Nearness

I rushed from Ateneo to Makati, thirsty, hungry, and physically and emotionally exhausted after a long day of seemingly endless readings and talking. I waited outside your building drenched in perspiration after brisk walking from the MRT station in Ayala to Paseo de Roxas and running from there to the front of your building. I waited more. Not wanting to sound very excited, I waited some more because you were already maybe “in a hurry”, I told myself. But I made the mistake of succumbing to my thirst. I left to buy Gatorade at a 7eleven in the nearby block only to receive that text saying my making you wait was “not funny”.

I was flabbergasted.

I saw nothing wrong in letting  you know I was.

Tonight, I am sleeping alone (because you wanted to spend the night by yourself). And because I badly need rest, a quiet time to read that book I was meaning to read but never found the time and space, a moment to check a handful of my students’ papers, and to watch Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation or a History Channel documentary. And to also have my share of this solitude.

And you also need this as much as I do.

We often ignore the value of distance (or space) and its benefits to any type of relationships. In fact, it is necessary as it gives both parties a breather; it allows them to stretch here and there, and, maybe, give them chances to long for each other, something they forget as essential to a well-functioning union.

And so tonight, when I’m done pumping iron at the gym, when dinner is over, when I am about to sleep, I’ll relish the moments but will look forward to seeing each other again. Tomorrow, hopefully.

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