let me talk
how bad it gets
at 3 in the afternoon.
maybe all of us
get sad sometimes
but the sun is still up
and i am surrounded by people
and i am already lonely
and it doesn’t get better
in the night.
At pag nalulungkot ka, sino?
Pag nawawala ka, saan?
Tama ka nga.
Tama kang dapat tayo.
Tama kang dapat tayo—ikaw at ako—ngayon.
Tama kang dapat tayo ngayon, ngunit maling panahon.
Tama kang dapat tayo ngayon ngunit sayang dahil sa maling panahon.
Tamang tao pero sa maling panahon—ako at ikaw—tayo.
May mali nga bang panahon kung sa tamang tao?
Maling panahon; maling oras, maling tiyempo.
Maling panahon tayo.
As in my bones ache,
and my soul feels a lot older.
But every time I decide
that it’s going to be the last time,
I give it one more try.
The very moment
you realize that you lose
is the time you win.
Naglakad ako ng mabilis,
you pull them closer.
But the moment they knew
that you want them close,
they start drifting away.
“I don’t deserve any of this!” he cried, while sitting on the sidewalk, having a very cathartic moment. It’s been a wild night, full of disappointments and twisted drama, yet he managed to set them all aside. He was already flying high and so far-off; he’s had several joints since 10:00 pm and he’s feeling that he has actually put things behind him. “Sometimes I think that I’m bigger than the sound… I think that I’m bigger than the sound.. I think..,” it was endless; it was a line of a song stuck in his head, and he didn’t want it to leave the corners of his brain, because it has been successful on blocking images to replay in his mind. Yet when they started walking, something seemed to drown everything. It was the sudden blow of wind, and he eventually felt like being washed —to nothing— as if actual pieces of hope were slipping out of his fingers. But it didn’t matter. And suddenly it came to him: life would be a lot easier if he didn’t care.
Sometimes you want to wait,
with your hot coffee
and a ready heart;
undisturbed and undiscovered,
but you get tired of it.
Sometimes you want to look around,
in the sidewalk behind that gray building
on Saturday nights;
unblinking and unfaltering,
but you get tired of it.
Sometimes you’re ready to give it all,
with a naked body
and a golden ring;
unafraid and unscathed,
but they get tired of you.
And I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that I am seeing her now, in a coffee shop four streets away from where we used to live.
“How’s everything going here? Did you miss me?” she asks with a look I cannot quite read.
Did I miss her? Did I miss her? I make a one-syllable laugh upon hearing that question. It’s funny how at 23, she still has the guts to ask such things. Sure, she’s always been on the top of everyone else’s list; she’s been living in a world where people go throwing themselves at her, where it is never “I miss you” and always everyone missing her. She’s golden— and the only thing that makes her value a little lesser is that she knows it. Her iridescence lights up everything and everyone around her, and everyone has always noticed that. What a self-centered bitch, I think.
But looking at her now, there’s something really different that I can’t fully distinguish: maybe her weary eyes, maybe her messy hair, maybe the way she says her words, as if really looking for someone who truly missed her. Did she like it there? Is she happy? Is everything going the way she planned them to be?
And the questions keep going, digging up to the deepest trenches of my emotional vulnerability: did she miss me? Did she realize my worth? Did I ever matter to her? Is she coming back to me?
I start to doubt myself. Have I been waiting all along? The thought makes me nervous, as I am realizing that I might be living a lie for years. And I laugh at all the people waiting. I pity them, and it feels good. But now I pity myself too. No, she’s never going back. I know that. From that day on, I’ve set her free, and I never had a single attempt to make her feel that I am worth keeping. I think it’s a good thing: the way I always accept defeat and how I treat goodbyes as absolute ends. I don’t wait. I can’t wait. And I make up my mind that when I decide to leave people, I’ll make sure that I am not going back.
Instead I say, “Everyday. I miss you everyday.” The coffee arrives and the lady calls our name.
I work hard to get things on my own. And I’m okay with it sometimes. Until I realize that some things are meant to be received, and people get them without even asking. And isn’t that a little unfair? I jump, and I run, and I dive all the way, and I get the slightest piece, while some people get more, without moving a finger.
And I question myself every time: maybe my arms weren’t long enough, maybe I should’ve run a little faster; maybe I was aiming for the wrong thing. Or maybe that’s just how it goes. In some stories, I’m the one who deserves the biggest of things, and yet I get nothing.