If you’ve ever tried to compare 1984 to today’s society and the other person looked at you like you were a neurosyphilitic leper with down syndrome then you know what I’m talking about.”
— L.A. Powell
I hate that you are giving me more to be confused about, when these days, I believe I am more confused than I have ever been. But it’s a good kind of loathing, if there is such, this hatred I directed at you to absolve myself of my sins. How, above everything else for example, I am guilty of collecting images of you and imagining myself holding them in my hand. I count them over and over again, like pebbles, one for every day.
I have grown afraid of how mindful I am of every minute movement — the bumping of knees, the playful grazing of fingers, how there is truth to when people say a fleeting touch could send shivers through a spine. I wonder at its implications. I despise how I find you confusing and yet, despite my lack of patience for things, much more people, you keep me on my toes, certain of all the things that lay in wait. I hate this very certainty, how it exists in between stares and half-meant insults hurled at each other to pass the time, to dupe ourselves into thinking the minutes are flying right past us, and timing — proper timing — is sooner than we think.
Most of all, I hate the pauses in between and how they rarely come to us whenever we are together, but how they stretch to days — sometimes, even weeks — when you are away. When you are near, the words come easily, no delays between a thought and an utterance. I am not allowed to even think of what they mean for, like you, those moments are elusive. Decoding should be left to the experts, I’d rather stand here and marvel at how you are here, too. It is only when I am left to myself that I am forced to be alone with your stories, your laughter ringing in my ears.
You have this way of looking at the world — you are not as cynical as I am, you retain faith. That is something in an age that prides itself at how the truth could be told and twisted as many times one wishes to. I hate how you prove me wrong everytime I tell you this, even if I won’t ever consider admitting that you did — that you do, each and everytime.
this is perhaps the cheesiest thing I have written in years. I hate you, you self-righteous, egotistic, assuming, optimistic, delusional, brilliant son of a gun. stay away from me and all my emotional baggage you are helping me unload. bastard.
I haven’t set foot outside my apartment in forty-eight hours, much as I actually want to. I have been feeling queasy since Friday night but I pretty much just owed it to the couple of bottles I downed at Cubao Ex and completely disregarded the fact that feeling lethargic might be because of something else — because that’s what we do, right? We’d rather blame our misfortunes on some action that we believe is completely of our own doing rather than admit that there are some things in life we’d have absolutely no control over.
Or, perhaps not. Perhaps I should start taking better care of myself. Damn, I hate being sick.
The universe gave me a break today. One of my stories, Inferno, got published in the Philippines Graphic. Of course, it would be blasphemous not to write about it.
I remember spending hours inside Manila Standard’s library in high school while waiting for mommy to finish with work and reaching for Graphic, among many others, upon arrival. I always ran my fingers through the email address printed neatly below every feature, as if a touch would commit things to memory. I always forgot about it, anyway, not just the address but the whole idea of perhaps sending something — anything — in, to test the waters.
This whole thing just leads me to the fact that I haven’t been writing as much as I should recently. I just wasn’t able to. I held the words, clenched them in my fist, but it seems like I have forgotten how to use them. I haven’t been feeling — no, I wasn’t myself anymore. I am not myself without writing. And so, as of late, I have been quiet. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent, wrote Wittgenstein.
It just amazes me how timing dressed everything up really well. Without its blessing, we would have to do with the events of everyday life stark naked. Lately, I have been feeling low and insignificant, like nothing I do would ever amount to anything. Everything I believe in, everything I think /thought I wanted — just, well, futile.
This morning, on top of everything else that has happened (and not happened), I actually came to the conclusion that I may not ever succeed in writing and as a professor, and that perhaps I have been lionizing what I think I am capable of for years. Not that this particular break (which is more of a nudge, really, in the grand scale of things, a nudge I am grateful for nevertheless) completely annihilates that view, it just gave me enough willpower to question it, and maybe even prove myself wrong. Someday, somehow.
I am just eighteen after all, I have to keep reminding myself of that fact. It’s not an excuse to kick back and nod off, yes, but it does diminish the pressure I have unwittingly lashed internally. I spend most of my days alone, so the rent space in my head’s usually filled with thoughts about what to do with myelf. In a week, it will be a year since someone I loved just upped and left without so much as a second of hesitation, and over the past few days I have been belittling myself. I thought of how much time has passed in juxtaposition with how little I have done for my life to redeem all its color, all its vivacity. I imposed new goals, of course, a whole mirage of aspirations, but I have yet to truly do something about them.
The irony is this: I have done nothing but wallow in emptiness, and yet I feel nothing but sheer exhaustion gripping every bone — flesh pressed upon a glass, stuck.
But now, bit by bit, things are looking up. Sweet relief.
Saglit lang naman ang hinihingi kong panahon, eh. Buhay pa naman (ata) ako, naliligaw sa mga eskinita, mali-mali ang sinasakyan, pero nakakauwi pa rin naman ng buo. Amoy pawis, amoy aspalto, amoy gulo. Minsan may konting galos pero madali namang remedyuhan ang mga sugat natin dahil sila mismo ay naghihilom mag-isa. Tayo rin.
Sabi ko nga tuwing nangyayari ‘to, mabuti na rin na naguguluhan tayo, ibig sabihin tayo’y nag-iisip pa rin. Mabuti nang hindi tayo tuluyang nakukuntento, para hindi tayo pamahayan ng alikabok. Mabuti nang may nakikita, naaamoy, nahahawakan, nararamdaman — para walang humpay ang udyok nating labanan ang pagkalimot sa pamamagitan ng bawat titik, ng bawat salita, ng bawat pahinang naisulat.
Konting panahon lang. Wala na kasing pinupuntuhan at pinatutunguhan, kailangan na atang mauntog at matauhan.