Cheap Cigarettes & Heavy Mornings

I might as well seep through the clouds.

At 3 AM, I found myself staring from a couple of feet off reality. I have lost contact with black and white. The concrete that swallowed my feet into a glacial abyss has endowed me with frequency fast enough to lead me into breakage. Into sedition.

Tiny, fading lights could sure make the world a little less dark.

No, I’m not relentless about the idea of jumping- of falling, maybe.

People would hurt less, knowing they couldn’t have done anything. I want them to come to think of it that way.

The world, from up here, is a world of shapes. Rectangles. Squares. Multiply length times height. Get the area. Count the windows. Count their edges. Follow the curtains dance from every balcony. Make the most out of this, close your eyes and feel the wind. The stinking, polluted breeze of Manila. This is nowhere, not even close, to dying.

I want a do- over. I do not want to feel as if I’m still holding you in between my arms, whispering I have to let go. I do not want to keep you anymore. I want to jump off the railings, inhale all the nicotine I could possibly drown myself into, break loose, make a different version of heavy. I want my own. I want my own kind of heavy, not the heavy you keep pinning down on me.

I want to stop remembering. You were everything I have and more. Were. I want to be so engrossed in my reality, in a reality that is far from having to peek down and check if I’m part of this massive chunk of universe. I want to come home sweating, too tired from studying the parts of the human body to even deal with the pain of your leaving. I want to jump. Let me.

I do not love you enough anymore. In fact, I think I no longer do. I do not long for your hands holding mine. So why, why do I still feel like I’m in the same room as you are in? Why do I feel as though I’m still coming home at an empty bed?

All of me, I gave up to welcome yours.



What I Believe In

I like to believe that I’m off to med school in two years’ time. If not for my irrationality, I would have not landed in a course I won’t be pursuing in the first place.

I like to believe in the hideous idea that the four kings and queens of old will make it back to Narnia and save the god forsaken land. I like to believe that fiction, if I think of it hard enough, dream about it almost every night, then it would actually come true.

I like to believe in truth.

Yesterday, when I was looking at all the vintage finds I have snuggled at every garage sale in the city, I thought about how much shit I took out when you left.

You gave me so much that I had to pull out everything in my room that day.

I was on the floor, crying, my mom knocking on the door.

I was on the floor, grasping for air, or not anymore, I cannot possibly remember- surprisingly- like how I could no longer remember you; I could only remember you in multiple proportions. Maybe I’ve had too much chemistry to start thinking about Dalton and the Laws of Matter. I wish I would have; that way, I wouldn’t think too much about you.

I remember you though, “hey, if ever we broke up, and you throw away all the things I gave you, I’m going to get real mad.” What a foolish thing for me to believe that you would. You see, I was still scared. I was still scared of you getting mad at me. I wish you would; instead of not caring at all. That hurt me. With the same gravity of pain. With the same weight as heavy as the whole world could ever make me carry.

I look at all my vinyls piled up on the corner of my room, thinking that if our story were placed on one of those tracks, the needle on my turntable would have probably cracked because it’s always on repeat. I think about my room, how many ancient things I love I placed in here. I’ve always been in love with the past, even wishing that the amount of stale would replace the past I had with you. This was history, and I loved it, except when I still had you.

When I still had you, I was in love with the future. I prayed to God three times a day. One in the morning, when I hear you whisper “wake up, you’re going to be late.” One at noon, hoping God hears me more than all the people praying that instant, only for you to pass your anatomy exam. And finally, one at night, when after a long, tiring fight, you still have your head rested upon my chest. So innocent; so sure about what our tomorrow will be.

Now, I pray to God every single moment of every day, “please, Lord, let me think about something else.”

Yesterday, when I was looking at all the things I have summoned into my room to cover up the scent of your perfume, I thought about not thinking about you. That finally, it’s been a while since I last thought about you. That at last, I was too busy to think about how I missed you, and how you don’t. How happy you are in the arms of your new home. But thinking about not thinking about you makes me cringe even more, because I just did. I just thought about you. Again.

I like to believe in the now. I like to believe in something real. That I am my own person, that I am not living a lie. But it can never be more difficult than now. I would have given up anything for you to be nothing but an eye contact; a chapter skipped; a plan A that could never be. I would have given up anything, because in the now that I am in, you are taking so much of my time. You are taking so much of my space, that even as I took all of you out of me, you still left me with every day.

I still have every day with you.

I like to believe I have let you go. Problem is, every day.

This is a piece that is very close to me. I wrote this leaving very few edits. This is as raw as can be. Hopefully, this will be the last of its kind.

Good luck to all of us.

Give Me A Script to Write

I am not soft bass beats.
I am not your dark, silent screen.
I am not fire dying with ignition.
I am not your indie movie.
I am not quiet conversations, bodies sunken halfway underwater. I am not moon meeting sea- fingerbeds burnt, rotten open by the unceasing lifeline of a cigarette. I am not the folk song playing softly on the background, much more the waves of the tsunami waiting to disrupt your eyes from staring into mine.
I am not your indie movie.
I am not your Celestina; I am not the mother of 9 children, the hooker who made love to her husband, her happily ever after, her dungeon for thirteen years, only to get half her face in dissection from broken vodka bottles.
I am not your indie movie.
I am not the one you seek, mountains and mountains over; I am not the plane ticket you strongly hold on to after years of saving up, I am not the motor boat that flew your hair to the sky and made you feel alive, the skiing trip that made you offer yourself to the cold, freezing wind.
I am not your indie movie.
In our little, short episode, there is no director. There are no cast. No volunteers. No creatives. No scenic views. No dialogues. 
I am not quality. I am not little money for integrity. I am not your principle. I am not your belief. I am not skins and bones, hair tangled, pressed unto my face, screaming in passion, chest in rise and in fall, in collision with the soft smile you make from the sheets and pillows of our dreams and reality. I am not inception.
In our little, short episode, there is no director. No cast. No volunteers. No creatives. No scenic views. No dialogues. Because I am not your indie movie.
I am not soft bass beats.
I am not your silent, dark screen.
I am not fire dying with ignition.
I am not your indie movie.
But God, how I wish to be.

You Will Miss Her

When she tells you leave, leave.

Give her rest. Give her all the time she needs until time itself tells her to come back to you. She is going to tell you words that will crush your insides; she will dissect each and every bone strong and firm and break it- without using her hands, without using her fists. All that it will take her are her goodbyes. It will haunt you.

Before you sleep, you will remember how the pain turned all your guts into screaming- into tears-  you will need the world to collapse, you will need the walls of your room to give you wings so you could fly and shout and yell. Because it hurts. Because you would want to feel a lot less than the hurt- than the pain. Because you want to feel more sore and numb and shaking than you already are. Because it hurts.

Give her time.

You will know then that it isn’t her speaking.

It was her weakness and her brokenness and her defeats.

It is not her.

If she does not come back to you, tell yourself it will be okay. Tell yourself that you are going to see sunrise like you have always imagined you would with your own eyes, standing with both your feet, alone. Tell yourself that soon enough, you will feel your blood rushing into your head and into your heart coming from all the places in your body which she has left cold. Tell yourself it will be okay. Tell yourself: I will be okay.

Even if it hurts- even if you know you cannot be.

Fake it. It will hurt.

Chase her.

She deserves the love she wants. She deserves a consuming love that never gives up on her. She deserves the love she needs.

However, how can you chase someone who does not want to be chased?

You never gave up on her. When the world told you to stop, you went for it. Because you love her, more than you ever did for yourself. I understand, you never gave up on her like she has on herself. You loved her. You love her. And no matter how painful it is to have your heart broken, you will reach for her hands even when she has clenched them so hard her knuckles turn white. No matter how painful it is to get your heart broken from the distance she has set between you both, you will get up and walk and run so that you can wrap your weak arms from the back around her waist. And silently, even as you will run out of breath, you will ask her to stay. And you will smile- dear God, you will- even as tears fall one after the other.

Both your mind and body are weak. But your heart is screaming, it is worth it.

When you can no longer get up from the bruises the tragedy has left you- when you can no longer raise your head up to see how many wounds and scratches it has left your face the other night, rest. Do not run after her. Do not make her a cup of coffee when you know she will toss it on the floor.

Give yourself time. To heal.

When you finally do, chase her.

When you get a headache so bad from crying, sleep.

You will need a lot of sleep. Make sleep your best friend. This is the only heaven you could let yourself fall into while you are going through hell.

Should I talk about them nightmares?

Yes. Nightmares. I mean- when you dream of waking up next to her drawing circles into your back; when you dream of the way she caressed your hair when you cried yourself into misery; when you dream of her waking you up in your sleep telling you that she needs a hug; when you dream of her laughing so hard her eyes close; when you dream of her asking you to stay.

It will be more painful than the way she spit the word, “leave.”

You will miss her.

A Spoken Word Poetry: Love is

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It was as solemn as the nights would stretch into morning. Intertwined with my fingers are yours- slowly yet continuously- letting ourselves collapse into sunrise, leading us into the cosmos that would soon consume us both.

It was painful. The hold was too painful to even bear. And darling, it’s supposed to be beautiful. Love is supposed to be beautiful; love is waiting; love is waiting for the bus stop at 11 pm. It does not count how terrifying darkness seeped into your skin; you still wait for it no matter what. Love is supposed to be beautiful. Instead, love is exhausting. Love is ripping all the vessels in my body apart, letting out all the secrets the world knew yet did not understand. They knew not of love. They knew nothing about love. 

It’s ironical, you see, for the girl who held my hand stitched all these wounds together and made dry all the painful words the boys from my past threw at me: “I’ll always love you.” They’re gone the next morning. 

What have we done, but love? 

She had long hair like mine. She always hugged me from behind. She would sometimes steal kisses from me. But that was who she was. She is.

Love is supposed to be beautiful. Love is. But not in this universe.

What have we done, but love? 

I wrote this while on a bus ride.

I recited this in front of my Speech Communication class, as an introduction for my persuasive speech about why homosexual love is greater than heterosexual love.


An Unsent Message: May 2005 

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It was the summer of 2005 when my hand trembled while holding yours.

About a few weeks from the time you kissed me good morning, we shall be heading on for the days we have painted all our lives. The breeze continued to lick our dry faces, as if to give us a hint of how our coffees will soon taste. When we took the first few steps to my apartment, you tucked few strands of my hair behind my ear and hugged me loosely.
I did. I did surround my bruised arms around your waist and gently lifted your sweater, then your shirt, to make contact with your bare skin.
I have failed, though. As soon as I tried, I have already failed.

I have failed to reach the tips of your fingers when I held your hand; it contained all the secrets, all the places you have quietly created to make sense of the many voices you hear when you dream a good dream.

I have failed to make you a warm cup of coffee which you asked this afternoon, when it was snowing out and you could no longer feel the soles of your feet. A regret- it is safe to say. What grew in the vapor of my coffee were our little memories- that of which my lips could not speak.

I have failed, love. I have failed to embrace you. I have failed to embrace the nights you ought to bring; I have failed to embrace the days unclear and blurry for I am just an hour in your now. Who am I to have embraced your future?

A Series of Unknown

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For the first time, I ran out of words to say. I don’t know how to assemble the scattered thoughts I have in my mind. I have certainly lost contact with words that would somehow persuade you that I love you, and that I am sure of it, no matter how indecisive I am about most things in my life.

This is not poetry or a mere exaggerated piece that I have managed to write through the hours that passed. This is as true as can be. This is a story. A letter to you. A collection of complicated maybe’s about how the turn of events in our lives have inked their way into my pounding chest which, only months ago, I have been dying to revive.

You are a choice. Not a choice out of the many options. Not a choice because you are the only available option. A choice. A heartbeat. A decision my heart and mind agreed upon for the first time.

I need you to listen. Closely. Not only with the words you hear by reading on your mind. I need you to listen with all that you are so that you may be able to feel the love written in here. To understand the sound of worry in every space there is in this letter. To taste the difference between I love you and I love you too.

I love you in a way that is extremely unbelievable. And odd. I love you for reasons that don’t exist. I love you for time limits that have not been discovered. I love you. No addition nor subtraction. I love you.

The future holds so many secrets. and whether fifteen years from now, you’re holding my hand and I’m holding yours, or your lips are locked with another’s, you are still my choice. The one I love. The one who changed my heart and who made me feel like the sun’s rays were running through my bloodstream.

You will always be my choice.

For these, and for all the thoughts I have failed to include and that are yet to be perceived, I love you.