Addressing Ares and Constantine

My Symphonies: Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It by Stars 
Open by Rhye


“You smile and the world goes away.” –  Cliff, The Woolgatherer 

For those of you who do not know (which I guess is pretty much everybody), I have two imaginary friends. Well, they aren’t exactly my friends, but they’re more like my alter egos. And in line of my being a Gemini, I’ve always treated these two as twins, mainly because they look very alike in my head anyway. One is basically the evil twin, and the other one is the cherub. And as I went through all those processes of self-search and self-creation, I found that I am in fact the sum of both characters. It is almost like I am both Ares (the abrasive, vindictive twin) and Constantine (the gentle, more open twin), and as I keep on reading the two of them, it’s starting to sound like I am talking to myself – my full self; my conscious self. We are looking at two very dissimilar beings here. One, the dreamer who has chosen to make love to his imagination and fantasy, in what is non-existent, because he has lost faith in reality, and the other, the realist who acts tough but also knows in his guts that he is lonely and is also in need of love—a real one. However, in all their differences comes this one thing I am sure is common about the two of them: they’ve both been hurt big time. It’s just that one grew miserable and desperate and the other grew cold and bitter. I find it very interesting, how these two characters within me throw sentiments of love and grief at each other but at the same time conceal what it is that they both seem to really want. It is undeniable, the dramatic amount of intellectual tension and emotional desire between them throughout this entire existence so far. And today, I have decided to actually talk to the twins in my head in a form of a letter.

First, for my old friend Ares…

Dear Ares,

I dream. I know it’s probably quite bizarre. Kenn has dreams? Yes, I can feel the skepticism from you right there. But seriously, I do have dreams. I have always dreamed of actually being in university (specifically Yale), getting a degree in Literature, getting a job as a junior editor for a Lifestyle magazine right after graduation while working on my first novel, and then working my way up the social ladder, finally achieving my secret dream of becoming a best-selling author. You know, the “right path”, as they say. But everything turned out very differently now. None of those things were even close to happening on the first place. And so I guess it’s safe to say that those “dreams” have drastically turned into fantasies—the hardcore ones—the ones I know deep in my guts I will never ever get the chance to experience in reality. However, this hasn’t stopped me from dreaming once and for all. No, I haven’t achieved any of those things in the “right path”, but I don’t blame anybody for that. It was a choice—my choice. And so I continue to dream every time I travel for long hours across the country. As the sun’s warm rays hit the train’s glass windows every morning, and as the fresh breeze of air brush through my hair and into every corner of the vehicle’s interior, and as flocks of birds grace the skies in all their free glory as they disappear from my point of view, I begin to fantasize about having the most romantic dinner date of my life—the one I’ve been dreaming of since I started admiring people, which was probably when I was nine or ten. See, I dream of an epic moment on a yacht on a warm Saturday afternoon, just as the sun begins to set. And I have organized everything for this perfect moment to actually turn out perfect. There is a dinner table set for two, an ice sculpture that says “Kenn+whatever the lucky guy’s name is”, an acoustic local band I hired to play songs by Angus Stone, Radiohead and Edwin McCain, and a cute little kitten that wears a locket that contains a picture of me and ‘the lucky guy’ around its neck. And the only dominant colors are white and red, except for my suit, which is black, and except for the kitten which is beach blond, and except for the guy who plays the harmonica, who wears a beige sort of vest and a blue tie, and except for the sun, whose orangeness has touched the ocean’s innocent shade of gray and dark blue, as its rays caress the still water, creating an illusion of glittering, shining bubbles and sparkles which, after a moment, begin to appear like countless of golden floating lanterns spread generously all over the massive body of water upon which the yacht floats. And then there’s this familiar sound: the sound of Calvin Klein leather shoes nearing, and then a blurry image of a guy in a red-and-white suit appears. And then I look away for a second and a half to see the sunset at its most colourful, and then I look at the image again and it is now clear: the boy I love, in his most beautiful, and me, in my most romantic. The two of us sit beside each other, looking into the sea, as dinner is being prepared and as the band serenades us. I sit right next to him, with my hand on his knee, as we fall in love all over again.

See? I dream. And I know that I told you before that I don’t believe in commitment? Well, that hasn’t changed. I just said I dream of that perfect date, with someone I love. And it can last longer or it can end the very second after the band played Creep by Radiohead. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I love. And even if I lose, so what? It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

And now, for the loving Constantine – the less of the two evils…

Dear Constantine,

You’ve always been there. Even on those times when I built walls around my heart, you were there. You chose to sit against those brick walls and patiently wait for them to crumble. You’ve just always wanted to be free, to just get everything over with so you can dance in the air like you dreamed of. But dear, what does being free mean? What does it really mean? I live in a world where there are limits, boundaries, rules. How can I ever be free? No matter how hipster-ass I try to be, there will always be that stinging gut feeling that I haven’t done everything I wanted to do in life. That something is lacking. And then I realize: it’s love. It’s the factor that’s lacking in all of my freedom-filled life. I think that love is what will set me free. And I know that I’ve been quite skeptical about the notion of true love, but that’s only because I’ve been hurt too! I’ve had my heart broken just like everybody else. I just can’t believe he wouldn’t stop bitching about how he could bleed to death if he got cut. Hell, I’ve been cut and I’m still living. Because I still have hope that someday, somehow, someone out there will find me. And we will find each other. And the moment we do, we won’t lose each other ever again. And we don’t have to possess each other. We just have to love. Freely. The way that you love birds, and his sweaters, and the way we love the sunset, and the long drive along the coast, and the way we love the sky, and the ocean, and the breeze of fresh air. And we don’t even have to be together forever. Forever doesn’t exist. But this moment does. This very second. And that’s what matters. A reason to trust in love again.

Hugs, kisses and axe kicks to you both,
From your master

The Day of the Astute Examination

My Symphony: Notes In Constellations by Chiodos 


The August Twenty-Fourth Personality

Those born on August 24 have the urge to untangle mysteries that capture their interest. All the dark, misunderstood or uncharted areas of human knowledge attract them. Not only students of the human condition, those born on this day often pursue objective knowledge for its own sake.

Unraveling complexity is something that comes naturally to August 24 people. Puzzles of all types, paradoxes and riddles are their forte. But though those born on this day may be difficult to pin down or understand, they themselves rarely feel lost.

Unfortunately, August 24 people are often unaware that they, in fact, are just as complex as the demands of their work, areas of investigation or creations; they generally see themselves as simple and direct.

In order to uncover the truth, it is possible that an August 24 person will not only dig into books and human character. On vacation, most August 24 people like nothing better than to explore something completely new to them. Their hobbies and perhaps their careers reflect this desire for discovery.

August 24 people can make good parents, so great is the interest they show in their children’s development. They must make an effort, however, to allow for the privacy and living space that every individual needs.

August 24 people would do well to simplify their own lives as much as possible, and avoid much of the endless complexity which they not only discover but so often themselves create.

(Source: The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider)

Though I was never a hardcore believer of horoscopes, I started reading Astrology books at an early age because the mystery and the ambiguity of it all interested me. Now I wouldn’t say my beliefs have completely shifted, but all those years of immersing myself in zodiac signs and birthday languages have surely caused me to appreciate and understand a huge portion of the subject.

If I were to thank a non-living thing for somehow pulling me in to the phantasmagorical world of the written word, it would be my aunt’s antique bookshelf in her room. It is the place where I first spent hours and hours just reading on my own, getting to know the world one page at a time. And that bookshelf contained all of the areas of knowledge I needed to be exposed to as a child – fine arts, general science, photography, Tagalog short stories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, history, sociology, thriller and mystery. And then one day, I found this book called The Secret Language of Birthdays. At the time I thought that finding the book amid those other “more important” areas of Humanities was just a bonus, but as I grew up this book began to communicate with me, like a bestfriend I never had. When asked what superpowers they would like to possess, you know how people say, “I’d love to have telepathy! It’d be super dope if I could like talk to someone and know what’s on his mind without actually talking to him!”? Well The Secret Language of Birthdays has sort of given me that ability.

I am here because today is the 24th day of August. No, it’s not my birthday but yes, it sure is somebody else’s. In fact, there’s three people I personally know in real life who are turning a year wiser today. So I guess, before anything else, I would like to greet them here in my humble cyber abode. Happy birthday!

Now, here’s the thing: August 24 has always reminded me so much of Virgos. Well obviously, people who were born on this day are all Virgos, but there’s more to it than that. What I’m trying to say is that to me, August 24 people seem to be the epitome of the overall Virgo personality. Observant, investigative, thorough; overanalytical, stifling, obscure. These are the people who are generally organized, disciplined and loyal, and the same people who prefer to keep their emotions veiled, making them seem cold and critical. I can go on and on with this, but I don’t think I need to. There are already hundreds of thousands of books out there that will tell you exactly what you want to know more about people under this sign.

What interests me more, however, is the way a Virgo (e.g. my college bestfriend Rean) and a Gemini (e.g. me) take in one another. I mean, I personally think there’s probably nothing more complex than a relationship between a Virgo and a Gemini, and this is mainly due to both signs being opposites in extremes. At first look, we both seem to like the same things, talk about the same topics, listen to the same music and mingle with the same groups of people, but this is where the stealthy devil comes in – we are different from each other on a deeper level. A soul level. That can mean a lot of things, but for now let’s allow this excerpt from another Astrology book to fill us in:

The attraction of Virgo to Gemini will probably be that of giving the appearance of being solid and dependable, which represents security, and the willingness to do anything for the loved one. Virgo can provide a scope for the Gemini intelligence, as well as mental stimulation. However, with the passage of time, the Gemini will likely become restless due to the Virgo inability of going along with Gemini’s rather unorthodox ideas and the Virgo’s sensible approach to matters may well prove to be a deep-seated cause of rebellion in Gemini.

In addition, the somewhat petty attitude of Virgo regarding finances will also become irritating and may breed a good deal of resentment on the part of Gemini toward the Virgo. The critical attitude of Virgo may be another bone of contention, which will invariably cause some distress to the Virgo, particularly since those governed by this sign seldom recognize this trait in themselves. Due to the Gemini lack of being constant in most things, Virgo will certainly come to doubt the Gemini’s ability for anything but self-love. This could result in a claustrophobic reaction from Gemini to the Virgo’s insecurities and could bring about violent actions on the part of Gemini. Initially, the physical attraction between these two will be strong, but when Gemini feels that his or her ego is threatened, then it is easy for the Gemini to turn off desire for the person perceived to have given the offense.

While this is unlikely to bother the Virgo, Gemini may go in search of love elsewhere. Crucial to the survival of the Virgo-Gemini relationship is that each individual take time to learn about the other’s approach to life and love, and to remember that the attitudes of both are worth understanding. It is in the Gemini nature to see both sides of any given story, but there is a tendency to vacillate between two courses of action and on occasion, the Gemini native does seem to possess a split personality. This match will be greatly strengthened when steady Virgo can provide one aspect of the Gemini character with a firm and emotional anchor, while allowing the other aspect of the Gemini personality to flit about at will. However, Virgo may be a little too serious and demanding for Gemini especially if this occurs early in the relationship, before Gemini has fully committed. If the Virgo partner can just give it some time, there is a good chance that things will smooth out. Nonetheless, the approaches to life are vastly different here and mutual acceptance can be difficult to come by particularly since Virgo tends to be so critical and exacting. The Gemini is sure to strain against Virgo’s ultra-practical stance in the world and the Virgo will certainly tire quickly of Gemini’s flighty ways.

So there you go. I’ve read approximately a hundred different excerpts about the Virgo-Gemini compatibility (or lack thereof) that sound ninety-nine percent similar to the one I just quoted. But this is why I am here today, writing this rather unexpected expression of examination. Yes, Virgo is an earth sign and Gemini is an air sign. The Virgin and The Twins. The Stable and The Flighty. Things couldn’t possibly go any more opposite. But despite all that, I can never seem to not like Virgos. I love them, and I hate them, and I don’t get them, and I am irked by them, and I am intrigued by them. And sometimes I just want to be anywhere but around them.

But I always (always) like them.

P.S. My grandma is one of those three August 24 people I was talking about. HAPPY 79th, mama Au! Love you lots!

Hugs and kisses,