Fiesta | Tish dela Cruz

 

A

B

1

Spent two hours talking about a can of bugspray. Another two finding a bug to kill. To begin with, it was Sunset Orange and reminded me of my grandmother’s manicured nails. Then came its health hazards. Found a lizard on the ceiling, drugged it, and it fell on the ground like an anchor. And we imagined a tremble in the ground as the room filled up with an almost tangible fume. My arms wet with toxic mist. Laughed and choked and choked and laughed.
  • She went on about how the judge addressed her mother as the lucrative-looking woman to approach the stand. All this was supposed to be amusing so we laughed hard. I could see the pink of her tonsils and moist forming on her temples. I don’t know what they put in those insect killers, but we inhaled too much and my head started to pound.
  • I can never remember what the spleen looks like. Or its location. It must be near the liver.

2

There was nothing left in the fridge apart from a moldy orange and sour cream. Stuck my head in the freezer and licked its walls. Slackened my jaw. My mouth wide open like a welcoming cave. Feels like a shirt hanging on a clothesline in Calcata, dry as a fucker. It becomes a fixture. Even after a tall glass of water. I wrote her name with my tongue in a complicated script. I kept making mistakes.

3

  • We were smoking Russian Sobranies. I got them off the internet using my uncle’s credit card.
  • This would rile up the landlady. My hair doused with lard, it smells like burnt plastic, Arugula and a damp towel. That and the bugspray. And the used T-shirts all over the floor like snakeskin. And the neighbor having late night snack of pork rinds and vinegar. And the ashtray, potent than ever.
  • Her Tennis was in the afternoon. Proof of it is her oily forehead, shining like a red bowling ball. She smells very much like a child. If anyone, an ancient child named Celeste with ringlets and a back white with talc.
  • This is a man’s lair. The couch is a catalog of fried dinners. Trod the periphery of the stove with a satisfying crunch at each step. The whole area like a bar room and we play pretend pool on the coffee table. I think my pores are blocked with rock salt. I need a shower.

4

  • There is a familiar buzz. A persistent electric fly. I become receptive enough to hear the slow burning of a neglected cigarette. The shuffling of rodent feet. We keep the television on to give the illusion of continuity. My voice is louder than his because I do not get to talk during the day.
  • A frustrated Entomologist, he discussed the life cycle of termites.
  • He says he’s going to build nice big museum in Uganda. That every hotshot’ll fly in and contribute. Some German woman will scatter multicolored paper boxes and nine-inch nails all over a spotless 50 sq. ft. space and call it Der Fuhrer!
  • She likes to sing. First, she recalls a play she directed in high school, South Pacific, and sings “Bali Hai.” I bring back Celeste, this time accompanying a piano recital.
  • We play the iTunes game wherein she gives a scenario and I play the most apt song for it. For doing the laundry, she says, for finding out your dad is cheating on your mom. A mix of machine drone, the static from channel 67, the occasional whir of a vehicle (a chorus) and the clink of a cup on the tabletop top top.

 

A

B

1

I might be sick. Or these sheets might be infested. With Buddha knows what.
  • A burrowing of small things in my arm. A pretermitted plantation. She lies beside me like a dead Manatee and I fight the urge to touch her, To touch her would be a violation of all the things we have built (which is a shipyard). So I listen to her stories about meeting strangers, trying out crowds like shoes. It would frighten her mother, how she meets people.
  • She used to read at the Laundromat. The first time, she was a crazy chick reading Kerouac while waiting for a load of underwear. By god, she was biting her lower lip and smiling. I watched her from the glass and she always sat below the S of the SALLY’S painted on it.

2

  • It becomes a dilemma when you lie down. He warned me about this. You can never get up. Not even with his incessant invitations to stand up and dance.
  • I looked it up in the Control Panel under Mouse Properties. You can choose to display pointer trails. On that long line of arrows, I am the last one.
As much as possible, I avoid lull.

3

It’s too early to tell.
  • And she keeps maundering on about baby names and this makes me uncomfortable. Then she detects it. She takes out a notebook from an old hessian bag and writes feverishly. I ask what about. About a woman who gets aroused by eyeball-licking. She says if you have walked these streets long enough, it’s easy to accept that everyone has taken to some form of irregularity.
  • Nicholas, Dean, Atticus, Cillick, Malachi, Francisco, she says, Lucia, Corinne, Molly, Dakota, Alice.

4

  • It’s only recently that I started to get chest pains. Perhaps the onset of Emphysema. My father used to cough all the time in the shower. Like trying to jumpstart a car.
  • Been months since we got wrapped up in all this shit and I still get nervous. Let’s see, it’s a cross between a schoolgirl finally getting that fancy Polly Pocket and trying to learn how to maneuver a right-hand drive.
I’m not sane enough to keep track of my heart rte, but I assure you, it is of modest difference. Even if it’s times like these when I worry about things like the death of David Letterman. No, I do not find him particularly entertaining, but I worry about it nonetheless.

 

A

B

1

Ever seen one of those industrial mixers?
  • I give her Alka-Seltzer.
  • And room-temperature ginger ale.

2

  The nearest all-nighter is not near. I couldn’t really walk even ten meters without hitting a stray. Alas, neither could I work magic on a tub of sour cream and nothing else. But we were running low on cigarettes.

3

It feels good to be emptied. I experienced my entire day in minutes, including the three spoonfuls of Ascorbic Acid that capped it off with a nice little tang.  

4

  Annoyance is physical for me. A weight on my clavicles.

 

A

B

1

Only gets worse. We took turns with the Cape North and I can’t read the clock anymore. But I can sync my pulse with its ticking. A pounding on a pipe organ. My arrhythmia doesn’t help. I want to sleep so badly, but it would ruin the evening. I fantasize about this constantly. Sitting at every café table for two, smoking and not saying anything. Until all the displaced energy is laid out like trinkets in a flea market, open for inspection and bargaining. I derive comfort in this silence.
  • It’s a 27-hour day. There are three hidden hours after midnight and the world outside does not exist. I wouldn’t be surprised if I opened this door and found this room to be suspended in the Matrix loading program.
  • I have to crack my knuckles.

2

  • Fortunately, I haven’t been injured. But I have a theory it isn’t painless.
  • In his mind, probably a short film in which we walk around in grainy black and white. It isn’t easy, but a lot more interesting – especially at night. Suddenly, we’re in Morocco. In a beaten down cafeteria where they have to put up signs to keep the customers from stealing cutlery.
  • Or a play in which we explore a ruins left by a war. And as if the whole town cooperates, we come across an old woman walking her dog. Probably looking for her husband’s helmet.
  • Also an Indian encampment. In which there is a stew boiling in a cauldron for when the hunters go home.
  • We dance The Safety Dance because I simply could not stand it anymore. She flexes her arms like an aerobics instructor. I bring the stale drinks to the sink and get her a fresh glass of water, not giving a damn if her throat is getting dry, but to have something to do.
  • I don’t know what to say. Perhaps later when she’s gone, I could download a Famicom emulator to finally remember what golden theme song the Japs created for the old Tetris. We create a million of these splinters in the head. This way, I am never severed from her. Plus, these are good conversation starters.

3

I start to worry when my knees give in. As expected from a juvenile mind, I delight in any form of senescence. We cannot keep this up. Like a string puppet, my body is a sheet strewn across this rickety hand-me-down chair. I forget my joints. My spine. He sits taut. Goddamit, he sits taut.
  • This is the best time to convey the events of the morning.
  • Cape Cod doesn’t make me think of Cod. It makes me think of capes and the most appropriate time to wear one.

4

I have tried this before, but it makes you so dry that any attempt is foolish. You would think that every sensation heightens, but it doesn’t. Some senses become dull. All this is a mound of smooth pulsing flesh. An accessory at most. But I assume the most provocative positions. A bout of courage from the Vodka. I’m certain that he notices so he tweaks the conversation to Mayan Architecture and The Battle of Algiers.
  • I feel really sorry for her. I really do. So we played Word Association.
  • It’s supposed to be so good, like everything else. I came close to doing it, but it was the time I was worried about getting girls pregnant.

5

  • It’s by this time when I know that I’ve lost. We’re too tired to sleep so we go out and smoke rancid cigarette butts. The music sounds like a looming force from miles away. I start to think about sunlight and how I would have to walk home with dysfunctional eyelids.
  • Confidences. Trying to prolong the feeling of meeting a stranger in an elevator. You ride twenty floors up and twenty floors down. That kind of stranger. Someone who will not ask for your name, so you do not ask for his.
I’m starting to feel really tired now.
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