Longing

There were many things I missed about you:

You, our dinners together, the dishes you prepared for us, your scent, the sadness in your eyes, your voice, your sarcasm, the shadow you cast on the wall, myself when I am with you, your feigned indifference, your keen observations on the human condition, your sense of security in who you are. The security I feel when you’re around. Your funny jokes, the idiosyncrasies of your English, the grayness of your soul, the long silence that gives the stories you narrate a cadence I imagined our ancestors must have utilized to enthrall their listeners while they gathered around the storytellers, the tears that fall from your eyes for no apparent reason, your logic of seeing the world, your voice, your ready solutions to almost all problems we encounter.

Your love for life.

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Abandoned

“ABANDONO” (By Gabriel Rolón)

They all left us one day. And when I say abandon, I don’t mean just an extraordinary act. Traumatic. No. It is simpler. But it hurts the same.

They all left us in the middle of a mess. At the beginning of a project. In the pleasure of achievement accomplished. In the least thoughtful moment. In the most anticipated moment.

Sometimes it happens, that you turn around and you have no one who joins your boogers, who taps you on the back, who winks at you when something went well and who cleans your knees when you went to the grass by mistake.

We all know the loneliness it feels when we feel alone. Because we were all abandoned one day.

And then, we found a very sad secret, a palliative act, to cover that well.

We see people who eat the anguish by swallowing a pack of cigarettes, the other who runs and runs like crazy to see if the wind in his face fills that hole in his chest.

People who eat their nails along with nerves and paralyzing anxiety.

Packets of cookies that are going to stop in the mouth without a notion that what they are trying to kill is not hunger.

Or at least, not that.

Guys that pierce the nose and veins, with the odd thing that happens to another reality for a couple of hours.

Other starts playing what he doesn’t have.

You will compulsively buy things you don’t need, to feel a little alive for a moment.

And I will watch a movie, which secretly enables me to cry looking outside, which I don’t feel I would like looking inside.

We screw ourselves that when we are worse, it is when we punish ourselves the most.

Because all that you eat, eats you.

It makes you worse.

It adds to the abandonment, the guilt of doing something that you know is not genuine.

That is not what you want.

You Don’t eat like this because of hunger.

You Do not run for sport, when you are cracking yourself.

You do not get intoxicated for pleasure.

You do not have sex with that person for love.

You hide.

Hide and seek.

You pull down the carpet.

You close your eyes.

You put on a muzzle and a pair of headphones to not hear your heart.

You are eating yourself.

And maybe, the secret is to stop.

About feeling, remembering, in that abandonment what you lack, is what you have to look for.

Maybe it’s time to ask for that hug.

To lie on your mom’s knees.

Call saying, yes, I swear I need you.

Is now. Not after. Now.

Go to that house. Talk to the person who listens to you. Cries. Shouts. Vomits.

Juggling, in the middle of the beating, has only one result. Result that will not heal the wound that bleeds you, because you are putting a band-aid.

And the band-aids do not heal.

The band-aids cover.

And you know very well that covered pain is not healed pain.

Stop a little. Look in the mirror of your soul.

Look at what you need and go out to find it where you think you can find it. But find it in Reality.

Don’t flutter like a fly on empty plates.

Ask for what you need if you see that you just can’t.

Because there is no worse abandonment than one that you are doing with yourself. Do not play with that. You have no right to abandon yourself.

—–

(Thank you for this poem.)

Poetic justice

Seeing the rubble of what was once a monument to snootiness–I heard the old rich of Varsity Hills Subdivision cried their lungs out while the men of Quezon City’s demolition team snatched the CCTV cameras and hammer to the ground the gate and guard house that used to stand for the oppressiveness of the homeowners’ association–may just be one of the most gratifying feelings I have had in a while.

I did not witness the performative poetic justice served piping hot, but seeing the wreckage and the road free for both cars and pedestrians to use is enough. It’s like watching a Greek tragedy and being spared of witnessing the violence that has just transpired as one only sees the aftermath, only this time, the homeowners are not the tragic character–they are the vile villains in Mexican telenovelas of the 90s, unrepentant until the very end.

Catharsis for the audience is served just as well.

For the longest time, the wealthy of Varsity Hills Subdivision had been claiming the public road as theirs by enclosing it in gates they had constructed and placing their guards that are ordered to stop the people who do not look middle-class enough or who will not answer back in grammatically correct English.

While taking pictures, for this post, the entire drama is summed up by that woman riding a motorcycle who gave me that very meaningful smile that borders between victory and what can be said in Tagalog a “beh, buti nga!” In my language we call it “gaba”.

We need to witness dramatic scenes like this more often.

Quietude

There’s something beautiful about a quiet morning spent with an ex-lover, having breakfast while talking about nothing of significance, only the usual drama of existence–hair color, a prospect of a debilitating illness, a trip to the vet, the challenge of having an almost-obese cat. And the only thing that disturbs the quiet is the noise made by a three-month old kitten playing with her plastic ball in the background.

While life is bound to be catastrophic at an indefinite time in the future, beautiful, quiet moments like this make our brief stay in this world worth the fight and boulder-pushing to the mountain top.