Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a recollection borne out of a weekend at the beach and other instances

September 14, 05:21pm
Grey clouds in the sky seemed to burst anytime soon, traffic on all major roads building up. But there was no stopping this. I finally arrived at point of destination, with a packed bag, with anticipation to see you and all. Messages and calls were unanswered. Anticipation waned with every passing minute that moved like turtle. I waited a little bit more.

September 14, 09:40pm
Our glasses were half-empty, the buckets of ice and beer perspiring as if human, as if tense under the faint yellow lights that illumined our faces. We were both good at hesitation. You had histories better left unheard but you spilled a few anyway, spilled some words. I listened, gathered them, embraced them. Accidents do happen, but they won’t be as frequent as we fear them to be if we know where to go, how all of this will go. And then you sang a Coldplay song.

September 15, 06:30am
The clouds relieved itself all over the metro since yesterday. Despite the rains that flooded once again the streets of Manila, as if this country couldn’t get enough of rain, there was no stopping this. This day was a promise of good things to come. The 22nd birthday of Mars must be held at the beach. Matabungkay, Batangas was our last resort, and I wished it wouldn’t be our last trip together.

September 15, 08:30am
We remember a lot. Old jokes, old stories, old friends with common quirks, common pratfalls of uncommon men. We were in for a long ride, approximately three hours on the road, 120 kilometers or so. We downed two or three bottles of liquor inside the van. Except for the excessive drinks and drugs, we were like characters in a Jack Kerouac novel, like we were having the time of our lives.

September 15, 10:10am
You spilled some words. And I listened, gathered them. But this time I couldn’t embrace them. They felt loaded, and there was an echo in them I was not ready to hear, especially in the company of other people. These words were jagged, hard as nails, potent as poison to the mind of a cynic. And I am one of those raised with the mind of one. I have always been good at jumping to conclusions. For instance: I believe the shell of a turtle is a lonely place.

September 15, 02:50pm
Silence had always been my default weapon of choice. And you mimicked me, and it worked for you so well. My heart did a slow clap not out of admiration but in fear of an encore.

September 15, 07:30pm
It was a day of good things to come, but like practicing poetry, like organizing major events, like copywriting, like gracing the television screen with charm, like being there for each other, blowing things out of proportion must be one of our hidden talents. It shouldn’t have started that way, more so ended that way, but things became uncontrollable. Accidents do happen. Above the din of karaoke music, I continued breaking every pack of ice on the wall as if it was therapy.

September 15, 10:35pm
When push comes to shove, we know the right words to say. It has always been that easy. We could have a whole arsenal of reasons why we do what we do, but that night they were not enough. “[E]asy is not always right./ Not even enough. To ignore complexity/ is to question the generosity of the sky.//”

September 16, 02:40am
The winds and rain were howling with us, crying at the night as long and convoluted as the events taking place: emptying a bottle of whiskey, repeating a Coldplay song, breaking an umbrella, scarring and bruising our skin. A few feet away from this picture, there was a rain-drenched person by the gate, there was a person tear-drenched in bed. And then there was silence.

September 16, 10:15am
An apology was dropped and a grunt was its response. It could have a multitude of meanings, and I prefer the bright, positive ones. Outside, chips were strewn all over the place, bottles crowded on a table, glasses tipped on their sides like fishes out of water, gasping for air. This must be the aftermath of a storm we were not prepared of. And for a rest house close to the beach, we ironically ran out of water.

September 16, 03:40pm
We remember a lot. And like masters of theater breaking the fourth wall, we laughed at the disasters both natural and unnatural. We always tend to believe or show no storm could weather our spirits, but deep inside I think otherwise. This is one of the many errors I’ve grown accustomed to: Don’t believe it, think otherwise. I thought it was the best moment to think otherwise.

September 16, 08:25pm
We finally reached the city. I have always been good at jumping to conclusions: Manila was not spared with a minute of dryness the other day. I was right. Some parts of Makati were waist-deep in flood water, and possibly neck-high in frustration. We changed routes to avoid sinking deeper into unnecessary anxieties.

September 17, 01:30am
“There is no such thing as friends; we’re just together.” You heard this already, I told you a few days ago, but I had the feeling it made you all the more fretful after hearing it yourself from a friend. You just smiled like you always do. It had always been your default weapon of choice. And I mimicked you, but it didn’t work that well. Somewhere in the last remaining spots of green in the city, a turtle slipped back in its shell, the hard rain pounding on its back.

September 17, 08:45pm
We were both good at hesitation. We never really say what we truly want to say. And this is one way of learning poetry: Listen.

September 17, 10:20pm
“You’re lucky to have them,” you said, “as your friends.” I said yes. It’s true. But in my head I thought I am more than that. I am blessed. But I remain unsure if they do, too. We have fears and questions becoming stranger by the minute. This is one of the errors I’ve grown accustomed to.

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