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Imagine this: A house by the ocean, warm mornings, curious birds, an occasional boat, you in bed half awake--the shutter's shadows on your face, me offering you fruits and bacon, and your favorite cranberry juice. Imagine this: Sand between your toes, the smell of salty water on your skin, sticky hair, soaked towels, the two of us laughing under the 5pm sky. Imagine this: My hand under your head while you float, the moon and the stars, a bonfire, marshmallows, blankets, an errant crablet saying hello, our voices in the dark of night, the ocean lulling us to sleep.
My mother has begun asking me why I'm single, and my prepared answer for that is: "That's life." She laughs but I know she worries. Same way that Kuya worries I might not have anyone to grow old with. And me, well, yeah, I can go on stuttering and trying to come up with a response to that but I have to admit I don't know anything. Someone told me to put myself out there and actively look for a person. And I'm just, eh, what for? I like this and I don't like this. Point is, it's fine now.
I like writing love letters though. I like the idea of love, of having one person, and all that. Thing is, I've become someone whose hobby is to complain and I think I have to get over that first. I can make excuses all my life why there are so many things I should do that I haven't done yet and no one will actually care so why do it (make excuses)? I may have lost my point there. Anyway, this past week I would like to inform you that I binged on two large potato chip bags. Loved it.
Hi, you. It's amusing, don't you think, how two people who previously didn't know each other can eventually know the other very well that they begin to dislike each other because of the very things they know about the other person? Have you ever wanted to just watch a couple from afar and dissect the bewilderment in their faces as they realize "Why did I decide to be with this person?" It's a subtle event, but it's there if you look close enough. Yet, they go on loving each other, deciding each day to stick it out a little longer.
On Fridays, he picks yellow flowers for her. That's the only color she can bear to see on Fridays. He tried to ask why once, she said it's just the way it is. He hasn't attempted to ask again, and he just does what he is told. This is the way he informs her of his affection. Pink flowers on Mondays, red ones on Tuesdays, whites on Wednesdays, oranges on Thursdays, lavenders on Sarurdays, nothing on Sundays. He imagines that she arranges each color in a special vase of its own. He imagines that someday she will love him back.
Sometimes she goes to their favorite spot. It doesn't matter if he's with someone else, the important thing is he hasn't erased everything that has to do with her. If he orders their favorite meal, that's a bonus. She has become an expert in hiding in plain sight. He has never bothered to look in her direction, not even once, since that day when she couldn't help it and she touched his shoulder pretending to swipe dirt. See, what she doesn't know is he goes to the same spot to do the very same thing--make sure she hasn't forgotten.
There is a couple I know who likes doing laundry together. They even dedicated a mall date just for buying hangers, pegs, a washing machine cover, laundry detergent, the works. Ask them where you can find a special hanger for special pieces of clothing and they can answer you, they may even offer to come with you so that you don't buy the wrong stuff. I like listening to them talk about mundane stuff while hanging clothes. I love seeing them laughing at each other under the clotheslines, in love as ever, and so accepting of each others' quirks, flaws.
I like it that your face softens up when you look at her. I like it that your voice almost sounds like a song when you speak about her. I like it that you always make it a point to bring something home for her whenever you're out. I like it that you check on her before you go to sleep (especially when you're in different time zones). I like it that when you cry about her, it's a crying without anger, without expectation. I like it that even if you keep on choosing her over me, I feel fine.
There are so many hours in a day and yet, he can't find a way to fit in a moment to think about her proposition. "If you can please find a way to squeeze this in: Love me, love me, please" -- read her letter. She gave him the letter on a rainy day. The ink is smudged, and it's almost how her heart looks like, what with the amount of rejection he has already given her. She stays hopeful. She steals glances and smiles to herself. She lives her life with just the one goal: Love him no matter what.
There is a bus station, see. She goes there every morning to pick him up. But he never comes. In the past, they used to exchange letters and promises, "We will keep in touch, we will see each other regularly, we will not lose what we have." But see, promises are not guarantees. Guarantees are never sure. Certainty is not trustworthy. So yes, he became distant. "What you feel today is not what you would feel tomorrow" -- his last letter said. He stopped writing, he stopped showing up. But see, she made a promise and she intends to keep it.
Her constant worry over the fragility of things keeps her from leaving the house and loving people. Today, she looked at herself in the mirror for 45 minutes. She timed it. If I could spend 45 minutes judging myself, she told herself, then maybe I can spend the same amount of time making myself feel better? The concept of self-love is strange to her now. She once made herself pretty and one boy made a scene about it, pointing out that she used to be so ugly. That made her stay in her room for a week. In bed.
Dear love, I've been meaning to tell you, the other day I ate two doughnuts in rapid succession. That's okay, you would say, and I'd tell you...No, see, I wasn't hungry. There are things you should know before you decide to come here, where I am. One of those things being: I like being sad because it gives me an excuse to do things I shouldn't be doing. Second of all, I don't know where the sadness is coming from. Third, when you finally arrive, this sadness might stay, and I hope you're okay with that. Take your time.
Saw Spotlight yesterday. What a good movie. I will always have the utmost respect for journalists who are conflicted and may think they aren't that brave, but do the right thing and trudge on anyway. It's been a while since I last watched a movie that had me giddy and absorbed the whole time. I might be in love with Mark Ruffalo a little, and somewhat a little bit more smitten with Rachel McAdams. I like the notebooks, the pens, the face-to-face interviews, the awkwardness of it all. It is a beautiful thing, to be enthralled like that.
I may have been mixing up my days. And time. I'm on U.S. Eastern time one day and the next it would be Pacific time, some days I'm on Guam time, but never really on local time, no. I miss the simplicity of breakfast at 6 a.m., lunch at noon, snacks at 4 p.m., dinner by 6 p.m. Familiar faces would be at the table and it would be a good time. Why didn't we know then that the good times would end, or did we somehow know, and yet we also took it for granted.
I have to talk about Vday since it's February and all that. Okay, now that's over and done with. A mention counts as "talking" about it, right? Anyway, hi. Lately there's been some form of tiredness over the grating repetitiveness of small talk and people who only think of themselves (including me). That's a random thing to say to someone so I haven't really shared this cynicism with anyone, no. My point is, I miss having someone to tell these pointless things to. But I realize it's also good exercise to shut up about the little things and just breathe.
Our kitchen has white tiles so you know how it is, dirt is visible in .01 millisecond after you clean it. Still, my expectations are high. After I clean it, I hope against hope that it will stay clean for at least 24 hours? I sometimes prevent myself to go in the kitchen area? So imagine this, I and my brother are by the sink a few hours after I rage-cleaned. Then, he sees a cockroach wriggling on the floor. Then, he steps on it. Then, need I say more? My life is easily shattered by these little asaults.
Hi, I just spent the whole morning crying to Adele's When We Were Young (live at The Church Studios). But what I really went online for is to tell you about the happiest day of my life in Baguio. (Isn't it a good thing? Remembering happy moments after a good cry?) I think we hurt ourselves, rip our hearts open, and then instinctively know we have to mend ourselves as quickly as we can...meaning...for how long it takes. Point is, we shall heal ourselves. That Baguio moment? There was fog, a soft hand, an unexpected gesture, a smile.
Dear you. I saw you today in a dream. You look well. It's been 12 years, can you imagine? I can't. There were a few minutes today when I tried to recall what I've done with my life all these years that you've been gone, and did we remember you enough? Have you been watching us? One Direction has a song, "Hey Angel," that I'd like you to hear. You would've liked their songs, danced to them, we would've had fun. I imagine if you were here longer, I could have loved you better. See you soon, please wait, please.
Once we realize we like someone, we quickly try to hide it, most times. We think that secrecy can protect us, from what? Once our object of affection knows about our feelings, we feel vulnerable. And we are, aren't we? Funny how some of the time, liking someone is dangerous business. It's not unlike putting yourself out on display and saying, here are my feelings, look at them--and having people gawk at you then walk away one by one, saying nothing. And you're left there feeling like so much has been taken from you even though you're essentially intact.
She lies awake, expecting an earthquake. This is how she lulls herself to sleep everyday. She doesn't have a plan for when the quake does come, maybe she should start thinking about that? But how dependable are plans? She comforts herself that expectation is already half the battle. Expectation is getting ready. Why does she expect the worst all the time? She's trying out a new thing after getting burned by a lot of the good expectations she had. When she's asleep though, will the quake wake her? She expects so. This is better, she reasons, than sleeping without worry.
They haven't seen each other for how-many years. "You look horrible," she said. He laughs, "If someone else told me that, I'd take it as an offense, but coming from you, I know right away you don't mean it like that." "I don't, I--" "You're worried." I shrug a yes. He looks pleased for a few seconds then a sadness washes over his face. She missed that face so much. He prepares to say something, inhales deeply, "I missed you. I hate you," he says. Then he walks away. And just like that. He's out of her life again.
I write love letters for a living. It's not that I'm an expert on love, no, far from it. This is my first disclaimer and you should know before you hire me: I have broken so many hearts, mine included. You will ask then, what qualifies me to write this love letter that you want so much to be the reason that that boy loves you back? I will tell you, we don't love people so that they will love us back. I know that much. I can teach you how to give this love absolutely wanting nothing in return.
I've been pointing this out since mid-Feb: My God this is such a long month when will this end? If you've been in contact with me in person or online, chances are, I've unnecessarily announced this to you. Anyways, I like how liberating it is to not care about what other people say or do, because TBH, I occasionally allow myself to wallow in paranoia and self-censor. But...I'm 34 years old, and I think that's old enough to shrug off 95% of stuff. On e-mails, I seem composed, I think, but truth is I'm flailing inside.
Hi, I can't wait to be random with you. I hope you like Zayn Malik's music (and by affinity, 1D), if you don't, no worries. That gives me two passes to complain about your music taste. Kidding. Where are you? I keep stress-eating, you know? My arms have gotten so big I think half of the potato chips decide to live in them. Sometimes I say I'm 1/4 Chinese, sometimes I remember it might only be 1/8...or zero-part Chinese if I'm being honest. I don't recall where I get my facts anymore. Where are you?
If she tried to count how many times he asked her about the river, she'd have to be very careful while doing so because the number is high and she feels she'd have to start over and over just to get it right. See, he doesn't phrase his questions the same way. Where do you go when you're sad. What does the ocean expect all day. Where are the boats. How does the sky know how it looks? What gives you peace. Where do you cry. She doesn't know why he likes talking about the river. But she loves answering.
The grass is damp and beside him, her eyes searching the fog above them for answers. They've been lying here for hours. The blanket that warmed them earlier is now making him feel colder, and much as he wants to ask her if she wants to move, he couldn't break the silence. He's afraid that something might end, or begin. "I love you, please don't go," is all he wants to say. But what for? After this day, she will have left him not for the first time. And what's wrong with lying on the cold, damp grass like this?
I miss the rain. Mandaluyong on a rainy day smells more like home. One time I was on Trinoma's garden area and there was the smell of rain and it made me feel sad. It was amusing then, that when I smelled rain near home, it lifted something in me. I don't know if I'm making this up or if my memory is right. For all we know, Baguio rain is my favorite smell. It's just, for all the complaints I have about this city, there are days I'm reminded this is my first love. And those are good days.
Hello, here I am again reminding you of my flaws and all the bad and selfish things I can't seem to stop doing. Like bad-mouthing people, gossiping, being annoyed as a form of self-defense, condescension, wanting to be right all the time, being dishonest, not thinking things through, etc. I'm working on them, everyday, and I'm imagining when you're finally here, you can call me out on my indiscretions and childishness and I won't take offense, instead, I'd be grateful for someone else's honesty. It's rare these days, would you agree? Come when you're ready. I'll see you.
One extra day and it's making this month feel like ages. Anyway, Leo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar and Spotlight won Best Picture and this Monday is shaping up to be nice. Pizza with Byron earlier today before his eye checkup. A pretty cool day weatherwise, few people at the mall, nice waitstaff so far, a nongassy stomach (yay), and did I mention Leo winning his first Oscar? Also, me finishing 100 Words for this long, long month. Do you feel February was long? Why or why not? What are you thankful for today? Do you like old men laughing?
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