bleak and pretty

bipolarity, notes about daily life, and some personal essays.

A Man

To most, it was an ordinary hook up. Boy and girl meet to smoke and fuck. To me, it was the day when I fell down a rabbit hole and discovered Wonderland — a place I would revisit again and again, many, many times.

I met him at a train station, which would afterwards be a setting place of many more hello's and sad goodbyes. It was a little past noon. The sun was hot and I could still remember what I wore that day: a balloon skirt and a v-neck, figure-hugging cotton blouse. My hair was cut short and I looked like a skinny doll.

He, on the other hand, wore a crown of messy, overgrown hair that pointed in all directions. He was wearing a shirt, sunglasses, and a pair of skinny jeans. Under his arm was a penny skateboard.

I greeted him with a smile. He would describe it later on as pure, radiating, full of hope.

He told me I was pretty.

And he, on the other hand, was a boy that I had somehow always known of — in the back of my head, through my daydreams.

We walked to his apartment door and I made myself comfortable on a mattress on the floor. The small studio apartment fit nothing more than what you would need to just sleep and eat. I remember a guitar and a calendar leaning on a corner of the wall.

On the closet door, written on a sticky note, are the words, “I love you Mark”. I would guess that they were written by his girlfriend.

I don't remember much about the next few moments that happened, but I remember asking him, “How do I know when it's kicked in?”

“You just know it when you feel it.”

He taught me how to draw a hit from his pipe by holding and lighting it up for me. We smoked kush and then some locally grown strain.

Next thing I know, the yellow, shadowy room had a certain haze to it, the music we were playing sounded different — much more piercing, much more alive, much more full of emotion — and my heart was beating harder and louder. It felt good. It's like being surrounded by a sensory filter that makes you feel as if trapped in a numbing haze, but at the same time feeling and experiencing things on a deeper level.

I leaned on him. Our skin touched. His body found mine and I discovered his, all while we were fuelled by a drug that made things shimmer.

I would always remember him as the boy that made me discover beauty in intimacy and in mindful, passionate fucking. The way that he cursed me, bit me, and slapped me while I was pinned down like a prey opened a dimension of my sexuality that I'd be keeping for the rest of my life.

He took time whenever he kissed me. There was never a hurry; it was always as if time had stopped and only the two of us existed in an infinitely blissful universe. He would look deeply into my eyes, intently, as if he was searching for meaning in the bottom of my soul.

“I have never been with anyone as sweet as you,” I told him.

I was twenty at the time and I was ripe for exploring the world, which includes fucking up a bit.

Our affair was a sordid story with the most beautiful details. We once sat by the bay in Roxas Boulevard and watched the sun come down. Well until after dusk we sat and talked about life and his marriage. Once, we visited the Metropolitan Museum. At a concert, we held hands in a room full of people, including his wife.

He unraveled himself to me in a way that he has never done before. I learned about his unhappy childhood where his mother gave him away. I saw through all his pain and his need for love, which he compensated by dating a couple new girls every month in the last two years of his marriage. The beautiful boy had a “cup” that was “broken” and could never be “filled”.

“You filled my cup,” he would tell me one day.

Perhaps the worst tragedy in our story was the simple fact that our lives weren't meant to stay connected. I'd heard him say that things would have tatke a completely different turn in his life if only he met me before he reunited with his ex, now wife.

It may be all lies, all sugarcoated deception, or it may be a cruel trickery by fate. I could remember when we went alone and prayed at a church one time, how he confessed to me all his frustrations and feelings of failure, exposed to me all the cracks in his relationship and his childhood, told me about the things that kept him awake — it was as if we were just destined to meet so I could save him somehow.

I never salvaged him. The poor soul, after I left the affair, continued to spiral down to even more fucked up lows. He had problems that, according to him, robbed him of his sanity sometimes. I saw that very clearly in the meth face that was his profile picture in Facebook.

Nowadays, I'm not exactly sure how he's doing, but coming across him on Tinder (we matched the second time around!) gives me a clue.

I have long moved on from the affair and healed the scars that came with it, but I won't deny that it touched and affected my life, irrevocably. Being the “Other Woman” has been the sweetest and yet one of the most unfortunate, painful experiences I went through. I don't think that the love I felt (or the lust, whatever) can ever be matched — I wanted him and I wanted to be with him, even if for a moment, even if he would never truly be mine.

He was a boy whose broken soul was exposed to me and I still accepted, adored, took all the sharp pieces and held them together.

But you can hold on to broken pieces for only so long.

After that summer passed, I told him, coldly, “I don't want to be your girlfriend anymore.”

I discarded him just like that, hooked up with another person a couple weeks later, only to realize it wasn't sex that I just want, or a warm body that could actually spend the night. I just wanted him.

Now I can say that once in my life, I was in bed crying beside a sleeping, naked man, because I would rather be with another.

My insights on being an Other Woman are for another time. As I slouch on my couch, barely breathing and floating in warm air, I just want to remember him and picture his brown eyes staring into mine, asking, looking for a window to a parallel universe where he and I belong to each other as we should.

And then we could get high and never come down.

This post was originally published in by Mia Alcantara. Stay safe.


I'm starting to feel the repercussions of quitting my medication all of a sudden. I am having difficulty sleeping now, although my appetite is all okay. There's just so many things that I want to look up and can't help myself. Maybe I shouldn't have bought data so I'd be forced to sleep or continue reading 1984. Then I should get some sleep.

Well, weed is my friend here – and right now as I write this I enjoy the mellow high that makes me feel like, well, a baby in a crib.

So what have I done after coming home today? Am I wasting time or is this the beginning of a hypomanic episode?

  1. Take dirty clothes to laundry shop.
  2. Take a bunch of selfies and manipulate through Snow.
  3. Comfort a deeply heartbroken friend.
  4. Half-read an article.
  5. Make a dream catcher; pin existing dream catchers on the curtain.
  6. Check Tinder for a bit.
  7. Watch YouTube videos about dreadlocks.
  8. Find a YouTube video about Sugar daddies/babies.
  9. Watch porn.
  10. Lookup my ex's sister on Facebook.
  11. Chat up with Kevin.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Then now I smoked – to induce sleep – and found myself writing this note.

I haven't produced any formal essay recently, though I've been wanting to write about my surfboard shaper and surfing need-to-knows. I think I was supposed to also review pop up techniques on YouTube.

It's raining outside now. I guess this is a perfect time to doze off. I can hear a plane passing by. A honk of a jeepney. I think about if I'll ever meet another version of J again.


I have decided to stop my medication...without professional advice.

Divalproex sodium was prescribed to me as medication for bipolar, a condition that doesn't have a cure anyway. It was supposed to act as a mood stabilizer according to a psychiatrist. I'd been taking it for 6 months now, as prescribed, but I had come to a point where it felt like inorganic medication wasn't something I wanted to do anymore.

The daily alarm for 10:30 in the morning is an exhausting reminder: You need to take some inorganic substance because you don't count as normal and mentally stable.

I understand that discontinuing the medication can worsen my symptoms or cause a relapse. As of now, I feel completely fine and that everything's going great. This is probably because the medicine is “working”. Like, I owe Big Pharma the reason why I have my shit together.

The exact opposite may happen sometime in the future, all because I refuse to take medicine. It doesn't feel like a big decision right now, unlike when I came to the doctor for treatment because I have lost control of my emotions and feelings, as I have been banging my head on a wall and cutting my wrist.

When I recall that day, it's like remembering a person who is not me anymore.

I was first diagnosed three years ago. I medicated for a short while, like less than 2 months, then tried to manage it on my own. I'm doing the same thing right now. I just hope I don't end up in the same position as before. I hope I don't get suicidal thoughts in the future anymore.

I think I'm gonna do well taking care of myself: I just have to eat, sleep, and de-stress like a normal person, understand my triggers, stay in a “safe zone” in life, and continue exercising and all that good stuff.

And maybe not splurge all my savings again on an impulsive surf trip to Calicoan. And maybe not meet anyone from Tinder again. Maybe. I just have to live inside this bubble, continue writing, stay away from toxic people.

I just have to make sure that my feet are planted firmly on a tightrope, hanging 5000 feet.


Today a thought came to my mind: Normal just doesn't suit me.

I look back at my previous relationships and realize that I've always been trying and expecting them to fit a certain mold. What is considered appropriate. Romantic. “Healthy”. In the right direction.

And they all have “failed”. I think that what I'm looking for is something personalized and custom — with a formation and a set of rules that is tailored just for me and my significant other, whoever he/she is, if there ever will be any.

Breaking it down

Completely deconstructing here, I can even further break down the concept of a significant other. How significant, what kind of significance, what degree of relatedness (if any) would it imply? Sounds interesting. Like, it doesn't necessarily have to be that he/she's on paper as a spouse or something. Maybe we don't even need to have any sort of announced relatedness. And yet we can say that we're together and each other's significant other. We can even imply the same thing without using the words “significant other” and “relationship”.

Normal isn't for everyone. That kind of a normal relationship, which is supposed to progress and grow and develop into a rootcrop or something else might not just be for me. Functioning normally is something I'm just might not be wired to do. (Hint: I'm bipolar and not being a good patient, too.)

Everyone's supposed to develop a sort of attachment and to cultivate successful relationships, while I'm wired to drift and to pull away, to desire the uninterested, to seek the unavailable. While others crave consistency and regularity, it makes me feel dull and bored. Commitment is something that might be choking me and burning me out just by the thought of it. My paranoia is an imagined plane where one of my feet will always be on.

How does this make me feel? That I'm perhaps condemned to walk a path less recognized, even considered aberrational? What if loving relationships for me can only be in the form of a feigned intimacy with a fuck buddy? What if I'll really never have a husband/wife and kids? How does it feel to realize that my kind of life will never be portraited in popular culture as normal and proper?

Here's what I will say:

I am relieved. All along, I've thought that something was wrong with me or that I was cursed or something. Now I realize that I'm just walking a different path, a much different, considerably abnormal path, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's ok to be different; normal isn't for everyone. My “failures” aren't weaknesses or illnesses; they're just what happens in my life. As far as I know, I'm doing my best and I'm striving to make myself happy by living a meaningful life.

*And it just so happens that it's the norm to groom and comb your hair, get in healthy relationships, be a happy single person (who says I can't despair or be needy or get in trouble with cheating bastards), and be a nice person. And it also just so happens that what's normal doesn't apply to me.*

I don't intend to justify all the shit and trouble I've done and been through – we all do shit so I guess that's normal – I'm just sayin it's not a world of normal for everyone.

Carry on, twisted, evil, bad, weirdo creeps!

#pretty #stoned

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San Juan, LU

Northshore beach in San Juan, La Union.

It has been a year since I stood on a surfboard in San Juan, La Union. I remember asking myself, “Why the fuck am I doing this,” as I lie on my belly while my surf instructor pushed me against harsh, breaking waves.

I wasn't any good; I was never the sporty type. I didn't even know how to swim. Some people learn to surf and ride a board on their first try and clearly I wasn't one of them. I think I managed to ride once or twice during that one-hour session. I was a total sporting failure - up till now - but I found something beautiful on that Saturday that I was going to keep in my heart indefinitely: a love for the ocean, a love for falling and endlessly trying, a love for travelling, and a love for hot, semi-naked people.



as i write this, i am considering that i might be in love. there's a flutter in my chest and in between my legs. maybe it's only the high from what i smoked half an hour ago, or maybe it's his presence. his deep voice. his expressionless eyes that pierced me like i was a dove partially shot through by a blunt arrow.

if love is in hopeless fantasy, i surely am. here i go again, chasing pavements that lead nowhere.


I had a dream about a very large wave creeping up behind me. Weird because I was inside a car – I didn't even know how to drive – and what were the odds that I'd find myself in a parking lot on an actual shore? And that the swells were what – 30 feet?

Today I received news that waves were back in Real. I was supposed to get surf lessons in a wavepool tomorrow, but my goddamned coach was going to Real. Because waves. Because salty surf.

Normally, I would go without a second thought – waves are life – but it just didn't feel right this time.

Tinge of doubt = No, no.


My heart isn't broken, but I must admit that it stings. The pain of a once-savored, now-lost passion is like the searing pain of scraped knees.

But was it truly lost? A friend of mine said before, “Waves don't disappear; you just find them somewhere else.”


It's Tuesday shift. Post-Monday blues. I've just had coffee and cigarettes and thought how nice it was to come down from a high and take these two other drugs.

It gives you the feeling of a beautiful sunshine in crowded midnight — smokers obliviously gathering on a small area and inhaling-exhaling all their lives away.

I'm the one you never noticed as I lean silently on the wall. I have been thinking of you. The image of you is a cigarette burn on my mind.


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