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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

Interested in What I Create?


Tuesday, September 30, 2003

for m.

all these in short, and shorter days,

the smell of your skin on my skin

cataloguing the indiscretions

of your secret tongue and my lips,

fevering for what holds: flicker of

eyes, brush of lips, scent of hair,

fire of touch, folds of clothes

signifying abandon. our lives,

you and i, denying the counting sun.

we are both, after all, eternity.

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich

Monday, September 29, 2003

Dear God,

Please let Tedo update his blog once in a while. It's been sooo long... Please convince him, too, that blogs, like life, must be filled in day-by-day. It's like feeding a pet, really. And he never even emails anymore, so we are really worried sick, you know?, about how Chicago is treating him these days... We have so many questions, yet unanswered, like gasps of forgotten men. For example, is he already in love? Or is he still in the Dodong Rut? Where's he moving in? Is it a nice neighborhood? When is he moving to New York and conquer Columbia? Questions, dear God, only questions... And what's with this chatting thing? Anyway, bless his heart. We still love the bastard.

This we ask,


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich

I am officially corny.



Pooh bear.

The giggles cometh....

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich

Commissioned article for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Sungduan III Exhibit

Blurring, Yet Also Assembling, the Line: Making the Postmodern Lokal

IT IS NOT so easy to define Dumaguete and its artistic sensibilities—“to make its lokal,” so to speak. It is, after all, a place of flux, which is its essence, its idea of constancy. She thrives on much contradictions, and her art along with it.

From any distance, Dumaguete looks like a lighted virgin, a pint-size would-be metropolis on the verge of growing up but never shedding a kind of small town charm that has beguiled many artists into calling her home. This is easy enough to observe, but not quite tactile to formulate a kind of categorical distinction. For the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Sungduan 2003 traveling art exhibit Making the Lokal, two—indeed local—artists have been tapped to undertake the challenge of making a parochial representation of Dumaguete art. You have Jutsze Pamate, originally of Manila and Palawan, and Babbu Wenceslao of Leyte and Bohol—but Dumagueteños both, by heart and by the skin of their memories.

Their far-flung origins, and their eventual taking local roots are parts of the equation to understanding what “makes” the lokal, which may be a sensibility of an art that is all about mixes and confluences, collage even. In Dumaguete, things collide and become whole. She is both arrival and arrest. She is neither this or that, but both. She is a patchwork that fancies itself an organic whole fully born as she were.

For the most part, artists here—both the painters and sculptors and creative writers that enliven its cultural scene—live up to the etymology of the city’s name: “daguit,” originally meaning “to kidnap,” the way Moro raiders did in olden times. This time it gets a meaning with a different kind of urgency: an inertia that makes anyone stay long enough to become “natives”; it is also the proverbial melting pot, with emphasis on the word “melting,” of coming together.

Perhaps that is how reality is lived in Dumaguete, in a kind of blurring of boundaries, of staying in the grays, of being and not being. The native stranger. The small town city. The vibrant quiet. The urbane rurality. The ins of outs. Spanish and American. All of a flux. Post-modern, in other words.

The blur is the distinction itself. This is how we begin to understand the lokal.

BUT WHAT EXACTLY makes the lokal? A quick journey though the city and its emerging character may help in the understanding of that.

Take any night. From the sea, shore-bound, Dumaguete always seems sleepy in her growing brightness. She is bathed in soft orange tungsten light, and as dusk slowly descends, one by one of the seaside streetlights and neon signs come on. They illuminate the stretch Dumagueteños lovingly refer to as the Boulevard, with its fir trees and brick-paved walk. That is always anybody’s first glimpse of the city. It provides the quickening with which to understand what makes it tick.

From where you stand coming into the city, you comprehend what they meant. There are no chocolate consistency and decayed smell that is port waters for many of the country’s cities—not this sight of the Boulevard with its Spanish mansions (“sugar houses”), trendy shops, and leisurely facade.

It is past dusk, and people—mostly young and with motorcycles—are already milling about the paved walkways, concrete benches, manicured lawns, and fir trees, talking, drinking, taking in the night. For a moment, you forget this strip’s short-lived reputation as a flaming red-light district during the 1980’s. Your memory recalls a clutter of barbecue stalls and drunken men. There was no street then, only a mass of unkempt people and broken beer bottles. But somehow, the prostitutes, the sleazy bars, and the motels had been replaced by slick bars, fancy restaurants, and condominiums and hotels. And yet….

Farther on across the street, the stage has been set for a night of Friday drinking as patrons, mostly college men eager to start another weekend, buy Gilbey’s Gin and lime juice from the little kiosks about the place. Farther on, the pulsating lights of the once-disco capital Why Not? Music Box invite the white men, the “sex-pats.” You imagine what is inside: sweet smoke, waitresses with short red skirts, probing lights, two huge screens flashing the latest from MTV, and dancing people gyrating to a techno beat. For less than P50, you get in and exchange your plastic stub for a light beer. A fiftyish woman at the bar assaults your vision. “You wanna drink? Vodka? I buy,” she drawls. You blush. “Do you work here?” you ask. She is crossed. “Whadya think of me?” she says. “A prostitute?” She snorts and pounces on the table, and then begins swaying to the music. “My husband is an American sailor,” she rasps. “He is in Chicago right now. How old are you?”

It quickly occurs to you that Dumaguete is still a city in search of a character. In this, she has instead become an eclectic collection of disparate boroughs that define its intricate social structure, its sensibility as a place. You understand more perfectly that to comprehend Dumaguete was to confound the rational mind. She is simply unknowable by her very own variety of lives, yet surprisingly knowable by her very own smallness and town-like demeanor.

Dumaguete had grown up, but not quite. Here and there, there are indeed sprinklings of 21st century advancements, of slowly encroaching modernity. But the spirit, old-fashioned and grandiosely small, still remains.

She is more than its unfortunate nickname (that she is “the City of Gentle People”). She is, in fact, more than its people, because these very same people has, in the first place, gathered to her like a stupefying magnet. Maybe it is charm. Maybe it is her not-so-citified quaintness. Maybe it is its quality of living, which is unhurried and always evenly paced, like eating chocolate ice cream in a leisurely manner on a summer day. But also this: “Dumaguete is easy on the head,” Babbu reflects. “It just gets too easy and even too heady sometimes.” Somebody also once said: “Dumaguete is dangerous, because she makes you a contented cow.”

HOW DOES ANYONE put all of these on a canvas, and convincingly call the representation the lokal?

Anyone’s road to capturing Dumaguete often starts with a map of the artistic imagination: in this place, pounded into existence from many writers’ typewriters and painters’ brushes, the acacia trees run, the surf dances, the air is heavy with sepia, the life is recalcitrant in its pace for change. It is a friendly place for the artist.

It helps, of course, that Dumaguete is home for Edith L. Tiempo, and her husband, the late “Doc” Ed. Every summer since 1962, the Philippine literary world knocks on Mom Edith’s doors, to take part in the oldest creative writing workshop in Asia. Every summer, too, the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts come to Dumaguete and stage its annual edition of an arts workshop. PETA comes here as well to bring theater to lives of local children. And all throughout the year, the best of the cultural world come here like pilgrims to a mecca—dazzling us with piano-playing, choral-singing, theater-acting, and the like.

In Krip Yuson’s book The Word on Paradise: Essays 1991-2000 on Writers and Writing, Dumaguete becomes the metaphor for the artist’s heart—beating across the sprawl of its 324 pages of literary gossip. “In May,” he writes in one essay, “at the height of summer, I come to Dumaguete for a week or so to renew fraternal ties... Poor Manileño never had a hometown. Until Dumaguete. I remember it as clearly as yesterday, that first rife on a slow-moving tartanilla, May of 1968. How I marveled at the manner of entry, at the fresh air of provincia, rustic indolence, aged acacias lining an avenue I instantly knew would lead to a long-imagined, long-elusive fountainhead... I would have friends here. I just knew it. We would share time and joy together here, until the place itself would turn into a memorious intimate. It has happened. Come to pass. And it’s still, as they say, taking place. My Dumaguete friends and I continue to pass snatches of time together through decades of an evolving tapestry, absorbing layer upon fine layer of reminiscence. Those first three weeks in Dumaguete in the summer of 1968 had proven so thoroughly enjoyable that I swore to come back. Na-dagit. Hooked by her, the City of Gentle People.”

“This place,” Palanca Award-winning fictionist Timothy Montes writes in an essay for the 1988 Silliman Magazine, “a friend told me once, ‘can make poets out of bums.’ The poetry here, however, is the poetry of leaves. We are forever in the shadow of mild feelings, mild contemplation, mild laughter—never the wildness of city tenements and the seething rage of the sun... Every day has a dramatic atmosphere of sad farewells...”

And so it goes. Sometimes, in the middle of a slow Dumaguete day, while one sips iced tea in Scooby’s or coffee in SAC’s, and watches the world go by Silliman Avenue, one wonders about the so-called “captivating romance” of this place appropriated and made curious lover by many artists.

The city offers no quickening, no artistic impulses save perhaps for the pervading calm and the shiftless changes of days. This is not sophisticated New York, nor decadent Manila, nor slumbering countryside as we find in Manuel Arguilla’s literary landscape. “Nothing happens,” Montes writes. “The [newspapers] can’t find enough dogs bitten by men, everybody knows everybody, and one resorts to gossip in the face of the uneventfulness of leaves falling to the ground. Still, when one says goodbye, one never really leaves the place. The mild sadness grows within you and when you ask yourself what makes you hang around this place transfixed in time, you realize the irony of leaves falling to the ground. I love [Dumaguete]; that’s why I hate it. Like leaves falling to the ground, we are suspended in mid-air and never quite reach the ground until we learn to despise it.”

WE START THERE, leaves falling on ground. September is autumn in Dumaguete, and already—despite the continued abundance of an overstaying summer sun—the leaves start to turn brown, and while the nippiness in the air will not come for a couple more months, we begin to understand the stirrings of a small city emerging from summer.

El Amigo, at 7:30 in the evening.

It is Babbu Wenceslao’s bar and restaurant situated along Silliman Avenue, in the heart of Dumaguete’s growing bohemian lane, sandwiched by cafés and chicken restos. For many years, this was Rastafarian headquarters for the city’s reggae-heads. Also an artists’ haven. It has cheap beer, after all, and a smorgasbord of Mexican short orders and grills for quick pulutan. Plus, it is only a stone’s throw away from Silliman University, fronting immediately old Silliman Hall with its ancient American colonial stick architecture.

These days, El Amigo’s look is sleeker, beige, and different—although there is still much evidence of the bohemian atmosphere we’re more familiar with, the quintessence of which have been seeped into the walls like the thousand cigarette smokes they have inhaled. It is also easy to tell this is an artists’ ghetto: the nooks and crannies and the walls say so with pockets of art, mostly surrealism bordering on magic realism. On one corner, there is a work in progress in the form of a mural, done in shades of brown, and all depicting a line of people you immediately recognize as patrons all, and painters, too.

We sit under the painted figures’ gaze that night talking about Sungduan 2003—of “making the lokal.”

And making it in the form of a mural.

That was to be Dumaguete’s medium. Understandable enough. Because while the visual artistry of Dumaguete comprises many media and many personalities (the works of Kitty Taniguchi, Mark Valenzuela, Razceljan Salvarita, Kennedy Rubias, and others come to mind), the most visible one may be mural paintings—that genre of visual art that is most public, most representative of locality, most encompassing of color, space, and theme.

Which is strange for a city that also thrives on the sanctity of its privacy.

Examples of murals abound in this city where many public walls have become canvases to expression: graffiti becomes artform in Silliman’s The Wall, for instance—that concrete expanse otherwise known as the walls of the pelota courts which now carry, in multitude of color and fonts, the names of graduating college students residing in nearby dormitories. More official murals—to celebrate organizations or cause—“grace” the sidewalk walls of the High School, and the Highway side of Central Visayas Polytechnic College campus. The artistic collaborations of some other local artists have also resulted to the prize-winning mural designs decorating the walls of both the Public Market and the Aqua Center.

What is it about mural paintings that catches a community willingly celebrating itself through art? Murals are easy enough to understand. They are not dumbed down art, but their meanings are accessible because general: there is immediate recognizability in any mural’s stretches of themes.

But maybe it is also the primeval in all of us. The form, after all, is a harkening back to humankind’s earliest art, such as the paintings in the Chauvet Cave in France—31,000 years old and depicting animals in yellow, red, black, and brown earth-pigments, chronicling the story of a community of hunters. In many societies since then, mural art becomes a kind of history book, telling us of the rise and fall of civilizations—thus it is always public and accessible, and most of all representative of the community whose stories and themes it is supposed to inhabit or represent.

Murals, too, are all about expression of a public political will. The Mexican muralists Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros used the fresco and other mural techniques to signify revolutionary themes. The dogmatism is an aesthetic, and is somehow uncannily comforting. This is an artform with a clear social purpose. It is both commentary and celebration of a community’s symbols.

THE APPEAL OF the mural as “lokal” strikes as something appropriate enough, for Dumaguete and its artists.

“It is big and public, and you can expect that your message will be conveyed easily, as compared to smaller works which appeal only to a few individuals,” Jutsze Pamate says. “A mural is all about telling anything for the public’s sake. It is an art formula of showing a target audience how you view a particular theme or subject.”

Jutsze’s rise in the local art community has been significant and sure—and already his works (which he describes as a confluence of “beauty and madness”) are starting to be appreciated elsewhere, especially for the fresh social vigor he brings to the scene. The Pamate painting is distinctive for its use of bright colors, stylized dreamy human figures almost always with eyes closed, and a very subtle social message that shuns an “in-your-face” didacticism. One painting, for example, shows two fishermen on a banca, their backs to the viewer—and somewhere, not easily distinguishable, are homemade dynamite. His take on illegal fishing—simple, strangely beautiful.

His evolution as an artist has always revolved around social relevance—which he admits as the artistic core with which he gravitated to, since “it was the ‘in’ thing during my time,” he admits. “Flowers of the pour le art was considered primitive, and criticized as boho art. But I was lucky. I was well-received, and was considered by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the socially relevant painters of the late ‘90s.”

And it all started with avocado seeds.

Like many Dumaguete locals, he was raised elsewhere—in Manila—and came to Dumaguete almost by accident. “I was raised in Manila in the 1970s, born to a middle class family. My earliest education started there. When I was in high school, we transferred to Sampaloc, where I witnessed firsthand the turbulence of Philippine politics. Malacanang was only a few blocks away from my apartment.”

It was his mother who became his first “art patron.” She introduced him to Manuel Rodriguez, then known as the father of Philippine print-making, who was also the dean of the PWU Fine Arts department. Jutsze started taking art lessons—“but I was soon kicked out for failing to submit five assignment plates,” he says, laughing from the memory.

Soon he found himself studying medical technology in Silliman University, this time away from Manila and in the heart of the Visayas. “Three years of medical technology just did not work for me,” he remembers. But by 1993, he mounted a solo exhibition using avocado seeds as new medium for sculpture. Those avocado seeds gave him the passport to mingle with the art circles of Dumaguete City.

But his early days in Manila continued to stir something in his art. “I was already into student activism and interest groups during those days. At one time, I became the Secretary-General of Region VII’s Anti-VFA movement. I was even invited to lecture to farmers off the sugarfields of Negros.”

This social consciousness helped. “I soon came up with the Eyes Colors Skies theme series, which depicted my social commentaries on labor unrest. One work I titled ‘Warehouse Love’ shows a Chinese madonna holding an indio child with the latter’s labor tools set before a box-filled bodega. I think the work was effective in giving its message because an artist friend asked for my permission to reproduce the piece by hundreds.”

Babbu Wenceslao’s life, for the most part, has led him to be where he is now: an artist-entrepreneur in Dumaguete, a rare breed. The son of the poet Merlie Alunan and brother to siblings who also dabble in the creative, there were no other logical choice for Babbu to also explore the life of the artist—but without the stereotypes of manner and mode often attached to the life. “Our family has always been partial to being creative. It was not much of a decision. I guess it came naturally,” he says of his upbringing and eventual introduction to the creative side.

The family were virtual nomads. They’ve moved and lived in almost all the major islands in the Visayas—Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, and Negros. The last two are the poles by which he calls home.

The diversity with which travel brings may explain the rich influences that inform his works—but finally settling in Dumaguete contributes to the sum of their meanings. “Art is now,” after all, for Babbu. Now is Dumaguete.

He recalls his growth as an artist: “Everything is part of the process for me, so work is everything from the usual to the inspired. I went to school for this, and I had very good teachers, some steeped in the classical vein, and others who were more affirmative on the exploratory side.”

The influences soon took a life of their own on his canvases—all of color and texture and perspective getting down to expressing the assimilated colonial subconscious, the perceptions of being surrounded by water, post-colonial mythology… The themes of a knowing artist’s life. But Babbu regards all of these, too, with a kind of amusement. “If my art is supposed to say one thing, what would it be? Open your arms!” and then he laughs.

BUT WHAT IS making the “lokal” for both? How will they translate that understanding into a mural that will be the marriage of representation and their own diverse expectations as artists?

It took a long time to arrive at the answers, and even these were tentative, blurry—but knowing that that may as well be the case. For many nights, with beer and friends—artists or otherwise—on hand, those were the argument to settle. In El Amigo. Café Memento. The Powerhaus studio.

This was the first phase for making the “lokal”—informal, open interactions with no predetermined structure to somehow avoid a set response. That was necessary to provide the catalyst with which to synthesize the seed of an idea that will explode into color, into a mural. Both Jutsze and Babbu write of the process: “Thoughts will be transformed into visual ideas and reasons into illustrations.”

Eventually, the ideas come together. The mural was going to be a mobile work, with accessories such as multimedia installations.

But what of the concept of “lokal,” knowing the postmodern sense—blurred boundaries, gray areas, contradictions—that is Dumaguete? How does one art come together for elements that flux?

Both of them understand the challenge well. For Jutsze, the lokal “is seeing a new trend unique to its origins which can be interestingly artistic and socially relevant.” For Babbu, the local is a stand. “It is vague yet must be identified,” he says. “It is a point, which we must turn into a line and eventually into a fence. It is never fully defined but must be constantly approximated. It is fragile yet vigorously needed. It is an attitude which if influenced should be shaped by the process of forbearance and deliberation but heavily dictated by tradition.”

The rationale of Babbu and Jutsze’s beginning visions point to that struggle to understand the flux with which Dumaguete defines itself. They write: “Various elements dictate the way every culture defines itself and the world around it. Social structure, historical and indigenous experience, dominant religious affinity and geographical location, to name a few, characterize the collective cognate boundaries that are drawn around every community. Within these boundaries, the elements, nuances, and relationships that every culture exacts meaning and identity from are brought into light, given shape, and at certain times even redefined and eventually hoarded in the collective consciousness. It is within these boundaries that the cultural will to distinguish what is intrinsic and atypical is strengthened, and the idea of what is local and alien comes into play.

“This territorial line is always unclear and fragile. Yet we understand that the soul of our communities rests in the preservation of these cultural borders. To ensure that these boundaries are held in place we must etch these imaginary demarcations in the memory of our beings for the very shape of our being is dictated by the paths of these lines.”

The Mural Project then aims to identify the underlying mechanisms and elements that impose upon each other in the complex conception of the collective sensibility. It is with expectation that this might uncover a graphic understanding and a heightened sense of visual consciousness of the innate and the local and its consequence on the development of our community’s visual identity.

AND SO IT comes to this: a work that sets out to create definition from the imposing vagueness that becomes the place. Something that brings together the diverse to create a singular experience.

First, the definition of form: a mural. That also happens to be mobile. The canvas: four panels, shaped like tombstones—or oversized windows, depending on how you look at it—that is both individual and whole. The process: a convergence of disparate elements—mixed media—to tell the story of the place: light installations, speakers, water, all parts of the work itself.

“We wanted the total sensory experience for the viewer,” both artists explain. “We want him not just to view the mural, but to step within it, to experience it, and even become part of the whole work. How the lights will cast his shadows on the mural is part of the work itself. The viewer is also the work. It is going to be a collaborative three-dimensional mural piece that will also involve the senses—seeing, touching, hearing.”

Smelling, too?

“We’re actually trying to work that one out,” Jutsze laughs.

All boundaries, all distinctions, all rigidity of forms tossed out. But the exercise also becomes a distinction itself. Blurring, yet also assembling, the line.

I am seeing the work in progress in the Powerhaus studio. The canvases are still white, with red paint for outlines, but with figures already emerging into a story.

In one panel, there is a man dressed in a business suit with a tie, standing in front of what looks like the Boulevard. The people in the background seem to be staring out to sea—to where? and why? In the second panel, there is a boy carrying a placard that bears a phantom face. The place seems to be the tsiangge. Or the Dumaguete Cathedral. But does it matter? On the third panel, there is a boy with what looks like mountain ranges in the background. On the fourth, there is a middle-aged man sleeping and snoring, with another man in the background—a fisherman? a farmer?

Four panels. Four figures, with their mouths wide-open, soon to speak, perhaps a witticism in the local language. “Ang gawas maoy sulod,” they will perhaps intone.

And each carries a glass jar, a “galloon.”

This is Dumaguete, the “lokal” according to Jutsze Pamate and Babbu Wenceslao.

In a sense, I like the process with which this exercise of giving form to flux is being done. In a place that also showcases the dissolution of distinctions. Powerhaus is in the center of Dumaguete’s sleek downtown, but overlooks its innards: through the windows, there is the proliferation of rusted galvanized iron, lines of laundry, and the unadorned backs of business establishments. It is the city itself without the make-up it shows the world. We somehow sense it is Dumaguete’s very center, its core. The inside is the outside.

Fyodor Dostoevski once said, “Boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side.” He might as well have talked about Dumaguete. Here, distinctions, and indistinctions, are what makes the lokal.

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich

Friday, September 26, 2003

My Kristyn has a new blog called Mom's Closet! And it comes with a very interesting creative non-fictional post, too! Define perfection...

And yes, perfection, too, is my sweet, beautiful M. who does love me -- and demonstrated the fact by bringing me yellow and red roses Thursday afternoon to say sorry. This is love. This is also the last, last time you'll ever hear me talk about M. I'm fast learning the beauty of secrets these days...

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This is absolutely funny! Who knew Kristeta had an LJ?

[via hickypox]

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This made me laugh in the middle of a depression.

[via elephant still missing]

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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Feast on this.

[via cheesedip]

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Somebody owns the copyright to the Dewey Decimal System? Whoa.

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This is too good to pass up.

Chuck Palahniuk is gay. Entertainment Weekly outed him even when he asked to go "off the record," and he's hopping mad.

But I always thought there was something else going on around there in Fight Club. All those manly, sweaty fistfights had a strange homoerotic undercurrent, if you really think about it.

(I wonder how Gelo will react to this...)

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The obviously very troubled Alison Smith (r.) serves as bridesmaid at the wedding of her ex-husband and her mother. Two years ago, Alison found then-husband George Greenhowe in bed with Mom — ten days after their wedding! No hard feelings, apparently: "I may have lost a husband but I've gained a father," says Alison today.

[From Nerve.com]

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Not a poem

The thing to do,


is to not think.

Not think.

Just a


filling your head.

And then take




     --- an exhale.

After which,

you're pretty

much okay,

breathing the





it consumes


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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I know my life. I refuse to be cowered into believing I'm a bad person. In that one instance of accusation, all of me rose to such clarity -- and for the first time ever, I found myself fighting for the dignity I finally know I possess. I've always possessed it, but have always wavered in believing it. But not anymore.

It was such a shock. To have all that come from somebody whom I thought loved me, to whom I bared my life --- warts and all, every little secret out. One cannot win an argument with somebody all too set in thinking of you the way one gossipmonger can paint your whole life. All my 28 years tainted in a second because of a purple tongue.

That I'm a whore.

That I'm a tattle-tale.

That I'm a monster.

That last one bit me like a snake.

(This is how it is to die, I finally know.)

My story will end somewhere else, far away from this small, sad place. It cannot contain me, not all its gossip and so-called friends.

I used to live for no other reason except to taunt myself into believing I can never really be happy without something, or someone. That was my tragedy as a creature of hope. But I know now that there is so much more to hope than being tragic.

This is the chronicle of one person's search for the good in life. To affirm that all is still well in a world which is so easy to believe as something depraved. (I refuse to believe in that kind of world. Life is too good.) And to dance, like the tango dancer, with love, betrayal, and finally, resolution.

That is how life should be.

And know that if you're reading this, I consider you a friend I can trust. Nobody else, except five people, know about this secret spot.

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