Minutes from now

Instead of wasting my time waiting for my pdf reader installer (or whatever it’s called) to finish downloading and before I continue writing my paper on the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya, I might as well leave some thoughts here.

I’ll be spending the rest of my night later evaluating essays on the history of several ancient Southeast Asian kingdoms, writing about them, drafting a proposal for a paper on modern Vietnam, and reading a sampling of poems I will discuss with my students tomorrow. It’s a bit frustrating sometimes when I feel that I am not and cannot maximize my potentials in doing any of my endeavors because there simply isn’t enough time. I hope there’d more time for sleep, more time to read, more time to be quiet, more time to slow down, more time to do things necessary for a functioning human to live normally, but as is apparent, time is too expensive, too short, to elusive, too fleeting.

I am thankful the download time for this file takes 18 minutes; had it not been for the slow internet connection, I would not have found this time to write here, check my facebook, and forget about the tons of papers I’m going to face minutes from now.

Six minutes to go.

Five minutes… (these dots are calming)

Four minutes… (‘dots’ sounds a lot better than ellipsis).

Three minutes…

Two minutes… (this is starting to get boring).

One minute…




A night on the roof deck

It was like the last time, we both ended up spending time on the roof deck, only this time we did not swim because the air was too cold, the water even colder. Instead we sat on a quiet corner and talked about how small we were compared to the tall buildings surrounding us, what lives those people in those lighted boxes live, where we’re heading.

Finding peace in the middle of the city, feeling the unusually cool breeze coming from EDSA, sitting next to the person dearest to me were more than what I could ask for that night.

It took the person I love most to make me realize how low I’ve dipped. And the realization came too late.

I already lost the person forever.

For long I have been convincing myself that going through change is a slow, walk-in-the-park process, where I take my time and I change like the seasons, in an almost natural pace.

But permanent and meaningful changes occur like a revolution. I will not afford losing the people I love in the future because I simply can’t. It’s sad to be left. My young and profligate self dies today.

This post is a manifesto, a declaration that from today on, I’ll value my words and stop creating lies to cover the lies I’ve concocted previously.

It’s painful to realize that a relationship is not all about love. It is about a careful and intricate admixture of commitment, patience, humility, and honesty. In the future, when I fall in love, I’ll fall with all these virtues. But while it is painful, it proved painfully effective in making me understand its true value.

I was given a chance to sincerely love, but I fucked the chance because I thought to love is the only thing that is required of me. I regret my naivete, my selfishness, my being an asshole.

January 9, 2012

I have not seen you only for a week now, but it felt like a lifetime has already passed. It was as if I was back to where I was before I met you. No, even worse. Multiply that misery and loneliness by a hundred and have it squared, no, cubed, no, multiply it by infinity. And it would still feel a lot worse. Nobody told me it would be this hard. I thought I would survive it unscathed, but I was proved wrong. I thought I would move on quickly, but it was something I was not prepared and will never be prepared. I have finally arrived at this point in my life where I have fallen so deeply, escaping from it is unthinkable. For the first time in my life I have been crazy in love. I’d go mad thinking about a future spent alone or with somebody else and not you.

You gave me so many reasons to be happy. In a year of us together, I knew I was the happiest man in the world. There was no day that passed without me being thankful to God that He has given me somebody so beautiful I’d find myself at awe looking at you and your gentle face, breathing lightly while you sleep in my arm every night. You have made me a man so complete I dared not ask for more lest God takes you away from me.

Ours was so beautiful. So beautiful I thought something like ours could exist only in fiction. But exist it did. I dared sneak more and He unabashedly took you away. Your absence and silence jolted me. They killed me. Seeing you drift so quickly was too painful to bear. All my intellectualizing and liberal shit meant nothing when you went away. They are mere abstractions. Your absence is concrete, experiential; the pain I felt when you left me was not surreal. It was so real.

All of a sudden tomorrow did not look as inviting; the future did not anymore hold its promises; life became a bore. These past days, I’d drag myself to work, not finish my meal, and the city looked all the grayer and sadder. It was like running toward nowhere. I lost all the desire to run or walk. Because where I am now is nowhere.

And this paradox brought by love, hadn’t I reminded myself not to be smitten, is consuming me.

Rational thinking has deserted me completely. I cannot give you a logical reason why you should consider coming back to me and give me a chance. The memories we made being together for a year, pity for a wretched man; I cannot think of any decent reason, Babe. But I remain hopeful.  You may have lost your faith in me, lost hope that what we had could still be brought back, but I know that love’s still there. It’s the only thing my dear life holds on to now.


We begin thinking about the future more, incessantly, when the present becomes shaky, that not even the certainty of the past can ensure that what will be tomorrow is the same as how yesterday’s tomorrow became moments ago.

I knew it was meant to be forever because I was hoping and praying for it to last that long or at least until the time my brain is still capable of processing perceptions, the beautiful feeling of love being one of them. But, we humans are too untrustworthy when it comes to our relationships, or maybe it’s just I. We humans are fickle when it comes to intimacy, or maybe it’s just I. How funny the word fickle sounds. I love the sound of capricious or vacillating, but I ended using “fickle”. It’s a linguistic mystery how this un-serious-sounding word is able to contain meanings far bigger than it, far blacker than it, or maybe it’s just I who has problems with clarity and telling the truth.

Today I did what I usually do minus that “inner happiness” that carries me or I carry, whichever way, around when my day begins to be unforgiving. My happiness hung onto something as wobbly as somebody else’s heart (and smile) which I never regretted. Now I am holding it in my hand not knowing what to do with it.

I am forcing myself not to believe that true happiness can only reside in the “narrowly escaping”, “hanging by the thread”, but it appears to me that it does. We humans are tragic beings because we are wired to seek happiness somewhere else, or maybe it’s just I.


And for this, the happiest man in the world is somebody who knows with certainty that tomorrow, which will not truly come, will be his last. I know that my tomorrow will be followed by another tomorrow, and of course, another tomorrow. And I woe that it will certainly be just me, by myself.

I have not been alone for a long time, and it proves challenging to relearn it. I have totally believed in forever that I have completely forgotten how it is to be in solitude once again. Though I am not an old dog so I’ll definitely learn new tricks.

*My apologies for the turgidity of this prose.