Tag Archives: Stephen King

Blaze by Richard Bachman

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He was going to make this happen. His feet and his head was set, and when he got that way, he always did what he said he was going to do. It was his pride. The only one he had.

Blaze by Richard Bachman

I remember reading From a Buick 8 a summer ago and being completely at loss for words. Not only do I feel the same after reading Blaze – a novel strewn from the mind of a 70’s writer (and who had since died of cancer of the pseudonym) who had turned the transcript to its true maker, Stephen King – but I also spy a twinge of depression in my core.

Blaze, though fictitious, seems like an actual person, who, I believe, deserves more: more justice, more truth. His character upheld the entire novel, which in turn, makes us think about options: the good ones and the bad ones, and how life would, could, should turn out to be so much more in whichever we choose; chances; the right call. The drive to stay alive. The desire to achieve something great before we die. The cohesiveness of using and being used. The importance of indulgence and freedom. We can choose to be bad if we deem it for the good of ourselves, of society, or of the ones that matter to us. We all have reasons – reasons that are not always acceptable. As Brandon Flowers sings, “You were born with goodness”, and it is amazing how the bad can sometimes end up as or for the common good.

It was sad. The idea that struck me the most was knowing how Blaze’s life could have turned out differently. How it could have been had he not triggered his father’s ire in those early days of his life, had his friends stuck with him for the latter parts of his days, had people listened and had not overlooked him, had people not used him, and had he not fallen in bad company. Fact is, Blaze is a good guy, probably the only con that you can sympathize with. All he wanted to do was to take care of that baby. He could have done so, too, but we all know that Blaze wouldn’t be going anywhere. He just kept on running, keeping the kid safe in his arms, enduring; keeping his pride – the climax that construed the complete and irrevocable sadness that I cannot even clearly express. There was just one way to end the tale.

It broke my heart thinking about life’s purpose and the freedom that comes with it. There is always the inevitable, and there are many people, myself included, who would like to come out of it embossed with things that we never screwed up; things that we carefully plotted not because of greed but because we deserve it, and we understand that best. It’s sad thinking about watching birds fly in their absolute freedom. Or dying for someone who will never know you when you’re buried in the ground. Blaze just wanted a purpose to live – anything to tell him that he’s doing well on his own; somewhere he can place his faith, among other things.

It’s painfully emotive how Stephen King can grip at your heart and toy with your feelings. Well played – it works in a surprisingly real way, too. In his foreword, Mr. King bade the Constant Reader a pleasant reading, hoping that we mist up, and hoping that they wouldn’t be tears of laughter. Believe me, the heartbreaking truths of human nature and the odd hand of God cannot suppress a laugh out of my stomach. It is more difficult now to divert ethics and morals, and I think one has to read Blaze’s story to understand why.

4/5

As by the door to get to Heaven
Seven trumpets big and bright
You hear it coming in the middle of the night
A caution to the children
Time to turn your crimson white

We’ve all got reservations
Trials will come suddenly
And without explanation
But you were born with goodness
You were born with goodness
Wherever you go now

I’m right behind you
In the light of hope
I’ll be beside you
On that dusty road
And if you get blind, well that’s alright
Wicked winds blow with grace and might
Cling to the ways of my name
When you touch the stone

Break your word over me
Sinking in the quicksand
Break your word
Don’t you see?
You’re breaking me down now

I’m right behind you
In the light of hope
I’ll be beside you on that dusty road
When no one expects you to deny
And no one accepts your reasons why
You cling to the ways of my name
When you touch the stone

No one expects you to deny
And no one accepts your reasons why
You cling to the ways of my name
When you touch the stone

Why I Boycott Jack TV

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It’s summer again.

You might be wondering where I’ve been.

I graduated. From high school. That suck of an institution, in reality. Been on a Stephen King frenzy. I’ve only really read him last summer, but it seems that all I want to do now is buy all his works. I just finished Different Seasons, and I’m just starting in on Blaze. I’d probably proceed to Dolores Claiborne. I don’t know what’s up with me. Don’t know what’s up with this blog. Or with music. Or with today’s literature. Or even with wrestling.

That last one strikes such a bad chord. Two months ago, Jack TV removed WWE from their network. At first, it was just a “satellite-thing”. But then weeks piled up and everyone lost all hope. You should see their Facebook page – it is completely littered with WWE fans ranting about the loss of the program and the establishment of seemingly suckish shows that could never get Jack ratings. 

I don’t think Jack TV will bring back WWE. With Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Family Guy on their team, I’m rooting for FOX now. They already released a teaser for WWE. I’ve been rather hopeful. But it’s taking too long. Yesterday, out of sentimental reasons, I actually turned the pages of my December 2010 copy of the WWE Magazine to the Body Shop and worked out like Dolph Ziggler, thinking, I just want to watch wrestling on my goddamn cable, goddamnit.

Anyway, I’m keeping track of the events that I have missed since WWE was unjustly torn off my cable. Lots of props to Jack TV for this.

 

Whatever happened to Eve and Zack Ryder?

The Miz on Psych

HBK’s “return”

Santino Marella winning the United States Championship

CENA/ROCK BATTLE

PUNK/JERICHO WAR

Eve’s heel turn, of course

Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny

UNDERTAKER VS. TRIPLE H VS. HBK

WRESTLEfuckingMANIA!!121212!!@@!@!@!!!

Lord Tensai?

BROCK LESNAR’S RETURN

That’s about it. Fuck Jack TV.

 

 

The Road to Take in Departure

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I feel I am excited, so excited I can hardly hold the pencil in my trembling hand. I think it is the excitement that only a free man can feel, a free man starting a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.

Different Seasons: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Tell them that I’ve made the journey
And tell them that my heart is true
I’d like his blessing of forgiveness
Before the angel sends it through
And I will know that I am clean now
And I will dance and the band will play
In the old out to cantina
‘Cause we’ll runneth over the ancient clay.

– Brandon Flowers (Magdalena)

I’ll be graduating in a few hours. I have always imagined this day as a happy, exciting one with dedication letters – and with me without a care in the world. But… I actually feel a bit morose. The thought of starting over, entering a new school with new people as a new student (for the first time) penetrates my soul and depresses me each day. Thirteen years in this damn school, imagine that. These past few days have only been the bests of my life. But then again, I have asked for this much-awaited freedom for so long that it’s too far away to back down. I’m slowing down and taking my time to evolve.

Hostile

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I was tired and confused, and at the end of my thinking, I hadn’t had anything but scratch sleep in weeks and couldn’t for the life of me see how I was going to go on.

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King p. 140

I didn’t cry about it as I had figured I would. There I was, staring into the inevitable that was my life. And I couldn’t see it, couldn’t grasp the unseeable future. I didn’t stare long; a glimpse was enough for me to get the message, and every last bit reminds me of John Laurinaitis that, for a while, there was a sour taste in my mouth. I feel so confused, so angry, so damn stupid.

“Did not qualify.” It said. “We wish you luck in your endeavors.” That was my fallback. My setback. My back-up. My safety school.

Now what? What with my life. I did pray too, you know? I really did. Long, repetitious prayers. Every day, every night, every time I think about college, which is more than you can expect from a faith confused prick like me. It dawns the obvious question: is life a matter of intellect or luck? Or am I naturally stupid to not even pass a test that my older brother got frickin academic placement for?

It’s funny because just the other day, the school principal asked me if I had already gotten into a university. I told her that the results haven’t come in yet. And you know what she told me? She said, “I’m sure you’ll get in.” That stings. It really stings like hell… when you know that they’re expecting, when they’re cheering on you because they know you can do it. I honestly thought I could pull it off, but I don’t know where the hell that bravado went.

I don’t think anyone knows at this point just how I feel, looking back at that moment when she said those words, and knowing about this. Disappointment – boy, that really slaps you right in the kisser, doesn’t it?

I failed. I think it’s too early for me to understand this, too early at this time. I should have just waited. I should have just stalled. I should have let things take shape for themselves. I was too excited, and now it has backfired. Right now it’s just too bad.

Now playing: Boogie Woogie Downtown – The Bouncing Souls

Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx

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I’m not going to tell you life’s easy. I’m not going to tell you it’s simple. But I will tell you it’s worth living. Every minute of it.”

– Mr. Hunter (Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx)

A fresh fugitive of one lackluster birthday party one Saturday afternoon, I found myself skimming through the stacks of novels at Booksale. I had wandered away from the side where the Stephen Kings used to sit (most of them have long gone by then), and I had decided to scan the ‘cheaper’ areas – yes, Booksale does have that, where the self-help manuscripts and autobiographies, along with other stray good novels, usually sit. And because I was sensing that the dull karaoke session of the birthday party was nearly over and that it would be time for KFC (and that I better be there when that happens), I finally took the book that Bet was handing me so we don’t linger around too long enough to make the clerk suspicious. It was Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx. And, believe it or not, I got it for only P10.

But here’s where Booksale completely goes overboard because a novel such as this one should never be put up as cheap as that – not that I’m complaining. But it is just one of the best novels that I’ve read in recent times.

Here it is: Luke Hunter is real. Psychic or not, he’s just real, so there. I would unmask him to be anyone, and he’s still real. During the week that ensued, he’d been the best companion, him being so resentful and bitter and contemplative. The first chapter just threw me off guard with the swearing and the metaphors and the wily humor, above all. And for a whole week after reading the first lines, I just could not put the book down. Heck, I didn’t even want it to be over. Just imagine that sad pimply face all contorted when I reach the thirtieth chapter. I was in love with Luke’s character. It was his don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and verbosity or lack thereof that got to me. He was a curious thing, always deep in thought, fearful but honest, envious, dissipated, fucked-up even. When he made that “Stokum Sucks” shirt with Stan, I was just as inspirited to thicken my face and print “I am elite” all over our club tee. It is because of him that my inquisitiveness of the years ’02 and ‘03 resurfaced, as it had subtly submerged when I had stumbled upon CM Punk’s defunct Livejournal blog. Admittedly, it was also him who has buoyantly, unintentionally egged me on listening to music (I have my eyes on Johnny Cash – he’s ’02 album was indeed mournful – and Red Hot Chili Peppers, as of late). Of course, he also handed me the keen interest on suburban life, teen angst, young love… and drugs are never out of the picture.

And of course, there was death and the constant knowledge that everybody, everybody, is going to die. It is no secret that I am afraid of this piece of information, this short memo that appears from the moment we were conceived. But reading this book made me feel completely tacit. As though there is someone to share the mutual feeling with. The feeling of constraint and being trapped in a world that you’re not going to walk on forever. He brought fear, the question of a Supreme Being’s existence and losing faith, the options of what to believe and who to believe. He had the questions that people always have. Why him? Why not him? Why this life? He didn’t have a lot of answers as none of us do, but I think that’s what’s really comforting, what’s really believable. With all the shebang that has been happening these past couple of days, I needed a breather, something relatable, not an advice. And that’s where Luke stood. He was the barrier that sustained all the good things from all the bad ones. He filtered the bad ones and managed to cross them off the list of worries. And that is, by far, cheaper than therapy.

There was Fang, who, at first came off as bit annoying, but became incredibly heartbreaking in the end. I myself was shocked at his big McCreary Park revelation. Of course, we never did know if he ever went back to Jefferson or if he ever did kill himself. But when Luke decided to stick to Fang by all means, even after knowing of the latter’s dirty little secrets, made the story even more compelling for my part. It was climbing Jefferson’s roofs and Fang having an emotional breakdown that broke my heart. I was over all shocked for Todd Delaney because he was right the minute he told Luke that the latter “does not know a fucking thing”. I initially thought that it was only his absent mother that strikes up his nerves, but I did not know as well. So, the thing about climbing Gandy’s Rock was the best. It was just so real and honest and breathtaking, I had to reread it several times.

And then there’s Stan. Or as Luke would describe him:

Fucking Stan. He could do shit like that. Look people in the eye and say good, true things. Fool you into believing that everything you ever wanted was so close all you had to do was reach out and grab it. Fucking Stan. Busting with laughter. Thrilling to life. Making it look so goddamn effortless.

Stan – the dead friend. The holiest friend. The only good and pure thing in the world. Everything began and ended with him. And whether we believe in fate or not, it was all about Stan. Everything was interconnected because of him. And if Luke and Faith’s theory about believing in the godliness of human nature was not true, what else could be?

The writing was bold and remarkable. The novel itself struck a chord in my innermost being. I don’t think I would be able to consider thoughts and feelings had I not read this. It made me focus on my deepest and strangest emotions and whatever it is that gets me down just as Luke had questioned his life. The book had a lot of points that I just completely agreed with. One of this is the disputable opinion of having a fair God, not the one that the church would force you to know about, not the one-sided Being that fundamentalists will tell you about. The fact that Joanne Proulx made Luke Hunter a first-person omniscient was perfect. I would not have had it any other way. Reading it aloud is way better than just keeping the story to yourself, just so you know. I’ve often wondered why I can’t seem to find any other book that Ms. Proulx has written after Prophet. Could it be possible that this is her only novel? Is this going to turn into a movie soon? I am deeply interested in reading her work and knowing more about it. In just a week, she has turned me into a fan.

We could go on and on talking about this incredible book, but that would take me days. It’s just so beautiful I don’t have the right words to describe it. But this is just me. We all have interpretations. This one knocked me off my feet.

Another MUST-READ. Wouldn’t it be if I post it here?

Well it’s a 6/5.

I’m dropping you off this Bouncing Souls song, Like The Sun. I found it rather suiting for the novel. If Luke Hunters had a soundtrack from every time someone passes through his life, here’s what I have heard throughout my perusal.

Drifting alone on a wide open sea, letting life pass me by
Avoiding everything I’m afraid to be, but your heart shines a light
Lost in my own misery, till you came and helped me see
That I don’t have to be alone
Thank you for giving this lost heart a home

So keep the light on
I’m coming home
‘Cause I’ve been gone for so long

Always lost inside, always looking away
When the best moments in life are ours to take
The tragedy of human life, the darkness that lurks inside
The days that we quit and start to die
This is the time to stand and fight

So keep the light on
I’m coming home
‘Cause I’ve been gone for so long

Keep the light on
Yeah I’m coming home
‘Cause I’ve been gone for so long

So shine on
Shine on
Shine on
Shine on
Shine on

Drifting alone on a wide open sea, letting life pass me by
Avoiding everything I’m afraid to be, but your heart shines a light

So keep the light on
I’m coming home
‘Cause I’ve been gone for so long

Keep the light on
‘Cause I’m coming home
‘Cause I’ve been gone for so long

So shine on
Shine on
Shine on
Shine on
Shine on
Shine on
Shine on

To Write

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You dont know where you come from or where you’re going, do you? But you live with it just the same. Don’t rail against it too much. Don’t spend more than an hour a day shaking your fists at the sky and cursing God. There are Buicks everywhere.”

– Sandy Dearborn (From a Buick 8 by Stephen King)

Hi. I finished reading From a Buick 8 today. I think that the Author’s Note in the end humanized Mr. King, hehe. This is not a review of the said book. I just wanted to leave a space for it on this blog because it gave me this insane, ineffable feeling. I felt so galvanized reading the latter parts. I guess the whole book has a likeness to my present disposition. And mind that the note was written on May of 2002! The book – the first Stephen King I ever bought – is flat-out heartwarming. I just felt it tug at my heart, squeezing. This was how I felt watching Stand By Me when I was nine. And take note that Stephen King wrote that as well. It’s not euphoria, not morose. But it makes me feel vulnerable yet very happy; very inspired. It makes me think again of growing up, and getting old, and leaving a whole lot behind in the midst of questions and sadness and confusion. Life’s short. Sometimes, we want answers, but there aren’t always any. But we move on, we look back at the past when we cannot change it. We makes decisions – some, pleasant; others, not so favorable. Of course, we get scared every once in a while, but we beat our obstacles to the punch. To me, it seems that the book conveys the message that life is like the Buick in the story. Hidden behind the doors of Shed B, always there without our realizing it, keeping its secrets. We live it, we’re fascinated with it, we get frustrated with it, and sometimes, we may not like what we see or feel. It’s strange because we want to learn it so we study it but in the end, we feel apt to the idea of just getting used to it. It’s a great book. And I’m looking forward to buying another Stephen King on my birthday.

6

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“I wake up crying, and I look around my room, and it’s sunny. Birds are singing. It’s morning. I can smell coffee downstairs and I think, ‘He’s okay. Jesus and thank you God, the old man’s okay.’ I don’t hear him talking or anything, but I just know. And I think what a stupid idea it was… the sort of idea you could only have in a dream where everything seems so real… and I start to swing my legs out of bed… sometimes I see my ankles go into a patch of sun… it feels warm… and then I wake up for real, and it’s dark, and I’ve got the blankets pulled up around me but I’m still cold, shivering cold, and I know that the dream was a dream.”

~Ned Wilcox, From a Buick 8 by Stephen King p.12

When I was six years old, I had a dream that would surprisingly follow me as I grow older. In the dream, it was Christmas and I can hear Santa Claus down the street playing the role of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Of course like any other dream that would turn out to be scary after all, a girl I do not recognize blocked me before I could get to Santa. And after some unnatural circumstances, I found myself walking next to this girl; following her like she urged me to. It’s nighttime but I had no idea what particular time it was. I would later tell this youngster that I am getting upset, and that I would like to go home. In the dream, we would always find another road and someone dear to me will be waiting at the end. I always try to run to them or call them but something constantly held me back. Then at some point in the dream, my companion and I reached a world of epitaphs and faint terror. I’ve always known it at the back of my mind, and she knows it too. I don’t reveal it and she doesn’t tell me, but I know she is dead. And I woke up crying.

Thinking about it now, I can neither recall how she was dressed nor how she looked like. Frankly, I don’t even remember if I really did catch a glimpse of her face. And if I try too much, my thoughts only bring me back to her hair. It wasn’t as messy as what you see in horror flicks. It was meant to be pretty, I think. But after a day’s hassle, it just came to be that way.


The electric keyboard is poised inches from where I sit. A Harry Chapin repertoire is careless placed beside the musical instrument; the writing on it as clear as print. Pens, most of which have lost their ink, are scattered next to From a Buick 8 – a book that I have read only yesterday but has immensely captivated me nonetheless. The excerpt from the book, which I had written prior the rest of this entry, is a mere coincidence of my present condition. Of course, none of my loved ones gave up the ghost. I only concur with what Ned has to say about the dream.

The setting in this room is familiar to me. Hell, everything during the summer is familiar to me. Only this one is surreal, as though I have literally gone back in time. An incoming sophomore student, exposed to the beauty of devotional books and indoor sports. Fur Elise dainty on the keyboard. A new song about to be learned, a new book to be read further. Even the dream I had the other night seemed familiar. Real, too. I awoke, looking for someone – anyone, praying that “that dream was a dream”. Contrary to Ned’s situation, I was right away filled with bliss.

With that dream I mentioned above following me like a plague as I grow older, I have become an expert with my dreams-to-be. By the time I was ten, I constantly thought about that nightmare and I was somehow inclined to stop dreaming about anything for a whole summer. I would wake up before a dream would turn out bad or otherwise, sleep-talk my way through them until someone tells me that I have to shut up because people are actually trying to sleep.

But just the other day, I had the dream again. Only this time there were three girls, not one. And I was going back home, and not to a party. And it wasn’t Christmas, but my birthday. And I woke up with my heart pounding so hard I could just hear it, cold sweat running down my back, my hands awfully cold. But I had no tears in my eyes.