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He kisses her goodbye. The airport is quiet except for the sound of comings and goings too hard to bear but also long awaited for. How do you feel, exactly, when you don't want someone to go but also want to be without them? What do you say when you're sad but also hopeful? She leans her head on his chest, a little too long, and it makes him wonder, does she want to go at all? She looks up with almost-tears in her eyes. And he knew that she knew--they would not be seeing each other again.
This is how he fell in love: He liked how she looked at the camera. In photos, he could make out a smugness in her smile. Suffice it to say that he spent his free time looking through her photographs--she has a lot. There's a tune that reminds him of her, it goes: "Keep your old and wasted words. My heart is breaking like you heard." From this infatuation grew a pining, a sort of affection that has no name but is too familiar. He pretended to know her through the photographs. Love can be an imagination. This is.
He imagines himself unfettered, able to do anything, be with anyone--all without unwanted consequences--meaning he can control outcomes to his liking. He continues to rib a friend about their continuous usage of 12 midnight and 12 noon, ATM machine, etc. Redundancies, unnecessaries. He sees himself as omniscient. People can come to him for advice, answers, remarks. If you can do anything without the specter of harm, what will you choose to do everyday? He makes fun of ignorance but in a way that's helpful, welcome. His friends see him as omniscient. He manipulated this outcome, he made sure.
He receives a letter every month. On this particular day, his monthly letter arrives and it reads: "I'm sure there is an abundance of attention thrown your way. You do not ask for this but you want it anyway. You told me once, or twice, was it? (You make certain you say important things only once.) Anyway, what you told me was: There are things in this world we want more than anything, but we keep mum because these are the things we are most afraid of having. I'm writing to remind you, this is what you said. You afraid?"
"You told me you wanted to eat up my sadness. Well jump on, enjoy, you can gorge away." Imagine a life wherein you feel nothing but lightness, never-ending buoyancy. Just...all-around okayness. Can you imagine? If each person imagines hard enough, will it become reality? This is necessary sadness, someone will keep telling you. You will get sick of hearing it, you will also get tired of imagining 100% okayness for your everyday life. One by one, people around you will get tired, too, and all of you will eventually stop. So back to where you came from.
We were talking about how friendships form, how, in as little as a week, two people can talk to each other as if they've known each other for years. A digression: Some people can know each other for years and still cannot reach a kinship that some people make almost without effort. We were talking about this and it was raining, then you listed off memories that you had in the rain, with your parents, your drunk brother, your ex-lover. We were talking about the different sides of a person, how you cannot see all of them at once.
On the radio is a song that sounds like two songs. One is a plaintive man's voice, the other an upbeat woman, there is clanging and the smooth sound of a wind instrument. It's an unwelcome noise and yet he couldn't stop listening, much like not being able to look away from a pile-up on the highway. "There is something interesting here," he keeps saying. "Someone might be alive, someone, someone please," is what one might think while looking at an accident site. He keeps on listening, then the song fixes itself. The normality jars him. Odd. What now?
There's a phone booth near his house. By near, it means a 20-minute walk, give or take. There is grass and there is the sky. Blue and green and this red box in the middle. As he approaches it, each time, he feels a lifting like nothing he's ever felt before. The feeling is a new kind each time. He calls different people, this might explain the differences of what he feels. It can't be stressed enough how near this phone is to his house. Sometime somewhere there will be more detail on this boy who keeps calling people.
Come with me, here, there. Read my love letters that tell you of tomorrows and distant yesterdays. Here, take my hand, inside it is a dream for you, be careful. You are the only person allowed to take this. Imagine, someone else comes along and takes this from my hand, that dream will be realized, yes, but not as magnificent as what was planned for you. Do you still doubt that there is a specific day for a specific person? One person for each person. Only one. You will say this isn't true, but here you are coming with me.
Consider this: A story written by a child. It happens as the child is writing it. I'm asking you to imagine again: In a child's mind is that now-unattainable peace and comfortable mischief; laughing in the rain, running after a firefly, blanket forts. Early mornings spent thinking of play, gentle touches, soft giggles. The story unfolds in front of you and it's all kinds of pink and bouncy and sweet. The hurts seldom come and, if they do, they are easily replaced by the now-defunct concept of moving on. Letting go. The smell of blue stars in summer.
He has found a perfect way to stop complaining and going back to the sad days. It's perfect because so far, he hasn't had any problem with it. That's perfect, yes? He has dialed down his hopes and expectations that everything is near-perfect now. He found the balance of expecting and letting go, of wanting the best for one's self and being able to say "Ah well." This balance is what he needed for years. Now he can see only the bright side and the brighter side, if any. Whatever's bad is painted over. Not forgotten, just blissfully ignored.
What is this perfect way? He will teach you if you first learn to live in the minute. If you can live your life without stepping back and forward unnecessarily. If you can learn to stay still. Two feet planted on the ground, feeling everything in that moment. The cliches and the simplest of things are the hardest to understand, accept, and do, yes? Stay there. No. You don't get to move an arm, stay! Still! If you can learn that there is good to be had from this, he will teach you the perfect way of living. Trust him.
My usual complaint on February is that it's too long. I'm going to say the same for this year. What a terribly long agonizing mind-fuck of a year. Is that too much? Outside is the sound of an automobile braking, too loud, too sudden. Back to here, on the Internet, people are begging for 2016 to please end please end, it's been horrible to them. To me not so much. I think it comes with age, the ability to shrug and say "HEYO, okay noted, NEXT!" I'm thinking of resolutions but they are the same from 10 years ago!
Maybe lessen self-deprecation! And write in complete sentences! And punctuate properly! And eliminate adverbs! You know, my phone is full of meme screenshots, mainly of grammar memes haha, haha, also Harry Styles GIFs that I send to almost everyone! Didn't know how much I missed writing as me! But now that I'm doing it I want to not do it again! What'd I eat? Porkchop and bananas. An iced tea, iced coffee, cheese fries. I feel that in a few hours I will crash. Oh, a few paracetamols, pain killers for this fever that keeps on wanting to happen.
Dear you, here's my wish: A day in the future when you will read my letters (again or for the first time) and feel that yes, I loved you. I was going to write, I wish for a day when you can love me back. It's always at the back of my head, you know? Because why not. Let's be honest, if someday you finally say, hey, okay I think we can try now? My answer will be yes. But the years taught me that this won't happen. I know for sure, because there are things you know for sure.
Books and movies teach you to try harder, don't just sit there, pursue the love of your life! But it's not like that in real life, no. You have a few chances and then most of your time is spent waiting, really. If something is out of your control, you tend to look for other things to do that are in your control. Movies and books cannot contain that length of time. Waiting for someone to love you back is an exercise in futility, as they say. A long, long time would have to pass before you realize it so.
So there's a boy and there's a girl. They're friends, right? They talk about everything, absolutely everything. If they suddenly fall in love, at the same time, what then? It's a simple question, really. So what's the answer? Obviously they should go for it, yes? But then there comes a day when one of them changes heart and leaves. The romantic relationship is broken. So what happens to the friendship? It's a simple question, really. So what's the answer? Years later they meet again, what do you think will happen? Do you think they'll talk? It's a simple question, really.
(Reposts from here on out:)
My name is purple. I'm a color, as you know, but I am more than that. History says that I used to be a princess. I smelled of roses and my touch was light, my smile was radiant and blinded some men, my hair was so long it circled the whole world. I find it hard to believe that I used to be a princess. My memory only gives me these: I sang to a boy every day, I let him touch my hair, I loved how he smiled at me, I let him take my heart and walk away.
Today you woke up and wondered "Who was the first person who got his heart broken?" You think maybe that person was the one who thought up ways to mend a broken heart. He or she was the first one to tear love letters, drown in tears, curse at the walls, pine for a lost loved one, beg, smile at a memory, cry upon realizing it will not be repeated. These things, maybe they were invented. Maybe they weren't supposed to exist at all. Maybe people should have been better off if this person's heart was not broken at all.
How quaint is it, to hear someone's voice on an actual landline? When I was younger I used to talk on the phone for hours with my friends. Sometimes though I would get tired, my ears would feel chaffed and I can't wait for the conversation to be over so I could watch TV, read a book, or eat that banana I've been eyeing on the dining table. There was hardly any thing wireless then. I used to think, what an inconvenience to be old-fashioned. Now it's almost all wireless and, oh, what I would give for what was.
I am at a mall taking advantage of free Internet. It's my lunch break but I'm not eating. I'm low on cash and payday is hours away. There's a little boy beside meóhis name's Marcoóplaying with a toy truck. I feel his breath on my left arm, it is warm and comforting, and I entertain thoughts of taking him. His mommy's 2 feet away though, so yay because I wouldn't have to break the law. He keeps on calling out to his mother. And I wish, just for today, for a kid to want my attention as well.
If you were in front of me this is what Iíd tell you: ďI want to be with youĒ But youíre not in front of me and Iím a coward. Itís August in a few hours. Iíve always associated this month with a lion. I donít know why. So in the interest of association, let me go on with bravery, becauseólion. The universe is egging me to jump off a cliff into ice-cold waters, swim to safety, and shout ďI made it to shore!Ē And want to do it all over again.
Thursday. This is why I love you: You give me clarity, you help me decide on stuff a little more quicker, with a little more care, with a little more bravery. Dear Thursday, here is what you taught me today -- be honest. To be honest is the easiest thing to do in the world, the most liberating, the most loving. Also, be patient, bite your tongue when unsure, wait a bit more, practice kindness. Choose gentle words, choose love, choose what is good, choose what will make people feel better. Dear Thursday, I am so glad you exist. Thank you.
Hey you, boy with a cute smile: I feel as if a very big chunk of my heart has died a little this month. Walking away is never easy, but isnít it that we should always strive to do things that arenít easy? I want to conclude this month with hope, love, and understanding. Iím trying to memorize your face, voice, smell. Iím hoping that the future will afford me the ability to remember my affection for you as vividly as I do now. If not, I want to at least remember the way you walk.
Dreamt of Papa, Mama, Kuya, Tiki, Harry Styles. In the dream I was worried about Ma because she wasn't home for the day yet. Tiki booked a flight to some province and we were supposed to fly 4am, but I hadn't packed by midnight, then it was already 8am so he got mad and said he couldn't help me to look for Ma because he had to take care of his goat in Pampanga. Then Pa and Kuya got home with their friends, and they looked like they were in a fight. Harry Styles was taking photos with big cameras.
She said she was going to explain to me why Kazakhstan is so large, and she said it in a way that made me wonder if the size of a country could really be explained? I held on to her promises like a child waiting for sweets and play time after a long day at school. She kept telling me to wait a little longer, good things come to those who wait blah blah blah and true enough eventually her promises sounded like blah blah blah to me, literally, I had to tell her to shut up. I'm not kidding.
It was a Monday when I knew for sure that I liked-
you, I remember this clearly because there was meatball spaghetti in the cafeteria. I love Meatball Mondays. Anyway, you walked in the door and your shoes were squeaking, you saw me across the room, you smiled then rolled your eyes. In that smile and eye-rolling, I knew you were complaining about the rain and how your socks and shoes are wet again. We've come to communicate without words. This made me nervous. It's strange when your feelings shift inside. It's like a little earthquake.
I had a dream about 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 disappointed 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.
In another time, snipers are bad at aiming. Terrible. Snipers are very good at botching a job, it's what they spend their lives being good at--missing their aim. The goal is to get the target's attention. Just that. Keep them on their toes. A sniper is instructed to shoot at the head, but they miss the person entirely and hit the wall behind or shoot a random trash can. There are rare times they hit a different person instead. This is where problems arise. When confronted by this mistake, a sniper would doubt his abilities and become a recluse.
I can't remember when it last rained. My brown hoodie still smells of rain, from last November, I think. I refuse to wash it because smells are hard to replicate. How can I find that specific smell again, if I wash the hoodie? My problems are made of this. Hi, what are you thinking of, when you wake up, what do you think of? I dreamt of paper plates, an old friend changing shoes, snow in California (again), a nice house, and a lot of other dreams I forget now. Anyway, I miss the rain. I wish it comes soon.
Last June, in an Old Navy somewhere in Tustin, Brysen attack-hugged my legs and shouted "I got you!" with a mischievous smile. I will not forget that hug because he was holding on really tight as if believing that, indeed, he got me, and if he so decides, I wouldn't be able to get away from his grip. I remember him looking up with an expectant smile, maybe waiting for me to surrender. But I said, "No, I got you!" and hugged him. He squealed and was happy that I got him. I wanted to stay in that embrace.
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