April 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Probably for every man there is at least one city that sooner or later turns into a girl.”
-J.D. Salinger

we were facing the shoreline with nothing but beer. it was around 12am when my friend suzette and i were talking about how someone should write a paper on how cigarettes are vital to most, if not all of salinger’s published stories. it makes me wonder how his unpublished stories would look like, and if they have less smoke and more clarity. suzette told me, maybe i should write that paper. our bottles of beer were halfway through, and the paper turned into a story. we were quiet for most of the time just watching the stars. a friend called her up, saying they were in a nearby bar.

the stars were getting brighter and brighter.

so we went to the bar just about 10 meters away and i lost her. i lost suzette. maybe she strayed away with a couple of friends. i couldn’t see much people – i was on a roll, binge drinking, and the night wrapped itself around my eyes. the disco lights weren’t enough to illuminate my path. the darkness had taken me away, along with my drunkenness. suddenly, my best friend, ryan, appeared out of nowhere.

he grabbed my hand and said “come with us.” i asked him where. “i don’t know.” i said alright.

so there were about five or six of us in a tricycle, all close enough to touch. i couldn’t remember the ratio of guys and girls. they were confident about the place where we were going, but ryan and i didn’t know shit. we just trusted these people we hardly even knew. we just met them a couple of days ago but we never really got to sit down and chat.

the breeze was getting stronger and the night was getting darker. we sat tight as the tricycle’s engine died all of a sudden, in the middle of a very steep faux road. everyone almost shit their pants but it’s okay, we had the courage of amateur drunkards. the driver tried to start his carriage, and we were back on track.

finally, the ride had come to an end – signaled by the driver’s halt. the place wasn’t well-lit, that’s for sure. but there was a hanging light, surrounded by bamboo trappings. the shadows it casted formed perfect shapes, like a dream catcher that caught you walking. it indicated the entrance of Jungle Bar.

as soon as we got in, i knew the place was special. there were a couple of spanish people dancing in the bar and playing their ipods. three locals guarded the drinks and cigarettes, calmly. the rest of us stormed into the backlot and parked our slippers and shirts. another one of their dream catchers was hanging on top of us. we were all in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a dream.

we went back to the bar, all drunk and steady. the ramones started playing and we jumped up and down, and played some air guitar. i was dancing with this girl, and i asked my friends to help me make a move. miguel was more than willing. in fact, he forced situations to have us dance.

the lady said, “i’m gonna dance with you, but i’m not gonna kiss you.” i said there’s nothing wrong with that, and went to my friend. he kept on insisting i go for the kill. the music was getting louder and people were taking large volumes of rhum – i was, too. so miguel scouted for me and asked the other guy the girl was with about her and if she has a boyfriend.

meanwhile, ryan shared a moment with temptation. he disappeared with a girl somewhere in the beach. then he went back and dragged me to the shoreline. we sat down and talked about what happened – about how he was on the edge, but decided to say no because of Love – that no matter how far his girlfriend was, it still wasn’t worth it to be close enough to kiss with someone.

we were sitting on the shore, relaxing, as the rules of geography continued to be outlawed. the stars were getting nearer. we could feel it.

we went back to the bar and killed time by resting a little. miguel approached me and said “i’m sorry but we can’t pull through with the mission. the girl’s still in love with the guy i was just talking to. they were lovers, and now they’re back together. i’m sorry.” i said right away, don’t be sorry, because that’s the kind of stuff that i live for. i believe in Love, Love, Love. one of the spanish girls at the bar picked the next song and said, “this one is for you guys,” pointing to our group of strangers. it was Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

with the lights out
it’s less dangerous
here we are now
entertain us
i feel stupid
and contagious

it was around 5 am as the sun was starting to rise. we all parked at where david and i talked, and waited for the sun to crawl back. as the luminous ball of gold was flying higher and higher, a girl came along with her friend. it was sally. we started singing songs and rejoicing for the greatest view.

sally and i started talking. i said i didn’t want to leave. she agreed. we talked about the future; how our lives would be different as soon as we go back to the so-called real world. for a while there we felt like we were characters in a movie, and it was coming to an end. we talked about The Graduate. i tried to see through her eyes and saw many things.

she took pictures of the sunrise, but not of the shore. none of us could’ve done justice to that glorious place.

i didn’t believe that there were such things as secret places. after that night/morning, things changed.

sally, ryan, and i took the same tricycle going back home. Motorcycle Drive By by Third Eye Blind started playing in my head and i just had to sing it out loud. we all agreed: it was the perfect song for the moment.

summer time and the wind is blowing outside in lower chelsea
and i don’t know what i’m doing in this city
the sun is always in my eyes, it crashes through the windows
and i’m sleeping on the couch –
when i came to visit you, that’s when i knew that i could never have you
i knew that before you did, still i’m the one who’s stupid
and there’s this burning like there’s always been

i’ve never been so alone
and i’ve never been so alive

visions of you on a motorcycle drive by
the cigarette ash flies in your eyes
and you don’t mind, you smile and say –
the world doesn’t fit with you,
i don’t believe you, you’re so serene
careening through the universe, your axis on a tilt
you’re guiltless and free, i hope you take a piece of me with you
and there’s things i’d like to do that you don’t believe in
i would like to build something but you never see it happen
and there’s this burning like there’s always been

where’s the soul i want to know?
new york city is evil
the surface is everything but i could never do that –
someone would see through that
and this is our last time we’ll be friends again
i’ll get over you, you’ll wonder who i am

i go home to the coast,
it starts to rain i paddle out on the water alone
taste the salt and taste the pain
i’m not thinking of you again
summer dies and swells rise
the sun goes down in my eyes
see this rolling wave darkly coming
to take me home

and i’ve never been so alone
and i’ve never been so alive.

and in that moment, i just wanted to do it all over again. break the rules and see secret places that the world only shows every once in a blue moon to the people who need it the most. once again i tried to see through her eyes. this time, i saw secret places.


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