Taking the Liberty of Showing How It’s Done

There’s a reason why men who smoke are usually better at flirting than men who don’t. Whether or not we admit it, smoking is one of the sexiest things you can do with your hands.

“Do you smoke?” he asked.


“Oh. Okay. I was wondering if you needed to step out and have a smoke.”

“Nah, I’m good. Why, do you need to smoke?”

“No, I don’t smoke.”

“Oh, okay. Well, why’d you ask then?” Nervous laughter.

“Well, I was wondering if you needed to step out and have a smoke.”

“No, I don’t smoke.”

And we stayed inside, surrounded by people for the rest of the night. There was a point there that was missed that probably had nothing to do with smoking, probably. There’s a part of smoking that blends in so seamlessly with the rest of the game, and it has very little to do with smoking. It’s not just the part where someone asks you for a light and you both lean in. An ex once told me that “It’s the shape your mouth makes when your eyes narrow and you take a drag, followed the part where you turn your wrist. You actually release pheromones when you do this”
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Alexander Wang Dress, 90 Pesos

Actually it was a lot less than that, but it doesn’t make any difference because it was too small for me.
That it was too small for me is crucial, that meant I would have to give it to my sister.

Actual conversation:
“I got you an Alexander Wang for Uniqlo dress!”
“That’s great! Who is that?”
“Alexander Wang!”
“Oh. Okay. But thanks!”

The question of who Filipino fashion belongs to has always intrigued me, especially in this day when even the dirt poor have access to designer labels. I took advantage of this knowledge when I was in high school, and we would trek up to Baguio during summer vacations just to shop for clothes. The 7-hour trip has since been replaced by a habitual stroll or short drive to my nearest haunts. There are a handful in Cubao next to the train stations, another couple near Quezon Ave. (where I found the Alexander Wang, also two Tsumori Chisatos, an Anne Demeulemeester and a Betsey Johnson dress, and a Matthew Williamson blouse), and countless others in North Ave., Blumentritt, Taft, and pretty much all along the length of Edsa (prime real estate for any retail establishment).

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Where are you going?

So this month, we’re finally doing the ambition issue for New Slang. I’ve had this topic on the back burner for the past few months already: before Metrophilia, before going to Hong Kong, before my class yesterday when I asked them about what they wanted to do with their lives, then commenced to show them a string of paper cranes I had folded out of boredom at the office. Marla’s even written about it on the site several times.

The job you start out with is rarely ever the job you want, and I was taught this was okay because it’s just as rare that you actually know what you want when you start working. Looking back, I’m not sure I was very clear about what I wanted, but I knew there was something there. I mean, there had to be something there, right?

People around me wanted me to write. Write, like “Here, add copy to this,” or “We need someone to help with the scripts for our call center,” the kind of writing I didn’t want or wasn’t sure I wanted. It’s the “wasn’t sure” part that always got to me. At that point I “wasn’t sure” I wanted anything to do with fashion and “wasn’t sure” I wanted to turn writing from a discipline to a profession: something I did for money.
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