Typhoon Glenda had a little temper that wreaked havoc to nations. She uprooted trees, toppled electric posts, and ripped roofs off houses. The ancient mango tree in our neighborhood was split in two, right down the middle, half the tree crushing an eatery, the other a house. Later, the mango tree was cut and fashioned into furniture and chopping boards. A few yards away, the basketball complex was a different scenario. All the trees were razed over, scattered on the ground. The carnage of Glenda's fury. They too were turned into furniture and chopping boards. Such were the trees' afterlives.

In a brief lull during the storm, I went out my apartment in my pajamas, searching for food and alms, when a kitten called out my name. "Meow," it cried from behind some fallen bush. "Meow, meow, meow," it cried after me, its potential surrogate catmommy. I plucked it out from the bush and brought it home. Back at the apartment, the kitten was exploratory and sniffed every nook and cranny of the ground floor. It was devoid of fear of humans. If anything, it was oblivious to humans. Later it found its playground among the wheels of my road bike, and sharpened its claws on the hip belt of my mountaineering backpack. What name shall I give you? I said, poking its wet nose.

The tiny feline of indefinable gender--it was probably less than a month old--had the face of a wolf. Gray stripes ran on its tail, its back, on top its head, and on its cheeks, while the rest of its fur was pristine white. With its little wolfy face and reconnoitering exploits in the house, I named it simply. "Hunter," I said, "that's what your name is, author of The Rum Diaries." It blinked its tiny gray eyes and yawned exposing tiny sharp teeth. I fed it sardines, washed the garbage stink off its fur, and slept beside it on my bed. In the cold of the storm, Hunter curled into a ball, and I curled into a ball around it. The following morning, my skin was sore with flea bites. That's when I decided to throw Hunter into Catville. I had the kitty for only a day.

Just two blocks away from my apartment, Catville is a small community of stray cats and cat people. It has the ubiquitous smell of cat poop. Everywhere are scratch marks and signs of struggle. Bring a tray of meat out here and a horde of starving felines will pounce on you. Or if you're bored, you can come here with a paper ball or a piece of string and waste the rest of the day playing. Next to Catville is Midgetville, a close community of shorties intermarrying other shorties to produce a continuous breed of shorties. They stand an average of three feet, with stunted arms and stunted legs. What do midget babies look like, I wonder. What more, midget porn. Where do midgets come from? Once in a while a shadow snatches some of the cats and some of the midgets. Reported missing. Rumor goes, they've been fed to snakes.

So that was Typhoon Glenda in my little quiet life in this little quiet part of the village. I can't own cats so I sweep them up from streets, throw them into a laundry machine, and bring them to Catville, where they may serve some purpose to hungry reptiles. Of course, there is more hysteria to this Glenda typhoon. Ignorance is a choice.

// Jul 2014

Climb for a Cause

In a mountain in Batangas, a hermit found two large testicles at the base of a tree. "Hm," he thought, "itlog."1 His head glowed with inspiration. With a machete knife, he hacked the tree of its branches and carved a prick out of the trunk. Now there's a ginormous prick standing erect in the middle of a mountain in Batangas, gaining worshippers and fanatics. Next to the prick statue, the hermit built a cottage with no doors, no windows, no locks. It only has walls, a wooden floor to sleep on, and a long table. At one corner there is a fire, where the hermit cooks coffee. This coffee isn't just any regular coffee. It's alamid coffee. The beans come out of the digestive end of stray civet cats. The hermit spends his days wandering around the mountain, picking civet cat poop, washing its crusty smelly outer coating, crushing the beans, and boiling them to black ambrosia. When mountaineers swing by to say hello to the prick and its loyal servant hermit, they get to have free coffee too. There they all sip, a warm heaviness and calmness spreading to the tips of their ears, fingers, and toes. They grow quiet by the minute, staring languid at the erection in front of them. Before they relax too much, crawl out of their clothes, and start touching the statue, they continue their trek to the peak, where a huge white cross awaits them. Here they ask for forgiveness from the almighty, that they may be absolved of the image of the prick, and return to their homes untainted, untouched, pure. When they get home they post their selfies with the prick on Facebook. "Climb for a cause," they say. "Climb for coffee."

1 Itlog. Filipino for "egg".

// Jul 2014


When a cigarette dies, its soul slithers about the house and lingers within it.

// Jul 2014