From a Balcony

It’s 10:46pm on a Sunday night in September and I feel at peace.

Tonight’s a good night to be intoxicatingly cliché.

Tomorrow is Monday, and needless to say, I’m not exactly ecstatic about the return of immediate responsibility. Right now, I’d like to just remain in the now. (Aside, that last sentence just reminded me of the entire premise of The Spectacular Now, which was an okay movie. Future blog post of my critique for that film, possibly? I’ve got some stuff to say about it).

But, I did just admit that it’s a good day to be cliché so remaining in the now is only appropriate.

I’m rambling, I know. It’s been 4 minutes.

I feel at peace because I’m sipping a mug of passionfruit-flavored tea (too sweet, probably let it steep for too long), sitting in the dark of my friends’ apartment balcony. I have a partial view of West Campus–it’s peaceful, surrounded by apartment complexes with a partial view of the UT Tower. It’s lit and–I don’t know if it’s the poet or the Longhorn in me–but it looks spooky and…relevant. Yes, it looks relevant and beautiful and proud that it’s the symbol of UT Austin.

Listening to my favorite song, Ben Folds’ Landed. Continuing to sip the gross tea because that’s all that’s available and I’d rather have gross tea than no tea at all. The weather’s not at all like Texas weather.

I planned on winging this post (at least, more so than the others) and hopefully steer it towards some sort of a contemplative essence but my thoughts are so discursive I can’t seem to string them together into something intelligible, much less interesting.

A guy is walking his dog across the street. The girl in front of him drags her suitcase behind her. There’s a faint police siren. Soft lights in windows. A girl is trying to get into the adjacent apartment complex. Always the sound of passing cars. And a sort of background hum of…movement. Maybe it’s I-35. Or the River? Or of just life? It’s too bright to see the stars.

But that’s really not so bad. The Tower will do for now.



–Round of applause for my spot-on webcam, everybody


This is Not an Obituary

On Friday, Seamus Heaney died.

I wouldn’t even know who this Heaney guy was if I hadn’t had The Mr. Willard for my high school English teacher and if he hadn’t been the most unconventional teacher I’ve had so far. I had no idea just how famous of a poet he was and so I don’t blame you if you have no idea who I’m talking about,  but if you’re of the more enlightened population that already knew this, then bravo to you.

Seamus Heaney was  an Irish poet. One of the most famous poets in history. If we were to rewind back four years to the day when Mr. Willard assigned his class to drive 45 minutes to the University of North Texas and listen to a lecture given by a lit professor who was also slightly off his rocker, then you’d witness the day when I first heard about Mr. Heaney. My friend’s dad drove us through rush hour traffic just to hear a lecture for a mere high school english grade, and it was clear that none of us wanted to go through with it. However, being on the UNT campus that fateful Thursday night proved more fulfilling than I could have possibly imagined.

For one, I experienced college as a college student would have. The lecture was in a cramped classroom with even smaller desks. We marveled at the professor who was actually quite young and wearing flip-flops with his suit. We were surprised that he didn’t lecture. Instead, he showed us a 30 minute video about Mr. Heaney. Then, we ate Subway cookies on the curb as we talked about our futures that would be quite similar to this while we waited for her dad to come pick us up. It was one of the greatest nights of my life.

Mr. Heaney, at the time, seemed like only a by-product of this glorious Thursday evening. I had to sit through a boring video about a poet. Unless you’re an English lit major or Heaney fanatic, not the most riveting documentary. Then, I had to write a paper about what I learned. And to be honest, I don’t remember a scrap of information I heard from that video or put in that report. After that day, Seamus Heaney was just a name on an English assignment.

Until last Friday. When he died.

It’s interesting to think that I never forgot that name. It’s just one of those curious things that linger in the recesses of your brain and dredged up one day when you hear some dreadful news involving said curiosity, like death, and feel more affected by it than you might expect.

You see, when I saw that Mr. Heaney died (via another author, Mr. John Green’s twitter), I instantly recalled that night on the curb with our Subway cookies and the feeling of the unknown just out of our reach. This was actually the text dialogue between my friend and I when the news broke:

madi text madi text 2

At first, I was joking. Not about his death. But about how I felt. Because how could I care? I hadn’t had anything to do with the guy since my sophomore year of high school. But as I thought about it more and realized how many other people seemed to care, I noticed that Mr. Heaney did play a significant role in mine. I believe that I was entirely on the mark when I said that a piece of my childhood died along with him. Because, in a sense, it did.

My encounter with Mr. Heaney involved not just learning about his life through that documentary, but also that portion of my life when I am about to jump passed the threshold into the future. It sounds very otherworldly and cosmic but I feel as if this Irish poet symbolized that part of my existence when I knew less of what was going to happen to me but still possessed the courage to jump head first into it. Now, I’m in college and I’m more frightened about what’s ahead than I was four years prior. With some twisted logic, a mere poet impacted my life.

I’m sad because there are many more people like Seamus Heaney who are geniuses of the pen and contribute to the world their words, and others like me, buried by college, buried by life,  who won’t get the chance to witness that kind of greatness. I’m afraid that eventually, people like Mr. Heaney will become undervalued and forgotten.

That’s why I’m sad.

2:32 AM


The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out, what you on about?

I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my bones…

My grandmother died yesterday. There’s something about her death that…well, I feel as if I’m drunk. I wasn’t close to her at all–she lived in the Philippines, I lived here in Dallas–but there’s still a sadness about the house that makes it seem as if we were best friends. But I’m more sad for my mom because I saw the depth of her sadness when she cried, and never in my life have I seen her cry. She didn’t break down or anything, her eyes became red and she couldn’t talk for a bit. We were seated at the kitchen table and she told me that my grandmother seemed to know that she was going to die that night because she was asking my mom’s sister if any of her other kids (my mom, and her two other siblings who lived halfway across the world) were coming to visit and my aunt said no.  Then my mom said, “None of her kids came, she died and we didn’t come.” It was just the two of us–my brother was watching TV, my sister was sleeping, my dad was on a trip. I tried being strong as I struggled to comfort her and then I went up to my room and cried for my mom, for my grandma, harder than I have in awhile.

I feel as if I’m drunk because the next day my head hurt. Not hangover-like, just a head soreness from crying too much in a short amount of time. Then I didn’t feel like doing anything but eating. So I did. Then I felt the extreme need to be productive so I was for about four hours and then I did nothing again.

And that’s how I came to listen to Vampire Weekend at half past two in the morning.

The Ferris Bueller photo ( does not pertain whatsoever to this post; it just seemed like the most appropriate picture on my computer that should embody the very first post in the Cursive Journal.