If this be magic

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let it be an art lawful as eating (The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare)

I haven’t written fiction in a while, so here it is, my first fiction piece in X years. My writing prompt was “magic,” and it went from there.

She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through.
Then passed right by–
And never knew.
– Shel Silverstein, “Masks”

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Luck, Part 1

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Baler, Philippines

An old acquaintance is in the country right now. When I pouted and asked him why he didn’t tell me, he sent me an email with his itinerary, urging me to come join him and get beach drunk (which is the best kind of drunk). His itinerary is filled with beaches, places I’ve all been to, and it’s not that I’ve taken them for granted exactly, it’s that I never grant them a second thought once I’ve crossed them off my list. He ended his email with these words: “You are so lucky to be from here.”

It struck a chord. Lucky.

I’ve heard similar things before, from expats to hardcore travelers, and even from Yakov — whose amazement at nature is hilarious and bordering on psychotic to someone with Island Girl Privilege (me).

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South Saturdays: Nuvali

Brunch and the South are two of the maybe four things I love on this godawful planet… So I convinced Marvin to eat at The Morning After in Nuvali.

Another thing I love? Restaurants referencing coitus.

To be fair, it wasn’t difficult. The conversation went something like this:

Me: There’s a place in Nuvali I want to try. It’s called The Morning After.
Marv: Okay, let’s go this Saturday.

It’s why we get along so well. Continue reading

Dispatches from Kota Kinabalu

I’m at the airport as I type this, having hastily gotten an iced Americano at Bo’s Coffee to stave off the inevitable caffeine headache. When will there ever be a Starbucks here? I only ever seem to drink Bo’s when I’m at NAIA Terminal 3. And that one time with Kevin, but it was his birthday lunch (kind of, since it was in July and his birthday is in May).

We’re supposed to board in a few minutes, and I’m a mix of nerves and excitement.

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Titas of MNL ✈ CEB

“Shit. I need to learn how to chill!!!”

I was stuck in traffic, frantically texting Dei, worried that I’d miss our flight to Cebu. The cab ride from my house to the airport, usually taking only fifteen minutes, had stretched to well over an hour. Traffic was barely moving; we’d been in the same place for nearly thirty minutes.

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Fight or flight?

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Before I could make the choice, my subconscious did it for me: it chose flight.

It always does, and here’s the thing about self-sabotage: you don’t know you’re doing it until it’s too late. Why would I ruin something good?

My belief in parallel universes gives me comfort: there’s a universe out there in which everything worked out. Just not this one.

Davao for the holidays

​​It’s three days before Christmas.

In the rush of holiday travel, I’m eternally grateful I’m flying Philippine Airlines — a direct flight out of one of the better terminals at NAIA, which is all I ask for, given that my entire family flew out a week prior. Having lugged my bags from home that morning, I leave the office early in the afternoon. When I tell my Uber driver to take me to the airport, he says I’m the third person he’ll be driving there today, and asks me where I’m headed.

“Davao,” I say, and leave it at that.

I don’t add the part about the old, ugly airport and the alleged hipons because it might depress him.

“Ah, durian!” He chuckles. Continue reading