Many, many years ago. Well, that sounds like an introduction to a rather long, convoluted story that my husband would make for our three year old daughter but I digress. Which is the point of the story, which is, to digress.
So, many, many years ago, back when I was in High School, around 1990s to be exact, I wished to be a writer. It is not known to me exactly when was it that I started wanting to be a writer. All I know was that I loved reading so much and the way I see it, by the speed I’m reading, I’ll be running out of stuff to read by the age of 13. I would need to write a lot, so that I can read them.
This would seem stupendous to you if you don’t factor in the fact that I lived in the province and that our little public library has such a pitiful stock of books that I resort to reading even the halved newspapers they use to wrap dried fish in. I am so hungry for words that I stop to read signposts, announcements, and traffic instructions.
When I was in Elementary, Komiks was all the rage. Komiks, being differentiated from Comics that teenagers now read where they get specialized drawings and poetic wordings. My kind was Komiks, the ones that you can find in every Sari Sari Store, for rent for twenty five cents in the year 1987. Komiks, then, was the soap opera of today. It was where I followed Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita, Zuma, Anak Ni Zuma and other Mars Ravelo greats. I used to have a peso baon everyday, a peso which of of course, would be, should be, for food. So that means, I get to read four Komiks a day. There was Funny Komiks, Hiwaga, Tagalog, Wakasan, Happy, Universal and a whole slew of different pots. My daily dose is two for drama, one for Funny Komiks, one for horror, and another one for drama, which is a bonus since I am a long time customer. I do not bother with eating at Recess. That’s just for average kids who don’t know what fantastical worlds they’re missing. There was a certain relative, the kind that you only visit once a year, they owned a Sari Sari Store and all their copies of Komiks gets stocked in the back room. It stood rows and rows, a veritable paradise. I spent quite a lot of Christmases there in that backroom. While my cousins crowed about the money and food, I digested plots and counter plots.
Weekends are reserved for Liwayway and Tagalog novels. In between household chores, I would sneak in a chapter or two of Venus Ramilo or Reina de la Cruz, which I know now, are all pretty pseudonyms for bored housewives writing to while away the time (ahermm). It was at that tender age that I got my introduction to sex, delusion and passion. The movie, Laro sa Baga, simply pales in comparison to the violence and hunger as the one in Liwayway series. I rooted for Agua in Agua Bendita and bated my breath for Saber Tooth Tiger. I eagerly awaited the next Bagong Dugo story of the week. I had hoped to contribute one day, but, oh well, life got in the way. Story of my life.
So back to the point, which is digressing and writing. After all the reading, I decided I want to be a writer. I want to be able to affect, to arouse, to move emotions to extreme. So I bought myself a notebook where I could, you know, write about life and everything. Which is by way of explaining why I have a lot of notebooks with nothing written on it. Oh, some of them has quite a few chapters, but I got tired of rewriting because I wanted everything with no erasures in it. I decided, what the hell, let me wait a bit until they can invent word processors and computers. It turns out I am quite a genius in predicting the future, for a few years later, I got my very own word processor. Not a typewriter, mind you, but a real word processor. I polished it everyday and ended with bond papers with just a word on it. Some were pretty advanced that it got a whole sentence on it.
In college, I discovered poetry. Suits my style. A simple Haiku could do the trick. I could finish a poem in one sitting. I could pretend, once in a while, that I’m a writer by virtue of a few stanzas in the University Paper. My teacher said that I don’t have commitment. Which is quite sad, for sometimes, I run into something that I wrote and it would bring tears to my eyes. In spite of knowing that it was me who wrote it, I kind of wish I could read a bit of the writings of this author. If only there are stores where you can buy commitment.
Which brings me to another point. Throughout my life, I have succeeded on not doing what I have always wanted to do. And maybe I could blame scarred childhood or some such psychology, if only I knew not, deep within, that I alone have blundered into losing my dream. I sometimes lay awake, plotting stories and creating characters. If only I could get up and just do it. I wonder why I am such an expert in procrastination when it comes to writing. And now, writing about writing, I am somewhat satisfied by convoluting. I could offer others the same advice that I need. You can either wish to write, or simply write. All others are reasons not to succeed.
And I really wish I would not digress, but the only reason I’m writing this is that I have a plot deadline and I just want to write about something.