This Is What Happens When You Read Marilyn Monroe Wiki For Your Bedtime Story

There were bits and pieces regarding the office. A scene on me getting there and not knowing where my computer went happened again. Except this time, it was only my monitor that went missing. And my supposed team had rearranged, not only my station and computer, but theirs as well because they needed space to design for some holiday decoration contest in the office. K and J were already on the floor. Such best of buddies.

I found my monitor in L’s station. She said she was the one that took care of it when they were rearranging. It was placed just in front of her monitor. I thanked and her and took it back to my station. I think in the whole scene, though I was a bit annoyed, I wasn’t surprised anymore, unlike in a previous dream. I wasn’t also afraid and hurt that they forgot to tell me about these things. I think it simmered into indignance.

My computer turned into a laptop that started playing a loud song. The co-workers near me, a combination of a supposed current and former teammates, got bothered immediately and hurried for me to turn off the music. One exclaimed, “Hala…”

I pulled out the speakers’ cables. That’s when they started reminiscing about a bad time. It was apparently a song for the old boss, KA. I asked them what happened but they responded with, “A, wala ka pa ba dito no’n?” or it might have been, “A, ‘di mo ba alam?” They looked upset. But fond of their shared oppression. Somehow this amused me. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw JE—-who I only know through L’s stories and I guess it was because I caught a glimpse of him in the coffee shop last night—-he was smirking with me. But he looked away.

I think the song had the words “Remember, remember” and “September.” There were lots of scenes between this one and the moment I started walking on this uphill road. I wasn’t sure where I was heading too. I think I thought I was going home.

It was a wide road. Blue skies and high sun, but just the right amount of chilly. An augmented memory that I probably picked up from Baguio. I was diligently walking on the sidewalk because, one, of course I’m me, and second, there seemed to be an ongoing gay parade. At first there was only a small group of men in drag, then the number of transwomen started increasing. They were late for the parade.

I walked on and finally caught the parade with the men in drag and the transwomen. That’s when I saw how steep the road was. Some were already calling for tricycles because, like me, they realized it would be a very exhausting trek. I wanted to ride one but didn’t get to. So I continued until the gay parade became a different thing altogether. Now I was witnessing a horde of nuns in a wide array of colorful habits. I remember there was a red one. I even saw an order of nun that wore deer’s antlers. They were exercising.

The nuns were probably because of the picture I saw when I was browsing Instagram. It talked about how Muslim girls were not oppressed just because they were wearing hijab, and showed other religions oppressing their women as well—-just kidding—-other religions with women who wear veils. (Okay, I’m not purely kidding, but I do believe it’s not as simple as wearing a veil is equivalent to being oppressed.)

I had a small talk with one of the nuns. I don’t know how I asked the question but she told me that the gay and nun parades were being held so close to each other because at the end of the road were their respective universities. So, a gay university and a nun university.

I reached the end of the literally impossibly steep road; it was an almost 90 degree angle. I was in a small clean modern kitchen with other people. We were sitting on the floor. We were watching a musical play… which we were also a part of. It was interactive but it was not. It was about Marilyn Monroe.

A young Andrew McCarthy lookalike was sitting in front of me. We shared a small mat. I backhugged the guy like it was the most natural thing to do, but still asked him if it was okay. He said yeah, and I was about to bury my face in the crook of his neck and shoulder. But he said it’d be better if I sat in front of him instead. I was a bit conscious of my tummy, but he eased my worries away when he wrapped his arms around my waist and squeezed me close.

The play started. Or continued. It was halfway through the story and an actress who looked very far from Marilyn was suddenly holding my hands and belting out high notes. We were standing. She was looking grey—-literally off-colored, like an old worn out white dress that has been washed way too many times. When I sang with her, she stopped and made a face. “Bawal sumabay, gano’n?” I asked. She stuck her tongue out. Then froze. Then dropped to the floor. It turned out, it wasn’t that she wanted me to stop singing with her; she just died.

We were all looking at the dead actress in more of what-the-fuck than in horror. I asked Andrew McCarthy lookalike what will happen to her now. He said they will probably pick her up and throw her into the sea. They can’t and shouldn’t do that, I thought. And after that thought, they came into the door carrying the reanimated wet corpse of the actress, fresh from the sea, in a part simple stretcher part royal litter. She started doing a song and dance number about the necessity to laugh at our tragedies.

Then we were out in the garden. Andrew was talking about his realizations regarding the play. Life/the play/all the shit are and should be very maudlin. I had always thought it meant a dark gory comedy. Andrew was shaking his stretched out arms as if they were about to break in a demonstration and participation of the maudlin-ness of it all. He was smiling and waiting for me to do the same.

The closest thing I remember after that was a slow dark song that sang “I’ll find my way home and vote for change.” The scene panned down to a symbol of what looked like a red, green, and blue lizard’s hand in a circle.

I woke up with the song still stuck in my head and yearning for Andrew. He could understand me. He was smart and playful. I miss him already.

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