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In another multiverse she is an acrobat, half the time her body is suspended on air, her arms reaching for something to stop her fall. In that version of her life she dreads planting her feet on the ground. Her comfort is in danger, in almost miscalculated leaps and swings, in flinging herself to the other side not knowing for sure if she would make it. Being stationary and upright terrifies her. Whenever someone starts needing her, her first instinct is to flee. In that version of her, she has mastered the art of jumping off and not being caught.
They were sat on the roof of an abandoned house, watching the sun set while eating apples. The warm light emphasizes to her that the hair on his arms are the color of honey, and she masks her affection with a slight gasp, an exaggerated bite of her apple, then, an awkward laugh. His brows are furrowed as if he's considering a huge decision, then, he raises hem as if he recognizes someone among the imaginary crowd in front of them. This moment, she is certain, is the one she'd point at if he asks her, "When did you know?"
She can't ever dance to the beat of a song. Always, she would move in a way that would make you think she is listening to a different song. Her face would inform you that she enjoys this, confusing people watching her. The strange thing is, she is mesmerizing this way, and yet revolting, too. How does one explain feeling attraction and disdain at the same time in equal, warring amounts? If you look away, you would feel like you're missing a spectacle you ought to see, and so you look again. She would smirk, and know that she'd won.
"Do you remember where we first met?"
"In the rain?"
Is her favorite conversation from Homeland, she said. He asked her why and her response was that she has no particular reason and why must things have a reason, can't they just exist, be? "You are combative and you've answered my question with a question, I think I like you already," he said.
"Let's do that then, ask questions and not answer them," she said.
So they did, and that night they learned more about each other from all the non-answers.
It's 6 am somewhere. Someone's eating pancakes, somewhere. Making a pot of coffee. Lying in bed looking at the sliver of light coming in through the drapes, smelling that smell of sleep off his lover's nape. Someone, somewhere is waking up to white noise, or a radio newscaster telling him of important news. There is smell of bacon in someone's kitchen, somewhere there is a window with dewdrops that if you inspect closely will look like a mini rainbow. Somewhere, there is a boy saying "good morning" softly into someone's ear. Somewhere else it's 6 am, somewhere else, a smile.
It's day 946 of her sending him daily love letters. He has responded to none. Her spirit is not broken, however, because she is comforted by the certainty that he receives the letters. For her that is what matters. She tells him about her day, and how it could have been sweeter had he been there to share it with her. She reiterates her intent to wait until he loves her back, and that if he wanted her to stop all he has to do is tell her to. Her triumph is that he hasn't asked her that, not yet.
His days are made up of familiar non-events. He has reached the point of not caring even if someone spills scalding coffee on his shirt on his way to work, because see, it's happened thrice this week so far. Who gives a motherfuck, he'd ask himself, certainly not me! It's just a shirt. Maybe next week I'd graduate to mustard and what would change, really, if I get mad at whoever dirties my shirt in the morning? He uses this as an exercise for tolerance, how far could he go with forgiveness even if no one asks for it?
They communicate through songs. This way it's easy to "confess" and in the event one of them gets suspicious and asks "but what you mean by that?" they can simply reason out "it's just a song!" But it's not just a song. Both of them know they are in this intricate dance and no one wants to take the lead. Both of them want to have an out all the time, that, if things get serious, they can run out the door in an instant. While it's safe though, they send lyrics to each other and tell truths through lies.
She has forgotten how it feels to watch a movie with someone. There is a feeling, yes? A certain lilt, a certain pinch, that anticipation of being able to talk about the movie once it's over and dissecting the parts you didn't quite get, and enumerating your favorite lines and facial expressions, etc. Sharing a bucket of popcorn and smelling that moviehouse smell, looking around and seeing new faces in the dark, looking to your side and seeing that one familiar face. Smiling into your soda and holding hands, squeezing, moving your thumb along the outline of each other's hands.
The city tires her. After work, she would lie on her bed and stare at the ceiling until it gets dark. She would face the wall then, and press her body onto it, knees, shoulders melding with the cold concrete. This is her prayer stance. Her head would feel lighter from this quiet release. Hugging herself, she would lie on her back again and sigh the deepest sigh. Outside, lampposts are on, yellow orbs that look like fireflies. Inside this room, this cave, the city couldn't get to her. She gets up for a cup of tea. She is safe.
Pink envelopes, pink scented sheets of paper, my handwriting informing you how slick your hair looked today, how your smile was a little on the smirk-y side, how, when you laughed at the news, your eyes looked sad and worried. I watch you every chance I get, I send you these letters to let you know how someone saw you on a particular day when you thought you succeeded at putting up a happy, brave front. I hear what you are not saying, and someday I hope to be brave enough to emerge from behind my pink, scented stationery.
It's that little laugh of his that does her in. It would sound like a grunt that turns into a giggle. He would sound like a 5-year-old and he'd cover his mouth, as if embarassed by the cute way he just laughed. She would be across the room and she'd know if it was him laughing, she'd crane her neck just to see him covering his mouth while laughing, as if he could stop the cute. She is endeared by this quirk. In the mornings it is what she looks forward to at the breakfast table. Good times.
"Hello," he would say when someone is leaving. This is how he keeps positive. Someone told him that goodbyes aren't all that bad, most goodbyes give way to better things, see. But he refuses to listen. He is used to sending off friends by saying "hello, how you been," then he turns his back and forgets the act of parting. "If you don't honor goodbyes, it's like giving small importance to what you shared with the person you're saying bye to," his friend said. But no, he still wouldn't listen. If you see him, say goodbye if you mean hello.
90% of the time I have an overwhelming urge to run away and never come back. I want silence, loneliness, isolation. No one who speaks loudly, no one who expresses distress, no one wanting to be heard, no one, zero person, or animal. Zero sound zero movement zero anything. The absence of 100% of all that requires reaction. 10% of the time though I yearn for you, to see you walking towards me with that smile of yours, to hear you sing that James Taylor song, to have you sitting across the table, to feel the warmth of your skin.
Sleep isn't important in this world. Eventually it's become impossible to fall asleep. He misses the comforting sensation of drifting off, and of waking up with soft light through the curtains. At first it was exciting, sure. Rebellious, even. No need for sleep! Who needs sleep? We can be awake at literally all times now. But as with everything that is relentless, being awake got tiring, and people have become sad and desperate. He yearns for an off switch. Or another world where sleep is possible. He needs to pause. He appreciates the importance of pausing now more than ever.
I said your name out loud just now. I had this dream, see, you were in it but I couldn't quite recall the specifics. Only that there was hesitation and confusion. Sleeping At Last's 99 Red Balloons cover is playing as I write this and it reminds me of you, too. Thinking of you nowadays feel like a party wherein there are five different ocassions being celebrated, there's no focus and you don't quite know why you were invited exactly. So you just stay a bit and fidget until you can leave. There is no dislike, see, just...quiet resignation.
There was a day in 2013 when I ate my weight in cream puffs. It was a Monday, if I remember right, and I had cream puffs for breakfast until dinner. I knew it wasn't the best choice but I kept on doing it, see, I was so down that day. And there was A LOT of cream puffs in the ref so what was the obvious choice, really? Profiteroles, I think, is what they're called in England. Or maybe it's a different pastry. Those were awesome cream puffs, to be fair. There's a nice shop in Baguio selling them.
This is a risk-based approach to starting one's day. First, be mindful of how much capital you put on optimism, not too much that it will bankrupt you upon failure and not too low of a level that your gains are insignificant. Put the best people in the forefront, drop the ones who weigh you down. You might ask, what risk are we trying to avoid here. Things is, we're not avoiding it, we're courting it to approach us. Our goal is for it to confront us so we can test our readiness. Be optimistic, that's all you'll need.
She leans down to kiss his lips slowly, making sure he feels each movement of her mouth on his. His hands are on her hair, she can sense his hesitation to move his hands elsewhere. In fact, and she can say it's a fact because she can feel it, because aren't feelings fact...in fact, she knows now that he will not love her back in
way. Funny how she often falls for someone who wouldn't like her. She breaks the kiss, looks him in the eyes, and smiles slowly. This is his last memory of her.
I had a dream abouts cats. I bought around 10 and attempted to contain them in a cage with holes they could slip through. It was chaos, I'd put one stray back in then another would slide out. Then I gave up, "I have to let you go," I told the cats. "Okay, but give us food first," one of them said. In the dream, it was an emotional parting, I was disapppointed with myself for not being able to handle cats. The Internet said the dream might mean I'm lacking focus in my life. To be honest, it's true.
Ramen and videoke on a stormy day with two of my dearest friends. Good times. I kind of launched into a mini-monologue of my woes and it felt like I left my body and was shouting at myself "Please stop talking omg." I feel too comfortable with them that I can reveal a dark side of me and not be afraid they'll unfriend me. I didn't know how much I missed their company until that mini-woe-is-me speech. All's good now though. I love the comfort of being honest every now and again. Good Friday, this was.
I just reread the previous entry and it seemed I was calling my woe-is-me speech a dark side. It wasn't that. It was the things I said about people I love. You know how you're jilted, and you "get back" at the jilter by saying bad things about him? Even though deep inside you have the fondest love for him? Yeah, I still resort to badmouthing people and allowing myself to feel bad about them as a form of "revenge." Anyway, do you know Tig Notaro? She has an excellent bit called "Stool Movement," it's hilarious go find it.
It's a love that's been carved into an exquisite ice figure over the years, and one wouldn't be able to find a faulty part. They have signals for when they can't speak out loud. His favorite is when she rapidly blinks her eyes thrice, because it means "Did you see that? I can't wait to laugh with you later about it, and then we'll be apologetic afterwards but still laugh about what just happened at sporadic times in a day." Three blinks. This ice figure will inevitably melt, he knows, but for now he's admiring its beauty while he can.
I check on my ammunition stash. Ah yes, this here, is what I should have told you on that day that I caught you smoking: You ungrateful liar, what kind of person lies under a heavy veil of kindness and sincerity just to get his way, who smiles while saying a lie? You impertinent, inconsiderate, black lying sack of ----. These words can hurt, I want to hurl these at you and cause insidious pain. You stand there with that smug face telling me another lie and my insides are twisting. Instead I keep them in and wait for better timing.
Yesterday in QC I was sat on a garden rooftop focused on the 4:30 p.m. sky. There had been heavy rains in the morning, and that afternoon dark clouds were rolling past, as if intent to carry bad news somewhere. It felt like a Baguio afternoon in that I half-expected fog to roll down at any moment. Iím rereading The Year of Fog, a beautiful and haunting story on memory and time, set in San Francisco. I first read this in San Francisco Street, in a small apartment housed in a dilapidated white building. Good times.
The boy finds two tennis balls tied together like Christmas ornaments. He proceeds to tuck the string into his pants so that the balls are hanging in front of him, like, you know. He jiggles, then looks down to check if the balls are secure. Seeing that they haven't fallen off, he does a more elaborate shake. His face then registers confusion, surely, the strings behind his pants are tucked precariously and the balls should fall off with the slightest movement. This is how he feels about his life, he shouldn't be holding on this well, but strangely he is.
He has gotten used to the bad news that when he was presented with a good news that invalidates the bad news, he was lost and had to sit down a good 10 hours looking out the passing trains, just trying to understand how he would go about his days now that the bad thing he had been expecting, and accepting, to happen is never going to come. So this is how it's like to feel relief? There's also a puzzling disappointment, as if all those days he'd been distraught and brave were for nothing. Finally, he manages to smile.
I like the way you get ready for bed. How you spend a long time in the shower singing, just singing, how you get all pouty when your favorite white T-shirt's nowhere to be found, how you carry your pillow around while you check on your bag and if its contents are ready for tomorrow, how you lay down beside me and then remember you haven't brushed your teeth yet, how that small blue blanket is wrapped around you as you check the windows and the lights. I especially like your grin when you've done all your nightly rituals.
It's a world where there is always rain. Heavy downpour on Sundays to Thursdays, drizzles on Fridays, a steady pitter pat on Saturdays. It's predictable, sure, people have learned to plan their days according to amount of rainfall. The traffic aide wears a black raincoat and on Sundays you can see him alone at the intersection looking forlorn. But the truth is, Sundays are his favorite. He likes how everything is made new and clean, when it rains. If you see him with his head down, don't worry that he's crying. He's not. He's giving thanks for the neverending rain.
Listen, I must tell you again to go check out Tig Notaro. So, so good. Also, this month's new music discovery care of Jam 88.3, choice station at work (thanks CE ladies): Kita Alexander, Absofacto, Hunter Hunted, San Cisco's new album!, a rediscovery of Stars' Dead Hearts (wow this song, always nice to hear it again, feels like giving my heart a bear hug), Max Frost! Also, 1D's new single, Drag Me Down, well, this early I'm encouraging you to check out their upcoming fifth album, while at it check out their 2014 album, FOUR, good stuff good stuff.
They learned this: You get angry at people because you love them. That, in spite of slamming doors, loud voices, heavy footsteps, exasperated sighs, there is affection disguised as anger. It's hard to grasp, sure, and it's so much easier to focus on the surface and believe in what is worse. They learned this: Honesty is kindness, and kindness is the only wise choice there is. If you want to play it safe--go with kindness. A happy heart gives more freely. They learned this: Platitudes and cliches are tiring. But they hold the truth. Love wins, all the time.
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