“I’m taking drugs
again,” Chita told me in our first conversation this school
year, as I tried to sit on the messy floor of my new apartment’s
room. I didn’t even have a desk for my computer yet, which was
the reason it sat on the floor.
“Well, it’s normal for anyone to take drugs.” I typed back on
the instant message, the ‘breem’ chime telling me that my words
were sent. “I mean, you are in college after all, which is the
place where we’re suppose to experience all we can get out of
“Yeah, but I kinda feel bad.”
“Why? Everyone does it, even the professors and TAs.”
met Chita back in December, when Mike’s and my site, Section 9,
was just born and getting ready to grow. She was the best friend
of Eiji, who was just born as a persona. She is now in some art
college in New York, the name of it not remembered by Eiji.
“You’re a nice guy, aren’t you, Eiji?” She said after a minute
or so, as I was trying to figure out some pre-lab problems for
“Hey! Don’t say that!” I typed back rapidly, a joking smile on
my face. “Don’t you know that nice guys never get the chicks?”
* * * * * *
Dive to Blue, by L’arc~en~Ciel (French for ‘Rainbow’),
must be the best song about suicide ever. It has a really happy
drum tune, that makes its lyrics really brighter than the theme
"Fly out now"
"Let's jump beyond the boundaries just
under our knees."
The back-to-back freedom.
"You were never tied down by those
rusted shackles In the first place."
Maybe this is
the reason I love this song. I see myself in it somehow…
* * * * * *
I’ve only heard the ever-always happy Chita sad once, when I was
still trapped in the restaurant work from hell, back in the
nearly forgotten summer. A really good friend of hers had dumped
her boyfriend, and the boyfriend (Who was also Chita’s friend)
insulted her and blamed her for their separation. It must have
been pretty harsh insults. I had never imagined that Chita could
told me as she cried, she told me she was depressed. “I just
never thought that people would change so fast, you know? That
they could be nice one day and then turn into snakes the next
didn’t like to see anybody sad. Seeing them sad made me sad. I
don’t remember how I tried to relieve her of this sadness, but I
do know I tried.
Liang, Tom, Eiji. Me myself own these masks, these personas.
They say that you can’t feel the pain anymore if you just
separated yourself from you body, become a third person watching
yourself being hurt, being sad. If you do this, just watching
yourself instead of being yourself, then the world would be a
little brighter, a little better of a place. They could be
own many personas. I hide myself behind a smile when I feel sad.
Psychology says that you feel happier if you have a smile on
your face. Psychology is often wrong.
* * * * * *
Non-fiction has always been bad to me, even when I did ‘based on
a true story’ ones instead. I remember writing one based upon
some Bolivian cult, whose name I can’t quite remember, and can
find no information on them because Bolivia is such an
insignificant little country. I wrote about the rituals of the
cult, how they tied a virgin woman to a stake, and then have
each member ejaculate their semen onto the woman, to ‘purify’
her from the sins that the virgin possessed, before killing her
and offering her soul to God (Or Sun God, to be specific).
was too gross to be written, was what everyone said, even though
the newspapers had no problem writing them. I got sick of non-fic
then and went back to fiction. People never say that anything is
too gross in fiction, because it’s fiction, because it’s not
real. They feel that the world is saner if they don’t find out
about the sick things that humankind does.
* * * * * *
“Isn’t your first name Tom?” Chita asked me a few weeks ago, as
I was trying to get some ideas for my non-fiction essay.
“Yeah, why?” We never ever used our real names on instant
messages, because our real-selfs aren’t the same personas as our
net-selfs. Tom and Hana could not exist in the net world of
information, as Eiji and Chita could not survive in the real
world of the outside.
way!” She quickly typed back. “I’m now seeing a guy whose name
is Tom Lin also, and he’s also trying to write a non-fiction
piece about himself!”
“Whoa, no way in hell…”
“Hey, you SURE you live in Ohio? Or have you been lying to me
swear I’m not!” I said, with a kind of urgency in my typings. “I
really do live in Columbus.”
“Well, he’s also a fiction writer. Want me to send you his non-fic?”
received and read this other ‘Tom’s’ non-fic, which was more
complete than mine at the moment. At least his was on paper. The
piece was basically ‘Tom’ waking up and talking to his friend on
the phone, the usual ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ and ‘motherfucker’
resting on every line of the piece. The curse words in writing
are so cliché now, that I get bored each time they appear.
I read the story, Chita informed me of New York’s Tom Lin. He
was Chinese, and hopes to be a writer when he finishes college.
He was 21. “Ah, you see, there’s the difference between us
both.” I replied. “I’m twenty.”
“Well, that still doesn’t mean anything.” She typed. “Anyway, he
doesn’t like anime, so we pretty much have nothing to talk about
when we’re together.”
“Hmm… Maybe he could be me, you know? Maybe he’s me one year
from now, who’s captured by the government and brainwashed, and
then sent to this time to find something…”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Eh, imagination run amok again.” I typed apologetically. “But
it may happen. Anyways, I’m glad that I have a good self roaming
around in New York.”
think he’s more of your bad self, Eiji. He does drugs all the
didn’t know doing drugs made you badder, considering that I
always got weaker after it. “Anyway, we’re breaking up soon.”
She typed again.
That kind of surprised me a little. “Why?” I said. “You guys
sounded like a nice couple.”
thinks that I’m too immature for him…” A pause, a little pause.
“And, besides, we’re so different, he likes going to bars, and I
would never do that. We just have so much not in common.”
they said that love and will conquered all. Bullshit. “I guess I
liked him when my unconscious connected his name to yours or
something.” She typed.
* * * * * *
Shove the sky into my chest, I
want to fall deep into the blue color
Cloaked In the infinite night sky
Let's search for a new
I stagger, dying to see you
But the awakened wings can't disappear.
I saw a kid, of about two or three years old, listening to the
beepings of a cell phone. His hair looked like Coolio’s, and he
was among four guys, all of them of about thirty years old,
kid accidentally dropped the phone, his hands not coordinated
enough to hold it well. He looked at it as it clanged down. He
dad told him to pick it up. The kid did. The dad told him to
“come over”. The baby obeyed. And just as the kid handed the
phone over, the dad slapped the kid on the back of his head. Kid
fell, face smacked with the stones and mud of the ground. Cries.
I did nothing. The world was just too fucked up for one guy to
try to fix it.
remembered then to Bolivia, where the age for a kid to start
drinking was three. I remembered that I was with my friends in
Fax’s (a ‘musical’ friend of mine) house. We were only twelve
then, as the September of ’92 passed by without a whisper or
song. We searched around the house for stuff hidden by his
parents. It wasn’t porn, we could get that from Bolivia’s Sunday
newspaper (I’ve heard that Japan has a similar section in their
newspapers too), and porn movies came on TV after midnight. We
weren’t searching for liquor, the refrigerator wasn’t that hard
to find. We were searching for the B-section of the newspapers,
the local section, which parents have hidden from children’s
view. The truth was just too cruel for us to handle.
found it, and read what the fuss was all about, and tried to
entertain ourselves considering that porn had gotten boring for
us. The article was about a man, with three kids and wife. The
wife worked all the time. The man an alcoholic. The man got
angry one day, no reasons given as to why, and kicked his
youngest son. No, wait, he slapped the kid first, the force
throwing the kid across the floor. Then while he was down, Dad
kicked him mercilessly. On the face, on the stomach, on where
his foot could land.
Cops said the kid must have blacked out during all this
pain-infliction. They assumed. Dad, after tired of kicking kid,
slipped out of his pants and raped the kid’s asshole. They said
the kid’s kidneys must have gave out by then, and he was dead.
truth scared us more than any movie, interested us more than
nude porn. Pictures of the kid’s cadaver were pasted on this
section, along with the proud face of the Dad. Or was it the mad
face? Bruises of dark ovals covered the kid, the violated
asshole now surrounded by a dark ring. More bruises. No one
spoke. Our world was sick.
What kind of love allowed kids to be born in this gone world?
* * * * * *
It took me awhile to find out Chita’s real name. She had an
identity crisis, just like me, and didn’t know which mask of
hers to call her own. It’s hard to choose and say that you know
your true persona, or even remember it. Her real name was Hana,
“meaning flowers in Japanese”.
I had pondered. “It kind of reminds me of Hannah-Barbara, you
know, the company that made ‘Scooby Doo’ and ‘Flintstones’?”
“Yeah, yeah, I already know all the ways to make fun of Hana Kil.
I learned them all in second grade.”
Chita’s dad was a minister, and she was a graduate from a
What's right? There's no
The forked road that only God knows
Unstoppable speed, and faster It goes
Every thing is falling but you
Don't become an adult.
“My roommate’s teaching me now of her sexual experiences,” She
said that day. “Considering I knew nothing, coming from a
Catholic school and a strict family and all.”
“You mean, she’s teaching you like, how to masturbate in the
bathtub and stuff?”
“Ah!” She quickly responded. “No! Dirty, Eiji, dirty!”
“Hey, I got that from a non-fic story I was reading for my
class, and that’s what the narrator said she learned from her
“Right, Tom Lin number two.” She responded. I hated being called
that, I hated thinking that I was just a sidekick in my own
story, my own life, and that the other Tom Lin was the real one,
the hero of this story. “My roommate also said that a friendship
of a girl and a guy is never platonic, that there is always some
love interest lingering in it.”
“She’s wrong, right? Our friendship is platonic.” I pause, and
thought for a while, not sure what ‘platonic’ meant yet. “Wait a
sec, what does platonic mean again?”
can imagine her laughing at this question. “It means pure
friendship.” She responded after a long pause.
“Yep, that’s ours alright.” I typed back. I always thought that
platonic had something to do with the earth plates that causes
earthquakes or something. Guess I was always wrong.
liked this. I’ve never had a long platonic friendship with a
girl before. It was always either me loving the girl, or the
girl loving me. This friendship with Chita was cool. It was my
first on something.
* * * * * *
My grandfather died this summer, after drinking and mourning for
years about my grandmother’s death. He was lonely. Alcohol was
the only medicine for everyone’s soul, even Christ agreed when
he gave the wine to his followers and said, “this is my blood”.
My grandpa, father of my mother, was a victim of a hit and run,
found at least thirty minutes after the accident. His brain was
already mush then, the beginning of his torturing hell. If I
ever become like him, I want someone to blow my brains out.
doctors weren’t kind, him wanting to die, the doctors wanting
the money he would have to give if he survived. The doctors
refused to let him choose his destiny.
Despite his pain, the doctors wouldn’t let him die, let him
finally get rid of the pain, as they tubed him with life support
system. Death was a more merciful treatment to him. Death is not
always bad. Watching him in that state of pain was killing
everyone in the family. The doctors are cruel, too inhumane.
call came in the morning, summoning my mom. It arrived at four
AM. Mom did not sleep after that. She looked about to cry.
didn’t cry when she died, because to cry would have meant to
give up. I cried when I fell down from my bike, because I gave
up my belief that I was invincible. I cried when Dad gave my dog
away, because I gave up believing that I controlled my own life.
And I cried when thieves killed Loba, our old dog, because I
gave up thinking that the world was sane, that mankind was good.
Her life was worth more than the hundred-dollar water-pump they
stole, her companionship and friendship was worth much more than
that pump she was tied to protect.
had only seen my mom cry once, as she sat naked on the toilet
seat, her hands covering her face, her arms resting on her
knees. Grandma had died then of Parkinson’s disease, and we were
too poor to buy an airplane ticket for her way back home.
had always been the strongest person I knew, she was always calm
and quiet in any situation, unlike my father. She was the last
strength I saw that held up the world.
gave up her strength when she cried. And I gave up my belief
that there was strength in this life. Everyone is weak. We just
don’t want to admit it.
* * * * *
“My friend told me that he’d like to die protecting someone he
loved, catching a bullet with his body to protect and save his
laughed when Chita told me that, not long ago, the exact time
escapes my mind. “That sounds more like a bad 50’s movie than a
romantic death.” Was what I responded. I was listening to
L’arc’s Blurry Eyes then, singing along with my favorite
line of the song: “Why do you stare at the skies, with your
“Yeah, I know.” She replied.
would have preferred to jump off a building,” I said. “To feel
the wind and freedom as I fall down toward ground, flying before
an abrupt crash.”
“That’s cool, but why would you want to kill yourself?”
became quiet then, a silence somehow ran down my spine. “Because
even if I died now it wouldn’t matter.” I responded. “For the
world would not change, and might benefit better from one less
think that’s cowardly! How about the people you leave behind?
They’ll be sadder if you died.”
“Well, my parents would be able to save the money they’re
wasting on me, and be able to give that extra attention to my
“That’s not true…”
it is, isn’t it? I had no future in my life yet, my destination
a blur of dreams. I don’t know where I’m heading, and the crash
to truth would only hurt my family more. “Let’s go kill
ourselves.” Had been my one-liner for years, mom always frowning
when I said that.
“Why do you always say that?”
“Why not?” I would always respond, till one day, I don’t
remember why, but Eiji let out what’s been in my vault the whole
time. “If I died then I wouldn’t have to think of the future,
worry more about school.”
“You don’t have to go to medical school if you don’t want to.”
know, I’m just kidding.” Smile mask again, pretend myself to be
in the third person, looking in. Lie. “I’ll be a teacher or
something if this doesn’t work out.” Lie, just another lie.
brother and I were probably the only ones disappointed that the
world didn’t end on the beginning of the year 2000. We were
ready to stop looking at the future. We were ready to stop
trying to survive in this life. We were ready to stop trying. We
just wanted to see an end. We just wanted to see any kind of an
We had a good
family, and parents that belonged in a fiction of a functional
family. What was it that drove us to destroy ourselves? I don’t
know. I wonder. It just comes out likes this. Just like love
itself, you really can’t explain or find the source of the whole
desire. It just happens. You don’t ever know why. I wonder if my
depression arrived in the same way. I can’t remember. It never
spoke of my own change.
Blurry Eyes still went on, the lyrics intermixing and
playing with the silence of life.
Born from a wind, from
No matter how many times, I say these
They just never seem to reach your heart
Your gaze still looked far
away and float out from the
The music went on as Chita typed again, sending me a newer
message. “I tried to kill myself once.”
was silent. I didn’t type anything else. “I took a lot of pills
as I slit my wrists. But, as I recuperated in the hospital, I
came to realize that if I was dead, then there would be no one
else to take care of my parents, after they had invested so much
in me already.”
“How about your brother?” I typed.
“He’s kind of a bum. He wouldn’t be able to care for them if I
brother would take care of my parents if I was gone,” I typed
back, hands dancing alone without pattern. “He is the one with
the potentials. My brother will make our family proud.”
That’s when I looked at the screen in shock, looking curiously
at what I had just wrote, not sure if I typed that or not. I
stared at it. It was right. My bro would honor my parents. I
just never realized yet.
“Don’t think of that, Eiji.” She said. “I’m sure your family
would really miss you if you’re gone.”
“You’re right.” I slowly answered. “I think I’ll go shower now.
Cold water usually wakes me up.”
“Okay then, go do that.”
“I’ll see ya later then.”
“Bye, Tom Lin number one.”
stared at that for a while as silence resided on, looking at it
longer to confirm its words. Blink, look, it was still the same
Guided by familiar light
You kindly wave your hand
Saying good bye to the familiar future
Let's draw out a broken fantasy
Ripping up the determined fate, let's
run away into the sky
I remember now the sunrise I saw as a