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joanna carlos
joanna carlos I STOPPED writing about the character, let us call her Amy. I was fond of him, the way you agree with things in your life that sometimes get taken for granted for. He was something I dreamed up; each limb was fashioned by yours truly. I take back and stop and pause like every common rich man when I see, not yet, a glimmer of him in any other person. But the everythingness of him, the way he talks and moves and each conscious or unconscious decision, have I seen the entire package in anyone else? No. He completes himself.

I gave up many weeks ago. I wasn't doing the stupid story any justice. But it was me who thought him up first. I don't want to leave him hanging there between worlds, like a ghost. One day I will think up new things about him that would send me inch by inch closer to our goals, wherein he would be defeated by my artist. I left him there because I am apprehensive. I am making excuses. He even is a hermaphrodite Aphrodite, alluring compelling, he writes, and so he is the beginning of the retirement, when everything can be thrown up the air in gusto like that.

So I try to look into all the other things. There is still much to do. Parties, celebrations, funerals. Don't get me started on those, sitting through one and thoughts about how you'd like to be buried. They wore white. I was wearing black. Funerals are meant to be sad affairs. I believe in those things.

The world began eons ago.

I remember that writing can be tricky. I didn't want to be read. Hearing them opine about how clustered it was, I thought the other way. I was, like, no. That was that. You don't see what I see. If there's anyone who can write, it's me. I do realize I am beginning to sound horrible. You don't know me. You are unaware of my nickname. It wasn't an alter ego, but a name my friends knew and dorm mates thought my real name was. (It was written on a placard and hung around our necks. Uh-oh.)

When you die, they say that you get a glimpse of your life from beginning until the current moment. You will know when you get there if there is truth to this. But what good would that be, when you can do that any "when" you like?

I don't know what to do about Amy. I left her hanging in midair. She is an island, dark and dreary. There are all the glories behind her that she would bring to me. But I am not doing anything. Or so it seems. I know them the way writers know their writing hand, better than him knowing him. I know, from observation that she would behave in a way that would satisfy my function as the one who used her to introduce to the world a concept or a movement. I used the difficult process of writing to get this across, this first insight into the human mind which I feel only I understand in that sea of unwelcoming illiterate snobs.

Yes, I am fond of Amy. She is a dear acquaintance. One day, she will be introduced to everybody else, but I wonder how much glory is involved in that debut once that is accomplished. She will be underestimated again, just like the rest. But her character will always remain in me as someone that had lived. There is much wonder in this world. It feels like the city of Manila, bright, powerful, quiet, moving.

[About the author. Joanna Carlos considers herself Kapampangan, having grown up in an atmosphere in which the dialect was distributed freely among locals and expatriates here and abroad; thereby she ingested it like the smell of dying sampaguitas, the sound of cicadas by moonlight, and the sight of lanterns, ablaze in the sun, that decorate the city. She is dedicated and compassionate, and is interested in many things. After leaving the KSA, she has then immersed herself in the folkloric society of Pampanga. Joan is kindhearted and generous. Yet she has her pet peeves, her Lilith moments, so don't be a "cold-hearted capitalist" and irritate her, because even then you wouldn't realize who you are up against. Her writing was honed throughout the years and so has she. Joanna, then, is an amalgam of the child and the present, accepting, just..]

-Posted: 11:11 AM 2/17/13 | More of this author on eK!