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

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Friday, February 10, 2017

entry arrow3:53 PM | Writing ‘Compartments’

My short story, “Compartments,” is part of the Love and Sex [February 2017] issue of Esquire Philippines Magazine! It’s going to be part of my forthcoming collection of erotica Don't Tell Anyone, published by Anvil. In the meantime, read this and see me bare ... my soul.

Truth to tell, it felt different, seeing this short story finally in print, on the pages of something other than just ephemeral text on my computer screen. I began writing “Compartments” sometime in 2010 after the biggest and most overwhelming heartbreak of my life. I needed to soothe my ache via the only thing I knew could help me: fiction. I wrote one scene — but I couldn’t go beyond that, and so it remained unfinished for a long, long time. But the story was there, in one of the folders in my laptop, at the back of my head. Rumurumbo sa utak, so they say. I knew how the story was going to end, but I had no idea exactly how to accomplish the middle — despite the fact that I knew already every single detail the story should possess. It was a difficult story to write, not because the words were not forthcoming, but because I felt I wasn’t ready to write it down for good and subsequently confront an intimate period from my immediate past.

In 2014, four years later, I finally managed to write it all down in white heat, over the course of a summer day. (The only other person I confided to about my project around that time was, of all people, the poet Ricardo de Ungria.) It was finally finished. Still, it remained unpublished, because who in this country would publish erotica?

And then Esquire’s Kristine Fonacier emailed me late last year, and then also Sarge Lacuesta. They wrote separately, didn’t know the other one was emailing me. Did I have erotica they could include for their Love and Sex issue of the magazine? Of course I do! I wrote back. And here it is, finally.

I read the story again last night — and all the pain came back, this time with the wistfulness of surrender, the balm of time, and the comfortable remove of fictionalizing. I have published many, many stories before, in books and in magazines, but this is the first time in a long, long while that I have ever felt a certain satisfaction over having something in print.

Thank you, Kristine and Sarge!

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