When “it” is Over

I remember to have written before in my old defunct blog something about love, loss, and longing, and the waiting, uncertainty, and anticipation entailed. It was about you.

***

I have already been used to not seeing you, not speaking to you, not even thinking about you. You were my “could have been”, though eventually I deemed you my soulmate. Sounds weird I know, but remember when we went around randomly and wasted time on things that were irrelevant to our lives yet seemed to have made sense? Those became remembrances that brought clarity as to how and why we can never be. Those were the moments that haunted me, but at the same time hauled me back to safety and sanity whenever I was in great irrepressible pain.

I even wrote to you and wrote about you. How can I not? When you were the one who taught me the meaning, value, and gravity of each word, more than the dictionary could ever offer. Of course, I added romanticism to that. That’s how we deal with things and people we used to love, right? Also, I could not help it then, knowing that’s the farthest we could ever/never be.

***

And as you always do in the past four to five years, you came to me as a surprise. But this time, with utmost realness (discounting the fact that it was virtual). It was not surreal though. Nothing magical, really. It was unexpected, I cannot put a feeling on it. This was what I wanted years ago. This is what I would have given up things for. But that was not an option then. All we did was pack our things up and leave.

It kind of makes me happy though of the time we have spent apart. Maybe we needed that to wonder and wander. Maybe that was one way of making us grow and realize some things. Maybe it brought us into thinking how we cared for each other in each’s absence.

This is my story of love lost. A narrative of longing, waiting, and anticipation that have gone. It will never be the same love as before. This is now the kind of love/friendship far more than your words can convey.

I am thankful I already have my life on track, and to have people I have lost back is a mere bonus. I guess friendships really do not end. You gobbled up your own words. In the end, it came from you even; that it has to be rekindled.

You were one of my greatest (and weirdest!) friends after all.

Advertisements

Thus “He” Spoke (A Repost)

This post was lifted from my personal journal, then published here.

Still, I remember her. It’s been more than a year since we both sat in this bench facing the lake. Same warm sun, same cold wind, same paddled boats, same pedaled swans, same dome of yellow blooms above our heads. Same everything – except her.

Right there before we have entered the park, I could have said what I felt, what I was suffering from; but her imperfectly orchestrated ways got the best of me. She flew me right to the other end of the rainbow even before I opened my mouth.

She was silent until we sought refuge at this bench. She was in between a smile and a frown, in between laughter and tears. She spoke no words – as if I have never taught her to perfectly choose and use them, or maybe, because she felt like they were awkward – more awkward than her silence.

We just stared at the lake. It wasn’t actually a beautiful sight. Thus, we sought beauty in the eyes of lovers passing by, in the smile of kids riding their bikes (I still know looking at them makes her happy and envious at the same time).

We left with the usual parting words. I would have liked to hug her and tell her things the way I did that cold December night, or simply give her a high five so I can catch and hold her hand – that she’ll find security in me and that I’ll feel assurance in her.

Months after, she told me she wanted to talk to me. I asked her to meet me at the library. Eight in the morning. Just us two. She nodded. She smiled.

But when I woke up in the morning , a message from her said she cannot make it. She already left the night before for something more important but she promised she’ll save the words. I insisted that she tell me still. I asked, yes I did, and she let out the words. It wasn’t the most beautiful litany – it was more of a random set of words she confusingly put together to make sense, but its chaos was concrete enough to understand what she was trying to say.

I did not know. Maybe I found something inadequate, or maybe, I found myself uncertain. Things kept coming and going in and out of my mind. For once, I did not know which words to choose. Seemed to me, a “goodbye” was the only remaining thing that made sense. And that I said – without a hug, without a touch, without a bitter smile.

She spoke foreign words as her farewell. I never heard of her since. But sometimes I feel her – in sincere smiles, in soft drizzles, in loud laughs, in smiling eyes, in girlish giggles. Weird though, I remember her in winning playstation matches, in warm well of coffee, in nighttime study breaks, in comic films. and yes, I do think of her and her stars when i brush through Exupery’s The Little Prince.

I wonder if she has already turned me into literature – calling me different names, utilizing different metaphors like what she did to my yearbook testimonial.

I know she comes here every now and then. I’m just not sure whether she sits at the same spot and feels the same way again.

It was our last long walk and talk together. Now i wonder where’d she be. Who she’d be walking with, who she’d be sharing a bench with. But with her imperfectly orchestrated ways, which I actually find interestingly beautiful, she must be flying right now. She’s probably flying to places only a few people could find and explore – but not the way back to me, not even to back to this bench.

***

Dear Former friend,

I’d rather not call you that way, but how else will I? Anyway, something reminded me of you, although I’d rather not be reminded of you in that light. Same news reached me days ago, it coincided with your birthday. It didn’t concern you though, it just made walking down memory quite painful. But that’s just how it goes. You’re way better now anyway. Hope you always will. That, and a Happy Birthday.

Asteorra

Your Almost Lover is Dead*

*Allusion to Stars’ Your Ex-Lover is Dead

When there is nothing left to burn 
You have to set yourself on fire 

God that was strange to see you again
Introduced by a friend of a friend
Smiled and said ‘yes I think we’ve met before’
In that instant it started to pour,
Captured a taxi despite all the rain
We drove in silence across Pont Champlain
And all of the time you thought I was sad
I was trying to remember your name…

It was like a dream.

It was like a nightmare.

To awaken from a deep slumber of our souls and ghosts meeting again.

This scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin
Tried to reach deep but you couldn’t get in
Now you’re outside me
You see all the beauty
Repent all your sin

I have never traced stars on your skin.

Yours were my first constellations.

With every little touch, be it under the rain or midst the cold wind, they sparkle.

You did not have the chance to feel them.

You have not seen them even.

You were gone, long before they existed.

It’s nothing but time and a face that you lose
I chose to feel it and you couldn’t choose
I’ll write you a postcard
I’ll send you the news
From a house down the road from real love…

You were the same words I have spoken since the first day.

We have forgotten the poetry we have weaved together.

But I still use the same rules we have established in writing my love letters.

I have sealed them each in an envelope.

I have kept it under my earth and shall be excavated and sent to your doorstep with a ribbon only when I’m forever gone.

Live through this, and you won’t look back…
Live through this, and you won’t look back…
Live through this, and you won’t look back…

Au Revoir

There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I’m not sorry I met you
I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save

Our bleeding tongues met in prose and poetry engraved in stones.

So I have bled during confession, yet ceased to do so after which.

And shall bleed of you no more.

I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save… 

Musings of my Then Turning Twenty Year Old Self

I do not have any plan of ripping this post off my old journals but I found myself saving this crumb of a blog post from my soon to be eternally effaced Friendster account. Also, the artist I was pertaining to here just visited the gallery some minutes ago while I was out. It would have been great if I had another tete-a-tete again with him as I warmly welcome him to my workplace as much as he did years ago. So here’s nostalgia and utter gratefulness seeping into me again, thus, the repost.

Who would have thought I would get to have a chance to have a pretty inspiring conversation with an artist. Big thanks to stereotypes and such romantic notions, it becomes a grace when you get to break them!

It was an extremely hot day (it’s the hot-for-Baguio-but-quite-ordinary-for-Manila type of weather). Too bad, it coincided with my office-hopping day. Thesis, I never thought, would be this toilsome. It’s interview galore!

It was such a blessing to bump into Mr. Willy Magtibay. I caught him taking shots of the KKK exhibit (that’s the De Guia brothers for you!). His eyes sheepishly rolled over the exhibition place then suddenly darted to me. Pooft! I asked him several questions and he fired them back to me in mumbles. He chuckled and asked me to join him for a cup of coffee.

Sitting at Oh my Gulay’s veranda, the sun’s rays stung my skin. I started making queries again. This time, he answered them more seriously. It took him a little more than three minutes to answer each question. And I did realize his tendency to spit out the same questions back, though in a situational way (think what-will-you-do? exam type in religion subject back in grade school). But his whirlwind of answers really did help.

After my scholarly business, he started talking about his life as an artist…stories indeed worth contemplating.

+++

“An artist must search for his identity…something he can call himself. It’s like working with the most appropriate tools with your bare hands, and it just bring out the best in you…I, for example, went back to that place, held the wood and chisel and sculpted…and that’s it”

With these lines, he stressed the importance of identity and its significant relationship with the things people do. It made think about myself – if the things I am doing are rooted with who I really am and what I want, if they are genuinely my choice and not influenced by somebody or anything else.

You see, there are things we are good at for a reason we do not even know – and they, most often than not, are where we get to excel at. It’s just because they are what we are gifted of but fail to realize because of the forces that intervene our definition of ourselves.

The only step is to look deeply into who we really are. Through that, we would know what constitutes our life’s fulfillment, be able to distinguish the phases we have to undergo, and win over the turbulences we may encounter.

In the end, we not only found ourselves, but have worked towards what is no less than us.

+++

“I used to do/teach art to the people having psychological disorders.”

“Isn’t that outsider art sir…the art for/practiced by the abused, imprisoned and with disorders?”

“Really? Sorry, I do not know.”

“It’s really a new term; I just got acquainted with it through my thesis. But have you tried working with *citing a private institution*? I read in the papers that *citing another private institution* worked with them.”

“Oh I used to. But you see they got me angry.”

“But why?”

“I mean it shows the inhumanity of humanity. How can they just do those to children? They break my heart. They really drive me crazy, so I chose wag na lang, to keep my sanity na din.”

This exchange of words made me laugh at myself. True enough, as much people know of me, I’m such a worry wart and an escapist. But honestly, I have an uncanny mixture of both – I’m certainly not that good at escapism that it does not usually help me break away from the worries that darts into my head.

This one served as a lesson. Why worry about a certain thing when you have a choice to ponder about another thing that does not require as much stress as the other one? It’s much like “choosing the lesser evil” type of situation. Common! I have not thought of that all along. Indeed, worrying still needs a little funneling to preserve sanity.

+++

“I’m an old man. I’m already fifty-four, and you…look at you. How old are you?”

“I’m nineteen Sir, turning twenty.”

“See! You’re still young. You’re not even done with the second phase of your life. There’s still more you can do and much more to go through.”

This conversation on the other hand just made me miss my father. It’s like papa’s girl attack. Yes, I’m indeed guilty of that. But putting such aside, this really sounded like a fatherly advice and what made it more heartfelt is that it came from someone I hardly knew, someone I have known for merely an hour or even less. But he just blurted out these words as if preaching over his own daughter.

The moment he said these, I just found myself a little lot younger than who I am now in the old Sunday afternoon setting: my father sitting at the sofa telling stories of how life has been to him, telling me and my siblings (either lying or playing with our toes over a thick layer of carpet) there’s still much in store the world would bring us, and what we should just hold on to is what we believe in, what we have learned, and what we know. Simply put, who we are.

But I have not talked like that with my father for quite a time. My conversation with Sir Willy Magtibay was just in time for my twentieth birthday. It served as a refreshment of what my father has told me years ago. Perhaps to help me look into myself back then, look into myself now and look into myself in the future. It helped me think about where I am now since then and where I will be from now.

One more lesson. I realized it does not necessarily hurt talking to strangers. As a matter of fact, talking to people unknown to you makes yourself known to them and them, known to you. And what’s better? You get to learn and grasp wisdom you could have never imagined.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom to me Sir Willy. You are an artist as much as a genius.

Keep Your Head and Drop The Gun*

Everything that can happen in a day, happens in a day.

Relieved, Overjoyed, Moved, Proud, Pained, Loved.

***

Here’s a journal entry from January 2010:

Everything was finished his morning. Our year-long battle has finally come to an end. I can’t consider it a victory or defeat. We weren’t in between. We were floating.

It started the same months last year. I’ve cried buckets of tears, mentioned the worst of bad words, and cursed every human being/institution that was digging for our graves.

It is a bottomless pit we do not deserve. We had shortcomings but they were not in any way equal to what they have decided for us. It must be the other way around. They should be the ones pushed into the abyss they have dug themselves. Who are they to implement justice without listening for truth? It’s a shame for them to implement law and order when they themselves make the words devoid of their natural meaning.

But we are not to topple down the pit they have prepared for us. We wont let it end just like this. We were in this together from the start, so we will be in the end. I have you and you have me, and we have more people who care and believe in us. We will still smile and laugh just because we can and simply because there’s no one that can stop us.

And for you, old fag who cant stand on your own feet, who doesn’t know context clues, who doesn’t know how to use your articles well, who runs to your mom who’s a poser academician, who comes to thesis defense without a Review of Related Literature, whose character is just as fake as your nose: I hope that you are happy that people suffer for your materialism. I hope you get a chance to grab a dictionary and find the words trust, friendship, and truth. I hope you get a lot more people to love and appreciate you and lastly, thank you for making us/UP ASS love each other far deeper.

***

This goes the narrative a year after:

This sounds weird and relatively pathetic, considering I am already out from school two years now but I finally got my Transcript of Records and my translated Diploma. My real Tagalog Diploma though was misplaced somewhere in the Records Section of the University Registrar. This is not new though, but the people from my college promised they’ll work this out.

This delay is merely a result of some utterly shallow matter I better not recall – though it actually made some of my academic moments rather sweet and victorious. It all felt like Graduation once again. It was a re-enactment of the rite. The Transcript of Record handed over by the clerk behind the glass window was like the rolled paper given to me by our College Dean.

Honestly, I was lead beyond that memory. I was back to the nights when I had to put the mouthpiece on mute because I was talking (and swearing) to this poser academician over the phone chattering about NBI, The Philippine Collegian, and her notes to the University President. I traveled back to the meetings with my professors and College officials as we lay-out possible solutions and remedies. Meetings like those always end up with hugs and encouragement from them. I was brought to humid afternoons when I had to be excused from class (and even miss quizzes from Psych) just to have briefings and question and answer portions.

Yeah, I only had twelve sheets of paper in my hand, with the Centennial hologram in each page. Yet I felt all the pain and trauma my last year in college was. And that, certainly, felt a lot like freedom.

Or it might also be because I was overwhelmed by the Sablay and Sunflower Season. But yeah, I felt like I am free and totally out of college, even though I honestly long to be back. Sigh, there’s only two more months to decide whether I’d be getting a Master’s degree.

Also, I checked up on my College Org. I got the chance to have lunch with them before their Snap Elections. But it’s no ordinary lunch. Just last week, a faculty from our Department was appointed Director of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. He said that such honor occurred because of the exhibition my College Org has organized with him. I can only feel proud, blessed and thankful.

It’s over. We ended up winning.

***

*from Stars’ Today Will be Better, I Swear!

Day 25: Dear A,

I used to run away from you every time. I even left my bento just because you were headed my way at the cafeteria one afternoon. I used to give you hundreds of lame excuses why it is impossible for us to have lunch together. I rejected thousands of your calls, I even had my sister pick up my phone instead.

But guess what? I voted you for the University Student Council even though you were among the yellows. Perhaps, that’s the sweetest I could do.

Day 21: Dear V,

Remember our words after our songs at the karaoke one February night? It was a sad yet comforting exchange. Your words were raindrops falling into my old rotten well of words. You didn’t cry. It wasn’t necessary. Your words bled for you.

Tables have been turned. Last year was my year, this year is yours. Mine has become the raindrops, yours has become the well.

Day 20: Dear I,

You’re one of the men I believe I am required to write a long letter to. But you’re tired of reading too much stuff I’d rather save you one later.

That makes this note-writing project perfect for you. I wouldn’t write you long and winding sentences. I wouldn’t dedicate you music-like compositions. I wouldn’t string together beads of words for you.

Just that, you probably know what I ought to say. You never read my mind, you listen to my heartbeat instead. And this: Ours will always be one of my favorite friendships.

Day 18: Dear E,

CLASSIC. That’s how you called me the last time I saw you. I have asked you why you used such word for me. I was too eager to squeeze from you a pretty good answer but you just reiterated the word as if it really meant everything that I am.

I was somehow flattered.

And just so you know, I only like you every time I am with you.

Day 15: Dear M,

I have fully associated you with Valentine’s day and summer.

For two years, you have waited for me at one of the entrances of our college building only to give me red and white roses on Valentine’s day. I even remember laying these roses on top of my photocopied readings that I used for an exam that same day.

One summer, we had a voyage to your sanctuary. You brought us to beautiful places.

But what I remember most of all, is how you made us listen to the music of summer – the wind, sea, sun, stars, and of friendship and love even.