Le Penseur

Life takes us into a series of images.  Life strikes us by surprise.

My life for the past few months has been a series of uphill, but mostly downhill.  Sometimes, I contemplate on writing my daily dose of adventures and mishaps in this online diary for recently this blog has been a collection personal tragedies and unfulfilled desires instead of what i want it to be -- a travel/inspiration blog. However, I held back, thinking, what is the sense of doing so?  For what?  What’s the point of opening one’s life into people who might not know you and just so happen to come across your blog?  Who cares? Who would be interested in reading your sadness, your deepest sorrows, your unfulfilled desires, and your disappointments?  I guess it’s easier to open up your victory and accomplishments–brag about them and indulge in self-glorification.  But all those which trouble your soul–that’s another story.

11:11


Nowadays, people look for some interesting read.  Something that would inspire them; not drag them in the same old shit and that would remind them of their own troubles.  People say, life is good, and if you’re up to it, you’ll be able to master and stir it in your preferred direction.  But does it really happen in reality?  I believe so then.  But things turned to be not-s-good, that I began to doubt myself.

This is not the usual me.  I have always been known to be the ever so idealistic my-little-ray-of-sunshine type of guy.  But now, I just feel so down and confused.  My boss once said, FOCUS! the problem with most people is that they know what they don’t want but fail to define what they really do want.  But I know what I want. And I want it so bad– I even turned hardcore-unbelievably-religious-person-that-I-am-not these past few months.  (I mean, I do believe in God, and revere Him all my life, but to initiate a pilgrimage and hop from one church to another and pray to all the known Saints–that’s far beyond the usual me).

Yet and still, I end up in a wasteland. (Well, I still have a one-in-a-millionth-chance, but hoping in it is just as good as throwing myself into oblivion).

Probably I am just disappointed with myself.  More so,  because I realized I am not as tough as I projected to be.  Everything just shook my faith–and I am saddened to know that I could easily stumble with an encounter of some unfortunate event.  Fake reverence, if you wish to call it.

Or maybe this is just a spur-of-the-moment rant. I don't know.  I am used to disappointments. I have high tolerance of pain. I have a long string of patience. But this was different. And now, I struggle. I suffer.

I need you not empathize with me. Depression is a friend to someone who struggles to have a well-lived life – the continuous baffling and battling of oneself to become someone outside the self.

But does it pay off?  I don’t know, really.

---
Tonight I'm going to finish a post regarding a you're-tagged-you-have-to-post-something game by a good friend Drew. :) I feel kinda excited, so I'm looking forward to evaluating some photos that I took for the past few years.

I want to be a wilderness explorer, someday.

Sometimes, it scares me that I’m acting way beyond my age.  I’m just 21, yet I feel so old. Almost everyone in the office thinks I'm a waste-of-time-to-talk-to dude, typecasting me as an out-of-this-world weirdo, so I'm forced to act what I am not.  My work — everything about it demands maturity and stepping beyond myself.

Sometime I wonder how small I am compared to this world. Is it a matter of numerical value? *photo was taken in our Pinatubo trek last January, where we traversed a colossal sand corridor which would collapse anytime. 

“Byron, do you have plans of being a CEO someday?”

I was taken aback by the question thrown by  a friend, who, like me, asks out-of-the-blue queries.

“No” I said.
 “I have no plans of getting into the managerial side of everything. I'm too inconsistent for that.” I added.

“Most young people would say otherwise.” she said.

“Honestly, I’d rather be a professor-cum-architect someday,” pointing it out matter-of-factly.

Or a wilderness explorer — I thought to myself.

You see, I am leading a very complicated life at the moment.  Time passes swiftly and the recent past just seems so distant.  I feel that my youth is slowly slipping away from me. The great responsibility lying on my shoulders sometimes becomes overwhelming.

No, my problems are not of myself.  I do not worry about finances.  Being single-at-my-age bothers me least. In fact, this is a point where love, even just the thought of it, seems elusive.

I sat in a mentos-shaped bench, somewhere in the chain of urban parks in Makati CBD, while my companions are talking about things that really matter. But who is to say what things really matter are?

I was a mere spectator, listening to these people’s arguments.  They discussed peace, war, Mindanao, local tourism, Chief Justice Corona and several humanitarian efforts on the ground. I looked through the mirror of water created after the heavy rain and thought for a moment what could have been with life had I chose a different way?

I wouldn’t know, really.

I hope that this writing would not be misconstrued as a sign of discontent, or another symptom of my commitment-phobic nature.

No, I am not complaining about my work. I love it and I learn so much from it.  Maybe I haven’t just reconciled to the idea that this is happening too soon.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if there are still things in store for me in the future — would I choose to remain in the same state. Once, I tried to delay, but it seems that no matter what I do, I’m still being led to this. I guess this is just a bittersweet realization that with the life I chose, I need not think of myself this often.

So for now, I need to be selfless to a great extent.

What Dreams are Worth

I write this post with a little (or a lot) of disappointment, and sadness. I am planning to apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship for Masters in International Cooperation in Urban Development, and I am still unsure if I have the correct set of qualifications or even the guts to push through.

The road is hazy, but I know where I want to go.








A couple of weeks ago, when I decided to apply, I told myself that I will put 200% of myself into this application, because I am not going because I just want to go to Europe, or go back to school, or just exploring opportunities. This is the dream: go to TU Darmstadt, explore Europe, get experience in International relations on Sustainability and landscape design, work for the UN, or national Geographic or something like that (after which, getting a lifelong job of travelling and experiencing new landscapes). BIG DREAMS, I know, but I got to a point that I know I can push myself, I can dream big and that God has given me the academic background (thanks to my parents), work experience, the heart and the capacity to do this. And that I feel that this is what I am meant to do with my life.

My jaw dropped at the very grand program, especially that: “Erasmus for All is based on the premise that investing in education and training is the key to unlocking people’s potential, regardless of their age or background. It helps them to increase their personal development, gain new skills and boost their job prospects.”

I have always approached life with the perspective that every experience is a learning experience, and I found out how that improves me as a person and as an employee. Whether it be soft or technical skills, I have continued to push myself to grow more and more. I would like to dedicate my life to exploring new cultures, indulging in new landscapes, design for both nature and man, to help other people improve themselves and their employability of the environment that surrounds them.

One’s own happiness of course is affected by family, friends and work. I believe that when one finds a career that meets all 3: What You Love, What You are Good at and What Pays Well, we find contentment and meaning in our lives. Getting there is the journey, and having that mindset of learning and grabbing every opportunity to learn is the secret, I believe. And sometimes, not achieving your dreams easily makes you realize how badly you want them, and test your persistence in achieving it.

I cannot count the times I feel like I have taken a wrong turn or made a wrong decision. Or dreamed of something I was not able to achieve. I don’t really know if grad school is meant for me, and what’s next for me at this point, but this I know:

I know where I want to go. And that I have never backed down from doing everything necessary to get there. Case in point: despite my absolute reluctance, I am manually researching for possible topics that I could present and relate in my motivation letter.

I know that my passion and my persistence in believing in myself and my dreams will one day help me achieve what I feel I am meant to do with my life.

So this is not a surrender, and if ever I fail, not getting the scholarship is simply a sign for me to find another path to get to my dream. I’m letting go, and letting God show me the way.

The story does not end here.

Scenes from the same window

I feel fortunate to be seated on a workstation in front of the window. So everytime I see something that catches my attention, I immediately reach out for my humble camera and take some snaps. Sometimes a lost vapor nomad  wanders on the unfamiliar set of vertical colossi that pierces through their own private thoroughfare. Most of the time a huge cloud looms over the Laguna lake; and at constant rarity, a rainbow dragon or a leg of lightning makes a cameo appearance.



I am often challenged by this eight-to-five routine. Being a person who needs a breathe of a new landscape every so often, I always try to put some meaning to mundane, every day things I see at present. One day, I'm sure I'll be able to get out of this clockwork and create my own reality.

Olongapo and Subic Bay observations


Short notes and observations on my short trip to Olongapo and Subic:
I tried to be objective as much as possible. We went there by commute.

- There are no sidewalks, people had to walk on dirt paths along the highway.
- Poor drainage, a little rain and the road will be submerged in floodwater.
- Deteriorating structures that lacks maintenance.
- Hotel was a blah. I enjoyed sleeping on the floor by the way.
- The landscape was trying hard.
- Food was okay.
- Hotel egg tastes like wet tissue.
- old and new houses alike are slowly receding into oblivion like artifacts forgotten by time.
- Tree top adventure was all right. I pity the tall trees.

- Bougainvillea 'trees' that line most of the town center add charm to the city.
- Excellent masonry work on dry riprap. Reminiscent of the walls in baguio.
- I kinda like the idea of crossing the border of Olongapo and Subic by foot. It's like crossing a highly guarded miltary base camp into a civilian area with other refugees.

An occult feature


We popped into the first movie theater that caught our eye.

What we ended up seeing was a crime-occult double feature. There was hardly a soul in the place. It’d been ages since I’d been in a theater that empty. I counted the people in the audience to pass the time. Eight, including ourselves. There were more characters in the films.



The films were exemplars of the dreadful. The sort of films where you feel like turning around and walking out the instant the title comes on after the roaring MGM lion. Amazing that films like that exist.

The first was the occult feature. The devil, who lives in the dripping, dank cellar of the town church and manipulates things through the weak preacher, takes over the town. The real question, though, was why the devil wanted to take over the town to begin with. All it was was a miserable nothing of a few blocks surrounded by cornfields. Nonetheless, the devil had this terrible obsession with the town and grew furious that one last little girl refused to fall under his spell. When the devil got mad, his body shook like quivering green jelly. Admittedly, there was something endearing about that rage.

In front of us a middle-aged man was snoring away like a foghorn. To the extreme right there was some heavy petting in progress. Behind, someone let out a huge fart. Huge enough to stop the middle-aged man’s snoring for a moment. A pair of high school girls giggled. By reflex, I thought of Twerp. And it was only when I did that it came to me that we’d really left Manila and were now in Davao. Funny about that.

Amid these thoughts I fell asleep. In my dreams, I encountered that green devil, but he wasn’t endearing in the least. He remained silent and I just observed his machinations.

Meanwhile, the film ended, the lights came on, and I woke up. Each member of the audience yawned as if in predetermined order. I went to the snack bar and bought ice cream for us. It was hard as a rock, probably left over from last year.

“You slept through the whole thing?”
“Uh-huh,” I said. “How was it?”
“Pretty interesting. In the end, the whole town explodes.”
“Wow.”

The movie theater was deathly quiet. Or rather everything around us was deathly quiet. Not a common occurrence.

“Say,” she said, “doesn’t it seem like your body’s in a state of transit or something?”
Now that she mentioned it, it actually did.
She held my hand. “Let’s just stay like this. I’m worried.”
“Okay.”
“Unless we stay like this, we might get transported somewhere else. Someplace crazy.”

As the theater interior grew dark again and the coming attractions began, I brushed her hair aside and kissed her ear.
“It’s all right. Don’t worry.”
“You’re probably right,” she said softly. “I guess we should have ridden in transportation with names after
all.”

For the next hour and a half, from the beginning to the end of the film, we stayed in a state of quiet transport in the darkness. Her head resting on my shoulder the whole time. My shoulder became warm and damp from her breath. We came out of the movie theater and strolled the twilit streets, my arm around her shoulder. We felt closer than ever before. The commotion of passersby was comforting; faint stars were shining through in the sky.

Delusions

One thing I've tempered a lot as I've aged is "criticism." No, I don't mean avoiding criticizing political arguments or figures, but easing up on criticizing people I meet or things I encounter. For instance, I used to be much more opinionated about movies or art, eviscerating things I thought were wrongheaded or poorly done. Now I realize that to create anything is difficult and a real accomplishment, and I tend to limit my thoughts to "not my cup of tea" or simply avoid things that are not my style. I don't criticize how other people lead their lives, or raise their children, or spend their money, or how they shave or why don't they comb their hair; even if it's in the form of a joke: to each his own has pretty much been my mantra (unless it hurts someone else), and I find myself much happier for not being so judgmental. Who am I to judge others all the time when I am hardly perfect?

Airport dialogues

We received our boarding passes at the airport check-in counter and said goodbye to Ray Ban. He would have waited to see us off, but as there was an hour and a half before departure time, he capitulated and left. We went into the airport restaurant and had an early lunch. Cream dory on garlic butter for me, Jollibee spaghetti for her. I watched the Airbuses take flight and swoop down to earth with a gravity that seemed fated. Meanwhile, she dubiously inspected each strand of the sweet spaghetti she ate.






“I thought that they always served meals on planes,” Z said, disgruntled.
“Nope,” I said, waiting for the hot lump of fillet in my mouth to cool down, then gulping down some water. No taste but hot.
“Meals only on international flights. They give you something to eat on longer domestic routes. Not exactly what you’d call a special treat, though.”
“And movies?”
“No way. C’mon, it’s only an hour and a half to Davao.”
“Then they give you nothing.”
“Nothing at all. You sit in your seat, read your book, and arrive at your destination. Same as by bus.”
“But no traffic lights.”
“No traffic lights.”
“Just great,” she said with a sigh. She put down her fork, leaving half the spaghetti untouched.
“The thing is you get there faster. It takes... I dunno, 12 hours probably, by boat and bus.”
“And where does the extra time go?”

I also gave up halfway through my meal and ordered two coffees.
“Extra time?”
“You said planes save you over ten hours. So where does all that time go?”
“Time doesn’t go anywhere. It only adds up. We can use those ten hours as we like, in Manila or in Davao. With ten hours we could see four movies, eat two meals, whatever. Right?”
“But what if I don’t want to go to the movies or eat?”
“That’s your problem. It’s no fault of time.”

She bit her lip as we looked out at the squat bodies of the Airbus A330s in the runway. Airbus always reminds me of a fat, ugly old lady in the neighborhood where I used to live. Huge sagging breasts, swollen legs, dried-up neckline. The airport, a likely gathering place for the old ladies. Dozens of them, coming and going, one after the other. The pilots and stewardesses, strutting back and forth in the lobby with heads held high, seemed quaintly planar.

“Well,” she went on, “does time expand?”
“No, time does not expand,” I answered. I had spoken, but why didn’t it sound like my voice? I coughed and drank my coffee. “Time does not expand.”
“But time is actually increasing, isn’t it? You yourself said that time adds up.”
“That’s only because the time needed for transit has decreased. The sum total of time doesn’t change. It’s only that you can see more movies.”
“If you wanted to see movies,” she added.
As soon as we arrived in Davao, we actually did see a double feature.

The entire flight, she sat by the window and looked down at the scenery. I sat next to her reading my Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Not a single cloud in the sky the whole time, the airplane riding on its shadow over the earth. Or more accurately, since we were in the plane, our shadows figured as well inside the shadow of the airplane skimming over mountain and field. Which would mean we too were imprinted into the earth.

“Why didn’t you give our rock a name all this time?”
“Why indeed,” I puzzled. Then I closed the book and placed it in my side. “I think I just don’t like
names. Basically, I can’t see what’s wrong with calling me ‘me’ or you ‘you’ or us ‘us’ or them ‘them.’”
“Hmm,” she said. “I do like the word ‘we,’ though. It has an Ice Age ring to it.”

“Ice Age?”
“Like ‘We go south’ or ‘We hunt mammoth’ or …”

When we stepped outside at Francisco Bangoy International Airport, the air was chillier than we’d expected, and to think it was summer. I pulled a denim shirt over my T-shirt, she a knit vest over her shirt.

“We weren’t supposed to run into an Ice Age, were we?” she asked on the bus to the metro. “You hunting
mammoths, me raising children.”

“Sounds positively inviting,” I said.

---
Thaks renz of thetravellingnomad.com for the accurate information on things about Davao.
My trip did not push through with this one.

Golden blues: Mountain traverse To Anawangin

01-20-2012. The morning was hazy and cool. I sympathized with street children. Sleeping with their backs open to the cold polluted air of Metro Manila. A day like this could be brutal. Maybe they don’t feel cold? Maybe they don’t feel anything.

Philippines' short christmas season was drawing to a close. The thick gray clouds that block the moon on this icy January night marked the end of the short cool months this year. I awoke at 12midnight and washed my face, with barely enough sleep. I sat alone in an ordinary bus, looking out the window and pondered upon things on how spontaneous this trip was. We are going to Zambales for a weekend getaway, and leave the station in Caloocan at 4am. I was an hour early. To say the least, this trip was an open birthday invitation by one of my few good friends Ivan who is also a travel blogger. Crazy guy, wanted to spend his 20th in the wilderness. Ha ha. Our itinerary includes a mountain hike, beach camping and island hopping. All of it squeezed in more or less 48 hours. Who'd believe we can do that? Well, I do.

Corridors

She pushed the cold metal button pointing up. Back into that overgrown vacu-pac elevator.

"Stock market?"
"Sure, Mom taught me the tricks. She taught me how to choose among all the information, how to read the market, how to dodge taxes, how to transfer funds to banks overseas, stuff like that. Stocks are a lot of fun. Ever tried?"

"Afraid not," I said. I'd never opened a fixed-term com-pounded-interest account.

The elevator moved at its requisite impossible ascending-or-descending speed.
"Grandfather says that schools are too inefficient to produce top material. What do you think?" she asked.

"Well, probably so," I answered. "I went to school for many years and I don't believe it made that much difference in my life. I can't speak any languages, can't play any instruments, can't swim, can't play the stock market, can't even drive a car."

"So why didn't you quit school? You could have quit any time you wanted, couldn't you?"

"I guess so," I said. "I could have quit, but I didn't want to. I guess it didn't occur to me to do anything like that. Unlike you, I had a perfectly average, ordinary upbringing. I never had what it takes to make a first-rate anything."

"That's wrong," she declared. "Everyone must have one thing that they can excel at. It's just a matter of drawing it out, isn't it? But school doesn't know how to draw it out. It crushes the gift. It's no wonder most people never get to be what they want to be. They just get ground down."

"Like me," I said.
"No, you're different. I can tell there's something special about you. The emotional shell around you is so hard, everything inside has got to be still intact."

"Emotional shell?"

"That's right," she said. "That's why it's not too late. After all this is over, why don't we live together? It's not like we'd have to get married or anything. We could move to Norway or Netherlands or somewhere easy-going like that and pass the time riding horses, singing songs and backpacking. We'd have plenty of money, and meanwhile you could be reborn as a first rate human being."

"Hmm." Not a bad offer.

The elevator came to a stop. She stepped out and I followed. She walked at a fast pace, as she had the first time we met, the click of her high heels echoing down the long corridor. Before my eyes, her pleasing wiggle, her flashing silver earrings.

"But suppose I took you up on the offer," I spoke to her back, "You'd be doing all the giving and I'd be doing all the taking. That doesn't strike me as fair." She slowed her pace to walk beside me.
"There's bound to be something you can give me," she said.
"For instance?"
"For instance, your emotional shell. That's something I really want to find out about. I want to know what it's made up of and how it functions and stuff like that."

"It's nothing to get excited about," I said. "Everybody has more or less of an emotional shell—if that's what you want to call it. You've never been out in the world. You don't know how the mind of the ordinary person works."

"You act as if you're worthless!" exclaimed the girl. "You can read minds, can't you?"
"Of course I can. But that's just a matter of practice. Not so different from using an abacus or playing the piano."

"That is not all there is to it," she said. "Everyone thought that way at first. That with the necessary training, anyone—anyone who can say they can that is—could read minds. But it isn't. You are the only person I knew who could.

Capones island

According to grade school textbooks, there are seven thousand one hundred and seven islands that comprise the Philippine archipelago. It even varies, depending on the condition of the sea level, as a beauty queen tossed back when she was asked the exact number of islands: "High tide, or low tide?" Our country, being one of the countries blessed with a hefty amount of land, will give the ordinary student a hard time drawing the islands and islets in a map. Considering some of them are being fought upon by our government and the Chinese, some of them being held up by the New People's Army, some of them dug out and shipped to China for reclamation, some of them fake, and some, are, i don't know, just incomprehensible, yet equally beautiful, but only one of them captured my wandering eye.

I fell in love for the first time, to an island.



Breathtaking views on top will surely urge someone to stay and build a house and start a family there. But of course, like any other woman, they tend to play hard to get. As they said, good things should be worked hard for. Take for an example, like courting a lady, or keeping a relationship going, one has to make great effort to claim an equally great reward. Makes sense, don't you think? I know some people who think otherwise. Anyway, going back, the place where I took the above photos didn't just involve an easy walk in the park. The mere expectation of setting foot on its shores with our dry bodies intact simply vanished away when our guide and "bangkero," the one who takes control of our motorboat, told us that we have to swim to the shore.

II. Pet rock

“Nice rocky rock!,” said the RayBan, hand not outstretched. “What’s his name?”
“He doesn’t have a name.”
“So what do you call the fella?”
“I don’t call it,” I said. “It’s just there.”

“But he’s not a lump just sitting there. Even if it has a rock, it has feelings, no? Seems mighty strange that
something that God created doesn’t have a name.”
“Rocks were created by God, but nobody gives them names.”
“Well, first of all, there’s no emotional bond between rocks and people, and besides, they wouldn’t know
their name if they heard it.”
“Which is to say that animals that not only move by their own will and share feelings with people but also
possess sight and hearing qualify as deserving of names then?”
“There, you got it.” RayBan nodded repeatedly, satisfied. “How about it? What say I go ahead and
give the little guy a name?”
“Don’t mind in the least. But what name?”

“How about ‘Twerp’? Z interjected.
“Not bad,” I said.
“You see?” said RayBan.
“Are you sure?” I asked her.
“Not bad,” she said. “It’s like being witness to the creation of heaven and earth.”

“Let there be Twerp,” I said.
“C’mere, Twerp,” said RayBan, picking up the the rock.

I. Pet rock

At 7 in the morning, that ridiculous submarine of an automobile was waiting outside my apartment building. From my second-story window, the sedan looked more like an upside-down metal cookie cutter than a submarine. You could make a gigantic cookie that would take three hundred kids two weeks to eat. She and I sat on the windowsill looking down at the car.

Yes, Z and I will be off to the Davao -- a city down south of the third land mass in the Philippine archipelago, Mindanao.

The sky was appallingly clear. A sky from a prewar expressionist movie. Utterly cloudless, like a monumental eye with its eyelid cut off. A helicopter flying high off in the distance looked minuscule.

I locked all the windows, switched off the refrigerator, and checked the gas cock. The laundry brought in, bed covered with spread, and an absurd number of medicinal items put in proper order by the washbasin. The rent paid two months in advance, I looked back from the
doorway into the lifeless 40 sqm. fifties-living room converted to an apartment. For a moment, I thought about the two months of reviewing spent there, thought about the things I learned and the things I never had.

The green gate made a creaking sound , and she called to me. I shut the screen door.
Ray Ban, a good friend, offered to drive us to the airport. The guy's really hooked with cars. He was intently polishing the windshield with a dry cloth as he waited for us. The car, not one single mark anywhere, gleamed in the sun to a burning, unearthly brilliance. The slightest touch of the hand and you’d get burned.

“Good morning,” said Ray Ban.
“Good morning,” said I.
“Good morning,” said Z.
She held our pet rock. I carried the rock food and bag of sand.

“Fabulous weather, isn’t it?” said Ray Ban, looking up at the sky. “It’s—how can I put it?—crystal clear.”
I nodded.
“When it gets this clear, God’s messages must have no trouble getting through at all,” I offered.
“Nothing of the kind,” said ray Ban with a grin. “There are messages already in all things. In the flowers, in the rocks, in the clouds …”
“And cars?”
“In cars too.”
“But cars are made by factories.” Typical me.
“Whosoever makes it, God’s will is worked into it.”
“As in ear lice?” Her contribution.
“As in the very air,” corrected Ray ban.
“Well then, I suppose that cars made in Saudi Arabia have Allah in them.”
“They don’t produce cars in Saudi Arabia.”
“Really?” Again me.
“Really.”
“Then what about cars produced in America for export to Saudi Arabia? What god’s in them?” queried Z.
A difficult question.

“Say now, we have to tell him about the rock,” I launched a lifeboat.
“Cute rock, eh?” said Ray Ban, our chauffeur, also relieved.
"Isn't it?" darted Z.

To give you an idea of what it looks like.


.
By "he" or "it", i mean, the rock.

The rock was anything but cute. Rather, he weighed in at the opposite end of the scale, its surface was rough like an old, overused sandpaper, it smelled of the sea, its color a bit yellowed, a chunk of seaweeds run through its upper extrimities like the hair of Bob Marley or a Jamaican reggae star. We drew eyes on it using a marker before so that by now it could see, eventhough not so much. I was doubtful that it could distinguish between a tennis shoe and a potato. Technically it's been with us for a year, and farted approximately a hundred and eight times.

He’d been a fine young stone the day I found him being washed away in the beaches of Zambales, brought him home, but in the last few months he’d rapidly gone downhill. Like a rock rolling toward the gutter, literally. Also, he didn’t have a name. I had no idea whether not having a name reduced or contributed to the rock's tragedy.

Z always insist that it's so cute she's gonna die.

To be continued.
The sand taught me one thing: You can't hold too many things, no matter what you do to make them stay, and no matter how much they want to stay, the wind will always blow them away. So learn to let go and choose carefully which you want to stay, because like the sand, only those which are in the center of your palm will last.