Friday, September 21, 2012

The Furious Muse in the Room Upstairs (part 1)




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This is a story in progress. I will post it in chunks, for the next few weeks, as I complete it. A warning: this tale is definitely not for children. Story begins after the jump.

 

The Furious Muse in the Room Upstairs

By SDiRam, with an afterword by Kilawinguwak

Part 1

Part 2

 

WHEN Seymour Duncan Idaho Ramones – better known in the literary world as SDiRam – was a child, his parents made the mistake of giving him a gift. It was his tenth birthday, and as birthday milestones go, the first decade of your life is marked by the sublime shift from the sheer bliss of childhood to the tumultuous, formative years of puberty; so the gifts you receive on your tenth celebration could very well dictate your future. The gift his parents gave him reverberated throughout his entire life, unsurprisingly, in the same way the very first time Beethoven held a paintbrush to a canvas made a mark, or significantly like the first time Michael Schumacher rode a bike. That is to say, neither of the two activities caught on, and Beethoven turned to music, and Schumacher drove a Ferrari.

In SDiRam’s case, he was given a guitar. It was a rather substandard Lumanog make, with six nylon strings and six wooden pegs with a faux-ivory finish that was probably made of equally cheap plastic. It had nineteen frets, a plywood fretboard with brass markers, and a plywood body with a turtleshell design back. Bands were pretty popular at the time, and he wanted to check out how well he could play an Eraserheads number, and the very next day, he procured a songhits magazine from the peddlers in the EDSA-Santolan intersection. It took a pretty long while – weeks, in fact – but eventually, he threw the magazine halfway across his room in a mix of despair and abject annoyance. He could never figure out how to finger the ‘E’ chord.

lumanog guitar

From that day, he vowed that he would never, ever touch a guitar again. His journal entry read something like:

Dear diary: Today, I decided that the guitar just wasn’t made for me. It’s a huge annoyance, since you have all these chords to figure out, and it just isn’t worth all the trouble, what with the pain your muscles eventually have to go through, as if you were waking them from the very depths of atrophy. I’d rather eat a shawarma.

All of this happened a mere few months after he turned ten years old.

 

TODAY, SDiRAM was in one of the biggest fixes of his life. There’s a story on his desk that needed writing, but it just wasn’t moving, no matter how much he pleaded with his muses. It was to be his masterpiece, the one most definitive work of fiction he was to churn out, except for the fact that it just was not moving. SDiRam had tried everything:

  • He’d upgraded from a klunky old laptop to a MacBook Pro because all the beautiful artists he’d met during the last symposium at Angkor Wat – of all places! – used that very same model and swore left and right about how it worked so well.
  • On a roll of Manila paper, he’d mapped out a complicated tree of events that sounded so good on paper, but since he couldn’t put them down on paper, so to speak, SDiRam decided to burn the Manila paper and turned it into a sticky paste of ashes.
  • With these ashes, he painted war markings on his face and gamely sat in front of his computer, eating Piattos and Nissin Cup Noodles while waiting for inspiration to hit.
  • When all else failed (which brings us to where we left off) he went out, bought a crate of San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen. “To fuck with that shit of a story,” he swore while lugging the crate up into his room.

It was probably after four beers later that he decided that his story was worth scaring himself shitless, so he goes out of his room, into the stairway of his house, and up to the bodega where Femto was holed up in all her silent fury.

Much later, while he was playing Russian roulette with the magnum he’d bought from the corner liquor store – I have no idea why they were selling a magnum! – SDiRam decided that besides making him shit his pants more than he had ever had in his life, this was the last of the cataclysmic catalysts that catapulted his life into what it was now.

 

Go to Part 2

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