We all knew the story. A flying seagull once noticed a mouse, asked where its wings are, mouse didn’t answer since mouse only understand fellow mouse. The seagull thought the mouse is deaf and lonely, pitied it and took the liberty of picking it up on its beak for a ride in the skies. After a while, the seagull grew tired and carefully deposited the mouse once more on the ground. Mouse was left in gloom for many many days, for it had known the heights and seen a vast and beautiful world but was taken from it abruptly and unwillingly. In time, it grew accustomed to being the simple mouse again, thinking that the miracle of flying that occurred to it was nothing but a grand dream.
There could be debates as to the story, question like whose fault was it really, the underscoring of the mouse’s vulnerability and delusions and the seagull’s arrogant meddlesome intentions.
But now they don’t matter anymore.
I’ll tell you what matters now. What matters is that I was that mouse for a very long time. I was the same mouse; alone and in gloom. But I was never mad. I was never angry of the many seagulls that came picking me, though I could not blame those mice who chose hatred afterwards. Choosing to hate is always easy. Hatred, sometimes, is best to mask the mortifying scars of loneliness and sense of defeat. I chose the road less traveled. I wallowed in my own demons, have dealt with my own rejections then walked away quietly, watching happy seagulls fly happily from afar.
I write this today, not because I want to recount the story of the seagull and the mouse, condemn seagulls or earn sympathies for the mouse. I am writing this now when it no more matters who are the mice or the seagulls. I am writing this in the point of view of a boy, once a mouse in a story, to prove that his story did not end in just getting “accustomed to being the simple mouse again.” Because after all, the mouse learned that he can meet the skies even without seagulls. That's the reality now. That is what matters now.
Alongside the muscular men of Tondo are tattooed broken hearted boys who drank mouthfuls of silver cleaning solutions with a sheepishly written note in their hands. Others jumped out of their hotel rooms while the passionate gunned their very own hearts. It is a cruel reality and many did not survive. But I did and this is what it is all about.
So let me apologize if the article today appears self-indulgent, as it was written by a boy who once braved the growling seas and fought malignant fat clowns attempting to call themselves knights. This time, allow me to pompously write, tell myself and the whole world of how proud I am of how I’ve triumphantly slain those multi-headed dragons while remaining gorgeously handsome in black leather boots and vintage maong pants.
It was T. S. Eliot who once said that humankind cannot bear very much reality. And I think I know why. It’s because reality is fundamentally painful. It is painful to see the heights and see the beautiful world in your very eyes only to find yourself, once again, sitting in a dank muddy ground, inhaling all the ugly truths sprawling before you. But then it is also asked, how do we know that the sky is not green and we are all color blind?
I saw the world, the seas and its amazing dwellers, the bursting green of leaves and the flaming bonfires of mountains – I saw them all through my tears. Surprisingly, they are beautiful. They are real. Now, the tears had dried up, I look at the world and I still find it beautiful, surreal, but very much real.
Maybe that’s what reality really is. People are born, they walk, they fall in love, they fail, they triumph, they fix themselves, then they walk again, fall in love again, got led on, got broken again, fix themselves again, then walk again for more. And that sometimes, seagulls would come to pick defeated looking mouse for a ride in the skies only to drop them again on a deserted land, hungry and empty handed. But it’s not about what yesterday has taken away. It’s about what you are willing to risk again in exchange of another visit to the skies, either with another seagull, or this time all alone just by yourself. To rise from ivory towers and golden pantheons despite being as minuscule as the mouse and with no flapping seagull wings, that, I think, is now my reality.
Désolé Boy | Year 1, Seq 1
Désolé Boy – Indeed | Year 1, Seq 2
Désolé Boy – Nothing Really Maters | Year 1, Seq 3
Désolé Boy – Anywhere the Wind Blows | Year 2, Seq 4
Désolé Boy – No Escape from Reality | Year 2, Seq 5
-photo credit to Xander of A Boy Named Xander