February 9, 2011

coffee with rosie

"Alam ko na kung bakit: it's simple, takot ka sa sarili mo." i gulped. if i were drinking something at that exact moment baka naibuga ko na kung anu man 'yon. it's amusing how my closest friends see me right through my pretenses. i like that. how i can shed my walls around people i trust. she was one of the few.
she knows how hard it has been, for me to let people in after that ordeal. how i've been desperately trying to, but still can't seem to muster up enough courage to take risks. i guess i needed that talk more than i thought i did.

rosie was a previous workmate. funny thing really, we took that job hopeful and optimistic until we saw the pattern. a curse as we aptly put it. first was our friend. weeks of absence, drink nights, dark heavy circles 'round the eyes, you get the idea. then it was her. i can still remember how she cried every after-shifts. some days she never got to finish. walked out of the office a one woman funeral march. she resigned eventually. i felt lucky, that no matter how the shifting work hours, the stress, seemed to rob me off of what could have been blissful moments with my then partner, i still knew i had somebody. but the bastard was cheating. and before i knew it, the curse landed on me.

"naalala ko n'un, yung sabi mo hindi ka naniniwala sa hoping but not expecting, then a few months after you told me you now know how it felt..." we laughed at how fate always seems to leave us with unexpected surprises. we all have stories. stories that, some may have only heard through gossip, but a good few felt and really understood. we we're both fortunate enough to know how deep our wounds were. there we were, two friends, talking like we were revealing to each other secrets we'd never let anyone take a peek.

it was therapy. i was recounting the last few months of roller-coaster encounters i had with men, of how i felt --how i never felt, of how i got over --how i never really got over, how i secretly pine for the ideal and how i let slip the more convenient ones. she, on the other hand, was sharing the many complications of her commitment, or lack thereof, with her first and only love. 

it was a flow of random thoughts, of maybes and of whys... an argument that will never come to a conclusion. life is dynamic that way. and the lessons are oftentimes ambiguous and subject to our own interpretations.

but she did make me realize one thing. that however different our take is on things. we still have each other to back us up, and to always be there through thick and thin. like marriage. only of the fag-hag sort. haha.

so inuulit ko dear, "...no i can't keep seeing anyone without something concrete to hold on to. hindi ko kayang magpaka-player. i'm not someone who can equate sex with just a handshake. and in the few times that i did try, boy did i feel worthless the morning after..."

"...to me, intimacy still means something. and i know that if i let someone in, someone who doesn't believe in love the same way i do, made-devastate lang ako sa huli. so guarded pa rin. i can't play it safe and be with someone out of convenience. i can't be completely happy at the thought of having someone when really what you have is nothing. when i fall, i really fall. it's something i can't control. at hinding-hindi ko isusuko 'yon. siguro nga takot ako na hayaang mahulog ang sarili ko sa isang tao ng buong-buo, because yes i might be giving them power over my emotions but i can never consider that a bad thing. for me giving someone your all is still the best gift anyone can ever give..."

"...so good-luck to us both, i know you will find peace and happiness and contentment soon. at least you already know who to spend it with. ako, im hopeful, and i will stay hopeful, na meron at meron pa rin darating na deserving..."

"...sa cute kong 'to imposibleng wala."

February 5, 2011

ghost of valentines past

Hey Kiddo,

I miss you. If only there's a way to freeze time and make things --make you, stay as precious as you are now, I’d take it in a heartbeat, whatever the cost is... I don't exactly hold the answers to all your difficult questions --the next sentences won’t even come close. I am simply giving you a glimpse of what is, what has and what led, and hopefully, through this, we can both figure out where we should, how we could, and what we can... Pretty neat, huh?

Where am I right now, you ask? Well, I’d love to sugarcoat and say I’m lost in the in-betweens, but that only makes things worse, for both of us. I’m stuck teetering over the edge. In three short weeks I’m going to be 23 and I’m still confusing love with desire. No honey, it’s not the same. It never is. You will learn that along the way. Let’s hope you don’t, but it’s a sad truth that in due course, you will. I’m lucky I’ve gotten a few instances where I got to experience both in the same person at the same time and I hope you do too. Heck, I wish all your encounters will be as dreamy as the few special ones I had, but that’s being insanely optimistic. You fall too much, too easy, too soon. I still do too. The only difference is, I’ve seen things, met people, felt sparks, anguish, nonchalance, guilt, every emotion you dreamed of getting immersed on. And as the glint of innocence in your eyes reveals how perfect and blissful you think falling for someone is, it’s not. I’ve come to detest that quality we share. The truth is: a relationship is only idyllic at the start. People can and will hurt you. It’s inevitable. And you crash and burn like everyone else does.

Love is intricate. More than you could possibly imagine. I’ve long given up on finding a formula or a guide or whatever, because love has this sick tendency of stunning you in the most unpredictable of ways. One thing life has taught me is that Loving does not only take the form of the romantic aspect. You’ve got your family –no matter how annoying they can get, and yes, that part does not go away. You’ve got your friends. Quite a number of interesting ones will come, several of whom I trust you’d know you should steer clear of, eventually. And lastly, you’ve got yourself. That’s probably the only secret I should reveal. Loving yourself is the most important thing in the world. You have got to soak up in every bit of self-love while you can. Spoil yourself, Indulge, Seek, Experience, Revel. Because when you come across dashing princes who sweep you off your dainty feet, you are bound to --as I, without-a-doubt know- give your all.

Your best features are, and will always be, your heart and your soul. If I could throw hints at why, you know I would, but what I can tell you is that the insecurities that trouble you now? It will always be there. You can spend time reinventing yourself all you want, but looking back now, I guess you don’t really have to please people that much. But if it can’t be helped, use those two valuable possessions –your heart and your soul, as beacons of hope to guide you through. You are special, unique, a rarity. You shine in that department, you always do, please try to keep that in mind.

You will most likely want to experiment, to bask in the grandeur of things, the feel of being grown-up and mature, but let me tell you that however exciting those things seem to you now, It’s not all that. Still, it pays to be able to retreat into your own corner and savor the simpler things in life. I’d give the world to be where you’re at right now.

You know kiddo, it’d be nice to talk to you, ask you about stuff… You see kid, the world is so different now. It’s a lot harsher and far worse than what you feared it could get. I know people have been telling you, that what does not kill you only makes you stronger. Well it’s a lie, and a big fat one at that. What does not kill you makes you less of who you are. I’ve dealt with potent strikes that I have to admit, shook me and left me with lifelong scars –and stronger was the last thing I felt. Well, depends on how you put it, I guess. Life is full of unexpected turns, massive blows of which the world is dead set on racking you with. I wish I could hand you a warning for every hit, but it doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t. Just try to stay vigilant, and hopeful. And another thing, fragile is weak. I know how much you believe that that weakness has its own subtle appeal --it used to- but it doesn’t work for me now as much as I imagine it does for you. Try to balance things and draw strength from the people you hold dear. Although, when I do try to stay unfazed in my own share of bouts, I never really brandish toughness for show. It’s not something you build yourself on. As you well know how iffy we both feel about people like that. It’s perfectly okay that you –well I guess I could say we, wear our heart on our sleeves, no matter how crushed, beaten, wounded, palpitating, bleeding, flat-lining, or whatever the state it’s on is. We’re made that way. Emotions are our refuge, but using that to take advantage is a thing worse than selling out. I’ve been there. And the guilt I felt was the worst. I assume you know the feeling of betrayal? Well, betraying one’s self is a blade ten times sharper. Do try not to be so scheming, dear. Half the time, those ploys will only make things more complicated. Besides, wouldn’t you agree that getting ahead thru honest means is something much more worth getting proud of?

Which reminds me, please throw that Dorian book in the dump, burn it, and vow never to worship its enticing lies ever again. It’s a crapload of bull. No matter how romantic Wilde speaks of corruption’s aesthetics, tainting your pure heart is not at all as grand as your fickle mind assumes it so. Neither is it an effective way to reason out your hedonistic curiosities. Actually, were you? Justifying, I mean. If so, then I’m surprised at how sly you were even then. Stop underlining his words about punctuality, friendship, beauty and love. I find  making that book your bible the most unwise thing you ever thought doing.

Speaking of unwise, I know we both have the penchant to measure love on how much we put out. I’m still debating if that is indeed something hasty and absurd... Maybe? Then again, maybe not. I would’ve gone ahead and told you to hold back. To reserve something special meant for that future love --the one person you are destined for- but that betrays the whole concept of loving we both are notoriously known for advocating. But consider this kid, like Gray’s decaying portrait, I have gone well past my prime. I don’t care much for love (the romantic sort) these days, not out of spite, but out of inadequacy, weariness, complexities, fear of deception, trauma --things of that sort. I’ve nothing left to give but my own baggage, a whole Pandora of issues, insecurities, doubts –quite a package, huh? I’m not like you kid. I’ve spent most of my existence sacrificing almost everything just to please. And that left me with what? A giant whopping box of empty.

Hmm… Come to think of it, there is something I have left,
You! I still have you! You are the hope left in that box of ruin! 

Because no matter how the worst ones left my heart in sorry shades of black and blue, no one, no relationship as of late, has ever really gotten to a point where I’ve completely felt like my sixteen-year-old self again. No one ever really came close to bringing you back… I guess now I could say that I’m both excited… and reassured.... that someday, someone actually might… And it would be such a delight for me to introduce you kiddo. To shed my pretenses and return to becoming you, all for the right person, and the right reasons, in due time... Love is definitely still worth believing in, thanks for making me realize that. Maybe there is hope after all...

Love always,
You, six-seven years after,
give or take. ;)
photo taken here

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