Nothing Is Certain but Death and Taxes

⠀⠀⠀ I can’t do this anymore, fuck. I want to get out of here and dwindle myself among the snowflakes. Today was suppose to be a helluva great winter’s night- I had my turkey thawed and ready to be cooked, but the oven became an inferno. So I was left with blackened meat and charcoal-like residues- that was my disaster dinner. Luckily, I’m my own visitor that I had to please, at least I’m fucking thankful to taste a forty-dollar worth of turkey shit.

⠀⠀⠀ I wander around my confined space, lost and seemingly a drunkard among the aroma of burned carcasses and scattered overdue bills. I don’t drink at all, being maudlin is already embedded in my nervous system; same goes for being the most inept at adulting. There are times in my life where I don’t feel like doing shit, and when I do, it’s mostly an excuse to stop going overboard with thinking too much. I’ll admit, I’m a complete chaos; bubbles of emotions are starting to pop- I feel weird as if I’m born again with brand new chemicals in my body. I know my thoughts, they just don’t know my sentiments. Like how I know how to cook a turkey, time was just being an ass to me.

⠀⠀⠀ In all rationality, I want to stop feeling.

⠀⠀⠀ I grabbed my coat and headed outside into the flaky abyss. I was wearing my silky long sleeves, so these tiny particles are turning me into a popsicle. I was cold and pleasantly numb, it’s not that I give a fuck anyways.

⠀⠀⠀ I hastily strolled my way to the park, our local park, where squatters leave trails of their hard-earned, cheapass alcohol and haggard teenagers sleeping through their hangovers. Police would usually report them to the station the next day. Most of the time, their bodies wouldn’t flinch and they never seem to wake up. That’s how it goes in my town, a teen’s life expectancy was all chugged down with bottles of vodka.

⠀⠀⠀ But I didn’t come here to drink nor subconsciously die.

⠀⠀⠀ My hands numbly shelter themselves in my pant pockets- I was freezing like hell as I take a couple of steps. If I were to die from the cold, the townspeople would stick to the assumption that I got killed by my drunkness. It’s a repetitive death and everyone likes to state the obvious. I’d like to sadly think that no one cares about these teenagers. Though, at least they have their honourable places in the obituary section of the newspapers. I’m not here to make fun of death, I mean no disrespect, but these obituaries seemed like they were computer-generated.

⠀⠀⠀ “Elliot Bungshy passed away on June 12, 2012, at the age of 18. He was loved by everyone- his friends, families and even strangers he hasn’t met. They say that he was a diligent student, a great role-model and an innocent kid. He was everyone’s friend, a brother, a sister and even their family’s dog. Sadly, he left his mark on Comebury’s Park, laying on pits of grass with his “Smoke Weeds for Lyfe” t-shirt and his blue ripped jeans, smiling for the very last time. His death was a surprise, nobody knew how he died. Everyone thinks that maybe God has a plan for him-“

⠀⠀⠀ Bullshit. I’m rather too nihilistic to believe in the God-has-a-plan-for-you ideology. I’m not condemning any religions, I’d like to stick to my own skin, but it annoys the heck out of me to see them appear in every death statement I’ve read.

⠀⠀⠀ Now, I’m actually scared.

⠀⠀⠀ With all these thoughts of stupid obituaries, I switched to distracting myself by staring into the lonesome twilight. I noticed the Christmas decorations hanging loosely around the streetlamps; there was also a superficial gingerbread house on display, it was obviously made out of recycled cardboard and other miscellaneous you can find in a D.I.Y. kit.

⠀⠀⠀ I went closer to further inspect the insides. Before I could do so, it tumbled onto the ground, mixing with the snow. It was like witnessing an avalanche. I kind of felt bad since the gingerbread man must be suffocating inside. I’m empathetic enough to see my life being squashed by own edible home. If it was entirely made out of grandma’s delicious oatmeal cookies, I would rather die, thanks.

⠀⠀⠀ Before my burdensome thoughts were about to hop into my brain, I heard a raspy voice behind me.

⠀⠀⠀ “Hey, dude.” I turned around to see that it had belonged to some young guy- he’s lanky and he’s wearing a hunter’s coat. He reminds me of what Holden Caulfield would look like, especially the fact that he’s smoking while sitting on a crate that says Cumbury’s Sex Toys.

⠀⠀⠀ “Hi,” I replied.

⠀⠀⠀ He handed out his cigarette pack, “Need a smoke?”

⠀⠀⠀ I hesitated for a while, I’ve never smoked in my life. He threw both the lighter and the cigarette without waiting for my replying. The lighter had unicorn designs- how cute is that. I flicked the lighter and watched the flames engulfed the butt, I was like the modern-day of the little match girl.

⠀⠀⠀ Then, I make my way towards him to give back his lighter. The closer I got, the more his features became distinguishable. I’m not gonna lie, he’s a good-looking kid.

⠀⠀⠀  “You must be feeling the blues, eh?” I coughed as I took a puff.

⠀⠀⠀ “Yeah, I dropout outta college from a political science degree and I got kicked out of my dad’s house for snucking in some good shit.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Good shit?”

⠀⠀⠀ “Drugs- well, cocaine, basically.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Ah, I see,” I said.

⠀⠀⠀ He looked at me with his sinful eyes. “What about you? What’s up?”

⠀⠀⠀ I’m not good when the conversation spotlight turned to me. My thoughts are in charge of my mind- my comfort country, but they aren’t good at keeping a democracy with me.

⠀⠀⠀ “Um, I feel like killing myself.” I thought it out of nowhere. Fuck.

⠀⠀⠀ He gazed at me with a skeptical look and nodded, “Why?”

⠀⠀⠀ I thought of my depressing turkey dinner, my thoughts, the obituaries, the gingerbread man, my thoughts, my thoughts.

⠀⠀⠀ I simply let out a shrug.

⠀⠀⠀ “Depression?”

⠀⠀⠀ “Way worse than that, I feel like the world is killing me. I can’t stand being here.”

⠀⠀⠀ The silence stood there, creating a boundary between us- he felt like miles away from me.

⠀⠀⠀ But I chimed in, anyways. “Perhaps– God has other plans for me.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Dude, you must be fucking high.”

⠀⠀⠀ “I’m not, I’m sober and my drug tests always comes out clean. What I mean by that is, I could probably be His janitor. I’ll be mopping the floors around Heaven. Sounds holy and therapeutic to me.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Heaven’s already clean, dummy. I don’t even think Heaven has floors, fuck that. I bet everyone could fly there. Wouldn’t that be better?”

⠀⠀⠀ “Yeah, I guess.” And I puffed again.

⠀⠀⠀ How strange that is, I’ve been told, when I was little, that I can overcome anything. But it’s tough to see where my life will stop and when it will begin. I can’t even tell if my skin is my own skin, I’m drowning in bodies of waters when I should be sailing freely into the seas. Even when I tried many ways to fall down, I couldn’t, ’cause I already hit the grounds.

⠀⠀⠀ Maybe it’ll be better in Heaven. Or maybe it’s better if the night won’t rob me away, but I know He’ll come for me and other people like me.

⠀⠀⠀ However, this random, helpless stranger reminded me that I don’t actually mind being on the ground. The world has so many floors, I just have to learn to pick myself up and continue walking.

⠀⠀⠀ Wouldn’t that be better?

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✓ Ready Player One

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Scatterbrain’s thoughts:

If my younger self were to read this book, she would explode in fireworks of joy, this universe had created her past-existing fantasy of inventing a game device with the ability to stimulate our senses and literally construct a second reality. Who wouldn’t want to be immersed in that?

Enough of the rambling, I have to unfortunately admit that I wasn’t born to understand some of the nerdy references of the 1980s. I know, I am a low-class, uneducated nerd myself, but in another perspective, it offers a nostalgic element as if you were 80-90s kid, even if you weren’t even popped out of that era.They have brought back the olden days thanks to the high almighty of the nerds, Halliday. Take note, the whole scenario was set in 2044 where earth was remotely overpopulated and everyone had become hermits hiding in their gaming utopia, people are stacking up their RV just to make more room for others!

Wade Watts, our protagonist, is an 18-year-old technophile with a vast knowledge of nerdy stuff. He’s a voracious reader and researcher of Halliday’s favourites to the point were he could recite the entire movie plot of WarGames and all those thingamagings. I once concluded that this kid might be a genius, somehow every character is in this book, I mean- I can’t recall all the dialogues of my favourite films, only the synopsis is what I keep in my head. A being with no life will watch a film at least a hundred of times to start speaking like the characters and this dude clearly has no life at all because of the nerve-wrenching egg hunt publicised by Halliday which no one was able to get the first key, until Wade chimed in.

Now, moving on to the tiny, world issue insights I’d like to address to, there’s a metaphorical mixture of fucked up politics like the imperialism of the malicious, men in dark blue suits- the Sixers (or the people who sucks). Their desire to control the whole OASIS and remove the “play for free” policy to “pay monthly” is obviously a stab to the heart for the gamers out there (gunters). There are people nearly on the brink of poverty, I don’t think some could pay off their monthly debts. Then, there’s racism subtly shown somewhere near the end of the story, but I’m putting that aside because I do not want to spoil this precious book. Go read it for yourself if you’re into pop culture references, science fiction, gaming and all those nerd shenanigans, it’s definitely worth a read.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars!

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✘ The Alchemist

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The Book’s Information
Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Published: 1988 (First Published)

Synopsis:
Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.


My Thoughts

I don’t despise this book, but neither did I enjoy reading it.

Firstly, what caught my attention is the language. The writing is simple, but the words and phrases gave me a headache, it seems a bit off and sounded rather dull. Plus, some words were repeatedly mentioned and I was irritated by it. I understand that it’s partly because of the translation, so I merely focused on the story.

And oh boy- I don’t even know how I finished this book.

For a life-changing book, I did not expect it to be underwhelming and uninspiring, it only tells a fable about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago in search of a treasure while he encounters people and obstacles in his life. Sounded pretty familiar, right? I want to applause for the lack of originality. Even the moral of the story is to follow your “personal legend”. Again, sounded cheesy, but I didn’t receive the message. Instead, what I see is, perhaps, one of the blandest plots I had ever read. I still don’t get how it “transforms the lives of countless readers across generations” when it’s just chunks of phrases with a terrible mixture of religion and spirituality.

So, do I recommend it to others? Obviously, no.

Ratings: Two out of five sheeps.

✓ Love, Rosie

91pwc0jjo6l-_sl1500_The Book’s Information
Title: Love, Rosie
(Where Rainbows End)
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Published: 2004 (Originally)
Adaptations: Love, Rosie (2014)

Synopsis:
Rosie and Alex are best friends until Alex’s family moves to America. They gamble everything to keep their love and friendship alive over the years and miles.


My Thoughts

This book was originally called Where Rainbows End, and it reminded me of leprechauns or anything to do with fairytales. But the book that I actually read is now entitled Love, Rosie which I first interpret it to be in a letter format, just like The Perks of being a Wallflower.

I was right about the letter format, but the magical creatures are certainly over the boundary.

Besides the fact that the whole storyline is fictionally adapted from the letters of Rosie and Alex, it also has text messages, e-mails, postcards and any other writing or typing mediums people could ever communicate with one another. When I read the book, I felt like that man from Attachments who constantly reads people’s email because it’s fascinating and not creepy in such a way that we want to learn more about the person rather than doing it for entertainment, well, at least for me, those two are balanced, but let’s not get carried away with that book.

Now it all starts with two best friends: Rosie and Alex, a girl and a boy who are considered to be childhood buddies, how adorable. You may think this is some cliché romance between best friends and I would say it’s half-true and the other half is nowhere to be seen, the fact that this is cliché is absolutely not what you expected it to be. There is a plot twist that may crush your inner soul because you desperately want them to be together. Still, I’ll be thankful for that because if there weren’t any twist in the story, it would just be another romantic platitude.

Onto the character developments, I’m totally alright with Rosie and Alex, but the character that caught my attention the most is Rosie’s other best friend, Ruby. She is witty and has a hilarious personality, even though, she is ten years older than Rosie, she is definitely the kind of friend everyone wants to have. So, Rosie is lucky to have her as a companion when Alex fled to another country. On the other hand, the daughter of Rosie, Katie, is similar to her mother, she has a good friend named Toby who is like Alex, both Katie and Toby have a great friendship too. Especially when Toby is able to tell what kind of food Katie eats because bits are always stuck on her braces, a great friendship, indeed.

Next, the negativity. Supposedly, I don’t hate anything about this book, I think it’s wonderful. However, I was indignant because of this whole “bad-timing” romance. For instance (Not necessarily a spoiler), It’s like when one decided to break-up with her partner and would confess her feelings for the other person, but to her realization, that person is already married and after that, she married another person, but the person that she wanted to confess to, ended up becoming single and he felt the urge to confess to the girl but realized that she is married- Definitely something like that. It’s frustrating because you felt so close to letting them be together, but it ended up going to the wrong way; the wrong hole.

Summing it all up, Love, Rosie is a fantastic romantic comedy novel that can be both funny and a pain in the neck at times. It has a lot of pages, yet I enjoy the adventure where the colloquy are expressed through various forms of communication. Plus, the intentional grammar and spelling mistakes are somewhat the perfect touches for that kind of conversation- it gives off the idea of what we, beings, normally converse through typing and probably writing.

Will I recommend this book? Yes! If you like to laugh and be frustrated at the same time, then this book will suit you. It gives a variety of emotions that makes the story. Probably a little advice, don’t expect much from the book!

Ratings: Five out of five stars!

✓ The Perks of being a Wallflower

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower copy

 

 

The Book’s Information
Title: The Perks of being a Wallflower
Author: Stephan Chbosky
Genre: Fiction, Young-adult fiction, Epistolary novel
Published: February 1, 1999 (Originally)
Adaptations: The Perks of being a Wallflower (2012)

 

Synopsis (From Goodreads)
Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.


My Thoughts
And it all starts with “Dear Friend,”

Personally, this book gives a nostalgic sentiment that I cannot avoid, reading this felt like my whole world is in that book, and I am the one writing just to express my own feelings. That’s basically how I felt throughout the story. Nevertheless, I deeply admire this book and it is also considered to be my all-time favourite. Although this book is in a letter format and the writing is simple, the idea of Charlie’s perspective is quite complex, emotional and dark which may give the readers’ the feeling of melancholy. In addition, the parts of the content are erotic as Charlie is discovering and involving himself to some “testosterone moments,” those doesn’t really bother me as it puts a sense of realism of a typical teenage boy or should I say, atypical teenage boy? But overall, what enthralled me is his life as a wallflower which is something I could relate to, he provides that sentiment of being understood and won’t feel alone in this world and beyond.

Will I recommend this book? Of course! If you ought to be a wallflower; a misfit or even a demure person, this book may give you the right empathy. Even if you’re not what I’ve mentioned, it may give an engrossing moment for you to cherish.

Ratings: Five out of five stars!

Flip the Page

He flipped through the pages
Of his new book, that has a ton of pictures in it
And it contains simple words- a little amount of it.
For every word he read wrongly,
His father would kiss him in the forehead
And his mother would teach him the words.
Then, the teacher in his kindergarten class
would give him a butterfly sticker and a thumbs-up
Because he wrote a simple story
That he copied from the book with pictures on it.

He flipped through the pages
Of his new book, that has a ripped page in it.
His father said that it was his favourite book,
But he complained that there were no pictures.
Yet, his father kisses him in the forehead
And understand that he was young and naive.
And his teacher gave him a shiny gold star
Because he wrote a poem entitled, “Pictures.”
His mother put it in a picture frame and hugged her son.
While the father went out with a lot of money.

He flipped through the pages
Of his new thick book with no pictures at all.
He heard a lot of screaming and shouting
From the other room.
When his father came out,
He complained that the book was too violent.
His father scolded him and threw the book across the room.
Then, his substitute teacher wrote a remark
At the back of his paper
In his poem entitled, “Malice.”
Stating that it was too vicious.
He didn’t show it to neither his mother nor father.
So, he hung it in his wall with the other poems he wrote.

He flipped through the pages
Of a newspaper because he doesn’t have any books left.
He decided to write a story for him to read
As he does not want to bother his father
Who was snoring loudly while holding onto a bottle.
His teacher never gave him a score
Because she slept soundly at her desk thrice.
The students chuckled and continue their works.
His mother picked him up from school
And in their car, it has a strong smell of cologne,
But his mother only wears perfume
And his father never drives the car because he doesn’t know how.
He ignored the smell and showed the story to his mother
Who ended up crying so hard after reading.
He was confused as he wrote a funny story.

He flipped through the pages
Of an old book that he constantly repeat.
He asked his father to buy him a book.
His father nodded and head out.
When he came back, the father gave him a library book.
He was upset, yet, he read it anyway.
Then, he wrote a poem called, “Farewell.”
Whom he gave it to his teacher
Who was carrying a box of her belongings.
The teacher never gave him a perfect score,
So when he went home, he gave himself a star.
That was the time, she join his father
And they both drink while singing the blues.
His mother cried a lot that her make-up was ruined.
He threw her revealing clothes to the laundry basket
And hugged her son with the smell of cologne in her.

He flipped through the pages
Of his library book, that was from the previous day.
His mother gave him some money that she earned.
Even though, she doesn’t have a job.
His father went home unexpectedly,
With a smell of perfume that his teacher always wear.
His mother and father would never kiss each other
His father asked his son to hand him the money
So that he could buy him a new book that he wanted.
The one with dragons and knights fighting one another,
But he didn’t.
He wrote a poem called, “In the Dark Room.”
His new teacher gave him a bad score
Because it wasn’t related to the topic
That was assigned to him.

He flipped through the last page
Of his library book, that has a devastating ending.
He gave the book to his father who looked sophisticated
And asked him to return the book to the library.
He nodded and continue grabbing his belongings.
His mother put the clothes in a suitcase,
This time, she never cried at all.
His father carried the suitcase and head outside
With the library book in his other hand.
He stared at his father as he took a cab,
This time, he didn’t think
His father would ever return.

He flipped through the pages
Of his new book, that has a ton of pictures in it
And it contains simple words- a little amount of it.
He read every word correctly,
But his mother didn’t kiss his forehead
Because those were the only books she could buy.
Then, the teacher in his senior class
Scolded him for being a ne’er-do-well
Because he wrote a simple story
That he copied from the book with pictures on it.

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