WHAT’S s your idea of disappearance?
Have you seen February, disappearing from your fingertips, whose edges now hardened by the month’s nip, nipping you in the bud before you grow into a solitary creature missing no crowds? Do you miss flower festivals, or inordinately thankful that for two years
Something’s gone missing.
(How many trees were there, used to be there, happened to be cut near the BGH Rotunda?) A wonder, the strikethrough, for it never fully erases nor preserves full presence. It calls attention to itself, I guess, the way bold and italics and underlines do, but in an ironically self-effacing manner. Also, fitting that control B is bold, and control I is italics and control U is underline and yet control S is not strikethrough, but Save.)
(When something’s gone missing, how can you Save it, when you don’t know it disappeared, how it came to disappear? What does Jia Tolentino mean when she implied that in marriage, women can/may disappear?)
In “I Thee Dread, the last essay from her Trick Mirror, “Jia wrote, “Underneath the confectionary spectacle of the wedding is a case study in how inequality bestows outsize affirmation on women as compensation for making us disappear.” One day only, for only one day, women get to be in charge, in fact expected to be in charge, encouraged to be obsessive about the tiniest details—theme, colors, cake shapes, venue’s ambiance, program sequence, wine flavor, sober souvenirs, measly menus, floral arrangements—as they claim their Day, the Wedding Day they’ve imagined and fancied since they were nine, or nineteen, or whenever they started imbibing the idea that women were made to be wed, walked down the isle by their father to be a no man’s island, reclused by domestic expectations, stunted careers and unsatisfying solitude scanning social media or sadly growing backyard plants. 106 words, too much ano? Too much cynicism, so many words.
Jia’s terseness, on the irony of bridehood: “becoming a bride means being flattered into submission.” That singular day of all-eyes-on-me, let-her-have-her-way, being pristine pretty and so beautiful and enviable is like an advance, disproportionate “payment” for the difficult life of becoming mother, wife, and if lucky, a professional, a public person engaged in the polity.
How about disappearance as a Dadaist poem, telling you to make poetry out of newspaper cutouts, poetry’s effusiveness enabled by scissors, rubber bands, correction marker, paper clips and staplers? Dat is, Dadaist, disappearance as instructed, a How-to manual coming to life. Gabriela Lee chose it as her debut book’s title, Instructions on how to disappear. Most chilling so far was “Honesty Hour,” kung saan hindi tinantanan ni DJ Larry—manifest only through waves, radio, sound, voice, energy—ang magkakaibigang Al, Mark, Shirley on their car wading through imaginable rush hour traffic from Katipunan. The friends innocently wanted some music but ended up hearing the creepy DJ Larry, talking to them over the radio, forcing them to tell their darkest secrets to one another; the secretions so dark and noxious that by the end, Thelma and Louise were scoffing, assessing the extent by which their filmic conclusion inspired what transpired to the three friends along EDSA.
Have you come back? Oh I thought I lost you. Marami bang tao sa CR? Were you a little chubby before? Are you counting Duterte’s disappearing days? A little over a year ano? There appears to be something off in this week’s Chronicle’s pagination. Parang walang Page 5. Parang ang lamig ng kamay mo.