Fake mustache hopped on an airplane thinking it was invited for a ride. In infinite black and white it was lost. Attempting to chase the sadness away. To no avail.
But fake mustache doesn’t get washed out by the rain.
Because the rain doesn’t fall where fake mustache is.
clubPAW is a digital zine that is the passion project of Nhựt Nguyễn and Ravio Patra. Club because we accept everyone as long as they promote love and no hatred. PAW because animals are simply the best things in the world. Go visit our page at clubPAW.
We will update stories and post about various different things; from pop culture, politics, feminism, human interests, sexuality (and, yes, sex too), music, gender, or other things more fun and interesting like animals and their cuteness and unfortunate sufferings and what we can do for them. Nothing is taboo to be brought on to the table on clubPAW. Our columns are named after body parts because different body parts represent different things.
If you like our stories and ideas, you can also contribute by sending us your articles, photo journal, poem, pretty much anything as long as it fits our platform by email to email@example.com. You can also check our Instagram page out at club.PAW while Nhựt can be found at rihornna and Ravio at raviopatra.
Subcribe to our zine by entering your email on the clubPAW subscription bar and become our PAW Pals!
Violence against children is as real as it gets now. Higher awareness means higher findings of occurrences. Many are living in situations that may not seem to harm them physically when truth is they’re constantly living a waking nightmare. Physical abuses leave visible wounds, but it is more worrying when you can’t see the wounds. Not because there’s not any, but because some wounds consume their victims inside out. These types of wounds mess up with your brain, destroy your self-esteem and confidence, tamper with your emotions, render you unable to trust anyone, and alienates you from connecting with anyone or anything.
Image Source: Seeds Theatre Group
Say a 16-year old girl is about to be wedded to a man twice her age. The family defends the decision they made for her by saying that their village is unsafe and having a husband gives the young girl a protection and a perceived sense of security.
More often than not, when encountering a problem, people tend to go for the quick easy fix. It works sometimes, but many problems are more sophisticated than it appears to be. When you don’t dig deep, the whole thing may actually make sense to your ears—even if just a little bit—and before you know it you may just start telling yourself that child marriage may be a good idea after all. But that doesn’t solve the problem. That’s basically storing a dead body under your bed. You don’t see the problem, but the smell lingers and it gets worse everyday you choose to ignore and fail to acknowledge that there’s a problem.
Image Source: The Pixel Project
Then what is the problem? Is it… complicated? Well, that’s putting it rather lightly. First, there’s the fact that Indonesian law actually approves of underage marriage (for girls as young as 16 with parental consent) and attempts to address this have fallen short a few times. And then there’s the unfortunate status quo in many local communities still barring women, young and old, from authorities over their own body and independence. Isn’t it strange as well that the young girl’s parents marry her off to a 32-year old man for protection? Why aren’t they protecting her? Or if you think going over the structural approach sounds like too much work, cut short and be honest: if the village isn’t safe for young women, why are we not aspiring to advocate and do something for the village to be safe and secure for its inhabitants? How is marrying young girls off solve the problem? At all?
Hume would agree that it takes reason to see things clearly, but it only takes courage and empathy to speak up against injustice—may it be masked as a tradition, faith, custom, norm, belief, law, anything.
Knowledge and information can be very liberating. Share them. Shift perspectives.
Image Source: Defence for Children
Something you can do to help is by supporting individuals, organizations, initiatives—anything, anyone that is doing something to change the status quo. Look up the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children (GPtEVAC), an initiative spearheaded by multiple nations and organizations to end violence everywhere.
Misunderstood and mistaken.
You’ve probably been told that love is when you have somebody to take care of you when you’re old and frail. You’ve probably also been told that love is mostly sweet but it can be dangerous too at times. Hence you can’t completely submit yourself to anyone because no one will love you as you love yourself. That you’ve got to take precautions. But don’t these sound more like a political means to survival rather than love?
You’ve probably been told as well that unless it’s certified on paper and your finger’s got ring on it, your love isn’t real. Who cares if that ring comes from someone your parents forced you to pretend loving? Or from someone you settle with simply because the social constructs decided that your love is somehow unnatural and diabolical even if there are no apparent reasons for it to be so?
Before you know it, you might start succumbing to the whispers; start believing that you’re unloved because you don’t deserve love or that you missed your chance; that somewhere, sometime, somehow, you met your love but walked right past it. You were probably too doubtful, too shy, too proud, or just too dumb to have a clue of it. And as much as you wish time wasn’t linear so that you can go back and revisit the past, you just can’t. Regrets aren’t fun. So take your shots. So what? So what if it cost you some dozens heartbreaks and disappointments? You always recover.
Because believe me for I have traveled in time and discovered that no matter how much you despise your past and wish for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to be more than just a masterful science fiction work, having someone you love who loves you back in all the right ways can’t quite compare with all the wrongs that could’ve possibly gone down or the burned bridges or steep slippery steps.
Because I know from experience. I’m living what I’m describing. And if my chest explodes one day from its inability to contain the feelings I harbor, know that the explosion is worth all the screw-ups and do-overs.
And I’d do it again in my next lives. And again. And again. And again.
Hey, my love. Happy Valentine’s Day. Our first of a lifetime together.
I have a demure side. I brood a lot. But not when I’m with someone whose rhythm makes my whimsical recklessness appears to be a series of deliberate affectionate gestures.
And you’re a pastiche. A beautiful work of art too breathtaking for me to tamper with. A lagniappe—the most special kind; one that doesn’t patronize.
And we could’ve gone wrong at so many turns. Had that conversation never taken place, we could’ve ended up an erstwhile fling. Had those promises never come to live, we could’ve ended up an ephemeral story that is sweet only in imagination but not in reality. And had we chosen to give in to our forbearance, we could’ve ended up as another set of evanescent broken promises.
But no. None of this is the reality. The reality is we sort out our imbroglio because what we have is too precious to be momentary—a conclusion obviously too mediocre for our figures. Calling you my serendipity would be inaccurate, because I didn’t just stumble upon you while looking for something else. I was looking for you. I just wasn’t aware of it until that night dawned on us.
It really is an epiphany—one without a conclusion. Because it would be a shame if all beautiful things had to come to an end. Or probably we should be bad instead.
Whichever lasts forever, I’d choose that.
Ain’t it just funny—how perfectly unaware I was of your existence and—abracadabra—overnight, you became the one thing that makes sense of everything.
I used to think that we were nothing more than an accidental occurrence; not knowing that we are the calculated consequence of a series of elaborate decisions instead; that as much as I’d prefer to call us a natural design, we’re just not. If alternate universes are valid, then in one of those, we’re still and probably will always be oblivious of one another.
Damn. I don’t think I fancy the idea of these alternate universes so much anymore. Not if we don’t happen.
You know; these days my stars are blinding. It only became apparent to me recently as well that—despite my reservations over human nature—we and everything in between now and then and later are parts of a larger conscience; one that ceases taking place if we are no longer an us.
And I’m in debt to all the fictional gods and powerless divine inventions for just exactly that; for defying the improbable odds of an us. My aching soul is healed and I’ve stopped setting fire to my insides.
Early in December, I met someone whom I immediately grew very attracted to in Jakarta. We started talking regularly and soon before we knew it, we have so many plans already. To get our plans going, I decided to travel to Saigon so we can spend time together. We went to so many places, ate different meals almost everyday, and eventually took a 3-day trip to Mũi Né, a resort town in Southeast Viet Nam.
While we weren’t always high all the time, I like to think that, in retrospect, our 14 days together really cemented an emotional bond between the two of us. This may sound like I’m being careless and too emotional for my own good, I know, but I’m really glad I now have someone to always put first, someone I can wear my heart on a sleeve for, someone to be my favorite person, and someone to plan a life with.
Well, the hope is that this is just the first of many trips to come.
We’re traveling the globe!
Of Saigon and Mũi Né my heart was made.