NOTE: I won the lottery for The Listserve a year ago today. Here’s the instagram where I wrote about it. After two days and 600 words, this email below was the result. It was sent out 1/13/16. And while it landed in over 20k inboxes, I only received at most 10 replies but they were enough to drive me forward and make me write so much more than I ever did before. Made me more honest, more passionate, more capable than I ever thought possible.
The character below is Regina Cordova and this is her start. She’s a fictionalized version of me as a Pinay, queer, bipolar writer, though she has no idea she’s the latter two. I’ve continued to write about her throughout this past year: a monologue that was published within In Full Color, a joint interactive experimental novel (critique on the first 20 pages and a slight preview) / comic book script I’m still working on (an excerpt of her character profile), and a dialogue between me as the Author and her as the Protagonist (here’s an excerpt of the first draft) in the forthcoming ano ba zine.
And I want to explore other mediums more, like making art for the art-o-mat, only it’s from Regina. I want the art you can buy in those converted cigarette machines to be stand alone, but shows parts of her. Make it interactive somehow. Here’s my first brainstorm about it once I got the protoype kit. I also want to show off my own art, but I think while I still have ideas about her and still writing her world, I should do her 50 first.
Another idea is for her to submit her own sketchbook for the sketchbook project. I bought two, one made by her and won’t be scanned so people will be forced to read it at the amazing brooklyn art library hehe, and another to document this year. Here’s my post about it. They probably won’t be submitted by the March 31st deadline, but I hope to completely blog the one I did finish. Here’s the blogs I already made for Adored Ephemera: an Empathy. And here are my somewhat fleshed out ideas for my two sketchbooks.
I also hope to do a guerrilla art project as her. Abandoning messages in different public places. If I do any updates on her character, you’ll find her through her Regina Cordova tag here, or in this facebook photo album I’ve been maintaining. And here’s my vision board of sorts on this side tumblr chick hehe. Anyway, enjoy the email, hyperlinks were added in fyi:
As a Filipina American and a WOC, I feel underrepresented and unseen, but as a writer I have a voice deserving to be heard. We all do. Thank you for this serendipity. This is flash fiction though based on true hallucinations. Trigger warning for suicidal thoughts and torture and death mentions.
I have nowhere to hide. It’s all over the news and they’re marching from NYC to NJ to torture and murder me. I have to take a scathing hot shower; the anchorwoman said they’ll go easy on me if I’m clean. This is my third shower in thirty minutes and I’m still filthy.
They said so.
Shut off the TV, they can’t see you if it’s off. But the cameras are everywhere and we’re broadcasting live over the internet. I can’t fucking find them. It’s too late.
But I have a chance right now. They only want to kill me, not my family. If I run away now, my family will stand a chance. I love them. I don’t want them to die. I have to run while it’s cloudy. They’ll come here when it’s sunny, the weatherman said so. Escape now. No one is looking. But I have nowhere to go and I can’t run for long. GO.
I couldn’t get far, my Dad caught me. He tells me it’s not real. That I’m going through psychosis again. My third one in five years.
He tells me to watch TV but I can’t. They’re all making fun of me. I tried to play a game on “Let’s Make A Deal” but I think I killed someone. I tried to do a dance for them, but I picked the wrong answer and now someone is dead.
I didn’t mean to. I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry.
Where is my sister? Is she still alive? Is she really at school? I saw an explosion in the water on a Filipino TV show about mermaids, but it was a message to my family that she was killed. And it was all my fault. Why didn’t I tell her that I love her before she left home? Why couldn’t it be me?
I wrote a letter just now to my mother, rescinding my rights, declaring myself insane and unfit, pleading to be euthanized. I can’t live like this. They’re in the shadows, waiting for me to sleep. I can’t stay awake forever. She read it aloud and now they know my plan.
She’s crying now. Please don’t cry because of me. I’m not worth it.
But none of it’s real. I’m not the failed savior of the world. The recession is not my fault. No one has become a martyr because of me. The women magazines, funny pages, the graphic novel in my hands, newspaper headlines, soap operas, talk shows, the Good Wife, Glee, ad faxes, songs on the radio, play by plays, strangers on their phones – none of them are talking about me. The whispers aren’t real. The voices aren’t real. I’m reading everything wrong but I can’t fucking stop.
I am Regina Cordova. I am 24 years old. I live on 23 Greenwood Ave. in Carteret, NJ. I’m Filipina American. I am not the reincarnation of an ancient god. I cannot raise the dead nor travel through time. My family loves me. None of this is real. I will get through this. I will get help. I will love the world and myself again.
Take care. Be well. Send book/movie/trip recommendations please.