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Notes from the Yellowground

So this is how it looks to be home at night. Not bad.

Tonight is rest the liver night. Which strikes me as odd because on Mondays I usually drink out with the Monday is the New Friday Group composed of my remaining high school friends; or if we do not have a group meeting, you will find me in my second home, my happy place in Libis. What's with all these italicized words?--I hate italicization: because most use them to stress a point whereas the point is to be subtle in writing and let the reader find the point! Well, just the same, tonight I am home. And I cleaned out my closet.

Not my closet, really. Just the computer area and the study. I finally found the time to set-up the computers and printers in the newly-arranged second-floor work area. What's with these dashes, again? They are like the cables that I hate. I just have to say. They are today's eyesores--did someone say wireless? Yes, we have WIFI but you cannot do without the computer, printer, USB, extension, power, mouse, keyboard, monitor cables. They are snakes: they coil and coil and never leave you even if you try your best to hide them. Anyway, I got through the easy part of arranging the equipment; the hard part of storing out the smaller things (CDs, papers, supplies, etc.) will have to come on a later day. I easily get tired, you see. Sloths tire easily. Good thing I had a two-hour nap this afternoon--the joys of the leisurely life!--after finally eating what I have been craving for since last week (Ebi tempura, yakimeshi and shake sushi). After all, I needed to reward myself for all the work I did (and did not do) last week. I've been sleeping heavily since last Saturday. Well, since today is a Monday--and everything starts on a Monday--I shall be strong enough to work again tomorrow. That is why I cleaned out the rooms tonight--so that I can (re-)start tomorrow morning. I am sure that you understand, that it is difficult to start on something without finishing your business, which also means cleaning up your clutter much in the same way as cleaning up your desk before you start working or when you are about to leave. That is the case with me as well, but multiply that by ten. I am the most disorganizedly-organized person--but this is cliche already. Let me try again: I am a messy man. Index cards all over the table, books half-open, papers strewn on the floor, unbound readings, missing pens, missing minds, missing meals. What a sight! I tell you. I manage. But it gets to that critical point when I can no longer stay in that messy area because it gets to me and more so because organizing everything is just too much trouble. So what do I do when it gets really messy?--I leave and look for another clear desk and there do my work. Sounds like predators leaving a place where they killed everything already, right? Something like that. But according to my psychological self-analysis (where I'm getting pretty good at), I do that because I am very sensitive to places or rooms, that is to say, I absorb their energies. The room must be like the page: to start, it must be clear; to move forward, it must be messy; to rewrite, it must be different from where I first started writing; and to proofread, it must be clear again. I noticed that in the last chapter I wrote for a month: I started on the clean table of the study; I stayed there when I struggled with the texts and citations; I left and started writing without cards in a coffee shop; I proofread in our other place; and I drank myself to death. And like photography, it is also all about the light: depending on the part, I would like it be be bright or dark as hell. Well, tonight, the lights are on in this dark and silent night. This is the calm before the storm.

So as I was saying, I cleaned up the study as well. I also (finally) decided where to hang my new collection of masks from different countries; I will place them on the narrow face of the wall next to the bathroom door. It's so crowded here already what with the sofa, the television console, the bookcases, books without cases, supplies, etc. But I love this room even if it's cluttered because when I am alone in it during the day I can hear the silence of all these books speak. "A room without books," Cicero said, "is like a body without a soul." Well then, this study should be a ghost house with all the dead conversing here--like what Socrates imagined Hades to be. It's not that one can measure the amount of knowledge per square inch here, it's more of the amount of wisdom not yet attained here. Everyday when I enter this room, I know full well that I will never learn nearly a tenth of what these books have to teach me. How about 1 percent? Most likely. That is why this is a room of vanity--not my vanity but the vanity of what I do: supposedly "reading," "learning" and "writing." I know better: I am kidding myself. I know nothing and will forever know nothing. All knowledge--most especially mine and more than others'--is vain. I am currently thinking of how to go about following what Nietzsche prescribed for the thinker of the future: that on the door of his room a sign should be placed that says "What do I matter?" I tell myself that often: I do not matter--much in the same way that I tell my friends jokingly when they say something a bit tangential to an issue : "Hindi iyan mahalaga." Nothing matters, strictly speaking. And so they ask me: "What matters then?" And I answer: "the essence." Now they no longer want to hear from me.

And so, by cleaning up this room, I have accomplished the second of three tasks. I had a haircut last week (just cleaned up the sides as I still want to grow it long) and I shall start writing my final chapter tomorrow. They always come in threes, you know? I died last Tuesday but I will rise again tomorrow. Wonderful animals, these cats!--they always come back from death. Always and without fail. But I wonder how many lives I have left before I become one more voice in this room full of spirits.



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