Laxatives and Narratives

My Symphonies:

Operating by Lady Danville | Wait by M83 | Don’t Go by Wretch 32 feat. Josh Kumra 

“This is a weird world we live in.” — Daniel KV

 Since I moved here in Canada, a lot of things have changed in my life: views, beliefs, social stature, financial state, taste, fashion, activities, et cetera. But what resounds to me the most is the change that happened within me, and it’s something which seems hard to articulate. Well I guess I can put it this way: since I moved in this country, my life has been conventional, standard or, for an even plainer term, proper. To put it simply, I haven’t been the “wild” and “daring” person I used to be. There are times when I actually fear that the interesting, jolly, adventurous, fearless entity inside me is already dead; that I’ve already lost the cheer I used to own and all that is left is a  collision of a dull simplicity– no edges at all. And I don’t know if this has something to do with the fact that I am new to this whole environment or if I have merely outgrown what one might call “the untamed stage”. However, it doesn’t really matter. Because last night, I somehow managed to experience who I was again for one night. Basically, last night was the most exciting and memorable thing that had happened to me here in Vancouver so far. Why? Because last night was the first time I felt like myself again after a loooong time. So I am here to write about last night, about what I did, about what I learned and rediscovered. And yes, I am literally feeling like a zombie with only four hours of sleep and a hangover right now, but I am convinced that I am impelled to put these precious thoughts in my head into writing while they’re still fresh to my memory.

Caution:  What you are about to read may contain reckless rantings, juvenile yammering and relatively mundane narrations. Trails of careless conclusions may have also been injected in the article. Read at your own risk. 

Yesterday, Daniel and I went to Havana to see this queer improv comedy show called The Bobbers Do The Bible. One of the main reasons why we decided to go is because our improv instructor at school, David C. Jones, was one of the performers, but it was also because we didn’t have much to do. Before we got to the theatre, there have been several navigational mishaps which resulted to the two of us being nine minutes late for the show. Fortunately for us, the staff or whatever were nice enough to allow latecomers (although we both maintain that we didn’t deserve to be called latecomers because nine minutes isn’t that bad, right? Right? Right). So yeah. The improv show was inspired by random bible passages and audience votes, and it was definitely hilarious. During the first intermission, Daniel and I decided to grab some drinks. I got a glass of margarita while he had a pitcher of dark beer. After the show, half of the pitcher of dark beer was waiting to be consumed. And because Daniel is such a beer fanatic (well, not really but you know what I mean), he made me drink it too. And so I did. We finished the beer. I ordered a plate of fries (which the waitress emphasized were regular fries) along with a pitcher of Mojito (which happens to be one of my favorite beverages). I was already starting to feel a little buzzed by the time the Mojito was served. And so, just like what normal people do when they’re buzzed, we talked. And this isn’t just the hangover speaking, but I know for a fact that in between those Mojito gulps was a string of simple yet meaningful conversations. Apparently there is really something about alcohol that makes people say (or ask) what they have to say (or ask) the moment they wanna say (or ask)  it– no sugar coats. Just the truth. Plain and simple. Just before we finished the pitcher, we ordered another one, at which point we were already too tipsy to care. And what’s fascinating about the whole making of orders is the fact that we are both broke, but we just didn’t give a heck; we weren’t even looking at the price list. We just did what we had to do: get drunk and not give a f*ck about the world. Halfway through the second Mojito pitcher, we called Simon (and I honestly barely even remember what I was saying and what we were talking about, or why exactly we decided to call him). Well, just fun stuff. Finally, we were done with all the drinks. In total, we managed a pitcher of dark beer and two pitchers of Mojito in our systems. The result? You’re about to find out.

We went out of the bistro laughing, yelling and literally hopping. We were talking about getting some more booze or blaze and how we’re gonna be able to get to his place when I realized that I was feeling light– like I wasn’t wearing anything. That’s when it sank in to me that my wallet wasn’t with me at that moment. Crazy, ei? It’s particularly crazy since I was consciously laughing while saying “my wallet! I lost my wallet! HAHAHAHA”. Daniel was already half-panicking. It was almost like he was more concerned about my own wallet than I was. And that was when I told myself “Man, I haven’t felt like this in almost two years”. What I actually meant was that I have never felt that feeling of being carefree and just shallowly (yet truthfully) happy since I was in high school. I mean, I used to always hang out with my friends (people I treated like family), get drunk, lose things and just be blissful. And we were just so young (15-16 years old) and free. It all felt real and wonderful. And I miss that. I miss those moments. I miss just being who I am with people who wouldn’t change a tiny bit of their perception of me even if they know all the not-so-becoming secrets I keep. I miss that feeling of eating french fries and dipping them in ketchup even if I don’t normally dip stuff in ketchup coz I don’t really like ketchup, but I didn’t mind coz I was drunk, and I like ketchup when I’m drunk. See?  This reminiscence even makes my sentences awkward and ungrammatical. But then I don’t care because that’s the feeling I’ve been longing for– the feeling of not caring; of just soldiering on in exciting ways; the feeling of being alive. And that’s exactly how I felt that moment when Daniel was running back to the bar to go find my wallet, and I was just walking, taking my time as I allowed oxygen to enter my lungs. And in my mind was my old self telling me “Chill. Whether or not you find your wallet, you are happy. I know you are. And that’s what’s important.” 

Just as I was talking to myself in my mind, I heard somebody across the street yelling “Hey! Are you guys looking for something?” When I heard that, I just instantly felt like I already saw it coming. It was almost like I knew that I was gonna get my wallet back in the end. And there he is, a raggedly dressed five feet six inches tall guy, walking next to me. His name is Ryan. When I saw him walking beside me, he was going over my wallet as if double checking, scanning it again to make sure that he took all that he needed. See, this seems to be a regular tragedy, but if you come look at it, I was in this undeniably extraordinary moment. I was walking next to a random guy whom I’ve never met before, searching my wallet as if he was dissecting some reptile in Biology class, while I was just looking at him while he was doing it, defenseless. It’s not regular at all. That was an exciting experience. Not everyone gets to experience that. And so there. He took 20 bucks from my wallet as well as my beloved monthly bus pass. So despite him being such a hippie, he actually is a hero. Not for me, bot for himself. He was heroic enough to save himself from taking all the other stuff in my wallet which he might not even need, or from not bothering to give me back my wallet at all. I am thankful that I still have all the vital IDs in my wallet. I loved him for returning them to me. I mean, at the end of the day, maybe he needed that 20 bucks way more than I would ever do. Maybe he needs the bus pass way more than I do. Above all of it, I was just somehow happy to have seen him get himself a couple slices of pizza. This guy may have been starving for several days. If that 20 bucks was enough to change his life even just for 24 hours, I am already happy for him. Everyone deserves a slice of pizza every once in a while anyway.

After I got my wallet back, what happened was something I’d rather not elaborate here in the cyber space. Basically, Daniel almost got in what could have been a messy and bloody street fight with a couple of cranked up hipster-type seemingly directionless men who have probably not done anything productive with their lives at all.  But yeah. IT WAS FUN. Another epic moment. And what basically happened next was the two of us walking along the streets of Vancouver in search for buses (how adventurous). It was already quarter to two in the morning. We were sitting in a bus stop. We were listening to sick beats in Daniel’s iPod on full volume. We were laughing, and we seemed to be so happy and we didn’t even exactly know why. All I know is that at that time, I completely let go of my sheer contempt to the world. I didn’t hate the world last night. I was just having a great time. And it was because I used my imagination and pretended that the world didn’t exist, and that I was but a kindred soul galloping next to a friend’s influential presence.

After two hours of walking and bus-searching, we made it to Daniel’s place. At that point, my mind was already packed with lightness. All I ever wanted to do was drink some juice and water, play some videogames and force myself to be oblivious to the reality that when  the sun rises, all of it will be just another day which will add up as an utter memory…; Daniel and I played Grand Theft Auto high as f*ck. And we couldn’t stop laughing at the littlest things in the videogame. It was especially exciting for me because it was the first time I’ve ever played that game. Hell, it was the first time I’ve played a videogame in years! And I don’t wanna appear to be someone who is eternally passive, but I just can’t help but remember those days when I would play Mario in Family console. I remember being so cheerful and being so pure– someone who didn’t have any prejudices or judgments about anything or anyone in his life; someone who was so little yet so full of life. And that’s what I experienced that moment in front of the TV, sitting on a “frighteningly comfy” rolled blanket, holding an Xbox controller, being consumed by a 2-player mode game with a friend. I missed that.

We then went to the bedroom, but it seemed like the night wasn’t over just yet. We watched several videos of ghosts and aliens in Youtube. I remember telling Daniel a little chunk of my own experience with a ghost when I was nine. All of it was just interesting. I mean, the videos. No matter how ridiculously false they appear to be, somehow I believe them. At least at that moment, I did. I am pretty sure that at that moment, I was consumed by my imagination. And it’s funny how imagining stuff can lead you to talking about reality. When the lights were turned off, and when we both were lying down on our respective mattresses, all curled up with the gentle comforters, and just before we totally shut our eyes, four lines have been said (not accurately, but here’s how I remember they were said):

Me: It’s really crazy. We all live in this world thinking that we are the only ones who exist. I mean, there could be aliens out there. We think we are so big, but we’re not.

Daniel: We are so small. There are 600 billion stars out there, Kenn. 

Me: Exactly. Life is so strange.

Daniel: This is a weird world we live in.

 And we fell asleep.

I found this “last chapter of the night” very wistful as it reminded me of my ex-bestfriend (whom I have wrote about in one of my previous blog entries). We also used to just lie down before sleeping and just talk about the most spontaneous topics and we always ended up discussing transcending views on life and how much we wonder about it. You know, you just look at the ceiling while talking to somebody with a like-minded spirit as you two discover what you believe in together; as you try to embellish what appears to be dull and analyze what seems to be self-explanatory through conversations which don’t happen everyday. That’s beautiful. And I missed that.

Before I end this post and surrender myself to the boring reality again, let me just express my gratitude to the universe for conspiring to make me experience the kind of life I used to live on a daily basis before I moved in this gigantic country. I am aware that I no longer have the kind of life I used to own. I am aware that the friends I’ve invested so much in may not even remember me ten or eleven  years from now. And I am aware that I am making baby steps again. I am going from the very beginning once again. These lands don’t contain my footprints yet. The grounds of this city aren’t familiar with the soles of my feet. Its walls don’t recognize my smell and its dwellers do not know who I am. And so before me is actually a shining, percolating chance to start again. And it took me eight months to realize that.

As with Daniel, he is someone I do not really know. I mean, I doubt anyone would even expect us to hang out. I don’t know his family, his friends, the stuff he does, the food he likes, the things he hates or what he thinks about jellybeans. I can barely even picture his face out using my imagination because I don’t usually see him on a daily basis. His energy is something I’m not used to just yet, and he is technically an acquaintance. I mean, he might not even care about the crazy things that happened last night. He might already be over it. He might not even be as amazed as I am right now. He might not even read this and care. We might not even hang out like that again. We might not even talk about last night ever again. He might even be just another dude who I got drunk with. But that’s not the point. The point is, last night, he was my bestfriend. And last night, I rediscovered who I am.  And that goes beyond any other social journey I’ve had in my life so far.

Call me a deliberate over-thinker. I don’t mind. It’s probably true. *wink



3 thoughts on “Laxatives and Narratives

  1. Kenn – my 94 year old mother spent the last few years of her life in a care facility in Summerland in the Okanagan Valley and died in February of this year. She was in a coma for her 12 final days and I spent much of that time by her side.

    Three male Philippino LPN (nurses) cared for her, so I naturally spent time with them also – and became a relatively good friend with the oldest and married one. He has told me many tales of your home country and the very different customs and practices encountered there. Also, being a predominately Catholic country, the negative attitudes most of your countrymen hold regarding homosexuality.

    My artist friend, Russell Maier, has also spent the last 2 years working in a few jungle villages in the Philippines – helping to build and stock libraries, teach interested groups about mandalas, as well as encourage villagers to market their many artistic and imaginative creations.

    You seem to disparage about life in Vancouver and Western culture in general – so I sometimes try weighing the advantages and disadvantages of our two countries and the people that inhabit them. Those 3 LPN’s I got to know this spring in Summerland definitely struggle with our western lifestyle, as you seem to – and the major factor or ingredient seems to revolve around family and the close ties you have with those of the same cultural background – which makes perfect sense.

    I’ve had insights about the particular spiritual or metaphysical challenge those of us on the West Coast of Canada seem to be engaged with – and that, to me, makes it worthwhile and worth enduring, But I also can easily and totally empathesize with your discomfort with the life you find you have to live here. I’m sure you’ll always be a blessing in the lives of anyone who knows you – no matter where, no matter what country.

  2. Being here has opened my mind to a lot of things I never would’ve known had I not ventured this foreign land. And, no matter what decision I make about this in the near future, I know for a fact that what I have learned here, and all the people I have encountered here, and all of the lives I touched and touched mine, will forever be remembered. At the end of the day, there will be NO REGRETS. 🙂

  3. Hey Dude its me Daniel i was bored at work and wrote my name in google to see what turns up. Turns out theres alot of daniel verreault’s in the world… whatevs lol just read this whole thing. And yeah dude i remember the entirity of that night! didnt know it meant that much to you though and also that you have a blog. You sir have the patience of a true sir lol ( couldnt think of anything to compare patience too in the moment, well probably a monk or somthing, or oooouu yeah one of those crocadillians { insert whatever the hell kind of australian accent you want here} ) yeah well anyways dude i could go on on what it means to be human the short anwser for the world as a whole: were fucked, a self destructive species, and make good garlic bread. However from this fucked upness evolves and creates compassion,creativity, humour and super garlic made of bread!!For those whom are exposed of shitty upbringings and surroundings. Anyways yeah i was one hellof an alchy back in van i had tundra fun but shit was i miserable about allot of stuff which i fucked up in my past mostly ( here comes emo shit) about the opportunities lost lbecause of my uncontrollable shyness towards girls i like and other shit but seeing as i am a human male the lust for a mate conquers all other emotions it is the base of whom we are. I also remeber that shitty half assed last minute presentation i made at the end of the year at school. that haunts me still lol that was the worst. I really hated expressing myself soo openly, because FUCK i am not accustomed to that type of shit over hERe we just say kool, bottle it up and get over it JEESUS. and yeah gta san andreas man was fun as shit, discussing other form s of life in the universe has always been a fascination of mine btw lol and yeah i remember the songs i played that day too ” Dj L Remix, in the mix, killin it with another hooot beat” Im not one to forget anything, its a curse of mine it may also be fox magic who knows lol and dude ive lost my wallet many times and i gotta say that yeah losing money sucks a fat one but losing all your info and having to get all that shit again is wayyyyyy worse mang. But yeah dude this post may seem all over the place buts thats only because i suck at typing my taughts lol point is i’ll always remember you guys. You guys were great ( p.s. i preffered your group to mine there was too much crying and ego on our side plus everyone on our side seemed really tired of one another, lol i know i was tired of the drama) also at first glance of the top pics beside the two of us at the bar i was like ” what the fuck are those fuckn shadows of dicks next to us then realized that those are actually cave paintings of aliens. Also some of the videos that i showed you about the aliens are now off youtube :s damn gov. anyways hope you’re doing well and yeah i am doing soo much better i needed time alone and i am ten times the daniel of long ago. peace dude

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