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The Fuel

Schwinn conversations

His orange and brown striped beanie was snug on his head as he stepped his left foot forward facing the merchandise. He straightened his arms forward pretending to ride something. He vroomed with his lips pursed as if he was riding a motorcycle. He turned his head to the left and saw me. He stopped and fixed his beanie. 


"I like this," he said, pointing to the little two wheeler with training wheels with suspension brakes and tilted wheels.


"That's a bicycle," I said. "It's a Schwinn."


"Yeah. I like it," he said. 


"I never had a Schwinn, but I bet it's fun," I told him and smiled.


"I don't need this stuff," he said, pointing to the training wheels.


"Who taught you how to ride a bicycle?" I asked him.


"My Dad. He can do everything. But, my Mom said it's not true," he replied.


"Depending on what he does for a living, maybe he can do everything," I said.


"MOM! What does Dad do?" he shouted to the next aisle. I was scared I might have gotten myself in trouble with his Mom.


"He's a Tax Attorney, Brian, why?" his Mom said.


I became skeptical of whether Brian's Dad really could do everything.


"He's a tax attorney," said Brian, and smiled at me.


"He can do his own taxes," I said, and shrugged my shoulders, although I wasn't sure he really could do everything.


"I think he can do anything," said Brian. I overheard his Mom saying, "He really can't, honey. I do everything," she said.


"Mom!" Brian whined. "Can I have this bike?"


I started leaving to the next aisle, because I might have gotten into a little private family discussion.


"Mom, I want this bike so Dad doesn't have to ride alone," said Brian.


I smiled, because I think Brian misses his Dad when his Dad goes cycling to the mountains. 


"Your Dad can do everything," I whispered to Brian.


"Mom, I want this bicycle," yelled Brian. His Mom walked to the bicycle aisle with her cart, and said, "I wanted to get your arts and crafts stuff."


I left the aisle, because I might have gotten Brian and his family in trouble. 


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The love of language

I thought of the protestations of my dreams, and how to go about them. Faith was the start from it, but there were setbacks accrued from wrong friendships and bad choices. Sometimes I lacked confidence, and the drive for those goals dwindled down because of the negative words of a few monsters in my past.


However the distraught, I seemed to return to my love of language. Turning catacombs inside my nightmares into honeycombs inside my mind. Transforming doleful prose into sparks of enlightenment and clever opinions that were fun to read and critique. My morning meditations came with outlines and donuts of scenes eatable to my empty pages.


My love for languages began with Bahasa Indonesia and English as my second language. The promethean spirit inside me awoke with stories and journeys of fantasy, folktales, dramatics and thrillers, and I never stopped.


I knew that with the setbacks, years must develop and I needed patience for the waiting game. But, the love kept transforming and evolving, then growing and revolutionizing. It was difficult for me to contain, thus this blog. Perhaps too personal, but what writer skipped characterization and conflict? I had to ignore the criticisms, for the sake of my mental health, but I won't stop writing.


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Giuseppe Baptiste, the violinist

The crowd stood towards the middle of the lawn where Giuseppe Baptiste was getting ready in the center and Pearsons Rockfield sat on a bench beside him. Giuseppe Baptiste had his violin and began to pluck his strings, rehearsing the first few notes. The crowd became silent as I looked around with Karina, Rambo and my Father.


Giuseppe Baptiste played the first few notes again, and swayed his torso as he strung the notes high to perform his abstract composition. He strung low notes and screeched high tones as the crowd ooohh-ed and aaahh-ed. I had no idea what sort of recital this was, but it was not normal.


"What the hell is he playing? Does he know how to play?" I asked Karina.


"I think it's supposed to be some kind of music?" said Karina.


"The man is playing dissonance and its hurting my ears!" said Rambo.


The crowd clapped as they were probably the only people in all of Denver who were fans of Giuseppe Baptiste and Pearsons Rockfield.


"He's nuts!" I said. "Its all a whole bunch of screeches and plucking!"


Giuseppe Baptiste plucked the strings of his violin and stroked another high and low notes that sounded like a dying cat howling. 


"This is crazy, he's not a violinist," said my Father. "I thought he was supposed to be mesmerizing?"


Giuseppe Baptiste raised his arms with his bow and violin and jumped off the ground in circles, then resumed his screeches of high and low notes, giving me a headache.


"I'm never going to another one of his performance. This is horrendous!" I said. 


"We still have to stay to speak to him about what happened with Karina," said Rambo.


"Are you sure he's sane? He looks and acts like a crazy monkey," said Karina. 


Pearsons Rockfield clapped his hands, but the whole performance was not the sort of music that needed clapping. I was utterly confused. I've never seen a most horrible performance and the sad thing was, the crowd kept Oooh-ing and Aaah-ing, and it drove me nuts.


"I can't handle it anymore!" I said, closing my ears. "He's horrible!"


Giuseppe Baptiste broke a string and kept playing with his bow looking torn out of its horse hairs. He looked like a mad man.


"This can't be music in any universe, can it?" asked Karina.


Rambo cried because the sound was just too much to handle. He wiped his tears and said, "Something was wrong with his childhood, and I'm sorry."


"I want this to be over now," said my Father. 


Giuseppe Baptiste kept stringing his violin and Pearsons Rockfield kept clapping, and it was just the first number.


"How many songs was he supposed to play?" asked my Father.


"I don't know," I said. 


"We're going to die listening to this," said Karina. Boris and Betina began to cry and my Father pushed the stroller away from the lawn. I stood in the middle of the lawn closing my ears. 


This was not a good morning.


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A Canon

Sometimes I fear the dark. The constant blackness and void of contour for my opened eyes while needing aid for my sight. Reminded me of the blurry vision from the suffocation and the forceful push to my jaw that silenced me. At night I hid under the soft cotton sheets and blankets suffused in fear as it shook my legs and torso. When I cried, I placed my arms in front of my face afraid of any sounds I would make that would awaken my Mom and might cause her anxiety. Sometimes I fear the dark.


I projected my life over and over, hoping for a different vision. Afraid that by 50 or 60, I would see another month or two in the hospital, waiting in the pill line for medication only to find myself indolent for the rest of my life. Living institutionalized because I was my enemy's greatest threat for my mere existence and my love for language. I cycled back to the start of the visionary board and sketched another scene in complete opposite of my fears. I projected my life over and over, this time truly with a different vision. I was happily married with a loving husband and a boy or a girl with us, having breakfast of waffles with strawberries jam spread. Again, I projected my life over and over, hoping for a different vision, and this time with a different concept. Nothing expected or hoped manifested, but I surrendered to the unknown, in stability and peace, living with constant prayers. 


Prayers kept me alive during all of those times aforementioned. Not because everything I prayed happened, but for every prayer, I exhaled a breath of fresh air to begin again with more acceptance. Although some prayers felt the same and the struggles felt the same, I kept doing so for the spirit of endurance and stamina for life. Dear God letters written out and Psalms out of the heart in millions of pages I could attest to, because I saw life as a faithful journey. Prayers kept me alive during all those times aforementioned.  


Who was I to foretell the future? The greatest plan ever might unfold, and I might own a puppy too. What adventures would I prevent by fearing the future? The professing of my faith would benefit more without tears. Wonderful and blissful romance might grace my life in the future, but it won't be fully beautiful if I still feared the dark. Moon and stars harmonized in the dark would serve me better as a reminder than the fears of clenched jaw. I will keep trying to be, to live, to stay, because...who was I to foretell the future?


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At the green lawn

"What do you mean you want to record him? He's coming in 30 minute," said Rambo. There were less than a hundred people there as was expected since Giuseppe Baptiste and Pearsons Rickfield weren't the icons the Denverites admired. They were sorted as tyrannical despots people disliked and the countrymen and women abide by the rules because they didn't want to be taxed higher than the current rate. Everyone was afraid of The New Order Regime, and with the Black Mollies who took over the shops and transformed half of Colfax into fish stores, the guerilla warfare, and Choi Militia, their political group became too savaged to admire.


"He's going to play the violin in the center lawn, so we can use the violin time to record but don't stop the camera and get him to talk to us afterwards," I said. "It's the only we can do it, and if we can get close enough to him, introduce him to Karina."


"I just want to meet them, and ask them why they used violence to take over the world," said Karina.


We stood in front of the lawn at Capitol Hill, and it was 7 in the morning. Rambo hardly slept, and I didn't sleep at all. Karina slept but the babies woke her up in the middle of the night, and they were with my Father now.  He will come closer to the start of the recital, hoping we would be close enough to have a face to face conversation with Pearsons Rickfield and Giuseppe Baptiste.


Karina was scared as she kept biting her nails and kept looking around the lawn. She suddenly said, "I miss my twins," as she began to tear apart. "I'm worried I would be killed by their men who recognized me."


"Don't worry, we're here, and we won't let you face them alone," I told Karina.


"We're unarmed and we just wanted to meet him and we can say that we were huge fans," said Rambo. "Then we can begin to ask questions about their past, and why they decided to use violence to enforce a worldwide militia."


"It won't be friendly," said Karina. "I will be shot."


"You won't," said Rambo. "We will bring Boris and Betina with us. They will be our helper."


"Using my twins as bait?" asked Karina. "They were illegitimate children, but they deserved more than that."


My Father arrived after a long walk with a stroller for the twins to be comfortable. "Did the performance start?" my Father asked.


"Not yet, they will arrive soon. There aren't many people around," said Rambo.


"But it looks like there are about fifty people here, some sitting on the greens. Not too bad. It's not like other countries where they are really crazy about Giuseppe Baptiste," said my Father.


The clouds covered the sun and the crowd on the greens stood up as the limo for Baptiste arrived close to the sidewalk.


"Here they are," said Rambo.


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Return on investment

There is reward in my graveyard shift, a constant beacon during the early morning dawn, pushing me to grit and drive.

Nothing is without work, and the desire for stability doesn't always come with the benefit of a Mercedez. Sometimes, it comes during the global pandemic in a job that sustains me during the tough times, but pays the bills and is surrounded with acceptance and love from my humble peers. 


The phantom always wants to destroy the means to the end, corrupting it with drugs and addiction, pursuing my failure and tempts me with marijuana. Luring me to entertainment with men as scouts asking me to show my curves for show to feed the neanderthals in Denver. They lack conscience and ignorant of my intelligence, because my sacred being is worthy to be praised. 


Those who taunts me and degrades me in comparison of a higher life, mocking my sufferings and prays for my suicide are salacious hypocrites. Always destroying talented and dignified women through personal relationships, giving their chosen friends and families with a corrupt trophy and rich bank accounts through sexual assaults. Their political reasons, ethical reasons, religious gimmicks, or social ethics causes casualties of war, leaving behind traces of survivors who deserves justice and honor. 


There is truth in my walk and in working my days with my graveyard shift, although my mind reminds me of the education I have and the potential I possess. I will work it with pride because my peers are kind people who deserve my company and friendship. Working my morning and days feels hopeful, stable, strong, and healing. If I didn't see its value, I would feel terrible, instead, I feel loved and their generosity means a lot to me.  


There is peace in my work at the graveyard shift, because of the trust I build and the good work I show. Its returns on investments are peace of mind and a supportive environment, prone to progress for my mental health and well being. Sometimes there are pathways I am forced to take, as if God pushes me to enforce a learning experience. I don't mind this one, because I feel dignified working it, and happy with my results. If this is the long valley God wants me to take, I will keep going, keep praying, working in diligence, and not complain on this journey, because I know I will serve a greater purpose in the end.


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O Blessed Soul

O blessed soul, how grateful you are of the sight to see the blue sky. Thine eyes full of mercy for the lesser creatures of the forest and nature wild wanders inside your soul.


O blessed soul, how joyful you are of the laughter on a sunny day, although alone yet never short of companionship from loved ones and friends, beckoning good times and less sorrowful memories. They are the wholesome family you are yearning for since youth until old in age, perhaps never fulfilled but always beside you, forever.


O blessed soul, how lovely you are, with flowers around you with blooming petals easy to the eyes, reminders of God's beautiful plans for every life. For in due time, our own blossoming journey will fruit its labor from anything you never once expect.


O blessed soul, how glorious your life, although with a past scornful and bitter, your journey lends wisdom and brilliance in vernacular and truth. The trough proves its own grace with prayers and supplication uttering its hopes and faith.


O blessed soul, you are forgiven through love because the price paid for your life is of the cross, labor in divine intervention. Live forever more and be of courage light saber, for your soul is valuable to God and to this world.


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Serious matters

One of my writing teachers is coping with suicides of her loved ones. The rates of mental illness and suicide from the global pandemic are skyrocketing over this year alone, and it is heart breaking.


I am struggling, from the loss of my job, my Dad's stroke and the aftermath of the sexual assaults that culminated into PTSD and Depression. I work at a job that I know I can excel in, while working hard to cope with my struggles, loneliness, and helping my family. There are milllions of people like me, but some of us give in to the darkness and lose our lives. 

The stigma against me and those who are struggling with mental illness or trauma is brutal.  Several years ago, classmates from graduate school called me names after knowing I was a rape victim. The stigma against women and men from violence related trauma and also from mental illness makes it difficult to cope in life. This is why there are so many suicides in this world, and especially as a result of the global pandemic. 

I know as humans we compare people's lives out of the sheer enjoyment of lifting another up or out of selfish needs. I for one, can attest to the fact that those who dislike me, compare themselves against me to feel superior and to feel like they won a prize in life. These comparisons infects the world as pervasive as the global pandemic, and it infects the minds of those who are struggling.


I am sovereign in my journey and with my struggles, and as you freely read these blogs, know that I am just one of the billions of people who are also struggling. Humanity and compassion needs to live side by side, because it helps me through during the tough times. I am hurting some days that I can barely cope, and the high suicide rates gives an indication that a lot of people are too broken to seek help or too afraid to seek treatment during critical times. I can't let the stigma eat me alive, and I can't let comparisons eat me alive. 

The world may feast upon these blogs and reflect or critique, because everyone has opinions. But, what's important is the comfort and solace it brings to me and those who reads it. Please remember to never stigmatize those who are going through any form of traumas, violence, and mental illness. I hope those who are walking through their tough journey will one day realize how valuable they are, and know that they are sovereign, just as I feel with my blog and my life and to never compare their journey with anyone else in the world. 


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I ran like a beast

I ran like a beast, because the grim reaper chased me since birth. I ran because my struggles overwhelmed me and with the loneliness, they spoke danger to my life.


At times, I won't have anything inside my mind, but a presence of darkness loomed over me, asking for my surrender from this journey. 


I ran like a beast because I won't run away from my life. It was my right to live and love although with an empty heart.

I believed in respite from mental anguish, and running was the only way I knew how.  So, I ran like a beast, and I won't stop, forever, if I may.


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Karina’s heart

Dana called my father late after the evening at the Post building, and he sounded worried.


"So Rockfield married twenty times and became alone and cynical. When he met Giuseppe Baptiste, he just received his ordination to become a priest of the Catholic faith," said Dana, looking behind him towards the door as if he was expecting someone to break through it.


"Was that the same time Giuseppe Baptiste also became an ordained priest?" asked my father.


"Yes, and that's when they made a pact to rule the world and the way people shop and meet their social circles," said Dana.


"Oh my God, because they wanted to have the power to control people's lives?" Rambo asked.


"Exactly, and the way social connections are shaped in this world so their regime would be in power forever," said Dana, looking behind him.


"Oh my God," said my father. "This was because they never got to have the lives they desired? But, why a priest?" 

"So people will trust them more, just as the way they always dreamed of. Giuseppe was a noble background and Rockfield was too, but no one loved them," said Dana. "I guess it's a revenge for the sufferings they felt from rejections and ostracism."


"Oh my God," Rambo said. "They felt jilted by the world."


"Why didn't anyone help them back then? So they didn't have to end so many families and changed the course of history so terribly?" Asked Karina. "I am now an orphan, and it's an injustice and the Ting Dynasty deserves better."


"Oh my God," said Dana. "I just realized that Giuseppe Baptiste and Pearsons Rockfield are both without progenies, and their roles, if found guilty of corruptions, will have to be replaced by a completely different human being. Which means..."


"Betina and Boris deserve it, but Karina doesn't want the throne," said my father.


"I wish to remain in peace and help them, Pearsons and Giuseppe, but I wished I knew how," said Karina.


"Help them? Even though they were behind your parents's murders?" asked my father. "They deserve punishment."


"We will have to get their statement that they won't hurt Karina," said Rambo.


"We have to meet him and show him who Karina is," I said. "Just face him and ask him why is it not okay for Katina to exist in peaceful harmony. We already know The New Order men hurt Karina."


"We will record a video of Karina and me, introducing to the world who we are and what Giuseppe Baptiste and Pearsons Rockfield have been doing to the world. We have to abandon the Tier system and have transportation system the way a normal society would function," my father said. "The way the world runs now feels backwards and archaic, even with the advancement of our technologies."


"We can negotiate with them, and we can play it after Giuseppe finishes with his violin performance," said Dana. He looked to the door behind him, but there was no one there.


"Okay, get on with our work," said Rambo.


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