Day 26: the flight to ugly

you live in a church
where you sleep with voodoo dolls
and you won’t give up the search
for the ghosts in the halls
you wear sandals in the snow
and a smile that won’t wash away.

–       Building A Mystery / Sarah McLachlan

In Bahrain, the rain did not stop.  It rained until the afternoon way towards the evening.  That same evening when I had to fly back to Dubai.

Bahrain airport was a already a derangement in process when I checked in an hour before boarding.  Thank God I brought my Dr Brian Weiss’ book on transgression and self – formation, otherwise I would’ve massacred the entire group of Indonesian orison cult who ate their way towards chatters of whatever on the airport mezzanine like it is everyone’s picnic grounds.  Had I not been irritated by their constant palaver on whatever, I would have silently listened to Tori Amos’ Midwinter Graces on my MP3 and revisited Weiss with his hypnotic harangue on loving myself even more.  Instead, I was inflicted by negativity for the sheer ugly truism that revolved around massive yakking and guinea pig poison dressed as orange uniformed mortals ready to be sent to the gas chamber.

First of all, I am patient.  Second of all, I am understanding.  And lastly, I am a smellist.  The first two remained to be ineffective that night because in more ways than one it was my nose who overpowered my sense of humanity as a result of the formidable stench of curry / rice / piss and incense that took the entire airport by storm.   Also, its babel of shrieks that immediately brought me back some 57 years ago, back in college, when me and my sisters would line up at Victory Liner in Manila bound for Zambales, surrounded by anti-Christs who shared their gossip, their Cheese Curls, spit, drama and vomit for hours before getting on a bus.  It was marvelously excruciating!

And then the announcement:  “Due to rain and the country’s effort to bring sadism to their avid guests, Flight to Ugly, bound for Dubai is due for the eleventh hour.  All ugly passengers can slash their wrists NOW !”

Almost chewing Dr Brian Weiss’ book from waiting (and my gargantuan hives growing by elephants by the minute) and almost considering setting it on fire too, I opened my laptop to write it all down.  Surprise!  I could not connect to the WIFI.  I walked to the smoking room (which was at Gate 12 and I was sitting at Gate 32) and ruptured my lungs over my unsugared Costa coffee. I looked over the vaporous glass that divided the asylum and the raining Bahrain and wondered about my bed in Dubai.  It would have hung itself knowing that I was in this inconsiderable state, dabbing on life’s natural ugliness.

Aboard the aircraft, I decided to sleep before take off dreaming that when I awake, I will be removed from my begrimed caprice to become my beautiful old self again.  Success.  I heard myself snore in 5 minutes and as I heard the engine roared to perfection, I knew, in my slumber, that everything will be OK.

And then, unexpectedly, as my senses plugged off, my very  powerful nose caught something.  A smell of rotten something .  .  . dead rat something .  .  . some obnoxiously smelly feet!  I opened one eye and saw Mr Fissan, the guy next to me, his shoes tucked nicely under his seat and his profane feet resting against the front seat.  A strategic location for anyone within one meter to get a whiff of his gifted feet.  I opened my eyes and looked at him.  He was happily reading some crap he picked up at the pharmacy oblivious of the fact that he was really supposed to buy foot spray.  It was revolting.  I gave him the face.  He smiled back.  Bastard.

Amoy bulok na kamote putang ina !!! Smells like rotten sweet potato, motherfuck !!! . . . These and other murderous thoughts flooded my woozy head as I slowly died of suffocation.

I carried on.  I am patient.  I am understanding      . . .            and I am a smellist, goddamn !!!

“Excuse me, can you put your shoes back on?”  I said.

“Oh sorry.  Is it a religious thing?  Oh sorry indeed,”  he muttered.

“No, there’s NOTHING religious about it,”


“It just stinks, MAN!”

I arrived in Dubai and ate this.

The only consolation I got from all of that as I rebegan my mysteries built by the kaleidoscopic bullshits of reality.  No complains now.  I survived the day.

I grabbed my phone and called The Crush.


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