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The Fuel

Myths, Superstitions, and The English Patient

Emak (grandmother) said, "you will know a man by what he reads." Engkong (grandfather) read Ian Fleming, 007, until he spoke like an Englishman. Engkong's infidelity to Emak made her disintigrate into bitterness, and I lived it with her. 


Sylvia Plath was the next woman during my formative years whose literary work I read for her truth and honesty. Plath's writing created a massive explosion inside my brain as I read her dark poetry, and later found out she died from self harm because of an aftermath of infidelity. 


The college boyfriend who I wanted to marry left me for a sorority girl. "Playing the field," meant a lot of things for college men, and I was heartbroken.


The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje became a film during college, and I saw it in the theatre and was mezmerized by the cinematography and acting. It deserved the Oscar, but I feared the book because of my life experiences and knowledge about infidelity. Ondaatje's book felt like ammonition to fuel those who hurt me and the women who died.


The charred body of the English Patient was the reason why I didn't read it, for two decades. I hated Ondaatje because I felt he glamourized adultery. The hatred stemmed from my own anguish, as it created the worst fear of my outcome, that I would one day be burned and charred, alone, awaiting hell. It didn't matter to me that I didn't commit infidelity, but it was symbolic of what happened to a soul who sinned. 


Graduate school and life were full of struggles, as I faced bullying from other women, mostly because of men. I felt objectified for being me and for receiving attention from good looking men who were merely friends. Rumors and jealousies turned into malice and racism, that culminated into sexual assault. The pain from the abuses almost led me to self-harm, and I couldn't read anything, for over a decade. I was so broken, that dignity and confidence left and shame was in my blood.


The fears of Ondaatje's work became a myth and superstition inside my mind. "If I read The English Patient, I will never have a loving relationship or a lasting marriage. And, I will die of self-harm because of it, and be burned in hell. Forever." Those fears I held on to became a tree of bleeding scabs, with pus, infected, and falling off from life. No one cared, especially because I felt the whole world wanted my failure and the men and women who hated me only desired my self-harm. Malice and abuses became post-traumatic-stress-disorder and depression, and The English Patient was my biggest fear.


Nightmares played inside my mind, that my life would be a constant begging for mercy for ice cubes, from someone who hardly cared for me and was only there to hear my stories of pain, not joy. 


Opening the book at Barnes and Nobles also opened Pandora's Box, with the word "dangerous" flying out of it. I felt shamed because for a very long time, I was afraid. I had to read The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje before my life became my worst enemy. Took me two decades to accept this, and flaming fires of misunderstandings to lead me to this.


But, there was a sense of relief when I read the first page. A comforting passion for literature from a sinner to another. For once, I didn't judge the book, and I didn't judge Ondaatje. It felt as if Ondaatje spoke to me about empathy, that he had gone something as difficult as mine in his life.


Myths and superstitions, assaults and PTSD, fears and doubts, adultery and heartbreak, all didn't seem to matter when I read it. The book was sovereign, as all works of art will always be. Art and literature were reflections of life through creativity out of the belly of the artist. Ondaatje's writing were of musical prose, symphonies as a matter of fact with lyrics that entertained me. Wisdom, gentleness, raw honesty, poetic, and brilliant literature was in front of me. It felt surreal, not fearsome. I was wrong....for a very long time. 


It wasn't enough to have seen the movie, although the acting was brilliant and the soundtrack was breathtaking. I had to read the book, to prevent my life from being burned alive and living out the myth that hurt me for a very long time. Upon reading The English Patient, I felt a humble soul speaking to me, about sins, mercy, amends, and penitence . Ondaatje and I may never meet, but his writing gave me a profound education. 


All works of art will always be sovereign, and a brilliant literary work, especially. It was to my advantage that I read The English Patient, and it was to my fault on the self-righteous fears. I judged, because I was the object of judgement and I judged Ondaatje and his book as if I had the right to judge him. My victory would be in healing, from the past and through more reading and writing, not fearing or judging. I feared out of trauma, but Ondaatje's work was nothing to be afraid of, and everything worth the theatrical easthetic.


I no longer hold superstitions over any literary work, and two decades of obsessing over The English Patient proved to an end on suffering. I dared to read and write about my deepest sorrows and foolery. Without remorse. Myths and superstitions on any literary works and in life suits only satan and demons, not the fairy godmother. If anything that was difficult, it was the rhetoric of infidelity, but adultery on the pages of a book won't dictate the sentence of anyone's future. Besides, the characters in the book were spirits with solitary lives who were searching for meaning during the World War, much like most of us who perhaps suffered or still struggling during this Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020. To think that pages on a novel could hurt another human being would give too much ego to fiction, and not enough value on reality.


I won't be a panel on any literary boards nor would my opinion matter to anyone. However, for this one soul, reading one of the most prized work in literature might have changed the course of my life because I casted out the fears I had for a very long time. Love was far fetched then, and it still is now. This might conjure ridicule, but I wished you could walk in my shoes over the two decades.


I wrote this out of honesty, and reflection and not in 15 minutes. I won't know if anyone would be reading it, but I knew I wrote my truth. 


Just write.





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Trying hard.

It is excruciatingly difficult for me not to blog, now that I have a routine about it. My 15 seems so far away and my mind wanders on the empty pages of my blog still in spirit. Creating sentences, composing similes, devicing metaphors, and my mind is the best utility at work even when it is time to rest.


My best friend brain wants a new way concept and resistance is futile. I get an anxiety the same way that high school students feel about prom. Is it time to dance? Will he ask me to be his date? The nerves inside me wants to come out and play for just 15 minutes and it creates all ideas that condenses in my mind. 


My heavy thoughts sometimes becomes an asset, as I find prose about positivity through the negative. Making new sentences and having it write itself down on my heart. I find the honesty refreshing, and the unique creation sets itself apart from the rest. My writing has nuances from life and the journey of a survivor who rose from the dead. That itself is a life story worth telling, and although my time for a memoir of my life might come, I still have to ruminate and explore upon it before I take the action. But, the writing continues, and I just have to blog about this process.


Being honest about a project gives me freedom, and although I won't divulge into it, I still have to talk about my journey in this blog. It is a worthwhile read and a worthwhile exercise for me to build my skills, out of truth about daily blogging.


To tell you the real truth about my project, it is about art. My family is that type who feels about art strongly, and critically think about it in great details. Everything in art is truly sovereign, with the exceptions of stolen concepts and ideas to create an original. The point is, I need to explore on this artistic work more clearly, with a compassionate heart and a loving tenderness because I had reservations about it for two decades and it creates a myth and superstition out of itself. I won't let it become an object of scorn inside my heart or in the heart of others. It deserves attention, and I shall give it 100% of my intentions. To read it, carefully, and compassionately, as everything artistic should be approached.


I will tell you soon, but in the mean time, God help me. As I have to stop blogging to create more time for reading and reflection in my life.


Just write.

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The Voodoo that Doughnuts do.

July in 2019 was about Voodoo Doughnut on Colfax with beloved co-workers. The voodoo of those doughnuts made a memory worthwhile during this time of social distancing and the pandemic. Witchcraft through your gut, the doughnuts were.


Bacon covered, Oreo crisps, Gummi Worms, or plain glazed, those doughnuts brought camaraderie for me and co-workers. Good memories do last forever, and it was a fun time cherished this morning as I craved for a Pink Glazed Doughnut with sprinkles, The Homer, my favorite. Light pink glazed over a fried dough with sugar sprinkles, the confection reminded me of fairies and flowers. So girlie. 


There was also a Molten Lava Doughnut when I went to Voodoo, with red and orange melted sugars over fried dough and grounded nuts sprinkled on top. The Fruit Loops Doughnuts looked crazy, with white frosting and fruit loops cereal but it wasn't appetizing to me because cereal was a class on its own. Mixing cereal and doughnuts meant the same to me as mixing oatmeal with ice cream. I didn't like the Fruit Loops Doughnuts...it was too fruity.


The Old Dirty Bastard was fun to look at but I think it might be conducive for a Gastric Bypass. It was a regular doughnut, with chocolate frosting topped with crumbled Oreo Cookies and Peanut Butter glaze. Yeah, I had a heart attack while salivating.


What I ate was a plain glazed doughnut a year ago, even through all those black magic sugar overload in my eyes. It was a boring choice, but it was a safe choice, like choosing a sandwich over liver curry. But, the next day, I went for The Homer, that tasted divine after sitting in the refrigerator.


The Voodoo that Doughnuts do. Just Write.


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I am Emeril Legasse.

A buxom petita calls me "Emeril Legasse," while she calls her co-workers "Bob Villa," and refers to Katherina as Anastasia.  Her laughter brings an echo to the room, and she doesn't mind it if anyone calls her by any other name other than hers. She cracks me up when I enjoy my Larabar and Decaf, because her personality lights up the room.


The odd things she does creates a culture of friendship. How I wish I've met her long ago, to make a ripple of laughter with her small dose of eccentricity. 


She speaks a different language and amongst her friends, she's a rockstar. I sometimes wish she gets paid more than she does. I wish more people gets paid more than they do, who work low end jobs and at odd hours of the day or night. 


When times are low, I don't ask for favors, instead to make the best of the times I have, even in duress and work as hard as I possibly can. I notice the people around me to pick up on their humor and good habits as I try not to judge them for their bad ones. For some reason, it makes my day brighter. Healing through observation, if I may call it.


Writing about the quirks of the petita helps me to see her more than just a janitor. She's a bright light in the midst of darkness for some. I was ruminating on the future when she yells to Katherina, "ANASTASIA! Ayuda me!" That brought laughter and for a moment, I was in the present tense. 


Perhaps, I should stop thinking about the future as often as I do, because noticing the present is so much more fun. What makes it worthwhile is petita and Katherina, and Bob Villa. 


I'm Emeril Legasse. Just write.

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Forgiveness in writing.

How could I write anything with so much tumult inside my soul? I had to forgive.


I forgave them all. The sins and the past, the enemies and the unforgiving lives who beset my joys.


I forgave jealousies, of all forms with or without make-up, because I finally understood longings for a comfortable life. But, I would never lower myself and dance with the reckless and dangerous, for I care for myself too much after a life of innnocence lost.


I forgave myself, for my lack of humility towards their problems. Their needs were diminutive to me, and I to them, and as we batter each other with curses. I forgot the foraging devils who looked to destroy both sides, but I forgave the devil, and I forgave us.


I forgave the ridiculous and their egos and all of the in between they've done towards me. They were feeding their needs and I fed mine, but both times, we all made mistakes in the eyes of God, and I was not to judge.


I forgave the stoic racists, because my skin color was out of the ordinary and it fueled their anger because their desire to control my outcome. I forgave their prejudices, but I was no fool to fall for their trickeries and to simmer in their abuse. I forgave myself for abandoning them and leaving them behind. I was no longer responsible for their evils, and I had to tend my life to the best of my abilities. I could only stand for justice, and it was and is with God, I stand.


I forgave greed and deceit, like the dagger under the cloak of a friendly face who I lived with and took my innocence to be ravaged for their glories.


I forgave myself for writing out my heart and being transparent in the eyes of the world. It was the only way I could throw out the anxieties and my own sufferings, otherwise I would be unforgiving. The worst thing to be was unforgiving, especially to oneself, because it would dampen triumphs and overlook miracles.


I forgave my own writing, its lack of brilliance and its inadequacies, because only through forgiveness would I continue to write and remain humble as I progress and improve. Forgiveness was requiered to move forward, in everything and for every life.


I forgave my appetite and my criticism for my body and physical appearance, because I was never running on pageants, instead running towards improvements and approvals. I forgave myself for what I looked like, in the past, present and the future is unwritten.


I forgave sinners for I was born into sin, and God be the judge of the living and the dead, for every sin under the sun. No soul was exempt, and I won't be set apart at the gates of Heaven.


I forgave my grammatical errors, because I was learning, and I will always write, and forgive, each moment in time passing.


Just write.



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Just writing.

Every writer has a style, a distinguishing lyric to their writing. Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his powerful narrative, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his exquisite picturesque writings, Lois Lowry with her simple provocation that often reminds me of a dragonfly's wings that were delicate from afar and ornate from within reach. Rick Bragg with his taut emotional pull, Maya Angelou with fluid sophistication, Stephen King with his range and John Doer with his musical literature and so many others with soulful writing and deep meaningful prose that left me boggled yet thirsty for more.


As a writer, I wished I knew mine. I wrote and will keep doing so forever, but one day, I hoped to be found and loved for something that I didn't know I had. I believed in myself, that I will develop it, and with time, my prose will sound intricately me. Perhaps, in five years or maybe 10, but for now, rest assured that my 15 most likely will develop me further into a work of art in writing.


It has been my dream to write beautifully, with a delicate brilliance that reminds of fresh silk spun by a yellow wolf spider after the rain. Fresh, pretty, nuanced, yet piercing through the heart as every sentence hits home and wholesomely brings a bright light into the soul, not dark but realistic. But, I won't try to aim for it, instead I will just let go. Surrendering to the process, because it has to be about that. I won't know when this would be, but my 15 will help me somehow, slowly but surely.


This adventure might be forlorned to the eyes of readers, because who was I to ask for a style, when I have never been published before. The old articles from local newspapers meant well for a learning experience, but no way would I be able to call myself a good writer. Fifteen minutes was up, and this was how much I could write for this time, but tomorrow is another day and more skills will be developed. So, I won't say much about style, instead, I'll just write.


In Progress. Just write.  

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Falling in love and writing it.

I fell in love with the cracks on the street, worn out and weathered over, yet critical to the ones who drove over it. One of them invited me to a long crevice towards a sidewalk, with a splotch of grass with five purple flowers at Five Points in Denver. The courage of the seeds to grow simmered inside my blood, after a day of grief from a dear friend's death. The purple flowers chose to grow where it landed, bearing the weather and finding its season for me to find it after a long day. I fell in love with it.


I fell in love with my own wounds. The swords of women who looked at my back to release their anguish as their stabs drips blood to the side of my lungs. They stabbed through the back bone and the heart, and wanted total annihilation of my life. I nurtured the wound, placing mexiplex bandages, wiping it with Betadine, and out of the wound, came out green mucuous as a sign of healing. When it dried, it stung painfully as I walked, making my stamina higher yet deeper through my soul. 


I fell in love with time. The yearning for change and the shortness or length of it, as I wait and wait for nothing in return. The sudden transformation from a second of stroke that paralyzed my dear father. I worked with it, calling for help, as I saw him dropped to the ground. Yet, God gave him time, and time with him I loved. I planned to care for him, every time and again, as time allows and with each moment, I shall cherish.


I fell in love with mulch. The sweltering heat toasted the cinnamon and anise tree barks that scents of a handsome British man. I gloved my hands and evened the mulch on the ground. It sweetened my senses and created a dreamy love story inside my mind.


I fell in love with the drop of rain on my nape three days ago. Under the heat of sunshine, I raked the ground, and the drop of water from the sky fell on the back of my neck and rolled down my spine. Fresh and sparkled, it created magic in the shape of water above my tanktop. 


I fell in love with writing. Even with a blank screen stared at me, it created a moment of trust that I would write and typed with a desire to tell it an honest moment.


I will keep falling in love every chance I get and writing it. Just write.

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15 overtime. Owning it.

A lone tree with golden leaves in the middle of a prairie, rustling in the wind reminding me of this season of life. Owning it.

A mocked soul, by other writers from different countries, being called Laoghaire on Twitter in public in front of the world for no reason. Owning it.

An angel fallen from grace, broken into pieces, shattered and left to be dumped awaited by death. Owning it.

A beautiful woman, Dutch, Portuegese, Chinese, and Indonesian, naturalized American, and homegrown immigrant. Owning it.


What shall be the world's failure, being called by my fellow countrymen and women as a denigrate hopeful. Owning it.

Laughed at by the rich and famous. Owning it.

Left to rot in the hospital after two decades of unrequited love, unprotected heart, fleshed out on the floor yet rose from the dead. Owning it.


A life unfinished with so many words to say but nowhere to start with disparaging thoughts and laughed at. Owning it.

A young adult, heck...middle grader inside my soul, with no desire to grow up, but physically unbounded by time. Owning it.

A wonderful sister, aunt, and no Canadian B*t&h like the one who marked me a failure and stalked me at church to claim her fame. Owning it.

A mind tattered and tired, from trauma but trying to make ends meet with early morning shifts and late night caregiving. Owning it.


What could I do if it wasn't for words and letters, tied together into vocalized sorrows, angers, love and hopes. Owning it.

Just typing my free write without limitations, unafraid of judgements and a rockstar inside my own world. Owning it.


A day without writing would be a torn spirit yearning to wake up from a dying life, although faking death to make them believe they've won. Owning it.

An honest paragraph because I knew of their misconceptions for my human rights for love by those who accused me and ransomed me for a crime. Owning it.

An ace of hearts, trivialized by comedians, harassed by celebrities, taunted by famous personalities. Owning it.


Who I've become wrote my stories but I won't succumb to the darkest that follows. Owning it.


Just write. Owning it.

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My flaws and writing

Half of this Sunday was full of negative thoughts, of how the past assaults haunted me and the post-traumatic-stress-disorder and depression ruined my life and will amount me to nothing. The name calling, the bullying and the stalking by the perpetrator and his friends along with many others caused me so much heartache and brokenness at one point in my life, and I was reminded of it.


The root cause of this reminder was dirt. The main person who hurt me crawled underneath constructions to build them, and he told me that he loved digging in the dirt. Thankfully, my siblings were there with me at this moment and I felt so much love around me, yet I was reminded of the haunting memories.


As I wrote my outlines and my thoughts, I tried to get away from my flaws, or so it seemed as flaws. Or were they gifts?


I felt so judged by others, although no one was there, simply because of the disorder and depression. I looked at the greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou, JK Rowling, Ursula LeGuin, and so many others, they all had some sort of set backs, yet overcame it. I should be empowered, but today, I felt defeated, lesser than, lacking and not up to standard. I wished there were times when I felt I was good enough to write, but I haven't felt that fullness inside my heart. I won't know when this time would be, but I needed to keep going and to keep learning.


I felt like a student all of my life, who was in need of guidance and knowledge, and I felt this way for a very long time, and perhaps will always be this way. Not sure if this was in God's plan, but I felt discouraged because I felt like a student. I didn't fear, or was afraid of writing but I felt not good enough, because I was assaulted and because of it, I suffered from PTSD and Depression. I apologize for the triple negatives, as it ran in my mind all day.


I was willing to embrace it, but the people who hurt me was so priviledged, rich and well connected that I felt I had so many enemies. In reality, they were probably surfing today or playing in the water with their families, having a good 'ol time, without even a thought of me. And, I should accept the fact that the PTSD and Depression were my assets and my creativity gone wild. 


So the later part of the day, I spent placing weed barriers with my brother, Ron, and my sister, Lydia, stapling the it with a hammer and spreading mulch on top of them. Although, I was reminded of the things I lacked because of the assaults, the PTSD and Depression, in front of me were two people who were crazy about me, holding me steady and kept me focused.


My siblings have flaws, but I loved them, unconditionally. I realized that this was how the world and God felt about me, unconditional love. That whatever flaws I had, really was an asset and a form of gift, although it came from a dark portion of my life. My writing might be dark at parts, but bright at others, and together they were touching and honest. My flaws became an attribute, just as Ernest Hemingway and the others I named above gave to the world, despite and might be out of, their mental illness. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I kept it inside my soul. 


Just write. Despite the sufferings.

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On family and writing

Breaking ground with the pick ax, taking a field of weeds from the root, and raking the ground, my siblings and I worked the yard for the past three days, sweating in the heat. We bonded over measured soil and dirt, creating barriers for rocks and forming a landscape for our garden. My siblings and I worked together as we have done in the past, and the experience gave me a full and wholesome love inside my soul. Without them, I would be lost in a yard full of dirt, without purpose.


My relationship with my siblings and parents gave me a reason to write. Since I knew how to read and write, I always relied on experiences with my family to give me the reasonings and wisdom to do so. Without them, I would have no reason to write about the good times and bad, because I would have nothing to support me and my writing would be too morose. There were times when trauma caused me to a complete breakdown, and there was a time when I wanted to leave the planet, but the love from my family was greater than the trauma that I wanted to stay for them. I wanted to tell my stories for them too.


I saw myself inside a dream walking with my Dad beside me, sitting in a wheelchair, and I was pushing him on a steady path, as we stopped under a shade. He told me he believed in me, and he trusted me. My Mom gave me time and space to write and kept me going when times were low. My whole family wanted me to write and it shall be. I wrote for them then, and I will write for them from now on. They believed in me, and my Dad told me, "Keep writing, it has to stay." 


Writing has kept me alive because the bad times were so bad that I almost died. But, thankfully, my family was there for me and nothing will tear us apart. Not everyone has this support, and for a long time, I didn't believe in myself. I will never aim for world fame or anything extravagant, because I won't write for a prize or for fame, but I will write for the love of my family. 


The garden my siblings and I will build together will be something my parents will enjoy, and we will be proud of the accomplishment. Just as my writing will make my family proud, when it flourishes.


For now, I will blog and reason, and keep with the faith. For God, for my family, and for me.


Just write.


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