Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Paper Bag
Fiona Apple

I was staring at the sky
Just looking for a star
To pray on or wish on or something like that
I was having a sweet fix
Of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew was too hopeless to be had

But then the dove of hope began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment
That my chances were approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near
So did a weary tear
I thought it was a bird but it was just a paper bag

Hunger hurts and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cos I know I'm a mess that he don't wanna clean up
I've gotta fold 'cos these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works when it costs too much to love

And I went crazy again today
Looking for a strand to climb
Looking for a little hope
Baby said he couldn't stay
Wouldn't put his lips to mine
And to fail to kiss is to fail to cope

I said honey I don't feel so good
Don't feel justified
Come on put a little love here in my void
He said it's all in your head
I said so's everything but he didn't get it
I thought he was a man but he was just a little boy

It's Just Emotions

Out of all the emotions that was ever experienced by man, perhaps the one I've hated and avoided the most was anger. Well, hatred comes close, but sometimes my hates are so petty - I hate cold fish and cockroaches, and incompetent politicians and long queues at the movie houses, and bad grammar and candy that melted in my bag. Anger is frightening - anger is something that explodes uncontrollably, that twists you up and down and makes you do things you'll regret later on. Anger does not have the precision of manipulation and diplomacy, or the benefit of foresight and logic. I've always believed that anger cleanses at the right moments, when you have every right to be angry, but there are also moments when anger becomes detrimental because it show you in the worst possible light.

I've only been angry once or twice in my life, and both times I've regretted that outburst of emotion instantly. I don't like myself when I'm angry because nobody knows how to deal with me. I know how to deal with angry people most of the time, being the target of anger myself for a few times in my life - anger needs to be released, to dissipate. Anger always needs an outlet, that inordinate need to lash out with white-hot fury, that first clean sweep of the blade that cuts down a man's life. One does not need to apologize for anger because usually, it is righteous anger - an emotion that spills over from an experience that is painful or unjust or simply unfair.

But one also has to choose the avenue as to where to express that anger. Personally, I'd prefer that I launch into a ten-minute tirade in front of the person that I am angry at - a friend, for example - and then let it go, and forgive and forget. I'm a great believer of the Forgive-and-Forget method of patching up; if you apologize for what you've done and you're sincere about it, then everything's cool. I don't want to hold grudges and I don't want to make your life a living hell (unless I've drunk about three cups of coffee - start running by then). If you don't apologize and you know that I'm right and it's either pride or stupidity that keeps you from doing so, then I shall ignore you. You're not worth my time. Patigasan na lang tayo.

But sometimes, particularly when my anger is directed at an authority figure or a committee/group/etc., I find that it's usually easier to meet them on their own terms. You have a complaint on the unfairness of the system? File a formal letter and make sure it gets read. Go through the channels that you have and make a big ruckus using all intellectual forms that you have. Distill that white-hot anger and make cold, calculating moves designed to cut your quarry where it hurts the most. Anger per se is not useful - but manipulation is. Don't throw a tantrum like a child - that doesn't even work for our parents. But if you want retribution, then do it coldly. You won't get anywhere just randomly throwing sharp pointy objects at the wall. Practice your aim. Throw them at vampires instead.

See - this is why I don't get angry. Because I know I can fight back when I want to. And when I start something, I usually finish it. I never leave anything halfway through.

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