The Cursor

She stared at her empty screen – the blinking cursor taunting her. Come on, write. Write something! I thought you said you said you had so many thoughts you wanna write about!
Goddamnit, she thought. I have nothing. I need something!
But she knows she can’t do anything about it. If the words aren’t coming, they aren’t coming. She heaves down a huge sigh of disappointment to herself and picks up her phone.
1 new message.
Hi, how’s it been?
She’s not going to reply. She has had enough of men chatting her up only to leave her halfway or become uninteresting halfway into the conversation.
I need someone like Richard. I need someone who can make me smile while he texts me. Someone who will get me excited every time I hear my phone beep. Someone who knows just what to say. A guy that can make me stay up late at not regret it the following morning.
Someone …someone like Richard.
She has Richard. Richard, the guy she met at a coffee shop.
One vanilla milk tea, please. Extra pearls. She said to the lady at the counter. The lady punched in her order and she went to find a seat to wait for her order. No seat was empty so she looked for a vacant corner near the counter and waited.
Then she saw him – Richard. The tall, dark, and handsome guy she had been chatting with for over a year now. The man she met at an online conference. A fellow nerd for anime and comics. And crime stories. Richard went into the shop and she called out to him. “Hey!”
Life is weird. You meet weird people. And then you fall into mutual weirdness and then call it love. Someone said that she thought to herself. Was it Dr Seuss? She was about to search for the quote and verify her hunch when her phone rang again.
1 new message
You busy? Look at this video! It’s funny!
She can see the thumbnail is that of the Harry Potter character she adores. It’s probably something I saw already.
As if on cue, another ping.
It’s new! It just got posted. So don’t you dare think you have seen this video already. 🙂
Fine, she thought. You sure are persistent.
She opens the video and watches it. A montage of all Ron Weasley clips saying “Bloody Hell”.
Yep, I haven’t seen this. The scenes though… I have seen them. Geez.
She put her phone down and stared back into the taunting cursor again.
Still. Nothing. Not a thing.
Frustrated, she finally got up her chair and went to bed.
Turned the lights off and slept.
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Why I Haven’t Written in So Long

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

And the funny thing is that most of us don’t even realize this until life has already happened.

Every single day, I say to myself: This is it. Just get in front of a computer and pour out your thoughts and heartache.
And every single day, reply: This can wait until tomorrow. I’d rather sleep.

Months of sleep after (and months of pent-up emotions buried deep), here we are.
Good news. Bad news. Bad news. Bad news. Bad news. Good news. Goo- … Bad news.
Life sure has a funny way of making me long for the familiar sound of my keyboard keys.

I now have a new laptop! Yehey! But I also have infinitely more bills to pay now than I used to. lol

I haven’t written in so long because I’ve taken up ghostwriting for a bit. Free time was gone… for days – weeks – months.
Until now.

Thank God for this new laptop! 🙂 And thank God for this quiet I haven’t experienced in so long.

Life. I’m back!

Signed,
Mona

This Shit is Scary. (A tennis-related rant)

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Winning is everything for an athlete. Winning, also, does not only mean having that fucking shiny trophy. For some athletes, the simple honor of being able to represent their country, hometown, or gender is enough of a victory.

Ever since I was in fourth grade, I have long since followed tennis (table and lawn) matches since I myself play the sport. I have my own idols, mostly male players but I occasionally get hyped whenever there are Women’s singles matches that pique my interest. If you’re not at all familiar with the tennis sporting events, that is fine. All you gotta know is that there’s plenty in a year – all spread across different countries and each player vying for what they call a “Grand Slam” win.

What with all my extra-curricular events in life, I rarely find time to watch the tournaments love but I make it a point (especially if I really wanted to watch the game) to watch the replays no matter how late it is in my time zone. All four tournaments – trying to keep up with the Australian Open and the French Open is easy since they’re a lot closer to my Philippine time zone. US Open though .. that’s a whole different 12hr difference. SO HARD.

Anyhooo…  Obviously, Serena Williams gets past semis and goes to the finals but that’s not the reason I wanted to watch the Women’s Single’s Final match for the US Open 2018. It is because a Japanese woman, Naomi Osaka, is about to make history – HECK, SHE ALREADY IS MAKING HISTORY. She’s fucking 20 years old and she just ranked 7th in the World! She’s younger than me y’all! SHE IS AN AMAZING KID!

And then comes this 36-year-old supposedly professional tennis player – who has been playing professionally for far longer than Naomi. She has made history for herself as well, and don’t get me wrong – I do admire that she is the first female player to win 23 Grand Slams and her track record is truly impressing by the likes of which, even her older sister could rarely beat her. Matter of fact, it really is hard to beat her on her best days.

But that’s just it – it’s sports. Sports is supposed to be a mirror of life – sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. The drama that unfolded during the S. Williams vs N. Osaka match is terrifying for me. I couldn’t imagine being in Naomi’s shoes while she was playing. What could she have been thinking every time Serena threw back the volley? Her composure and maturity shone throughout the argument between Serena and the umpire. I can never truly comprehend a sore loser’s attitude. In the Philippines, sore losers are those aged 6 years or older. I don’t get it. She has 23! Naomi earned her 1 fair and square. And all this talk about whether or not she cheated or not – whether her character was attacked. HOW ABOUT NOT BITCHING ABOUT YOU LOSING? THAT’S HOW THINGS STARTED! I cried as soon as I saw a tweet from a friend about this. She had to apologize for winning. THE HELL? She earned it! She has put her own blood, sweat, and tears just as much as Serena did.

“I know everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” said Osaka. “I just want to say thank you for watching the match. My mum has sacrificed a lot for me, and it means a lot for her to come and watch my matches. She doesn’t usually come to them. All that we’re missing is my dad but he physically doesn’t watch my matches. He just walks around. It was also my dream to play Serena in the US Open final, and I’m really glad I was able to do that. I’m grateful I was able to play with you. Thank you.”

Williams sensed that the moment might have been spoiled for the Osaka, and tried to calm the situation, saying “I don’t want to be rude. She played well. Let’s make this the best moment we can, let’s not boo anymore.”

The umpire was boo-ed for how he treated Serena’s tantrums but what really bugged me was how this whole stupid Serena vs Ramos (umpire) made Naomi’s win seem small news.

I wasn’t able to watch the match. I knew the match was starting but I had to go to church with my family. I originally planned on watching the replay (like I normally do) but I am not furiously looking for the full play on wherever.

Being an athlete, and having your own victory greeted with boo’s (granted, they weren’t for you, but still) is very disheartening. If and when I win, I look back on how hard I trained and thank God and the people who helped me get to my victory stage. But if the audience boos then, what’s the point? If your opponent doesn’t recognize that you played fair and square and is not even accepting their loss, then, how can you savor the moment? The true meaning of sports is to keep people together. That despite having different colors, races, creed, and gender – we can all unite for an event that matters to us.

Training for a competition, not to mention one that is going to be televised and aired worldwide takes a whole lot out of someone. Serena Williams stole Naomi’s spotlight. Naomi won but people are still talking about Serena (me included). I am very proud that an Asian 20-year old lady won against a 36-year old. I am so proud of her and I wish her more success in the future. She has brought honor for her country and has definitely wow-ed the people of her prowess as a formidable athlete. She was given one game and one point. SHE ABSOLUTELY EARNED EVERYTHING ELSE. Damn right!

I cried when I saw the announcement of Naomi as the winner. It’s a nightmare! IMAGINE HAVING TO APOLOGIZE YOU BEAT THE CROWD FAVORITE? That just sucks. She should have been there smiling and proud. People should have cheered and clapped! I know I would!

In life, as well as in sports, when you win, enjoy it as if it’s your first time. And when you lose, like it sometimes is, enjoy it as if for a change. Don’t bicker. Acknowledge your opponent’s strength and internalize your loss. Learn from it.

Gotta stop crying at one point, Mona. Damn it.

Naomi, Congratulations!

– From a fellow Asian, a fellow athlete, and someone who understands your tears.

MvL to SS (The Battle he Won)

Walks towards the stage. Goes up to the microphone. Testing one, two, three. Tapping the mic afterward. It’s been two years since he came to the WordPress community. We started at WP around the same time but met in August because of the daily prompts. I found his hilarious take on the day’s prompt, “Obvious” and he made a comment on mine. I wrote about my fascination with Sherlock Holmes. I became an instant fan after that. And though a month or so behind, I started reading all his posts. Yep. From the very first one until I caught up with him. It was easy. He posted once a day, maybe twice. I had all the time I needed to catch up to at least 30 posts. I learned so much from him and so much about him. I found it really cool that someone had a unique agenda for writing. At the time, he was in a bad breakup and writing was his therapy. And I found it curiously interesting; his handle. ManVsLoneliness.

MVL'S Anniv

Genius, right? We all battle with it. But he had his agenda for choosing that name. The dogged, systematic way of voting every day if Man won or Loneliness did. Some days, I found myself excited about the scores. Of whether how close the battle would be. The struggle to conquer demons every single day, that’s something worth reading and so I did. Along with so many followers, I read snippets about his life. Laughed when it was funny, got mad, got sad. I didn’t mind that the post could take days to finish reading (HarHar) because of how much you get to pick up on after an article. You either learn something new about the writer, or you come to understand yourself better. A year ago, he finally graduated from ManVsLoneliness to SingleGuySays. No longer battling with Loneliness, he has so much to do. So many things to try. It’s hard not to be jealous of his lavish lifestyle, mind you. Watching (Reading) his journey is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and I’m very happy to have lived vicariously in his writings. His story is a fascinating tale of a man battling his own loneliness after being left behind – and winning. It was more than that, actually. Definitely more. It was that of how food can teach us so many things about culture, love, relationships; that of how deceit is just a part of the adventure; and that sometimes, man buns are too much for a grown man to handle. No matter where he goes, just the right flavor of both wisdom and silliness go with him. Now you might be wondering… why the hell am I posting and writing about him? Is it all because of a Facebook post from last year? Yes. That. Why am I promoting (am I, really? The man can sell a broken clock to anyone) this man I met over a blog post? Well…I have not met him yet. I haven’t seen him in person although I have had the tremendous pleasure of hearing his voice over the phone one night. In his own words, “I am glad to finally have a voice to match the face.” But you see… often in our lives, we meet people who change us. Often in our lives, we meet people that teach us a lot. Rarely though, does it happen online – in this vast nothingness we call the internet do we meet someone we truly connect with, or at the very least someone who bothers to stay connected. Hahah. So in a way, I wrote this because Facebook reminded me that 2 years ago, I met someone who I’ve bonded with over lots of things. Someone who has challenged me to be a better version of myself (still waiting on the result for this) and has made my blogging experience great. I sincerely apologize for the sappiness. For those of you who have not heard (read) his story, I sure hope you start from the beginning. This man’s journey is nothing short of ordinary. How ManVsLoneliness slowly became SingleGuySays and if he does have the time in the future, (NoLongerSingleGuySays). He hasn’t written anything new yet, and his last post was about a date. He’s doing Netflix and chill now guys. He’s doing better! Makes you wonder whether SingleGuySays may be short-lived, unlike ManVsLoneliness. A round of applause to my friend, Jerel!

Author’s Note: Anyhoo, I was so excited to see the Facebook “On This Day” reminder I didn’t even realize it’s been too long since I started blogging. Time flies.

Agusan del Sur

Watching the trees that line the hills
The sky changes its hue
The musky air I feel as we go from zero to sixty
and drive for hours on end
stopping only for gas and/or food
The vehicles we pass by on the road, the people we see on the road
The conversations we come up with just to stay awake
My brother’s playlist
Ed Sheeran songs as we drive by beautiful scenery
Driving – noticing the sunset
The ’keep distance’ stickers I see
The silent yet calming atmosphere knowing you are almost home, wherever home is for you.
Speeding by and overtaking trucks and other automobiles
Away from the busy city
but not away from civilization
No internet connection
but lots of people to hang out with
Never running out of things to do
The Television is a friend
ALWAYS eating
constantly smiling
Simple living, simple life
No complications
Not that many
Streetlights
Yellow headlights and red taillights
Bumps on the road
Good company and good conversations
Best feeling one can have to escape

The road to my home away from home is filled with thoughts of calm anticipation.

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