Running on a treadmill going at 3 mph used to kill the shite out of me. It was embarrassing. To aid me in improving my treadmill performance, I created a custom playlist specifically for it. Beats must be fast. Lyrics should be appropriate. “Don’t stop me now. Don’t need to catch my breath. I can go on and on and on,” I heard in the pre-chorus. Fitting. “Give it to me, yeah! No one’s going to show me how. Give it to me, yeah. No one’s going to stop me now!” sang the singer in the chorus. I made it to the end of the timer, and my “treadmill skill” improved gradually over time. The song, Give It 2 Me, was a great motivator, a perfect treadmill track you would say. If we listen closely, it’s a song that continues to resonate off the treadmill, off the gym, and in life.
A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to Pablo Solares Acebal and was honored to be given a chance to review his novella The 6th of November. He holds a BA in English Studies and Translation from the University of Oviedo, and is currently working as co-writer on The 6th of November’s script with director Daniel Cabrero. And now, my review of his novella.
Pablo Solares Acebal’s The 6th of November is a bittersweet novella.
Reading it conjures up images from Filipino national hero Jose Rizal’s acclaimed novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. It’s a tale of family and household tragedies, doomed love, faith, and the shadow of war colorizing and decolorizing the village of Requejado. It is both homely and grand. There’s a simple yet powerful message told in the path of the lives of the novella’s characters, who never overstay their welcome, coming and fleeing, and keeping you guessing.
The narrative reminds me of my favorite early classic novels. The 6th of November is light and dark, superstitious, with a tasteful touch of religion every now and then. But just when I had finally immersed myself in a scene, the novella yanks me away and thrusts me to another one. Perhaps this is a door to a longer form of the novella, or a sequel maybe, because their is a desire to follow the characters beyond Requejado, and to know more the aftermath after that day. The curious question now is, “What comes next after the 6th?”
I fondly remember the time I introduced Facebook to my former co-workers. It was fairly new, and had that combination of simplicity and elegance. We were hooked. Needless to say Facebook was fun. Five years later, Facebook became arguably the most popular social networking site and everyone, from your spouse to your mother, from your co-worker to their dog, from your favorite actor to that high school classmate you despised, has a Facebook account. From fun it transformed into an annoyance. Pity parties, hourly non-sense updates, photo albums detailing everything happening to people’s lives, public feuds; the barrage of these is what Facebook has become. A decade had passed and some had gone sour on Facebook abandoning it altogether. Some still remained committing the following Facebook crimes they should’ve learned by now. Yes, the following acts still happen in the world of Facebook. A section of society had become more oblivious of what makes an online conduct head-shaking, or perhaps social media just highlighted the ignorant.
When I wrote the poem Oh Grandfather, I was in a fragile emotional state and under the influence of alcohol. It was easy to channel thoughts into words, what with an emotional baggage to pull inspiration and ideas from. Towards the middle of writing the poem, I couldn’t help it and cried. The pile of shiz I was going through around that time broke me, and any sad issue from my lifetime triggered the tears easily. I cried while I wrote, or perhaps I wrote while I cried.
It wasn’t the first nor the last, but it was memorable. It had been more than a decade since my dear grandfather passed away. I should’ve been completely over it, I thought wrong.
The road was murky. The fog would not clear despite the futile attempts of the god of the wind to clear it up. The dark could not be penetrated and the goddess of light had become exhausted. The silence was terrorizing instead of peaceful, no song from the Muse could cheer me up.
I was commanding the wagon, horses chosen from the best of breed and wheels fashioned from the finest of trees. My passengers, men and women from villages I’ve traveled to, were all lounged in the box, sharing space with my map, books, and food, essentials to my journey. Unaware of the difficulty that was ahead, they were sleeping, exchanging jokes and gossips, and even nibbling from my stash every now and then. Though the map had indicated a pleasant travel down this road, some unknown force decided to make this trip the opposite.
The claim “I LOVE music” has been misused for so long. Some probably only really LIKE music not love it, but they wouldn’t know. What does it take to really prove you LOVE MUSIC? Show me your music library and I will tell you.
What are morning, noon, afternoon, and evening? I don’t know them anymore. These past several months, I have been living on a different planet. I bid adieu to Earth, said goodbye to the sun, and kissed farewell the moon.