Anonymous asked: Hi Jerard! When will I read your next Young Blood entry? Hmmm.... And as a fellow Lamb, may I know your favorite Mariah Carey songs? (Of course, if it's okay with you) :):):) --your tumblr stalkee :*
Hola! I’ve never had a Tumblr stalker. At least, not that I know of. So, yay! LOL
I was going to submit a Young Blood entry that discusses my experiences as a contractual government employee for 2 years. That would be timely for Labor Day, but as you may have noticed, May 1 has come and gone. I wasn’t able to finish the thing. Mariah distracted me. But then again, there’s no guarantee they’d pick it up for publication even if I was able to submit it on time. Hopefully, inspiration strikes before this year ends. I am also eyeing for other publications like the Philippine Free Press. For PFP, I’d submit a short story. Wouldn’t that be cool? Okay, now you got me frustrated.
As for your Mariah Carey songs query, Hello? How about… ALL OF THEM? Haha!
Let’s make this easier. I’ll just give you a Top 10:
Air kisses, dahhhlin’! :*
After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child
And you learn to build
all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground
is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn
that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…
I cleaned the house today.
Of course, as always, I started with my bedroom. It was the most profound thing, looking at that ornate box under my bed. I was surprised at how oblivious I had become of its existence. I did the math using my hand. Six fingers—a finger for every month that has passed—that’s how long I had been sleeping on top of it.
I lifted the lid and sifted through the letters, the receipts, the large bundle of bus tickets, and everything else that we had accumulated during our relationship. I slowly took them out. I already made a large heap of things when I decided to separate this one photograph and its accompanying letter which you gave to me a year ago. The large pile, I carried outside. I struck a match and lit the paper bag which had contained the body wash you gave me when we went out of town. Everything else followed.
I realized, as I watched the flames slowly consume the guitar keychain we bought, that a few months ago, burning these things would have hurt. I had been sleeping on top of the box of our memories because I hadn’t let go of them yet. Pulling them away abruptly would have been excruciating so I had to wean it out of my system. Today, I finally have—completely.
Using a stick, I sorted the burning paper and saw one of your letters catching fire, turning black, and then gray. In the end, you’ll be happy to know, I understood your letters, love. I used to read your sweet sentences as they were, but I finally gained the courage to read between the lines and found that even there, you and I weren’t meant to be.
I cleaned the house today and the first blotch I wiped clean was yours.
3. The first morning we woke up together, I had watched the faint light filtered by the closed blinds hit your eyes as you opened them. Our skins—warm and dewy—were pressed together by the gravity from each beating heart.
The first morning I saw you, I knew that I had let you in completely into my world.
12. The last time I saw you, you were in the mall, stationary amidst the blurring Saturday crowd, gawking at me as I turned my back. I began to walk away and looked back after 31 tepid steps.
The last time I saw you, I knew I had to start letting my world spin again, because you were gone together with your gravity. Your gravity which pulled away everything I had let in.
Burning red taillights were in scarcity. This, I noticed as I held firmly the steering wheel. I checked the clock and my earlier observation suddenly made sense. 3:12 am and at 90 kph, the South Luzon Express Way was nothing but an occasionally blurring dark snake, tapering in front of me.
This was a rarity. My father’s the master driver in the family and between my brother and I, he’d pick my brother to drive to the Metro any day of the week. That hardly hurts my ego as a driver because, frankly, I’m never comfortable driving with my father in the car. We both make each other nervous for no observable reason.
“Hey, you drive well,” my brother, who was in the backseat with his girlfriend, exclaimed with a tone that seemed to question our father’s judgement of my driving.
“Uhm, hello. I’ve been driving for more than 3 years. It should make sense,” I replied.
And it did seem like it made sense to him, too, because he only fell silent after that.
In less than an hour, we arrived home. Inside, I silently crept into my parents’ bedroom and sat beside my mom who was half asleep on her side.
“Hey, mom. I drove the car going home,” I whispered.
“That’s great! What did your brother say?”
I told her what he said. And after lying with her in an embrace for what felt like a long time, I sat back up again and planted a kiss on her cheeks. I suddenly felt like sleeping beside her, but fought against it when I remembered my age and size.
I headed to my room and changed clothes. I checked the time again. In a few minutes the sun will be up. I pondered on the opportunity of witnessing the sun rise, but ended up choosing sleep. At that moment, I rested my head on the pillow and closed my eyes because it didn’t matter if I was awake or asleep—the sun will be coming and along with it, the blistering sense of possibilities. And that, above everything else, was what I had been waiting for.
It wasn’t enough. You destroyed the door to my gilded room and found me in a sacred coil, but that wasn’t enough. See, it wasn’t the room that needed trenchant infiltration, it was my heart. But what you didn’t know was I hid it somewhere safe—not in the room, not in the house, not in the garden with the thorny roses. So what you were groping at was nothing but a void—that’s why you never had it—it was never really there.
Clearly, you can’t do what I do and I’m pretty sure that for a prolonged period of time, you’ll be spending your days emulating me and every little thing that I do. You will be a shadow, the dust that I set off as I speed ahead, sorely lagging behind.
But do you know what stops me from caring or even noticing? It is the knowledge that there is before you a great precipice. I am on the celestial clouds with my back facing you while you are there—down—and will always be down. No matter how much you may so desire, you will never be in my world again.
I opened my eyes this morning and found that the sun hadn’t come up yet. It was a terribly long night and the cold hadn’t left my feet. I thanked the dream giver for giving me what I wanted–-a dreamless sleep.
I shifted my gaze from the sunless window to my bedside table. I stared at my phone for a good 3 minutes until I decided to push it farther as if it were a ticking bomb. I closed my eyes and felt the pain rushing back to my consciousness, the pain I pray no one would ever have to feel.
I wished I were still asleep with drier eyes but somehow I could feel that the earth continued to rotate, and the sun will be up again in a few minutes. I resolved it’d be better to move now.
I stood up hastily letting the pillow I’d been hugging all night fall to the floor. I dragged my feet in front of the mirror. It was hard not to notice my eyes which were puffier than usual, but that wasn’t what I was trying to check. I slowly tilted my head down, looked at my chest and saw that it was still there—that gaping hole staring back at me.
Please don’t misconstrue this as me asking you to love me, like love me, love me. No. This is different. It’s just love me. Love me with what you can love me with. We don’t have to spend an eighth of each day conversing on the phone. We don’t even have to hear each other’s voices. We don’t have to see each other after 61 days. We don’t even have to be together at all. Love me as a friend. Love me as an ally. Love me from a far. Love me through your 3-second recollection of us in a café. Love me by incessant thoughts of us—being happy. Love me that way and it will be enough. I have been loving you the same way.
Don’t get me wrong. I am your friend. I had no intentions then and now to erase that fact. I’m just really afraid of you.
Let me tell you why. When somebody promises something and they break it, they become really powerful because they can inflict an unbelievable amount of pain. Do you realize now that you broke yours—and did exactly the opposite?
They were beautiful promises. And I just had to live through seeing you shatter them. One by one.