My, my.

You opened a can of worms, my friend. You probably didn’t mean for that to happen, but it did. I can feel you inching farther and farther away from me, further proof of how guilty you’re probably feeling about everything. The way you acted that one night changed the way we would be for the rest of our days.. And I’m willing to bet every cent I have to my name that you know full well what happened—hell, you can probably pinpoint the exact moment you fucked things up. Know how I know? ‘Cause I can, too. I did. I knew it was happening. I saw it right before my eyes. I didn’t think to stop it, though. Probably because I thought you knew what you were doing.

No, scratch that—I hoped you knew what you were doing. I prayed that you were awake and aware of the way you set the drapes of my mind on fire, aware of the way the flames shone through the windows of my eyes. I pleaded with all of my heart: please tell me he’s doing this on purpose.

But you weren’t. No one ever claims to be when they’re drunk.

Men, Boys, Feelings, Etc.

1. You are emailing me random “good mornings” and “thank yous” and “have a nice days” and it is starting to slowly drive me insane. Our thread has stuck its big toe beyond the professional line and is inviting all the other toes to get in on it. Instead of telling you off for being too personal, I actively reply to your emails as if we were long-lost long-time friends-not-quite-lovers rediscovering each other’s warmth. You smile at me from far away, stare at me a few seconds longer than is acceptable, and I basically do everything you do to me, to you. We’re playing the same game, on uneven playing grounds.

One major disadvantage I have: I am not married.

2. You tell me about your recent anxiety attacks and make no mention of the love I had for you just a few months ago. I give you life advice straight out of my ass.

3. You are, consistently:
a) bothering me while I am working, telling me that I deserve a break and that we should go for a smoke
b) providing me life advice about how I can go about my problems based on your working knowledge of things and life
c) constantly sharing your complaints, ideas, dreams, plans, experiences, opinions, and occasional lewd jokes and farts
d) tell me that I am not as worthless as I think I am, in a very roundabout manner
e) wait for me when I am not yet done with my work, and ask me if I will be taking the shuttle with you (which I shouldn’t really, but I do, every time you ask)
f) are ubiquitous in my life and are starting to seem like a long-lost phantom limb trying to reunite with my existence
g) keep telling me about these girls, and keep talking to me about this one girl, and I hate you for it for some reason I don’t understand
h) never answer me straight when I ask you why you do all these things for me
i) always, always look at me when you think I’m not looking

“This is an apology letter to the both of us
for how long it took me to let things go.

It was not my intention to make such a
production of the emptiness between us
playing tuba on the tombstone of a soprano
to try and keep some dead singer’s perspective alive.
It’s just that I coulda swore you had sung me a love song back there
and that you meant it
but I guess sometimes people just chew with their mouth open

so I ate ear plugs alive with my throat
hoping they’d get lodged deep enough inside the empty spots
that I wouldn’t have to hear you leaving”

 

— excerpt from “Hurling Crowbirds At Mockingbars (Hope Is Not A Course Of Action)” by Buddy Wakefield

Remember that one time I broke into your laptop while you were sleeping just to get your version of StickyNotes because it looked cooler? Hmm you probably didn’t even know, so don’t answer that. Anyway, don’t worry I didn’t do anything else.. Except try to open your Word documents, which to my dismay were password-protected (ugh) Your laptop password was easy enough, given how at the time you hadn’t yet changed it since the last time you lent your laptop to me at that cafe in the mall. But you were sleeping when I pried it open, and to be honest I was more interested in lying down beside you than seeing anything in your laptop (though that would have been interesting, too). While there had been quite a few times that we lay beside each other and sometimes fell asleep next to each other, I never found out if any of it meant anything. I had loved you back then, I did; very much so. And it drove me insane how close we were to each other—living in the same space, eating the same food, sometimes even sleeping in the same bed—but how nothing everything in between us was. Nowadays I still see you around, but it’s not the same anymore. After having lived together for a semester (it was our first semester in college, all of us in that house) and coming to a somewhat deaed end, we had already known each other’s demons when we parted ways, and I guess that served us all for the better. Now you still talk to me, in your trademark chummy way, but I don’t really feel anything anymore, except for a weird longing for the knowledge of the goings-on in that parallel universe where the two of us lay in bed, tangled up in each other’s arms and breaths, dreams. I’m still using the StickyNotes version I stole from you in your sleep, though.

Ayoko Na Atang Matulog Kahit Kailan

Napanaginipan na naman kita kagabi. Matagal-tagal na rin mula nang huli akong managinip.. At sa unang beses na nanaginip ako ulit, ikaw pa talaga ang bida. Hindi naman siguro ito pahiwatig ng kung ano, pero yung panaginip mismo, parang mahirap isipin na wala syang ibig sabihin.

Nagkaayos daw tayo, at nagsisimula ulit. At, o Diyos ng malulupit na biro, mas naging mabuti daw ang relasyon natin kaysa nitong huli. Mas malapit tayo sa isa’t isa, at hindi ka na lumalayo. Nagkaron ng punto sa panaginip ko na nakikinig ako ng musika, at lumapit ka—oo, ikaw ang lumapit—para makinig sa pinakikinggan ko. Kung sa totoong buhay ‘yon nangyari, sumobog na sana ang baga ko kakapigil ng hininga. Pero dahil sa panaginip lang nangyari ang lahat, ngumiti lang ako sa sarili ko at lalo pang lumapit sa’yo. Ibinigay ko sa’yo ang kanang earphone ko, pero masyado itong maikli kaya kinailangan mong ilapit ang mukha mo sa’kin.. At dun na napaimpyerno ang lahat.

Napakalapit ng mga mukha natin. Napakalapit. At sa toto lang, hindi ko sinisisi ang sarili ko sa nangyari sa panaginip na ‘yon (well, hindi masyado) kasi sino nga ba naman ang makakatiis, maliban sa duwag na ako sa totoong buhay?

Hinalikan kita. Nagsasalita ka no’n, mahina. Halos idinaplis ko lang ang labi ko sa labi mo, isang dampi na sa sobrang gaan ay napaisip ako kung naramdaman mo ba o hindi, lalo’t hindi ka agad-agad tumigl sa pagsasalita. Ilang saglit pa’y umimpis ang boses mo’t napipi ang ‘yong mga salita, at tinitigan mo ang mukha ko. Sa mga sandaling ‘yon, sa aking nararamdamang halong katangahan at pagmamahal, medyo nakangiti pa ako habang nakatitig din sa ‘yo. Sa mga sandaling ‘yon, naramdaman ko na mahal nga kita, at sa unang pagkakataon ay nagkaron ako ng kaunting kasiguruhan na mahal mo din ako.

Tapos, nalukot ang mukha mo. “Sinadya mo ba ‘yon?” tanong mo sa’kin. Natunaw ang ngiti sa mukha ko’t di ako nakasagot. Inulit mo ang tanong mo, at dito’y nagpanic na ako. Ikaw din ay nag-umpisa na’ng magalit at umalis. Pinipigilan kita, pero hindi ko nakayanan ang pagkadismaya sa mukha mo’t hinayaan na lang kita. Kung nakikita ko lang ang mukha ko sa mga sandaling ‘yon, gugustuhin ko siguro ‘yong sapakin.

Sa paglipat ng eksena, nakikita kong kumikilos ang mga paa ko. Umekstra ang isa pa nating kaibigan.. Kasama ka nya. Hinahabol nyo ako para makasabay. Gusto mo na atang makipagbati.. O kung hindi man, siguro lumamig lang ang ulo mo o kung ano. Tahimik akong ngumiti.

Hindi ko na alam kung ano’ng nangyari. Susunod na naalimpungatan ako sa paligid ng panaginip, andito ka na sa bahay ko at naliligo sa aming banyo at nakahiga sa’king kama. Putangina, kung alam mo lang kung gaano ko katagal pinangarap ‘to. Pero sa di ko malamang dahilan, hindi kita nilapitan. Buong panahon na itinagal mo sa bahay, nakaupo lang ako sa baba, naghihintay; ng ano, hindi ko alam. Sa wakas, napagdesisyunan kong akyatin ka sa kwarto, dahil hindi ko matiis na hanggang imahinasyon lang ako, lalo na’t andyan ka naman at pwede kitang makita. Ginusto kong umupo sa tabi mo’t haplusin ang natutulog mong mga mata, ang payapa mong mukha, na dati’y walang emosyon kundi tawa o tunganga. Misteryo ka sa akin noon; ngayon, andito ka na, napakalapit, at naisip ko: ilang hakbang na lang at mag-uumpisa na tayo.

Pagbukas ko ng kwarto, wala ka sa kama ko.

Kapatid ko ang natutulog do’n, at nagising sya sa pagbukas ko ng pinto. Naramdaman kong bumagsak ang mukha at lamanloob ko, pero hindi ko pinakita. Tinanong ko lang s’ya kung nasaan ang babaeng natutulog do’n kanina, sa sobrang takot ko na baka ilusyon lang ang lahat. Sabi nya, “kanina pa umalis.”

At doon na ako nagising.

I used to check in on your blog every few days because I was afraid you’d kill yourself and I’d lose the one person whom I thought felt the same things & saw the world the way I did. I was sure you’d go through with it, because I knew—or at least thought I knew, thought I weighed the same gravity during the same nights of lying stock-still & staring at the ceiling—what you felt, but also that you were more decisive about things than I was; where I couldn’t do it, you could.But you didn’t, and I’m glad you didn’t. It’s just a little sad that the person I thought could be the other half of my soul is apparently broken in another way, & sees things differently. I was stupid to have thought that we could be the person the other one needed. I was stupid to have thought that you needed any company other than your own misery. Hell, if I had any idea who you were, I should have known that from the start.

So I’m sorry I tried.

Do you remember when, in the third grade, you gave me a maroon Parker pen with your mom’s initial elegantly engraved on it? I could have loved you back then, but I can’t be sure now. We were young, and I only ever held your hand in dreams I didn’t conjure of my own accord. There was no romance left for you back then; I had too much a swig of a certain high-flying crush ng bayan to have felt anything for anyone else. Those days were much simpler; I could look at someone without falling in love with him, or falling out of love with the one I was pining for. You were nice, though, and I liked talking to you. You gave me that pen with the pretense of lending it to me for the day, until the afternoon when we had to go our own ways with our own sundo and you simply shrugged it off with a smile when I returned it to you. I fell in love with that pen, I’m sure. A decade has passed since, and in that whirling  space of time I lost that pen.

I wish I didn’t, though. I wish I didn’t.

I remembered all of this only now, when I saw your name on my FB feed. In a few year’s time, I’d probably forget who I’m talking about in this aside. Time flutters by like a torn piece of cloth..