The fault in (my) words

My life lately basically moved in between sleeping, eating, reading, and watching animes. Not that I have a problem with it, but it sure does require some getting re-used to. My senior life in college was practically the opposite of that—I couldn’t stay put in a room, a quiet one at that, and I constantly seek to hang out with my friends and orgmates, or with anyone for that matter.

I’ve become dependent on the company of people, haven’t I?

Well, it seemed like it. Funnily enough, no one believes me anymore whenever I claim to be introverted. Almost everyone thought otherwise. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s a bad thing. Maybe both. Why am I confining the thing in the first place?

But for a moment, I wondered if it was actually the case now. I began hanging out with people I barely knew. I began craving new faces, new voices, new people in my life. The small circle I used to bind myself in began expanding—but, it was a change I’ve acknowledged and realized a long time ago. For some reason the fact overwhelms me again. A matter of restrospection, could it be? It’s only from a restrospective view of things do we realize the full weight of the changes that occurred in and to us, and in everything and everyone around us, after all.

But, I couldn’t distinguish the me now from who I’ve always thought I was. Is this the person I have always been? Or the person I always wanted to be and have finally become?

Did I lose myself, or simply found it?

And yet I wonder if the answer to those even mattered.

I wonder if this thought engagement should be taken as a positive thing, because I only write when I’m lonely. I never learned how to write about happy things, because majority of the words in my vocabulary are associated either with sadness or hatred.

Initially, I wanted to write about Sarah.
I wanted to write about how she doesn’t understand how important she’s become to me, and I will never mean to hurt her.

But I was never good at appreciating people and things.
Or at least, I was never good at expressing appreciation.

I don’t know the right way to keep people, the right way to keep friends, the right way to keep people I hold dear.

Because I always end up destroying everything I love.

You’ve grown on me. I’ve become severely attached to you. You’ve become too important. I was convinced I wasn’t born like everyone who were born in pairs, who needed to find the other pair to be complete, but you came. You came and I thought maybe I needed something, something like ‘the other half’. But these are things I don’t casually tell people, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know how. I was straightforward, but I’m not good with words; I had a knack for confrontations and debates, but I don’t know how to communicate appreciation and gratefulness. I can only communicate sadness.

I don’t know how to properly patch things up without making it worse, without saying things that will only fuel the fire.

How do you make someone understand something you don’t understand yourself?

How do you evade the fallacy and ridicule that comes along with justifying a supposedly wrongdoing?

Is there a better way to put it? A better way to make it understandable and comprehensible?

That the people we loved the most are the ones we were most cruel to?
It doesn’t need logic, does it?

I’m sad.
I’m lost.

I’ve been self-destructing and self-loathing since that day and I’m beginning to lose my mind. I began hating social media. I immersed myself into other things, anime mostly, to steer my thoughts away.

And little by little, I’m beginning to seal the void I thought you were made to fill in.

Little by little, I’m starting to get re-used to this.

Feeling like this.

Feeling nothing.

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A feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory

Note: The names are changed. (Still undone)

Last night, when Sarah and I were reflecting about our lives, a realization hit me.

It was 2am. We were talking about a lot of things. We were pondering on every stupid thing we did and were about to do, when we started discussing the consequences of confessions.

Yep, confessions.

She had planned to confess to Peter the following week. Her feelings have become toxic to her. She overthinks and overanalyzes everything nonstop, and it’s becoming destructive. She never tires of creating conclusions based on far-fetched assumptions and incomplete information, despite realizing it’s to her own detriment. She needed answers. And she bothers Beth and I a lot. Way, way, lot.

But the thing is, what we have were merely conjectures like her own. We don’t know Peter the way she does. And Peter alone has the answers she’s looking for. Does he feel the same? He probably has a clue, right? Why is he awkward? Why did he ignore me that day? He thinks I’m being stupid, right? Maybe he doesn’t even care? But why won’t he talk to me? God, you go add to the sequence. It’s the same stupid questions you’ve probably thought of or came across yourself. I’m guessing it’s driving her insane because her feelings felt too foreign, and it’s overwhelming her.

Beth and I advised her to confess already because that’s the only step she has to move forward. Her world has stopped. She couldn’t study, she couldn’t do anything because he fills up her mind. (Oh, how familiar. Overly at that) She would argue that it’s too early, that she’s not even sure about how she feels yet, and Peter might think she’s ridiculous. Trust me. There’s no talking her out of this. It’s gotten exhausting, actually. Calming and consoling her can get pretty tiring. We always had to rationalize things for her, as if everything always has to make sense. Every tiny detail about that night when she developed feelings for him, I got completely covered. We’ve basically dissected every word uttered and every movement made then. I can seriously write a novel about that one night, basically a shit ton of overanalysis of gestures and semantics, and details distorted due to heavy overthinking. I don’t even know why I carry this burden. Humans call this friendship.

Anyway, while on our beds, we were contemplating about the implications of whatever response he’d give her. The other day, she told me that Peter might accept her feelings thinking that she’d be a “waste”. She’s got a point—of course, under the assumption that Peter never got a confession before. After a couple more exchanges, I concluded that whether he returns her feelings or not, she’s damned either way. She’s still going to dissect whichever response he gives her. Although she could be right about the ‘waste’ part.

Because it’s how it is for most people, right?

When you find out someone out there sees you the same way you see someone you like, it makes us happy. It is elating and fulfilling. You’d think you were doing something right. You were doing something beautiful. It makes us even more happy when that person gathers up the courage to confess, because not everyone has the guts to do that.

But sometimes, how we respond to those feelings can render us selfish. We liked it. We liked the thought of someone being invested in us. We liked the thought of being important, of being the center of someone’s universe. Some of them even put us on a pedestal. And sometimes, though indirectly, or unintentionally, we end up giving them false hopes. We make them wait. We take advantage of their vulnerability.

They are left hanging, suspended on the unknown—just so we don’t lose them. We knew it was selfish. We knew. But we don’t want to lose them.

Or more accurately, we don’t want to lose the beauty, the importance, or the wonderful things they attribute to us. We don’t want to lose that feeling of being special. It’s understandable.

We circled around that topic when my confession to George crossed my mind. To be honest, I have moved on and forward — suffice it to say that since that day, I have become better. But I’m not happy for him. In fact, sometimes I want him to regret not choosing me. All that for my ego, though. It’s not because I still have emotional investments.

And then I realized that whenever I think of him, or talk about him, all I remember was everything he was after the bad things occurred. That night, it dawned me that after the confession, I barely remembered the reasons why I liked him. I barely remembered the good things about him, or the memorable things he did and we did together.

Like how, randomly, he would text me just to tell me that the moon that night is stunningly beautiful. He knew how much I loved the moon. He knew how much invested I was in the stars.

Or when he was dismissed in class and instead of going straight to the tambayan, he would sit with me on the bridge strangely carrying a washtub. He would pester me, and I’d be just happy talking to him.

Or when he’d withdraw and ask me to tag along, and then we’ll walk around the oval debating on the philosophy of confessing. Little things. We talked about life a lot. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about everything, and it felt like a lifetime would not be enough to talk about the things we could. You do not meet a lot of people who you could naturally and intellectually share your sentiments about the world with. Just like what Celine said in Before Sunset, when we’re young we think we’d connect with many people—later in life we’d realize it only happens a few times.

And we could ruin it, you know. Misconnect. 

I guess he was someone I really connected with. And misconnected.

 

I forgot.

I forgot how and what I actually felt for him after the confession.

Now, my feelings are raining on me.

Now, it dawned on me that I actually, immensely, profoundly, really liked him. For everything he was. For everything he had been.

But everything he did and everything he was after the confession blindsided me into thinking that he was simply a puzzle I preoccupied myself with because I was bored. That I did not like him—I was bored, I was just bored. And that I mistakenly—or subconsciously—chose to de-bore myself with a mere douche, a conceited jerk who’s completely naive of his own egotism and narcissism.

He was a douche.
But he was a douche along other things.

He was the person I liked, the person I admired, the person who made me happy. He was the person who once made every waking moment meaningful.

And the same was with everyone I decided to remove in my life. They were toxic along other things.

That night, I slept with tears wetting my pillow.
I slept wondering what it is that I have forgotten, what it is that memory has resurrected.

It was a feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory buried deep in my insides, imprisoned, meant to be locked up for goodness knows how long.

Whatever it is, however, the fact remains that George is just a memory now, a small memory now relegated to the past. And it shall stay there.

Blind side

December 31, 2015
5:45am (drafted post)

About five days ago, Dad came over. He visited us after Christmas to see baby Coleen.

I was glad. I liked talking to Dad once in a while, but I honestly don’t like if he sticks around too long. We talked about many things when he offered to drop Mich and I off in Santolan. But it didn’t actually turn out well. I don’t know. It’s either because I’m too feisty, or his point didn’t come across to me properly. Nonetheless, I don’t like people telling me shit I already know. I don’t like people devaluing my hard work just because theirs didn’t amount to something worthwhile. I don’t like people imposing me their belief system.

I don’t like people preaching around like a damn saint just because they’re claiming to have found their salvation.

It disgusts me.

Dad and I somehow got into an argument because he keeps insisting his opinion, and when I point that out he disclaims it. He started blabbering about this thing between using your heart and brain. Somewhere around the lines “you’ll end up really sad if you only always use your brain”. Don’t know. Numerous clichéd lines you probably know.

It came off as an offense. It felt like he’s trying to tell me that I’m all just about brains, no heart. Jeezus. I don’t even know where he’s getting all the crap he’s saying. He doesn’t know anything about me, about any of us siblings. He’s just a person who happened to have ‘our dad’ label.

And it pisses me off.

That exchange didn’t seem enough when he stayed around for another day in the house, even inviting my young cousin Harris for a drink. He began preaching about some random thing again about courage, and I jokingly corrected his pronunciation. They all laughed, and Ate Ten pointed out, “Taga-UP yan! Haha”, which I didn’t exactly liked. Then Dad started blabbering again about this story about his friend who happened to be from UP as well. He told us about how this certain friend’s intelligence went to his head, and when they had a fight he remembered reciting a couple of supposedly staggering lines to get him through his senses. He kept pointing out that his friend’s being from UP wouldn’t have been possible without his help. And that his intelligence is complete naught if he ain’t street smart, to which Dad accredits himself.

Thing is, it’s the same stupid sequence. He starts blathering on about things he could glorify himself with, and puts down other people for relying on their brains. I didn’t understand. It ticked me off. In fact, Dad is smart. Mom had stories about him in high school when he’d ace exams without studying. And I could tell he is because he has a wide set of vocabulary. And he speaks well.

Is it insecurity, Dad?

That night, I know Dad realized he pissed me off. Because I kind of exploded when he continued his bullshit story. Almost shouting, I exclaimed how I should have just fuck it over with my damn studies if they’re just gonna give me a lot of crap for supposedly being “intelligent”. What the fuck do you want? Weren’t you all the one who wanted me to become who I am now? Weren’t you, lolo, and lola the ones who pressed me into doing all these fuckery now? You all made me think I needed to be somebody when I grow up, and the only way to that is to become who I am now. And now that I am who I am now, you’re giving me that crap? Bullshit.

What I told him wasn’t much, in fact it was short, because I said that in a slightly blind rage. But it was long enough to make him realize he crossed the line.

I vented out on twitter, wondered how pathetic insecure people are, because they’d try to put you down for everything you are, because everything you are is everything they’re not. I know it was mean of me to think of Dad that way, but he really hurt my pride. He didn’t have the right to be proud of me.

Two days after, Dad was back here again. When he arrived, I asked him why he was here, in my attempt to be rude. I know, how immature. Anyway, Ate told me he left his charger so he dropped by. Then I left to meet Dhea in UP Town Center.

A few minutes after arriving back, I found myself fooling around my siblings over Mich’s ridiculously bleached hair. And then Ate Ten mentioned that Dad would probably reprimand Mich if he sees her tonight. Surprised, I asked her if Dad’s staying in. She confirmed it, saying it’s just for the day. I’m guessing Dad went out to hang out with his friends so as to not waste his trip here (he lives in Pampanga, with my grandparents). And then I went acting annoyed. Ate Ten brought up the day when I burst out in front of Dad, told me Dad talked to her that night, saying he was surprised and saddened by how I reacted. To make the story short, I ended up arguing with my sister and her boyfriend about it, both of them insisting that I got it wrong. And Dad was sad. I know Dad is insecure, because I know despite his brains, he didn’t have a good life. He was a drug addict. Grandpa put him into rehab thrice, and was banished many times. I know life fucked him over, but that doesn’t give him the license to behave like that. I can’t help but be angry with him, even for reasons that didn’t involve those certain exchanges. It’s just like me. When this kind of things happen, flashbacks would haunt me. Specifically the bad ones. They always seem relevant when something’s fucking up in my life. I then remembered the days when I was a kid, barely familiar with the world. I was five then, and from school I arrived to a sight of Mom crying quietly in the living room, her neck bleeding; my younger sister screaming and crying apparently locked down in one of our rooms. And then I was seven. I woke up to the sound of two women crying and pleading. Slightly opening the door, I could see Dad throwing punches at mom, who’s apparently trying to cover and protect my then 16-year old eldest sister, who went home at 11pm to Dad’s rage. There were many. I witnessed a lot of things – awful, sad, tragic – when I was young. And almost all of them were times when I’d just stand there quietly, crying because I can’t do anything. My childhood wasn’t particularly happy, but it wasn’t exactly miserable either. To be fair, there are good memories with Dad. We were happy once. There were a lot of pictures of us looking really happy and content. I don’t know. Drugs fucked him up. And it broke our family.

And then Ate and Karl told me that it must be really difficult for Dad to deal with those insecurities because he knew he wasn’t able to fulfill his role as a father to us, and maybe it’s eating at him. And perhaps, whenever he gets together with his friends, they ask about us and he couldn’t say anything because he doesn’t really know anything. Maybe he didn’t expect us, especially Mom, to get through everything despite him abandoning us. Maybe he was drowning in regret, and this was the least he could do.

How much of it do I don’t understand, really?

Somehow, after that, my anger faded. And I’m writing this. Because I’m sad.

I’m sad for a lot of reasons. And I’m still trying to figure them out.

From the inside looking out

Right now, I’m writing amid the mountain load of deadlines I have to meet this week. I’m writing despite the fact that I have a lot of paperworks to do. I’m writing even though I have a presentation later.

I’m writing because I’m sad.

I’m writing as I struggled to mobilize the scattered thoughts in my head—and I don’t even know what to write. I don’t know how to put the thoughts down into words. They were in constant disarray, and I can’t make them out of my head.

I’m sad. I’m just—sad. And words aren’t enough. They weren’t ever enough. There weren’t ever enough.

And I don’t know. Unusual has become a time when I stop and realize how much people misunderstand me. It was rare now, especially when I decided to expand my horizons. In the past, it was a regular thing. But times of mishaps remind me that I’m still beyond a lot of people’s comprehension. The way I view things has always been on the far side of people’s capacity for understanding. I don’t get it but I do. I understand it but I can’t. It’s strange. It’s strange because maybe, I was too different. It is supposed to be both a good and a bad thing—I know. But it’s a fact I’m still hesitant to accept.

The saddest thing here is that not even my family understands. But the consolation is in their attempt to, right? After all, I can’t expect people to get it when I’m adamant about opening up.

Opening up, huh?

But I’m loud and open. I’m straight up direct about what I think about things, events, and people. I have always been honest and transparent, blunt and tactless even, yet I’m still… in the dark. In the dark in their eyes. I don’t know what kind of opening up I have to do to get people to comprehend my brain. It’s never enough, is it? It’s a perpetual battle. And I guess the battle is to accept that not everyone will understand. That’s just how it is.

But why do I feel like I’m alone in this battle. I’m alone in this vast darkness and the familiarity convinced me to stay, because here shall be safe. Here is where I belong.

Funny, no one seemed to realize that the darkness had me completely enveloped. Funny, because this sadness is only understandable in front of my laptop.

Funny, because I don’t even know why it’s funny.

We can just go back, can’t we?

Somehow I thought it was over, somehow finally over because I already know where this leads. And it’s because I have to force tears out to cry. And I won’t cry. I won’t cry.

As I lay on my bed, I felt empty. I don’t even think what I needed was to be happy. I just stared blindly at the darkness, wishing to feel something. Like pain. I forced myself to cry but I won’t. I won’t. Why? I felt dry. It felt like I ran out of liquid. Inside. Tears. Like I no longer have any of that when they were all I’m left with in the past days. And I didn’t like that—feeling like a bag of emptiness. I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel alive. So I went down the memory lane.

I remembered him. How I met him. How he told me his first impression of me. How I started noticing the childish features of his face. How he was the only person I opened up to about my frustrations during those days. How I first texted him. How I stopped adding an honorific to his name. How he teases me about my first date. How he calls me that stupid name. How he hesitatingly opened up about his past. How he remarked about my appearance when I came to school without taking a bath. How he pesters my shoes when we were in the ruins. How he chased after me when I snatched him his phone. How we first rode the jeepney together. How I accidentally punched him and he keeps reminding me about that. How he always insults me whenever we cross each other’s paths. How–How—

(silly memories)

How everything changed. How my feelings ruined everything. And I lost it. We lost what used to be there. Friendship? Might be. Because sometimes and now I feel like a stranger to him. And I know it’s my fault. Because feelings. I developed feelings. I had feelings. I became attached. And I started seeing him more than what I should have.

The bad things always happen when people get too close to me. 

And I wish I could go back. And I wish we could just be like that again. And I wish we could be friends again. And I wish I could tell him my frustrations. Again. Again.

And I wish, I wish, I wish.

But that won’t happen.
I lost him the same way I lost her.

I could only hurt. And cry.

——

I finally cried.

And somehow this feels better than feeling nothing at all.

But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be recreated—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain. —Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

Feelings are disgusting. They make me sound disgusting.

It’s terrifying how much you could actually think of someone.

We didn’t have many memories. We barely see each other. We barely bond and do anything together. We barely talk or communicate. We hardly know anything about each other.

Funny how I stated that. It appears as if I’ve concluded we had feelings for each other, wondered why and listed reasons to contend it.

When in fact, it’s all me. It’s just mine. Because I don’t know what’s he thinking, I don’t know what I am to him. I don’t even know if I’m anything to him to begin with.

Every day passes and my feelings only get worse. Why did I think I could stop them? What made me think it could fade away?

When I scrolled Izumi’s blog, I was astounded by how maturely she views things. Although she might sound a little biased about everything, by the way she vents her thoughts, you could tell that she definitely had gone through something. And a lot. I mean the real thing. Legit. (No big deal actually. It’s just that… I’m not totally acquainted with that thing and I barely know anything)

How awesome would it be to actually have an experience. First-hand experience. And speak about it while philosophizing as to why this and that happen. Realizations would not be tentative then. What ifs are not directed to an unknown. There’s that thing. It breathes. It lived. But it died.

Unlike mine. So close to being an experience. Only it wasn’t—in a legitimate sense. I merely observe things from afar, theorize and conclude without firm bases. I apprehend and kill the thing before it even comes to life, and delude myself that it almost lived but was too weak to live on.

The things I said were irrelevant to each other.

I just wanted to write because I am sad.

I feel alone and dejected.

And I just miss him.

But it’s wrong.

It’s wrong.

Wrong.

—-

I don’t have many memories of him. I barely see him. I barely bond with him. I barely do anything with him. I barely talk or communicate with him. I hardly know anything about him.

So why.
Why?