This is a revision of a previous story that I wrote, "Meet. April." Alright, I didn't know this was "metafiction" until I wrote it for a workshop. I hate genres--because they usually keep us in boxes--but I really like this one. ^^
The Strange Yet Not So Fictional Adventures of El Diablo
Introductions. All things begin with introductions. Usually. And because I, a struggling “writing person”—for I cannot find the guts to call myself a “writer” unless I am published at the very least, and even published writers still do struggle in a world that starves them unless they please the mainstream crowd: those witchcraft-loving muggles who buy dubious books that only have “The Secret” printed on the cover and are content with meeting only five people in heaven—do not feel extra-deviant today, I am starting with one.
My subject will now walk into the room and stand in front of you, dear readers. Picture yourselves sitting in the same room, clad in your best outfits, or even nothing at all, whichever you prefer. Her name is April, and she is clueless about this whole piece of fiction which we will base on her present so-so life. Clueless about writing, in fact. She thinks writing is for the indolent (some of you who write squint) and prefers running around kicking balls (the men automatically motion to hold onto their gonads). She is a soccer varsity player—“Soccer” as the Americans call it, “Football” for the Limeys, and “Kickball” as I call it.
She trains every day and runs the length of the football field before six and after five, every drop of her sweat being a taste of her own life. Yes, she tastes her own sweat, and to give you a piece of trivia: for athletes, believe it or not, their sweat becomes a little sweet because of all their training. Yum, April thinks, for she can hear what I am saying, but is not aware that we can actually hear her own thoughts. Don’t ask me why, though. We just can. And no matter how much April will want to react verbally to our discussion, she cannot, unless I let her. Again, don’t ask me why.
During matches, April makes Beckham look even more gay than he is whenever he goes out in skirts (look it up, he really does) as opposed to his deceivingly hawt Calvin Klein underwear ads with his baggage deliberately teasing the consumerist world and his washboard abs wanting to be touched, grabbed onto, and whichever you prefer doing with it, really. At this point, some gay men—both “out” and “still in the closet”—subconsciously bite their lips and some women feel their clits contract, making them blush secretly. And instead of yelling, “Goal!” (this is April, by the way, so do forget about Beckham now) she grins, baring her teeth, and screams at the top of her lungs, “That’s soccer for you, suckers!” before spitting something on the ground: the spearmint gum that she never spits out until game’s over and that has already been chewed mercilessly, now tasteless and grimy after an entire two hours—or even more—of kicking, bruising, falling facedown on the mud, standing and kicking again, taking advantage of the legality of causing injuries in the game, spilling out the nastiest profanities, rejoicing in the moniker that the football folks have baptized her with: El Diablo. Rough and hard. That’s how she plays her game.
At present, however, there seems to be not a trace of that El Diablo anywhere. Her hair, cropped like a little boy’s, is neatly combed in place, her plain white tee under her orange polo shirt is immaculate, her khaki shorts look ironed—oh, but then again, her Nike Total Shift 90s are as filthy as hell. When asked about her name, she speaks in her deep voice—an affected habitual pitch that she has struggled to master all these years, an achievement that echoes far from her real optimum pitch—
“It’s April. Er, full name?” she says before clearing her throat and coughing out a hasty “April Rose Marie Mauricio.” Of course, a name that long can’t be too hasty for anyone to miss without trying hard not to snigger. It’s really not such a bad name. It is a common girl’s name and apparently, that is the problem.
“Uh-huh, it’s a girl’s name,” April mutters inside her head after the dreaded full-name introduction. Why can’t she be like Madonna? Nah, fuck Madonna, why not Seal? And why the hell not Prince? If some of them can get away with only singular names while giving the concert audience the finger after performing a not-so-wonderful-yet-very-danceable pop song, then why can’t she? She runs her hand through her hair before she takes her seat across from yours, pulling up her shorts so her knees can breathe. You notice that her knees have bruises here and there, and you understand that she got them from kickball matches and you deduce that she doesn’t go to Church because she hates how kneeling hurts. “I should’ve brought some gum,” she wishes silently, thinking that that might make her look cooler, more astig.
Obviously, one’s IQ may be determined by making him/her guess which month April was born in. Her second name, however, does not say anything about her. Her parents, Lyn and Johnny, only thought that a flower would be a cute name for a little girl. The “Marie,” on the other hand, says everything about her nationality. It appears that Filipinos have this undying love affair with naming girls “Maria.” Most Filipinas have it preceding Spanish ancient-sounding names like Rosario and Josefina, or long names after flowers such as Magnolia and Rosalinda. Sometimes it’s spelled out while other times, it’s plainly “Ma” with the dot. Some parents like the English version, “Mary,” while some feel extra-Francaise come Baptism Day and name their daughters “Marie.” In April’s case, Lyn and Johnny seem to have gone through the latter, especially because it is Lyn’s life-long dream to go to
Paris but we already know—because we are supposed to be all-knowing readers—that she will die without having gone to see the at all (“Awww,” some of you say). This means that giving April a French name might have not been in vain. At least, she may have the opportunity to continue her mother’s “legacy” and go to Paris on her behalf, whatever kind of reason there might be that may attract a dike to go there (some feminists let out some expletives). Just the same, we still know that April will never really forgive her parents for naming her that way. Eiffel Tower
“April” is already a bad enough name. If she was named “
Georgina,” she could’ve lived with “George,” not “Ape.” If she was “Roseanne Joy”—like her teammate is—she could’ve gotten away with “R. J.,” and not “A. R. M.” But since her three names happen to be her names and hers alone, she has since decided to make do with “April” because she’d rather die than be called “Rose” and she’s always hated how Lyn calls her “Marrrrrrrr-eeeeeeeeeeee!” when her daughter has done something worth reprimanding. Oh, and she doesn’t have a mind capable enough to think of more creative nicknames, like “Ril” for instance, or her last name even, “Mauricio” or “Mau” for short, even “Maurice” (but then again, that still is French). “April” is already a bad enough name, but not too bad, I guess, April thinks.
There are only two things that she cannot seem to live with, though: her breasts and her vagina. She hates wearing the bra (the feminists say, “Hear ye! Hear ye!”) but she needs the support since she’s a 36 (I whisper “C” to keep April from hearing, but the straight men easily catch it and whistle and nod as they narrow their eyes and carefully study April’s chest, making the feminists angry, of course, and the non-feminists squirm, feeling inferior about their A’ and B’s). She couldn’t care less about the right fit of underwear while the other girls go crazy over sizes and external clothing, perhaps willing enough to not wear anything underneath than go to hell because of committing the ultimate fashion sin: showing “panty lines.” She doesn’t like having to sit in order to pee, although she hasn’t got much choice, really. She detests having to wash with icky liquid from pink bottles that say “Your partner’s best friend” instead of merely using soap. And she totally abhors hassling over cramps and changing napkins for that “monthly thing” since she doesn’t like saying “period” or “menstruation,” either.
Ask her if she hates girls and she’ll answer, “Naw, not at all.” Well, at least not all of them. April has fallen in love once. Her name was Emily. I allow April to hear this particular name-dropping and she blushes, her eyebrows meeting, her legs doing a very masculine de kwatro. Emily was her former roommate in Waling waling Women’s Residence Hall. Some mouths in the dorm would even spread rumors about Emily and “April Boy.”
Mouth #1: I once knocked on their door and I thought it was okay so I opened it, and they were sleeping snugly beside each other—and there were three vacant beds ha!
Mouth #2: That’s nothing, I saw them kissing at the lobby once, (whispers) and I swear there was a lot of tongue.”
Mouth #3: No kidding, I bet they even take a bath together!”
And the tongues wagged on and on and on, while the two happily breezed through their little affair hidden under the monikers “roommates,” “friends,” and “fellow girls” even. The dorm manager who was a gossip herself—as all dorm managers are, as you might notice—eventually found out about this little secret, and by next semester, took off April Rose Marie off Waling waling, and transferred her to another women’s dormitory with another flower’s name. The distance broke her heart and Emily, last she heard, is now going out with another varsity player from the swimming team. His name is Lee. April realized then that Emily was not exactly a raging homo as herself (again, the feminists react quite negatively) and that perhaps, she only has this thing for varsity athletes, after all. As I drawl on about this, April has that far-off look, her face expressionless, before she fixes her composure and mentally wishes that she was chewing gum instead. What the fuck am I doing here? she asks herself.
Conclusions. Things like this have to have endings. However, as a struggling writing person, I am not exactly in the position to end such a story. Why, the readers have to decide for themselves! After all, for whom do writers write? Perhaps we’ll meet April again in a longer story, something that goes according to your wishes. The following are the options:
A) Should it be a post-Emily love story? Or even better, April experiments with a guy sexually and discovers that orgasm caused by a penis is a much more fulfilling experience. Turn to page five; or
B) About her being queen/king of the football field? This is quite boring, I must say, but sports fans might have a swing at it, so please turn to page six; or
C) Something like a coming-of-age story about being lesbian? Yes, this is too clichéd, but heck, there is a reason clichés are clichés: people just love ‘em too much! Turn to page seven; or
D) How much she hates having a vagina and does everything in her capacity to get rid of the damned pussy?? Now, there’s promise in that! Skip on to page eight.
Meanwhile, I’ll leave this one hanging. “Thank you, April. You may now go ahead to your kickball practice,” I bow to my gracious, intentionally yet strangely passive subject. El Diablo runs her hand through her hair and pulls her shorts up again, stands, and never looks back, muttering under her breath, It’s soccer, suckers.
A) There is no story here. Go watch some porn.
B) Sorry, but as much as I am struggling to be a “genuine writer,” the only sport I know is Quidditch, so I’m afraid I cannot write on this one.
C) I don’t like clichés, personally, so I am not eager to give you this “coming-of-age” story. You may check out some interesting Disney titles, though, as they do this kind of thing quite often. But if you want a more mature, less fluffy sort of theme, then I recommend the endearing yet troubling “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros,” or you may go for “Y Tu Mama Tambien” for more sexually exciting scenes.
However, I can give you the ending, which is that, April Rose Marie Mauricio a. k. a. El Diablo will never really get a happy ending, because: 1) same-sex marriages are cursed upon in her own country (specifically, by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, which is also fighting tooth and nail to debunk the proposed Reproductive Health Bill); and unfortunately, 2) she will never get to Paris, either, or to any other place beyond Philippine shores to at least marry her own kind; because 3) she will get raped in her 20s and in her panty briefs because a group of drunken men—whom she will randomly meet at a bar while drinking, herself, after another woman will break her heart by leaving her and settling for a straight male athlete—will “try to teach her a lesson” as if being a lesbian is a sin that is worth punishing. And since El Diablo is physically strong and will try to fight off the men with all her might, one of them will take it upon himself to hold her down by grabbing her throat, not let her go, until he accidentally kills her. Yes, April dies and all the rapists will get away with it because—surprise, surprise!—they are a bunch of handsome American soldiers who are stationed in the
under the Visiting Forces Agreement. They will even have Filipino fans’ clubs—because Filipinos can’t resist good Caucasian, Brad Pitt-like features—during the court proceedings which will never get anywhere, anyway. April will be considered pariwara and malandi for even going to the bar and drinking by her lonesome that night that she got raped. She will not be the victim. “Nope, she brought her death upon herself,” Raul Gonzalez will confirm this during his fifth stint as “Justice Secretary.” Philippines
As a result, Filipinos will always live under the false premise that they are, indeed, free and April, sadly, will never get to
D) The El Diablo does try everything to get rid of her vagina, but her middle-class socioeconomic status will not allow her to avail the sexual glories of science and technology. Therefore, she just settles for her affected masculinity and “imagines” that she has a dick, instead. Nevertheless, any sexual intercourse sadly reminds her that this is not so, which is why apart from having great leg power because of all that kickball training in the past, she will also develop very masterful hands that will know every dip and stroke of pleasure. Sadly, though, the last thing that those hands will do is to shield the very organ that she has fought and “thought” hard to rid herself, from the blue, green, and brown-eyed blonde soldiers who will pin her hands down and restrain her entire body inside a cramped van. They will violate her and eventually kill her. April will taste her own sweat which will now be a salty concoction of her own and of the drunken men’s fluids. And as if to betray the only nickname that she ever liked, El Diablo's last words will be, “Mga demonyo kayo! Putang ina n’yo!”