A visit to the ob-gyne

I weigh 230 lbs or over 100 kgs. I am around 5’5″ tall. I know that I am obese.

I have been bleeding consistently for three weeks. Everyday, my menstrual flow is heavy. The nights are heavier than the mornings. So I think it’s about the time I get medical help. 

Going into the doctor’s office, his nurses and other attendants remarked on my weight. I brushed these aside as these were opinions of mere underlings. 

Turns out, the prognosis of the doctor was much worse. I was fat and the only cure is to lose weight. Being fat was the reason for my irregular periods. It was also the reason for me not having a boyfriend…and it is likely that no man would find me attractive. Since I am nearing 30 years old, there’s even less of a chance. 

He gave me a prescription, but he admits that this would really just be useless. 

I wanted to die. I felt so humiliated. So I cried, loudly and uncontrollably.

Chapter One – Ablutions

In this morning that dawned, I made a resolution to confront myself: the flawed creature that I am. It was not in front of a mirror that I conducted my confrontation, but it was inside my mind as my body struggled to free itself from the spell of Morpheus. Why should I rise on this day?

The truth is that I did not want to get up from the bed and face the life that I have been living. My eyes opened and I stared at the ceiling. To whom do I offer the mundane fruits of my day? I slowly sit up and look around. The sun shines brightly into my room, illuminating my world. My things have surrounded me all these years, and have kept me company when no other human would stay. One corner holds a pile of dirty clothes; I try to do my laundry regularly—I always aim to do them once a week—but the pile holds several weeks’ worth of skins I shed on a daily basis. In my own regime of fastidiousness, I refuse to reuse the clothes that I use when I leave the house. However, the shirt and the pants I wore when I go to sleep has been repeatedly worn for several days already. These clothes are terribly worn in all the places, but their soft texture feels comforting and the lightness gives me the physical idea of nakedness without the actual exhibition. Being naked to my own self has never been comfortable, much less being naked with another human being.

I grab my towel and head from my room to the bath. I remove my clothes carefully, as these were in delicate condition. I walk over to the toilet and proceed to defecating, since this takes some time, I grab a book and begin to read. I’m always reading a romance novel, and this time is no different. The generic storyline never demands any deep thoughts, and any thought that comes out of it is from inspiration rather than stipulation, purely for enjoyment of words and images. Deep inside, I know that I read these novels because it helps me in my emotional isolation. With my bowels all emptied out, I grab the bidet spray and twist my body to wash my ass and my vagina. I grab a bar of soap with my right hand and create a lather then proceed to work that lather into my intimate areas. I rinse off my hand and my intimate parts, replace the bidet, and turn to flush the toilet. I walk over to the sink to wash my hands thoroughly before drying them on the hand towel hanging nearby. I walk over to the other side of the room to turn on the shower then leave it running as I assemble the various products that I will be using this morning: daily facial wash, a moisturizing body wash, a hair conditioner, and intimate wash. I carry them from the cupboards above to the shelf beside the shower.

Intimate wash! When I was a child, the entire body was washed with soap—from head to toe—but today, each body part requires a particular product. In the bathroom, I hardly realize that I am walking naked along its entire length and breadth. Then, as I gingerly walk under the shower, the cold needles falling against my skin jolts me into realization that I am indeed naked. A state that is better gotten over with immediately.

Dodging under the torrent of cold water, I stand impatiently waiting for my scalp and hair to get fully drenched. Then I grab my conditioner and squeeze about half a handful of product into my left palm, replace the bottle on the shelf right beside my facial, body, and intimate wash, rub the product onto my right while ensuring that water does not fall onto them. With my back turned to the shower, I crouch down and rub the conditioner into my hair—from the roots at my nape to the tips of my long hair. I work the product in thoroughly and slowly—this activity holds my complete concentration for about a minute—once satisfied, I twist my hair and slowly straighten, making sure that the shower does not touch my conditioned head.

Next, I run my hands under the stream of the shower, rinsing off what was left of the conditioner and raising my face to be moistened. I take a step back and grab my facial wash with my left hand. The steady stream showers down onto my chest creating rivulets of water to travel down my stomach and along my legs. I squeeze a small pea-sized portion of my facial wash into my right palm then replace the container back onto the shelf. Again, I rub both palms together to evenly distribute the product before bringing my hands to my face. Starting with the cheeks, I close my eyes to slowly work over up to my forehead then back down to my chin and down the front of my neck. This takes considerably less time than my hair, but I don’t skimp on the attention. With the tips of my fingers, I carefully feel every single flaw on my face: the sensitive bump of a growing pimple, the empty scars of pimples long past, the many microscopic warts that only my dermatologist can discern with her naked eye, scabs of healing that would certainly leave new marks, and lumps of whiteheads that I eagerly squeeze out while washing my face. I know that I should stop squeezing out those whiteheads because they always leave scars or become really bad pimples in the coming days. I carefully open my eyes, making sure that no product goes into them, and look at the harvested white head. Clear enough, I see a small pale amber at the edge of my finger nail. The doctor said that these are sebaceous cysts and they do look like small beads of hardened oil to me. I put my hands under the stream of the shower again to wash it away with the rest of my facial product.

Conscious of my conditioned hair, leaving the cleansing suds on my face, I quickly grab the biggest bottle on the shelf to squeeze a handful of product onto my palm. Sometimes, I grab the loofah hanging from a hook beside the shower and squeeze the product directly onto that. Today, however, I just want to use my hands. I quickly snap the cap in place and put it back on the shelf then rub the product onto my nape and shoulders. My other hand joins in to work the wash across my body. As I reach my breasts, both hands are working to bring out a lather. At this point, the stream of the shower falls uselessly to the floor. I keep the shower running because the sounds my hands make as they rub across my body makes me too aware of the tactile feeling. With my upper body well lathered from shoulder to belly, I grab my intimate wash and squeeze a small portion onto my hand and work it against my pubic hair. I work the wash into a lather covering my vagina and extending to my butt cheeks. Of course, in the interest of hygiene, the product is also worked into my butt crack and I feelingly touch my anus. I like being clean and I guess I am not afraid to get my hand dirty to achieve that. It’s easy to wash my hands anyway. I have not always been aware of it, but ever since I read an article about the shitafa that Arabic men and women use to wash their private parts, they particularly mentioned that they only use their left hand because they use their right hand to eat. Sure enough, as my left hand finishes the job, I grab again the bottle of body wash with my right and run my left hand under the stream of the shower—clean again to receive half a handful of body wash which will be used for my legs. I slap my hand against my left thigh and work it into a lather. As my right hand is freed after returning the bottle to the shelf, I work both hands down my leg to the soles of my foot. Then I straighten up and work the same way on my right leg. At this point, sometimes the suds of my facial wash would work itself into my eyes and I would feel a little sting. When this happens, I work on my legs with my eyes closed and once I finish with my right heel, I dunk my head back under the stream of the shower to commence rinsing.

Rinsing the conditioner off of my hair takes quite a while so I stand comfortably under the steady torrent and use both hands to slough off the product I diligently worked into my hair just minutes ago. There is a particular oily texture to the conditioner that leaves me in doubt whether I have rinsed off the product completely from my hair. Unlike the feeling of rinsing off shampoo, my wet locks do not register a squeaky clean feeling as I work my fingers along the length of my hair. I leave off my hair for now and raise my face to the downpour to rinse off the suds. Again I make use of my hands to make sure that the slippery feel of the facial product is completely gone. As I do so, I marvel at the immediate effects of the facial wash on my skin. Gone was the rough feeling of my cheeks, and now I enjoy a supple resilience as I work my hands down to rinse everything from the rest of my body. I turn in place under the shower to make sure that both front and back are rinsed well. Then I grab the shower head with my right hand and bring it down to make sure that even my privates are clear of suds. Then I slowly guide it down my legs and watch my toes wiggle under the veil of drops from the shower.

As a final sweep, I bring the shower overhead and once again work my hands to remove the last traces of product from my hair. I carefully check that the drops falling from the tips of my hair are clear. Once assured that I have fully rinsed every inch of my body, I promptly twist the valve to cut off the shower, squeeze out most of the water from my hair and walk over to where my towel patiently hangs as I finish my ablutions.

Spreading the towel, I crouch and bring my head down to rub the cloth all over my hair. It’s the part of my body that takes the longest to dry and once that’s done, I twist the towel up over my head and tuck a corner of it under the coils so it would hold up. Dripping wet, I walk back to the shower, grab the products I laid out: hair conditioner, facial wash, body wash, and intimate wash; I bring them back to the cupboard raised above my head and properly align them like little soldiers. I take a step back to view my work and crouch down again to unravel the towel from my hair then wrap it around my body.

I leave the bathroom, still leaving wet footprints across the hall back into my bedroom. I walk over to my closet and open the doors wide as I survey the armor I will wear out to protect me from the weariness of my day. Then I unwrap the towel, use the dry corners to rub my body dry, from my face to my ankles, leaving my feet wet. Then I once again use the towel to wrap my hair and tuck it in place. I proceed to choose my underwear, the first layer of protection. Sometimes the pair would match each other, but invariably they would not. Lacy flesh-toned bra would be paired with bright pink cotton panties or I would wear a bikini top with a lacy panty. It does not matter, really, as no one would see them anyway.

I walk over to the pile of dirty clothes and select a cotton shirt. I sit down on the dresser ottoman near my closet and I proceed to wipe my feet dry. Clean from head to toe, I step onto my bedroom slippers and walk back to my closet to review my options. Dressing up well strength to my confidence throughout the day so I try to dress as best as I can. My clothes can determine the mood for that day. Considering the half-hour contemplation about my life earlier this morning, my confidence needs a little more of a boost than normal. On these days, I like to dress more feminine and a little bit brighter. I see a pale peach rose knee-length dress with sequins on the shoulders making me look like a pastel general complete with epaulets. Making my decision, I turn around and walk back to my dresser to grab my deodorant and raise my arm to spray under. Then I sit down and grab my facial sunblock and proceed to dab then spread them all over my cheeks, forehead, chin, neck. Then, I grab my daily moisturizer and spread them generously all over my legs, and smaller amounts on my elbows that somehow seem drier and rougher without. Then I stand up, grab my perfume and proceed to sprit a little bit on my neck, between my breasts, and behind my knees. Placing the perfume bottle on the dresser, I walk back to the closet to begin donning my dress.

Spying the selected garment, I grab it from the hanger and raise it over my head to drop down onto my shoulders. The hem reaches just above my knee, perfect because I like my legs. Showing them off to advantage adds a boost of confidence. I walk over to my dresser to wear the gold-plated wristwatch that my sister gave me, eschewing all other kinds of accessories. Then I walk across the room to choose a strappy peach wedge. I remove my bedroom slippers and slip on my shoes. I walk out of my room and grab the cream studded leather shoulder bag that I used yesterday. I take the keys out and opened the front door to see the sun shining along the small cemented pathway leading out to the gate. I close the door behind me and securely lock the bolt in place with my key. I stare at the bright sky with the sun already high, my guess it’s about eight o’clock in the morning. Briefly, I check my watch to check the exact time, ten minutes to seven—oh well, close enough! I walk down to my gate, stepped out to the sidewalk, and secure it again behind me with a heavy duty lock. Straightening, I face the bustling street in front of me, already wide awake and moving with frenetic energy—getting things done to match the pace of the world turning. I’m ready to get in step with the rest of them.

Sins and Absolution

I am a prostitute. I have sex with men but instead of hearts exchanging love, we have hands exchanging money. I think it’s a pretty straightforward profession. The job is challenging but it has its rewards. Although there are days when you don’t want to get up to go to work, but I think that is a feature of most, if not all, jobs.

It all started when you broke my ego. The truth was that I wanted to give you my heart. I was ready to fall in love with you. But you weren’t ready for my love at all. So instead of doing something stupid such as going for another guy and hoping that he will fall in love with me, I decided to play sex smart.

There is a difference between being a victim of the crime or being the perpetrator of the crime. Assuming that all crimes are well-worth the effort, you can clearly choose to get the best out of the situation by being the perpetrator rather than the victim. Granted that victims will not be going into jail but seriously, if you knew it was a crime, you have got to be willing to give the time–whether it is spent in planning, its execution or your incarceration. Only the pussies cry when they are brought into jail. They were the ones who have what they call “regrets” or that they were too stupid to see so far ahead of what they’ve done. As for me, if I were to be led to the slammer, I’d get into it with my head held high. After all, I was working in a good profession and I very well knew that I was good at it!

So it was the 29th of December when I picked up my first customer. I had just left my friends, tipsy from our latest bout of drinking. I was smoking my cigarette and walking none too steadily. I took a particularly deep drag and to savor it, I stopped walking. Interestingly enough, I was right beside a huge sign that said, “TONIGHT: Lady Boxing and Midget Sumo Wrestling”. It was interesting and I laughed out loud to myself. Then I decided to wait at that spot for a taxicab to take me home.

A car stopped in front of me and the window rolled down in front of me. I wasn’t looking into it and I even stepped aside. My soaked up brain thought that he must want to read the sign I was blocking. Then the driver called out, “Wait!” That was when I knew that I had to make a choice. I didn’t have any intention of being a prostitute that night but when it was right in front of me, I knew that there was nothing to it. I knew that it was an honest mistake. I had walked into the red light district. I had regular party clothes on. I was smoking on the sidewalk and the place I stopped in front of was not the most sedate place in the area. I couldn’t resist the opportunity. I laughed aloud and said to myself, “What the hell?” I smiled at that driver and gave him a sassy wink, “Are you sure you want to play this game?” I knew that that wasn’t a particularly sophisticated thing to say. I knew now that I should have haggled my price then and there, but the truth is, I didn’t even care if I got paid. I would have gone home with any John tonight–the payment would have been just an added bonus.

I got inside the car. It didn’t smell clean and I knew that he was drunk. More drunk than me. He was about late 50’s but then again, all old men looked much older to my mind.

Rude Awakenings: The Lover and the Loved

I remember when I first saw you. Our eyes met across a smoky bar room. There was barely enough space to move and people like it that way. It gave a socially accepted excuse for everyone to rub bodies against one another in public, no matter how suggestive the motions are. The deafening beats of the music taught my body how to move in a dance of seduction. I was dancing with a different partner then but my eyes were watching you and you were doing the same. Finally, I turned my gaze away. I knew that you were hooked and all I had to do was reel you in.

My partner grabbed my waist and I gave a sharp bark of laughter. I knew that my full-bodied sound of glee reached your curious ears. I turned my gaze to your lifeless dance partner and felt smug about my impending victory. So I told my dance partner that I wanted to go back to the table and grab a drink.

Without looking, I knew that you followed me with your eyes. Smiling to myself, I sat at the empty booth and you were beside me in a second. You looked like you didn’t know what to do to me. We were just staring at each other and I fell in love with your nervousness. I took one of your hands into mine and you immediately engulfed it with both of yours. I laid my other hand onto your cheek and leaned in for a kiss. Your lips quivered against mine and I loved you even more. Your hands began to sweat, I knew that you were nervous. I freed my hand and clasped your face and gave you a deep kiss.

It was a swift whirlwind of notions, motion and commotion that brought us to your dark room. We were kissing against your door while eagerly tearing off our clothes. I think you tore my blouse but that is to be expected. Your furtive motions bespoke of your eagerness and your inexperience. I knew I loved you.

Suddenly, bare flesh was touching bare flesh. My warm palm touched your clammy belly. We moved onto the bed and you were less nervous then. I held you tightly as I loved you. Your body was shaking because you were trying to keep in control. Your tremors that caused rippling sensations in my body took me to ecstasy. Then we were both replete.

I closed my eyes and relished the remaining traces of pleasure in my body. Then you whispered, “I love you.”

I waited for you to reach the darkest slumber before I got up. I put on my clothes and left your house without looking back.

Rude Awakenings: The Ruler and the Ruled

This is his kingdom. Looking out into the window, he watches over it like a father watches over the first few steps of his infant son.

He fondles his black radio, listening in on the conversations of the guards, hearing of conflict arising. He waits and smiles as he hears them floundering, panicking. Triumphantly, he presses the button, speaksinto the mic. Relishing the power surging from his heart to his throat, he gives the order to silence these problems.

Minute after minute they call. Each call an additional electrifying surge of accomplishment and power. Their desperate voices pleading was his music.

Day after day, he watches over his kingdom. As each week, month, year wore on, he started to feel differently about each desperate call. Soon his dreams start to be dominated by that black radio, constantly calling his attention. In his most erotic dream, he imagines himself strongly stomping that black radio to smithereens. In the end, each of those thousand pieces would reflect his victorious face but as he crouches down to look straight into his own eyes, his slumber was abruptly interrupted by the mocking cackle of the radio.

______________________________________

While I was in a one-on-one meeting with a client, I suddenly felt the urge to scribble this down. So instead of taking down the notes of the meeting, I wrote this short story.

Strange Commutes

I was inspired to write this while reading a book about the history of Negros.

The Historian

While the sun struggled against the night, already a jeepney was on its way to getting its full assemblage of passengers. On this cold morning, only the barker could be heard. His energetic voice and frenetic movements herded the people, silent like sheep, into the jeepney.

Each face was remarkably strained as if in silent refusal to be divorced from the bed so early in the morning. In the weak pre-dawn light,  everybody looked gray.

One young woman, however, was more reluctant than most to enter the jeepney. Perhaps lamenting over the injustice of having to wake up so early; perhaps because she is so young compared with all the rest; perhaps it was just about the pre-dawn gloom. Yet her movements were sharp and graceful–betraying an awareness so unlike one who was sleepy. Her motions were not at all sluggish like the others. Then the single light inside the jeepney revealed clear eyes and a fresh beautiful face. Those who saw her under the light briefly gasped without sound. They had the creeping superstition that the sun would rise much faster in sheer jealousy of the young beauty.

Moving down the vehicle, the quiet beauty was oblivious to how she affected her fellow passengers. She took the seat behind the driver, hugging the corner and it seemed as if she gathered the darkness closer to her, like a cloak protecting her. As soon as she faded into the corner, the other passengers proceeded to see to their own comforts, moving this way and that; reaching up to grab the handle bar above and burrowing their faces into the crook of their arms. Needless to say, the ride is bound to be long and everyone simply wanted to catch a few more winks during the journey.

As the jeepney started, the morning slowly got brighter and brighter. Some passengers had forgone the chance for extra sleep and began chatting in tones so low they were difficult to hear above the sounds of the jeepney trudging along the uneven paths. The road has yet to be paved and many rocks and ruts jostle the jeepney and its passengers. Each of the passengers have long since learned to move with the jeepney so as to avoid getting off-balance. The trick is to go with the motion instead of resisting because it’s easier to stay on your precarious seat that way.

After an hour, the morning light has blinded most into giving up their attempts to sleep and yet some were still able to burrow their eyes deeper into their arms, slumbering continuously. Also, the morning light had banished the shadows from the jeepney, revealing once more the young woman. Curious, many passengers turned a discreet eye to watch what she will do.

She got her bag and took out a thick sheaf of paper. Then without looking at anyone or anything else, completely absorbed was she with her task, she began reading. Every now and then she would turn the pages and regardless of what is happening around her, her focus never faltered.

All the passengers were amazed but one wily old woman admonished her about getting a headache and ruining her eyes if she continued doing that. For the first time since bringing out the pages of what she was reading, the young woman took her eyes off of the page to look at the old woman. She politely smiled but said nothing. She was clearly used to reading and even seemed capable of doing so in worse situations than the jostling jeepney.

Soon enough, everyone left the young lady alone especially since she was looking more and more disturbed with every page she turned. Her expression grew darker and sadder as she moved her hands. Some hours had passed and the jeepney had finally reached its destination. Entering the city, the young lady put away her reading materials and  quickly swiped at her eyes. The old woman touched her hand and asked her why she was crying. The young lady smiled softly and said, I’m too soft-hearted to be a good historian.”

That was all she could say because the jeepney had stopped and they all hurried to get down. The old woman, the other passengers and the young woman herself forgot what had happened. All were silently concentrating on the act of getting down from the jeepney.

Are We Done Now?

A solitary man stood on the balcony. His scrawny frame could have easily been carried by the strong, cold winds of the night. Fortunately, his stubbornness to stay on God’s green Earth keeps his feet on solid ground.

They say that the world is moved by opposite forces. Matter, antimatter. Thesis, antithesis. Good, evil. Life and death. The old man reflects grimly at the fact that once he reenters the room behind him, all the forces of death will concentrate upon him while he is immediately and ironically immersed in life.

The sounds of the raucous party moves towards the balcony only to be swallowed by the silence of the night. He hated the fact that human existence on Earth could be easily erased by nature. If people abandon the building, you can bet your whole savings that it will be weathered, beaten, grown upon and crushed under the weight of other beings moving on. Existing in that space without you, until every trace of your existence has been eroded.

Suddenly, a figure enters the periphery of the old man’s rheumy vision. Without turning to him, he speaks to the unknown figure, “To what do I owe this pleasure?”

The figure responds clearly, “You have done very well for yourself. You deserve your final reward.”

“Finally.”

A strong gust of wind blew across the balcony, ruffling the curtains inside the room. For the people inside the party who felt the sudden cold believed for one second that Death had brushed by them. Shaking off such ridiculous superstitions, they proceeded to close the doors to the balcony to effectively ward off the cold night.