I wasn’t even supposed to get these. I successfully resisted the temptation long enough.


But you know how we fool ourselves with made up coincidences
that we align as the machinations of fate.


We read into texts that do not bear our name.
Not that I regret buying and using these Rimowa Topas multiwheel
pieces of luggage – they already bear the first proud scars of war
(fought in the hulls of planes and at baggage claims).


But even before I wheeled these off trolleys, I didn’t even know
that the color of the luggage interior was so lovely.
One could imagine sleeping in the hue’s dreams.


The locks too, are great, and the closures.


And the smooth rolling of wheels.


Yes, I was even smitten with the idea of electronically imprinting
my identity on a hapless thing of beauty.


Nevermind the additional weight. Who wants rubberized plastic?


Of course, as usual, this purchase was also a promise to myself.


That I have to get a move on.


The future beckons.

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Well, hello. It’s been almost two months.
Time surely flies especially when you’ve invested yourself in a change of plan.


I’m less than one week away from my first international flight this year. Of course, I’m giddy.


But what I am more excited/apprehensive about is the arrival (or not)
of news that will hopefully change the course of this path.


These cameos were taken weeks ago, which, as always, feel a lifetime away.
As before, I have had just had my hair cut.


I have put so many things on hold for a fling of fate.


I hope things work out.


A change of scene has been long overdue.


In the midst of it all, things haven’t appeared to have undergone any transformation.


That’s why I am worried. The healthy are wary of the sick,
the same way that the active avoid atrophy. Wish me luck!

Uniqlo t-shirt and jeans, belt from an Italian market, 5cm bomber jacker, Dr Martens shoes, Tissot watch
Cameo photographs by Jullian Mendoza

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Aside from the random cheap pair of sunglasses that I easily break or forget I ever had,
I have never really been a sunnies kind of person.


Sure, it’s very sunny in my side of the tropics, and the glare off glass and seawater
are bad for the eyes, but I’ve always found them cumbersome.


I guess it helps that I don’t drive, or that as a passenger, I’m always curious about my surroundings.


I’ve always wanted to see things free of their trappings.


I have always been wary of any kind of illusion.


But even I can get tired and would rather hide from the truth.


It’s a characteristic of very private people never to flash their full deck of cards.


I guess shades are my way of hiding in plain sight.


Of letting other people see their own reflections instead of allowing them to peer into mine.


Yeah, I know, this is the age of the internet and social media, where nothing can be hidden.


But I prefer to step back and fade into the noise of the background.


Not that I have nothing to hide – there will come a time when all will be revealed.


Or it can also be that I haven’t really figured out for myself what I have to say will actually say.


There is time yet to be elusive and invisible.


There will always be something empty to utter, much more to withhold.


As Seamus Heaney said, “If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.”


Especially when there’s nothing we can hold on to, we have speech.


We have within and between us ever new ways of seeing.

Uniqlo jacket and belt, Levi’s jeans, SM Surplus shirt, Dirk Bikkembergs boots, Thom Browne sunglasses
Cameo photographs by Jullian Mendoza

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After a day of errands – can’t you tell by how I’m still dressed come evening? –
I was able to watch La La Land. While many may find fault in the lack of the singers’
and the film’s musicality, something tugged at the heart.


The scene in question was of course Mia’s audition.
Madmen can relate, especially one who hasn’t even dared give his all.


No, it’s not what you think. As usual, I’m still stuck in the middle of things.


Soon, soon, the promises I’ve made to myself will have a chance to be tested.
There will be a time to dive and swoon.

Uniqlo t-shirt, shorts from Bangkok, Topman cardigan, Asics trainers
Photography by Jullian Mendoza

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It’s easy to pretend that as we grow in years, we also grow in wisdom.


Maybe we become more honest, more kind, more patient.
But, even after all I’ve read and learned and experienced, I can’t pretend to know any better.


Then again, honesty, kindness, and patience make it easier to be more loving and forgiving.
But it’s one thing to endure and another to presume.

Thanks for all the birthday greetings!

Izzue jacket, Uniqlo jeans and t-shirt
Photography by Jullian Mendoza

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