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The Wisdom of Ants "Rain is coming." "How do you know?" "Ants are busy." "How do they know that rain is coming?" "They don't know. They just feel it. There's something in them that switches on and they are spurred to stock food, necessities, in-cases-of." "And they are safe by the time rain comes?" "No one's sure. But they do try their best to prepare." "Do people do that? Prepare?" "They often do, but they don't have the wisdom of ants." "Maybe it's the discipline that they lack." "Maybe so." "Maybe they think the rain couldn't break them."
Maybe there is more to this. Is this all there is to life? If you do the same exact things every day, it may be called "routine," it's not "something you love." That's the first conclusion. Routine, trap, cycle. You go out of your way to change even just a little thing to appease yourself that "No, I am fine, it's all good." But you know you can do better than this. Twice it happened, when I rounded the corner from the train turnstile the song that came up on my player is DMB's "Ants Marching." It felt like mockery.
Five weeks at new job today. It's the fifth month of the year. Last week I saw someone at the mall, she used to be someone close to me, and I honestly thought we were going to be best friends until we were old. But life happened, there were changes and circumstances beyond our control. I discovered that it's difficult to say the easiest things. Isn't that unfair? In our complacency that relationships can heal over time by themselves, we neglect to exert effort to make things right. I saw her in the mall, and I turned the other direction.
Hey, you. I dreamed of you. My head was on your lap. And because our eyes weren't meeting, in the dream we both felt like we could say anything we wanted to say. You were saying something serious and you were fiddling with my fingers. I remember feeling giddy. I was thankful you weren't looking at my face because I'm sure it must have been really red at the time. Anyway, so we were talking, and then it just happened, you spread your fingers and intertwined them with mine. I woke up with a peaceful feeling. That was really nice.
Let me tell you more about the smell of sleep. It's that earthy smell of sweat and that-which-I-don't-have-a-name-for but I'm sure you've encountered it already. If it had form, it would be a grey cloud. It's the smell of your lover's head in the morning, the smell that he leaves on the pillow, the smell that lingers after your father has used the bathroom for the first time in the morning, the smell at the breakfast table when your brother hasn't washed his face yet. It's a smell you don't know you know.
Hilary Grist's Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over is on repeat. It helps me fall asleep for obvious reasons. It's technically Tuesday now but my Monday isn't quite done yet. The time is 1:33am and I am trying to convince myself to relax and zone out from the things that happened today. Someone has been very confusing as of late, and I am about to launch into one of my Overanalyzing modes. "See you in my dreams, love," Ms Grist is singing. "You are another day older, soon you'll be through the dark. Tomorrow is a chance to..."
You came to my house. When I was seeing you out the gate, I asked "Found your way here ok?" You said, "Yeah, found my way here ok." You crossed the street and just when I was about to close the gate there you were again, I noticed then that you had a bruise on your right brow so I asked if you wanted to lie down. You said yes and we laid right there by the gate, your head on my chest. I was cradling your head and next thing I know we were kissing. Then I woke up.
Accept and Continue, the computer says. I click it. Voila. I moved on in a matter of seconds. Sometimes it asks Accept or Decline / Do you Accept? Yes or No. So far my favorite is this Accept and Continue thing. If only it were that easy in real life, yes? But who says it's no applicable in real life? You feel hurt, you feel rejected, you feel abused, you feel invisible, you feel dead-tired. Accept and Continue. There's no point staying in one place for too long. Well, there might be one: So you can learn to move on.
In my universe, something means something. In your universe, something might mean something else. I look at you for 5 seconds -- in my universe it means I really like looking at you. In your universe it might mean nothing, or that I just really like staring at people. So you brush it off. Or not even notice. But in my universe those 5 seconds meant this: His eyes look nice when he's sleepy, his smile is disarming, his hair sticks out in all directions (I wish I can touch and fix it, but...), dear God this boy is so beautiful.
Last Wednesday this is what was going on in my head: I want to quit this job. Yesterday, Thursday, this: I can actually get used to this see-saw, I will decide that today is going to be better. Last Wednesday this is what I dreamed about: Kissing you. Or was this Tuesday? I forget now. Last night I dreamed about a grandaunt tagging me along to church. I said "Next time, Dada." She said, "You keep on saying Next Time, you might run out of 'next times'." It was sad, when I woke up. Noted, Dada, do things now.
La Union with family since yesterday. We had meals together, which is what I always look forward to when with these people. Then coffee, a little bit of talking, then TV then sleep. I waited for this weekend for more than a month and now it's over just like that. It was fun, we missed Mama though. In gatherings it's almost always us three who don't have our mother around. We're used to it. It's just sometimes it stings quite a bit to not have her there physically when everyone else has his or her mother present. Better days ahead.
The entry before this should have been the entry for today, Mother's Day. I've been stringing these entries for this week because I didn't have time allotted for 100 words the past few days. So yeah, it's technically Monday now, the 13th of May. Election Day. I took a leave from work. I hope this Monday gets to be a nice one. La Union weekend was fun, lots of food and laughter with the family. We swung by Agoo and Villasis. Had a "nightcap" at KFC Petron NLEX. Thankful for having these people in my life to spend weekends with.:)
Choose one person, and stick with that one person. Love is a decision. If you spread yourself too thin and share yourself with as many people as you can, what does that leave you with? There is one person who you can trust your heart and soul with. If you share one important detail to 20 people, there's nothing wrong with that. But think about this: There's this one girl who saw an orange sunset, so orange that it made her realize she loves you, and only you. She shared that with you, and only you. Doesn't that feel special?
I would like to, for one whole day, just write. Force myself if need be, as past experience already informs me that I am lazy. I think about the task at hand, spend more time than is necessary thinking about it than actually starting to do it, in the process convincing myself that I don't have to do it
. Five years later and I still haven't done it, but sure enough I am still going to think about it. Think, think, think. I lack the discipline to just up and do something because I worry way, way too much.
So here's the thing: I like you. I always wonder what you're doing, if you've eaten, if you're smiling, if you're tuned in to the same radio station I am listening to because the song we like is playing, if I message you and tell you "Hey, that song we talked about, it's on the radio!" will you a) respond sincerely b) ignore me c) pretend to be interested d) respond anyway because you're bored. Because how do we know these things? I wonder if you wonder about me, too, but it's a thought that will stay just a thought.
My most important realization this past week is that I overthink. I've known (and ignored) this for far too long but the past days just hammered it home in a way more brutal than I would have liked it to. If I spend a lot of time thinking about something, that is when issues arise. Whereas, if I just wing it and go with my gut, things turn out fine. I told my office mate earlier that the stuff I worry over are those that bite my ass, those I trust myself enough with are those that trust me back.
I really love Thursdays and Fridays now. Thursdays because they are my injection of Happy. The anticipation of Friday's arrival gets me drunk. I dress up for work
on Thursdays, it's my sugarcoated middle finger to the office attire and my little form of celebration that Friday is dress-down day. Aside from the obvious reasons for loving Friday, here are mine: I get to
about grammar and spelling; I get to really sit down, stop and breathe; I get to appreciate Monday because it is two days away, which feels like forever.
About half an hour ago I had something I wanted to write here. I can't remember now if it was about a) my poor memory b) my grandaunt's kindness c) the elections d) it being a Saturday e) how I just want to lie down all day and daydream. I forget about it completely now and my mind is, as usual, filled with your name, your face, your voice and why aren't you saying Hello yet today? This Saturday is undecided whether it wants to be sunny or gloomy. Outside it's grey and yet it's boiling hot. Sleep seems perfect.
I'm a little annoyed with myself for thinking and saying bad things about other people. I mean, really, what makes me better than them? What gives me the right to judge them? Why am I even going online for this? I would like for people to wake up one day and decide to be a good person, to police their thoughts and words, to forego judgment and be compassionate instead. If one person shares something that doesn't sit well with you, form an opinion, sure, but if it's negative, I wish for restraint from that person from influencing others. NTS.
Restraint from judging people = epic failure. It's so easy, yes? To choose to be mean instead. Tomorrow's another chance to try and be better. Anyway, choose someone who will treat you right. A former officemate posted something about it and it got me thinking if I treated you right. I might have not, most days. Fast forward to now. Treating someone right entails respect, first and foremost. But feeling disrespected does not always mean that you are, meaning, you can choose to still feel dignified even after a perceived slight. You have to teach people how to treat you right.
The hours are long but time seems to be scarce. Time to recover from the effort of forgetting you, of consoling myself that it's not the end of the world if you can't love me, of convincing myself that it's okay even if it's not me you choose. The hours are long in between the chances of being able to see you but then when I'm with you time becomes a ghost. You are dear to me and I have to be okay upon waking up in the morning knowing you don't see me the way that I see you.
I feel like I keep wasting my chances with you. They say: Be careful how you begin things. Maybe this already started a little wobbly, yeah? I keep hoping to find a chance to tell you that I feel a certain fondness for the times we spend together, and would like to prolong them if you'd agree. But I also keep taking one step back for fear that doing that might push you away. The only way I can keep you in my life is if I never tell you what I want to tell you. This quiet love stings.
Every day I ask myself why I always board the first car of the train, and why I position myself near the driver when I fear that in case of collision that's where the most dangerous impact will be. I fear a collision and yet I keep boarding that section. Every goddamn day. Sometimes I watch how the train operator fiddles with the controls. Sometimes I wish I was on a car with boys, not because I like boys that much, but more because women in general are annoying. Especially the aged, but still limber, ones who act so entitled.
Here's what I would like to do with you: Sit down and talk about us. Thing is, we talk about everything but us, which is not such a bad thing, only it's kind of getting old. Skirting the issue of why are we even doing This. I have to be honest and say I am not sure there is even a 'this'. Maybe it's just me who would want a 'this' to materialize out of thin air. I'm scared that if you know all these things going on in my head you will stop talking to me. I'm too scared.
It rained today. My memories of summer rainshowers are many, most of them involve my brother and our then spacious backyard. At first the raindrops are warm and there is steam rising from the concrete. We like lying down on the ground and feel its warmth slowly absorbing the coolness of rain. We could tell if it was just passing rain or if it'd last for hours just by looking at how blue the sky still is. I like how these memories comfort me on days like today when the past seems to be so far away. Summer's almost over.
Sunday is my third most favorite day. I get to look back on the past week with fondness and look forward to the week ahead with hope, all while being grateful that I have been given another Sunday. Spent last night talking with Aych about life in general and in detail. Papa cooked spectacular tinola, so spectacular you can make a movie about it. I exaggerate. Kuya is watching tv downstairs, Papa is in Pansol, Byron's on the roof cleaning some things up. Ma's in a place with a different time zone. I kind of miss all of them now.
If I were given 100pesos every time I refresh your Facebook page, I'd earn enough in a day and may quit my dayjob, and probably live a comfortable life for months. My room smells of strawberries. I am imaging your face now, and how cute you are when you try to talk while lighting a cigarette. The words come out mumbled, you sound like a toothless man, and your face has an orange glow. You are so beautiful sometimes. Most of what I write about you is real, some made-up, some close to reality. None of them you know.
Stephen said something about things not getting better, that you only get used to them, to which I responded with a line from Six Feet Under of the same vein: It doesn't get better, it just gets familiar. And let's not forget Gotye's song about a certain kind of sadness you can get addicted to. Sherlock reminded me about California today via a song by a man named Dallas. Last week I sent Chuck and Norly an email about what makes one truly wealthy. The point is, it's an unending push and pull between happiness and whatever is its opposite.
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 me--his name's Marco--playing 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.
A confession: I am aware that I sometimes make it sound meatier than it really is. Every thing I say is based on my perception. I have no idea what you may say about stuff because we never talk about this anyway. In the process, I've built a separate reality, which I have to destroy now. Start from scratch, and operate away from the filter of "I like you" each time we converse. The old me would have already told you she likes you. The old me would have been heartbroken now. This is why I discarded the old me.
This has been such a long month. It felt like 8 weeks. You know how you wait for something to be over and then when it's finally nearing its end you wish for it to not be over yet? I'm glad that May passed by without anyone leaving (because someone is, soon) but I am also excited for June or July when he finally gets to leave because well, I have to be honest and say that even if it's going to be sad? That it's also going to be such a happy thing it will make my heart burst.
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