Kiana is a sentimental teen from the Philippines who cries and reads a lot. She keeps a weekly diary at Rookie.
02:31am: Home from a post-Christmas hang with my friend, Chen. The gist of it was: “Hello you’re so cute” remarks, some holiday ruminations on her side, and on my side of the embargo—an angsty vociferation re: cousins and brothers and sisters having some warm, holidaze fun together. God, how long do I have to live this life of loathing.
I open Twitter on my iPod and begin reading tweets from where I left off, all the way through, until I’m out of breath and crawling into my grave.
02:43am, my bed: My Romantic Confession playlist runs in the background, beautifully concealing the throes of my room and my mind. The first song in this playlist is Fleetwood Mac’s “Love In Store” and I think about dancing around when a long-withheld thought resurfaced: Lana Del Rey performing “Born To Die” on BBC Radio’s live lounge. More than being enchanted by her voice, I always think of her look in that performance—nails, lips, eyes—all a part of a majestic whole but also has this idiosyncratic on-fleek nature, individually.
03:08am, my bed: To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. The playlist, like a human person finding a way through life, completes its mission by this here concluding song. I clutch my hand and pull myself closer, thereby entrusting this life, tonight, to Morrissey’s passionate wailing. To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. As “A Light That Never Goes Out” fades, I think of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
01:15pm: Jolted awake by some life force I can’t quite place. I shrink in my bed with the hopes of going back to sleep, then I stretch after seeing that the conscious effort to become once again unconscious is futile. The light that has found its way in my room is warm; it’s hot, and I’m so sweaty. I try not to think of anything else besides me being sweaty, but my brain can’t help map the location of my iPod from where I left off a few hours ago. Goddamn brain. I ward off the social media thirst at this very early (is it really?) of an hour by thinking of Jenny Zhang saying, “It’s like a weird mindset to wake up and want to be wanted.” Then I remembered dreaming of boys: boys that I liked but never liked me back in real life, boys that like me, but I’d never like back. Whichever way it went, in that dreamland fantasy, they all liked me. I’m certain I felt like god. What ridiculous sugar-dreamz: being pursued, wanted, followed, admired. Now here I am, awake and wanting, nay, needing to be wanted. Dear Jenny, you’re right.
02:00pm, kitchen/living room: It’s now come to my discovery and attention that the life force that woke me up was the kitchen faucet dripping. Gran is asleep in her usual place in the living room which, I think, she now considers her bedroom. I haphazardly sift through some Christmas leftovers and find a breadcrumb-strewn fried chicken. Then I prepare hot chocolate despite the burning sun outside, partly because I love it and partly because I can’t tolerate instant powdered coffee. My careless arrogance in the kitchen has awoken gran. I sit with her by the window as I eat breakfast/brunch/food whilst leafing through the pages of The Scarlet Letter. The breeze comforts me, much like the feeling that comes after having fathomed that the world and all its peoples are carrying on in their orbits while I am still starting my day. I like that I get to decide the answers to the five W’s and one H of my life.
04:55pm: Gran tells me that she’d like to dine outside and eat tinola. She let me decide where, so I take her to a place I’ve known of since forever but never got the chance to visit. The sky is starting to weave its sunset colours, and I never stop looking up. Not until I see shades of red orange, violet, pink, subdued sunlight yellow. Not until we reach the restaurant. Coincidentally, and much to my amazement, it’s the kind of restaurant that has souvenir items for sale so I check their bookstands and find yellowed-out copies of published literary works of the Davaoeños. The parchment feels like it’ll crumble in your hand at any given moment, yet something about the written words tell you that it’ll last a lifetime. The publishing dates back from around 1980s and I squeal, momentarily, inside my own brain. They literally look like zines. I imagine Filipinos who have a penchant for the literary preparing these zines, publishing them out of passion for their craft. I drop Gran home after dinner and then I head out to see a friend and maybe get a pedicure.
08:06pm: I text my friend Kim, the one person I’ll always associate with the constellation Orion, if she wants to grab beers but she says she doesn’t feel like drinking tonight. I tell her it’s fine and that I’d get a pedicure instead.
09:18pm, mall: Got a bad pedicure service. I think the woman who tended to me cut the insides of my toenails. I think I’ll suffer from an ingrown soon. This upsets me. I feel anxiety slowly creeping. I continue to walk around, slowly, breathing deep as I try not to cry.
09:30pm, mall: I rush to find closed-walls, to shield myself from the overwhelming anxiety that’s underway. I feel tears accumulating in the brim of my eyes. This time, I walk faster. I find a restroom situated in a secluded area of this mall. I duck inside one of the stalls, tried to compose myself for the last time, and after seeing that I’m never gonna be fine at this moment, I sob the hell out. As I walk out of the restroom, the mall and all its peoples are preparing to head out and go home. I think maybe I should, too. I listen to Coldplay and eat chocolates on the way home.