5: creative disillusions



2007

The Regine Velasquez Concert

Aviation Club, Dubai

CREATIVE DISILLUSIONMENT is something I came up with being sick and going to work at the same time for the last two days. There I trot to work looking like a dangling tulip, eyes mapped out, nose exploding, going over the usual line checks and bouncing in and out of idiotic conversations about restaurant jargons and (can you imagine) just last night, even in my 38 degrees, properly boxed self, I went clubbing with a friend and did not even tell him I am actually clinically unfit for beer and disco music. But I did go and spent a creative 2 hours under the funky thumps of strobe and flirting with its mindless alcohol soaked audience. I guess I found a new genre in stitching physical inadequacy with pleasure-based high: Disco Paracetamol.

Tonight, I sent SMS messages to close friends saying I am in tears dabbing Vicks all over me. I am in tears because I am alone and sick. Sick and alone. Whichever comes first, I am quite sure it’s comparable to deep unfathomable pain.

And then I thought about creative disillusionment and so I am here, writing it all instead, font over 20, in bold black, as my eyes have become a virtual waterfall, bursting with tears from the minty Vicks or my own version of disillusioned nausea.

REGINE VELASQUEZ is an astounding singer. She is not just the songbird but the bird of all songs. I saw her concert at the Aviation Club here in Dubai last week and I can’t believe that she was, just as I am right now, indisposed at the time of her show. Not so much of a fan I was (I am now) but her strength in delivering great leisure did surpass my expectations. With her rendition of Barbra Streisand and The Carpenters’ classic hits, you will never know it is even a cover because she conveys a completely different concept in each song that is distinctly, her own. Pop music, especially, OPM (original Filipino music), is never my thing, but I will buy a Greatest Hits cd by Regine Velasquez because it does not only bring me home but it makes me feel at home.

I went to the concert with my good friend ELEKTRA, and for him, it was a dream come true because even back in college in the Philippines , he was already Regine-obsessed. He knows by heart every lyric of her songs, every gown she wore and (for crying out loud) her biography, just as I am obsessed with Tori Amos. That night, when I saw Elektra singing his lungs out and crying at the same time, an awesome inclusion was formed. That of Elektra’s combusting emotions ran creatively by the siren he was so obsessed with and the disillusionment that life for Elektra (and probably for the goddess Regine herself) will thrive on: romantic style with arm extensions, V-cut silk sequined gowns and all. It will merge and linger and go ballistic over the jeopardy of disastrous love affairs and being a beautiful human being all at the same time.

In 2005, at the University of the Philippines quadrangle, oh we call it Sunken Garden for its submerged tension and illusive sexual appeal, Elektra told me that he will never fall in love again. His last affair shook him to oblivion and knocked him well enough to give up on the subject of love to love himself more. We then took the IKOT jeepney and rode our way to the chapel and heard mass. In the middle of the prayer Our Father (we sing it during mass in a hymn called Ama Namin) I heard Elektra’s falsetto voice dribble away and when I gazed upon him, I saw hot tears streaming down his face. A profusion of what I will see two years after that, in Dubai , in a Regine Velasquez concert!

So, tonight I realize, that we make our own disillusionment to recover from the deaths that we encounter day after day. Either in tone, scent, defense mechanisms, God, Dadalhin, reverse psychology, fever, beer, solitude, Vicks, the list of creative tools will go on and on but the real deal should be, in all shapes, forms and sizes, SURVIVAL.

I have been sleeping SINGLE for about a month now and my life evolved around work (obviously I am getting sick from working too hard), my dvd player and the books I read (and forget about the next day) until I fall off to sleep. Recently asked about my status by a sweet South African guy I met at the Irish Village Pub, I forthrightly exclaimed “flirting”. I will beg to disagree that “taken” is the most fabulous standing anyone can be in. I think that being taken means resisting the flame but flirting , oh flirting, means inducing the flame, which is not only fun, but self-defining. Yes it is lonely out here, flirting my way out of segregation but life is a journey anyhow, not a destination. I am homed in my own disillusions and it is working perfectly well and I know someday I will be as boring as being in a relationship again but for the meantime, I am drunk as hell with my own creative tools . . . and I am loving every single moment of it!

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