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I want to stop being afraid. If it's going to happen, it will. If not, then it won't. It's that easy. This confusion is causing me to devote hours and hours of thinking, just staring at the ceiling or wall, trying to make out what all of this means. Usually my reverie ends with me telling myself: Stop thinking about it, which is such a stupid way to go about all of this, yeah? Because even if I know that what I shall do is let it be, I still go on and exhaust myself trying to understand this fear.
You hit me like a bullet, unmindful of what damage it will bring. You landed on my planet with the impact of a meteoróburning, immense, relentless. Itís been months and I'm still standing here, reeling, scanning the ruins, trying to understand what has been destroyed. And how do I make it right, when I donít even know exactly what happened, where Iíve been hit, when it all started. You arrived in my city with a bomb. You were smiling that sweet smile. I kept trying to protect myself, but always ended up walking into the explosion.
Four years ago it was reflex for me to put your name in "Person to contact in case of emergency," doesn't it say a lot when you treat someone as your go-to-person? How is possible that time can change the intensity of love, trust and care between two people? How is possible that a year can contain so many happy memories and yet the next year it will all be replaced with sad ones? How come that even if we know nothing lasts, we still can't get ourselves to maximize every moment we have with someone we love?
I was brave today because I wanted to come to you. But I can't tell you that because it's not something that we have to tell anyone anyway. "Hey, that was my first time to do that, and I did it because I knew if I were brave enough you'd be there, I'd see you, and I'd hear your voice." It was raining when I first felt your eyes on me, you were walking behind me and I could hear all the words you weren't saying. When we sat down you told me, "Hey, so there's this song about walking."
I'm tired of not having you in my life. I'm tired of you not being in mine. I'm tired of thinking of ways to remedy this, if it even needs remedy. I try so hard to look at this in a positive way, and the best solution I come up with is this: STOP. It's so easy, yes? I read somewhere that to change an unfortunate situation, one also has to identify stuff that he needs to stop doing aside from the stuff that he needs to start doing. Sometimes it's more important to stop, they say, maybe they're right.
Most mornings I look forward to a spacious bus with lots of window-side seats to choose from, I look forward to one hour of zoning out and listening to Miley Cyrus telling me that we run things, things donít run we. Iím relishing these commutes because soon I wonít have the luxury of just sitting back and watching traffic crawl. The year is almost through. Iím constantly struggling to remember things, hoping Iíd actually convert plans into concrete action. Iím always wishing for the ability to breathe underwater for long periods of time.
Manila is chaotic. I pray to God to please talk to smokers and make them stop. People in Makati are always in a hurry. That is a generalization. Let me reword: Most people think there is not enough time. Some people think there is enough time. Which mindset is better? Is better an issue? If time is immaterial, what would you do for the rest of your life? Will you keep that secret forever? Will you hold back until itís convenient? Will you sacrifice personal happiness in deference to other peopleís opinion? Will you finally take the leap?
Last September I started on a new job, got my driverís license, woken up early five days a week, wrote a lot (hurrah), ate at Jollibee more times than is allowed for a reasonable adult (I donít know what I mean by this, too). I am excited and scared and anxious about a lot of things. But let me just tell you about last Sunday at the hospital: I had meatball spaghetti. Not such a juicy piece of information. But. That's what happened. I had meatball spaghetti and I liked it and I can't stop thinking about it.
Spent most of the day in meetings. Balintawak in the morning then East Ave. after lunch. Got off work earlier than usual, yay, so had time to buy stuff on To Buy list and time for that long overdue back massage. Got home semi-relaxed but also mostly tired. Not a complaint though. I like that since I started on this job: 1) I didn't have to count how many more hours until I can go home 2) I can sleep soon as I lay down 3) Positive vibes abound, and it seems there is a lot more to discover.
Rains are here again what's up with this weather it's so difficult to commute. Anyway. Finally able to sit on that one article that's been on my To Do list for three+ weeks. Which in my world feels like 67 years already. There's more pressure when no one's pressuring me, weird, but maybe that's how it really is. Writing is easy, it's the rewriting that's making me crazy. Sometimes I think maybe it's better off if I change vocation, but then, what is it that I know how to do so well? Only thing I can think of is eating.
Hey, Friday! If you're a color, I imagine you'd be sky blue. Looking at you will calm people and make them think of childhood summers by the river, or a tire swing under a tree, or ice cream melting -- and the strange kind of joy that is felt whenever one licks it from the cone. Looking at you will evoke sweaty Sunday afternoons laden with such sweet memories such as a grandmother stroking a girl's hair, rubbing her back, singing her to sleep. Rough hands, powder, warm breath. Hey, Friday, just a quick note that I like you a lot.
What is it with weekends and my constant near-brush with death. I exaggerate. Today, Saturday, I "baptized" the car with not just a scrape, but a dented and dislocated door, smashed side mirror, and a gaping hole. Papa and Kuya's friends were quick to assist and I will always remember today as a day of great kindness. Went home in one piece. Have so much to learn re: this driving thing. Focusing on the positive, which is that I didn't kill someone. Hurrah. Bumped into a jeepney, (almost) backed up into a tricycle, and collided with a small truck.
There's a door in each corner of the room. They all look the same, but you feel differently about one of them. In your head you can see someone waiting for you on the other side, smiling, ready for a tight hug. You like hugs. And you'd like to see who that someone is. It's raining hard and you've been in this room for quite a few years now, you've lost count. You can open any door but you're most excited, and yet most afraid, to open that one you feel differently about. You take a few steps towards it.
This Monday was about open roads, wispy clouds, pine trees against the kind blue sky, a shy girl who waved and smiled across the room, good home-cooked food, a photograph of a sleeping child, acceptance, moving on, looking back, moving on again, a fixed car door (yay), my wonderful uncle, my awesome Kuya who has awesome friends, melon soy milk at Pan de Manila, going home early, choke-point-free EDSA, people who respond promptly, a touch, a smile, one word that says enough, restraint, discipline, loyalty, respect. Life from now on. Positivity. Spread love, look forward, look up.
Pig-out Tuesday with two sweet boys today. Pizza, chicken, pasta, coffee, breakfast foodums, ice cream, kwento time, videoke -- all my favorite things on earth. In all, fun time. I'm loving Makati and the nooks I am yet to explore. Isn't it nice to know you can love something you don't know yet? Or is that wishful thinking? Idealism? I need to get in touch with reality more? Anyway, Bataan last Monday then Davao tomorrow. Dear heaven, sky, clouds, whoever is up there: Help me get through the rest of the year with dignity, respect and patience. And more pizza.
It's lunch time and I want to turn off everything and ask whoever is in charge to quiet the universe even just for 1 minute. 60 seconds of nothing buzzing about please. Maybe I don't need whoever is in charge to do anything maybe I don't need anyone to do anything at all. You know how you can be happy? Do not need anything from anyone, that way you won't be disappointed if they don't do it. Also, don't blame other people for your pain and sadness. Do not be attached to the outcome. Do it then let it go.
Airports are full of: anticipation, impatience, relief, excitement, worry, elation, apathy, etc. You step into one and you are assaulted by the impact (however small it is) of having to leave a place, of having to go somewhere else, of having to be in between an old and new place. And you begin to wonder: What if I stay put? What if I leave and never come back? Can I stay airborne? What is possible, what is not? A rapid succession of lightnings greeted our arrival. There was heavy rain and where we used to be seemed like worlds away.
In Davao now for work. Black dress, proper shoes, and all I can think of is laying on the carpet daydreaming about my nephew (Guam), Baguio, San Francisco, cake --in that order. This year was a blur, it feels like only yesterday when I was jobless and laying on my bedroom floor staring at the ceiling racking my brain for what to do next. Because what to do next is always the best thing to think about. I just spent maybe a quarter of the year so far going back to the past and wishing I'd done some things differently.
Pigged out at the hotel's breakfast buffet before flying home to Manila. Then somewhere along EDSA, Aleli and I pigged out some more at Kanin Club. Went home cross-eyed from so much food. Slept for more than 12 hours. I can still smell durian and I don't quite like it but...I like the memories I have of Davao (the first time and this second time). "It's a nice place" would be an understatement. This is what I learned: Make a mark. Every time you meet someone, make sure you do something that will stick. Don't waste people's time.
I am inclined to name my future child "Sunday," as this is by far my favorite lesson-deliverer day, whatever that means. Haha. You know how the bad things are the good things? And that no matter how people say you should be angry about something, you are 100% sure that's not the reaction you should have? (Because wouldn't you have felt anger already at the first instance of whatever it is that "should" have caused it?). Anyway, had lunch with Jason today, sensible talk, laughter. Then, driving lessons at Sucat with Tito Oye. Didn't bump into anything/anyone. Hurrah.
Oh hey, Monday. I love you, too. Bus ride this morning was chill enough for me to enjoy Passion Pit without being affected by the conductor who kept on shouting at the passengers. Why do some people like to shout? Anyway. Free lunch! Sisig! Then, chocolates. Then, the sweetest Kuya and a photo of Brysen blowing saliva bubbles. Also, McDo coffee. A leisurely walk along Salcedo with the rain keeping on about to happen (but not happening, yay) and what else? Writing. Music. Handy Man + On and On + good ol' Oceanlane. Have I told you I have the awesomest friends?
James Taylor's Handy Man is playing and the memory of Jason singing it
a Handyman store still makes me chortle. It was a Sunday, then I went to Sucat and ate vanilla ice cream with my 7-year-old cousin, Lizzie. She asked me: "Ate, are you going to drive again?" I said "No, I'm still nervous after the collision." And it was weird, knowing I was talking about something else entirely. "Here is the main thing I want to say, I'm busy 24 hours a day. I fix broken hearts, I know that I truly can."
I would like to leave fiction for a little while. Rereading past monthsí entries showed me how much make-believe Iíve written. One entry would say something true then shift to something I would like to be true, then shift to something that is neither true nor false. Is there a word for something that is not true nor false? A bad choice, one wrong turn, a stupid decision. These are supposed to teach us lessons. Iím looking at my life and I decide today that itís also a beautiful thing to not get what you want.
There is so much I need to learn about writing, driving, people. It is almost November, and...here I am taking note that I am pointing out the obvious. How can I say something in a way that I wouldn't point out the obvious? How can I drive and not hit something? How can I cultivate lasting relationships with people I love without smothering them? Most times, like now, I just want to keep quiet, detach, disappear. Would be easier that way. It's Thursday, that's an obvious fact, but I need reminding. I also need to remember to breathe, breathe.
Weeks go by in a blur these days. Heightened suggestion tells me that I need to get my shit together and...suggestion from who, you'd ask. Myself. I talk to myself a lot and sometimes I find myself apologizing
for thinking a lot, and I say sorry to other people because all I do is blab. Someday I'd want to say something, a big thing, a major thing, a world-changer, something that will alter someone's life, in five words. I just want to be able to say it completely, so: Go out the door now.
I am thinking of fog, pine trees, a bonfire, warm orange smiling faces, thick jackets, a tent, marshmallow, laughter. In college, there was the illusion of infinity, that whatever it is we choose to do matters, that the words we will say are heard and taken to heart. Back then I was very eager to go into the ďreal world.Ē We understand things better in hindsight, right? So now, more than 10 years after graduation, I understand these better: Live in the moment. Waste not a single moment. If you care for someone, show it, do something about it now.
Dave Matthews sings ďCome and see, I swear by now Iím playing time against my troubles.Ē It is tempting to enumerate all the things I would like to change about my life but that would accomplish nothing. There is a lot I am thankful for, foremost of them the roof over my head, that my loved ones are alive and well, that those who are not here anymore are somewhere else -- happier, that I have food to eat, that I can read and write, that I can hear, that I can choose whatever it is I want to do.
Lessen: Self-deprecation, stubbornness, being prolix, tediousness, etc. I'm looking forward to four hours later, tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now, 25 years from now, when I know better and when everything that's sad will be distant memories. It would be a disservice to the present moment, however, if I keep on looking forward. Two by The Antlers is playing and itís taking me back to 2011 when things were much less complicated, or maybe they were more complicated? I forget now, to be honest. All Iím sure of is whatís done is done.
2014, hi. I see that youíre almost here. But wait a sec. No, really, wait. WAIT. Listen. I want to tell you these things and I want you to listen intently. If I ask you to repeat the things I would say, you must be able to repeat every word, every inflection, every syllable, exactly as I said it. Here goes: Teach me to be more patient, to let go, to let people be, to not care too much, to be okay, to look at something, allow it to either hurt or make me happy, and then move on.
I decide every day to shut up. But I canít. So. Hey. Have you heard Tracy Bonhamís Whether You Fall? You must listen to it on a rainy day. Or maybe just listen to it now. Donít wait for grey skies or kids whining about having to go into the house because itís about to rain. Do it now, whatever it is you want to do. You want to quit your job or concoct that drink made of coffee and apple juice or buy that expensive pair of shoes? Go ahead and please do it now.
Iím imagining green skies, blue trees, yellow clouds and a white-hot sun. Your voice in my head, your smell in the air, your hand in mine. There is a cafť at the corner. We will go in and sit at a booth. There will be silence, coffee-stained napkins, our trembling hands, two sets of eyes darting about. And there would be us, not knowing what to say but at the same time fighting so hard against blurting out the simplest of words. Two sentences or two letters are all we need sometimes to begin or end something.
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