millions of people in the world line up outside bookshops. It didn’t interest me much, I didn’t know Harry then. (Though I wondered what force in the universe made people line up the whole night outside of bookstores – of all places.)

I had my answer two years later. Despite the initial disinterest, I wanted to know what the hype was all about. I borrowed the books from classmates who had Php 1,500 in their family budget to spare. (Naturally, I was never able to read them in chronological order, but no matter.) I read my first Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire, with a blanket over my head. I knew the book was good when I laughed out loud in the middle of the night. A year after that I was able to read another two Harry Potter books, The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. The other four came years later. J.K. Rowling didn’t have me at ‘Hello’. J.K. Rowling had me in the last thirteen words of the first chapter of The Goblet of Fire, “95 miles away, a boy named Harry Potter woke up with a start.” (I’m still not certain how that happened.)

 

“Yer a wizard, Harry.”

In both the first book and the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the half-giant Rubeus Hagrid, tells the scrawny boy who had just turned eleven a few minutes before, “Yer a wizard Harry.” They are in the middle of nowhere, there is a storm, and the scrawny boy’s dreadful, portly family, The Dursleys, cower in the background. The boy’s name is Harry Potter, and he is a wizard. But he doesn’t know that at the moment so somebody has to tell him. Hours later, Harry is introduced to the wizarding world, which, a decade ago, had already been introduced to him.

And so starts Harry Potter’s adventures. The world followed. And the rest was, as they say, history.

Now, the series has drawn to a close: the horcruxes has been broken, Hogwarts has become a battleground and allies and foes meet in one final showdown. As Harry says to Lord Voldemort, “Let’s finish this where it started. Together!” we are reminded that this is an epic tale, and the hero fights alone in the end.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 2 gave a satisfying conclusion to a franchise that deserves nothing less. Tears were shed, mouths laughed, hands clapped – we know it was a befitting finale to the decade-old tale.

The eighth movie was the best Harry Potter movie for me simply because it was the only one which satisfied me through and through. The first four were okay (good, even), the next two were dreadful, and the seventh I cast-off as a more of a build-up to the tension-filled finale. This last movie, now this was inspired.

We Solemnly Swear That We Are Up To No Good

Harry, Ron and Hermione have grown up. They are no longer the children they once were, their innocence had been clamped down by what they had gone through. No longer do they prance around like children on a mission to satisfy their curiosity, here, they know the danger of their task and face it with both trepidation and bravery. They fear for their lives and for others, but they accept the risk and the inevitability. Hermione isn’t the-girl-who-knows-everything anymore, Ron has become mature – they are no longer the insecure lovebirds who can’t quite tell each other how they feel. After four movies, they finally kiss. (And when they smile after, I know everyone in the audience smiled too.) But the giddiness ends quickly. Ron and Hermione both fade into the background as the movie lets Harry walk the hard path every hero has to take, Harry has become somber, he is now a fighter, and he is ready.

How To Get Through Puberty

Other characters have changed too. Neville Longbottom the most. No longer is he the chubby, unexceptional, poor Neville. He has become lean, tall, strong, and the go-to guy of the school – and he has the right amount of facial stubble to prove it. (In the books, Harry and Neville became Aurors – who would’ve thought Neville would become one? But he did.) Neville is the wizard poster child of loser-turned-hot-cool-guy (I don’t know about you, but I did not see that one coming.) He wielded The Sword of Gryffindor, beheaded Nagini, and in my head he gets the girl in the end (said girl being Luna Lovegood.. yeah, I’m shipping them). There is much to be surprised in him.

Come over to the dark side, they have him

Draco Malfoy finally, grew up. He is no longer the snarling, Slytherin bully. From the Half-Blood Prince we have seen his vulnerability, confusion and helplessness. He is still all of these things in the last movie, and more – there is a haunting in his eyes now. It was a bless to see him in Hogwart’s side (Initially. But I don’t blame him when he walked over, it was his parents after all. Besides, all three of them walked away from the battle.)

As it ends, I remember the great many characters I have come to know over the years. Strangers whose names were once foreign to my tongue now echo with eager familiarity: Professor Severus Snape, Bellatrix Lestrange, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Lucius Malfoy, Rubeus Hagrid, Professor Albus Dumbledore, Dobby, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Tom Marvolo Riddle/Lord Voldemort. I love the fact that almost each supporting character is played by a British film legend, Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley), Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley), Alan Rickman (Professor Severus Snape), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Maggie Smith (Professor Minerva McGonagall), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Michael Gambon (Professor Albus Dumbledore), Ralph Fiennes (Tom Marvolo Riddle/Lord Voldemort). I’ll stop throwing names now. But it can’t be helped. They – each of them – has the ability to steal the scene just by standing there (or in Bellatrix case, sashay madly around). All they have to do is be in the camera angle, and my eyes zero in to them.

I believe this blog post has gotten a bit too long (and there’s already too much pictures). I just didn’t have the heart to have this in a few mediocre paragraphs. Ten years of unparalleled emotional investment wouldn’t just permit that.

Look how much you made me care, J.K. Rowling.

IT WAS SUCH AN ADVENTURE.


“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love the best do live with us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
– J.K. Rowling

Scarlett O’Hara, she is my heroine for all time

“No, my dear, I’m not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I’d ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You’d break his heart, my darling, cruel, destructive little cat who is so careless and confident she doesn’t even trouble to sheathe her claws” – Rhett Butler

*****

Gone with the Wind opens with a statement that contradicts what the world knows about its heroine: “Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t beautiful.”

That might be how Margaret Mitchell imagined her as, but Hollywood certainly didn’t share the same vision when they picked Vivien Leigh to play the southern belle. Mitchell’s words didn’t ring true anymore, Scarlett was beautiful.

I have never been one to admire another. It is a rare thing that I put in such a high pedestal another, much less to have one in such high regard. The closest I have come to admiring are Madonna and Lady Gaga. The former for being, well, Madonna, and the latter for saying what a lot of others would not have the guts to do so. Madonna will always have my approval for shocking conventionality and proclaiming that she loves sex, and Lady Gaga had my respect the moment she acknowledged that she wanted fame and she is willing to pay the price for it. I admire them for their defiance.

I admire Scarlett O’Hara for that same defiance. But I love her for everything she stands: she is vain, she is selfish, she is spoiled, she is self-absorbed, she is brutal, she is strong, she survives, she is beautiful, she is a woman beyond her century, and she is blind. But admire and love her I do. She is my heroine for all time.

In the movie, we first see Scarlett flirting with the Tarleton twins. She learns that Ashley Wilkes, the man she secretly loves (and believes to love her too), will be married to sweet Melanie Hamilton (her polar opposite). On that famous scene where she finally tells him how she feels, the audience sees three crucial things: one, Ashley Wilkes wants Scarlett, but he loves Melanie and doesn’t have the guts to tell Scarlett that; two, Scarlett is a woman in love; three, when Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler finally meet face to face, we see that he isn’t a gentleman and she is no lady. As the movie goes on, Scarlett marries thrice: the first time because Ashley had scorned her, the second time to save herself and her family, and the third because Rhett Butler asked her to. And during all these time she wishes she was married to Ashley instead. During all these time, we see her love for Ashley as it truly is: she was in love with the idea of Ashley, but she wasn’t in love with him.

But despite her measly love-life, Scarlett O’Hara remains as among the strongest female characters in literature and in cinemas. Her sheer will to survive the Civil War was astounding. No longer was she the spoiled, bratty child we first saw. She survived the war and the inevitable aftermath. She transformed in front of our very eyes when she declared, “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

the love triangle of Scarlett, Ashley and Melanie

I could write about the three other characters of Gone with the Wind. I could write about Rhett Butler and how I wished he’d stayed when Scarlett finally realized it was him she truly love. I could write about Ashley Wilkes and his inability to tell Scarlett he loves Melanie. I could write about Melanie Hamilton and how she’s the most honorable character of them all. I could write a lot of things about the movie, about Rhett and Scarlett, and about Scarlett, Ashley and Melanie. But I won’t, Because right now, I only write about Scarlett.

I love Scarlett O’Hara. Maybe because I see a lot of myself in her – the movie version at least (or at least, I think so). I think there’s a Scarlett in all of us.

Oh, fiddle dee dee.

Scarlett: “You, sir, are no gentleman.” Rhett Butler: “And you, miss, are no lady. Don’t think that I hold that against you. Ladies have never held any charm for me.”

after all, the name Anastasia means she will rise again

There is no hero on this one. Rather there is a ne’er-do-well. She sits on the edge of the bed. The red paint in her nails chipping away. She had planned to trim those dirty nails, but like all the plans she had made these past few days(?).. weeks(?), they faded away consumed by idleness. She sits there, and then she thinks she hates herself. Everyone else has started that track, and she – what had she done? Taken one step forward only to take two steps back. She’s stayed, unmoving. Useless.

So much for the restless spirit she once was. How cruel – she had prided herself as one of those people who could never stay put in one place for too long… Or is it just a momentary bleakness? – a lethargy everyone must put up with every once in a while? She’s determined it must be the that, she refuses to have it otherwise.

You see, she grieves. – She grieves the loss of her… muchness. So she runs, and looks for a way back to her wonderland.

Hercules took all the muses away

 I remember the first story I ever wrote. I was in second year high school, it was a Journalism    class assignment, and it got published in the school paper.

It was also comprised of 15 pages of intermediate paper; so you can just imagine how it was when it came to public eye.

And oh, it was about vampires.

Oh yes. For what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t at least ponder about them?

I have every reasonable excuse that can only be traced to one source: Buffy Summers.

It was the time when Buffy the Vampire Slayer ruled television; and I –victim of the glory that is cable networks – did not remain unscathed. And, as it was the year wherein I first discovered internet and – by extension – fanfictions, nothing could have dissuaded me from my enthusiasm over Buffy and the Scooby Gang. Those, plus my Buffy the Vampire Slayers: The Origin comic books my father bought me (I still have them by the way), served as my research and inspiration to write my assignment turned second published write-up.

It had the particularly unimaginative, cheap title of ‘Vampire City’.

Miserly title aside, I took pride in what I wrote.

It had the whole vampire theories – the invitation before entering the house, the garlic, the wooden stake at the heart, the daytime sleep, the soulless evil of the damned, and the invulnerability against the cross. It started with the main protagonist, a girl, moving into a creepy town surrounded by local stories of the supernatural – much like local folklore of aswangs in provinces. And it ended with her and her remaining friends trapped inside a church with numerous Undeads forcing their way in. It was the aftermath of a schoolparty horribly gone wrong. Yes, in my story vampires can enter churches; I took a twisted pleasure in having it as such to shock my run-by-a-religious-organization-highschool. I sincerely thought I was going to be reprimanded by the principal.

Over the years my ‘titling’ ability drastically improved. No longer were my titles cheap and unimaginative and lackluster.

I realized this when I had to do a character sketch for an English class. I was fixated by the anime Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) during that time – so much that I decided to have one of the characters in the anime as my subject: Seta Sojiro (Shishio’s right-hand man, the perpetually smiling kid). I entitled it ‘Beautiful Alone’. It was among the most beautiful works I’ve ever written. (Unfortunately I lost my copy.)

As proof that it was no one-time thing, I had a particular 10-paged autobiography I silently entitled ‘My First Attempt at Suicide’. Mind you, it was a project at my Psychology 150: Personality class. (And I got a flat 1 on said autobiography.) And as further proof to make it a perfect three, I wrote an Alias fanfiction I entitled ‘Snapshots’. (Because a long time ago I was in love with Alias and the whole Sydney Bristow-Michael Vaughn affair.)

Wait.

Stop.

I’m not writing this to list some of my ‘written works’. God no. I’m writing this because I realized one thing now.

The works I love the most were written in a state of depression or anger or loneliness or isolation. That aside, they were written with such inspiration and such passion that the incentive to write them bordered between fandom and obsession. And alas, I have lost that. Such passion has left me.

I am now without an inspiration.

Yes, I am writing this to wail and bemoan the loss of my muse. It is an awareness that had left me befuddled for days.

I am stuck in writer’s block.

And I hate it.

But I’m getting over it.

I am getting my mojo back.