Sunday, March 7, 2010

reprising the bashful



There’s a half moon today. “Not now, not yet but soon,” it seems to say. My best friend once told me that life is like being caught in a half moon. It’s just one transition after another. Nothing is ever completely finished, otherwise there would be no life left for us to live. Funny how the moon and my best friend can be so hopeless yet hopeful at the same time.

There are moments when I question if I made all the right decisions. What if I held on a little longer? What if I said some things? Would that make any difference? What if I was a little too rash? I was never the type to wallow about regrets but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any.

The memory plays like a movie. I can almost hear the projector hum. It was the eve of John’s absence and for the most parts, I was fine about it. Of course, I would miss him. We’ve been best friends since before I could remember. But people move on. They move forward. Sometimes, they move away. If you stop moving, you stop living. Who was I to stop my best friend from living his life?

We threw a huge party at his house and all of our closest friends were there. Somewhere between drinks and goodbyes, he asked to speak to me in private. I never did get to see how that party ended.

“Oh no. Here it comes. Time for teary goodbyes,” I joked as we went up the stairs to his room. He was strangely quiet. He’s usually a loud drunk but I guess he was more affected about leaving than he was letting on.

“How do you like your party?” I asked as I took his picture with a rusty Polaroid. He was still quiet. It seemed like he needed to tell me something but couldn’t find the right words. He closed the door and slumped down on the floor. I sat down beside him. The tiles felt cold but it was nothing compared to the chill that had managed to follow us all day.

“I’ll miss you,” was all he said. It was all he had to say. I tried to be strong. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry but there I was silently weeping. As best friends, we shared everything except our emotions. I wasn’t sure if he could handle it but when the feeling in my chest became too heavy to hold, I decided to let go.

“Me too. I know it’s selfish. I know I shouldn’t feel this way but I really wish you wouldn’t go.” He looked into my eyes and I could see just how hard this whole thing was for him.

“There are things I want to tell you but I don’t know if I can. I’m sorry if I haven’t been honest.”
I wasn’t sure what he meant. Was he not leaving? Was all this some elaborate prank?

And then he kissed me. All my life, John was always John-my-best-friend. True, I was into him but I never dared to do anything about it. He knew I was different but I had never known that we had so many similarities. I didn’t know he could feel that way about me too. He lay his head down on my lap as a few warm teardrops flowed from his eyes to my denims.

“Why this? Why now?” It almost seemed unfair that all this came to be on our last night together. “Why couldn’t you have told me sooner? Why bother telling me now?” There was a pain that my voice betrayed. I tried to hide it but it was as clear as the nighttime sky. I had so many questions but I didn’t ask him. I didn’t think either of us could afford the answers.

In a most awkward and verbose way, I told him how I felt about him. Truth is, a part of me knew all along but it wasn’t until this night that I finally put the pieces together. I waited for some form of response from him but he was quiet. He was always quiet. Why the hell was he so quiet?

“John?” I called. He mumbled incoherently. He was asleep. In a few hours, it will be morning. In a few hours, we would have to say goodbye again. I wanted to wake him up so we could spend our last night talking but something in me told me otherwise. “Not now, not yet but soon,” the voice said. “Not now, not yet but soon.”

True to form, life moved on for both of us. It’s been years and I don’t know where John is anymore. Funny how at one point, he was always within arms reach. I have nothing left but pictures and memories of him- our last ones being the most vivid and incomplete. In my heart of hearts, I know this is not the end. There are plenty of things unspoken and unheard. I know one day I’ll see him again. Not now, not yet but soon.

Photo Credit: M. Hartmann
Original Post: Lullaby


Liz Phair
Friend of Mine
Liz Phair

55 comments:

  1. the first paragraph reminds me of Dabo's "hopelessness is a state of perfection..."

    for a moment, i was almost pretty sure who John was... and then the kissing part came..... sigh

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  2. I feel the same way about old best friends, except for the romantic attractions. Always wondering where the heck they are now. They're in facebook alright but I mean they're now 1 million stories away. And I'm too busy and happy writing my own 1,000 stories with my new life and new friends to catch up.

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  3. anyhow, ang hot lang ni Gaspard Ulliel sa pic na yan..... yumyum.... reminds me of someone that we usually talk about....

    and no bebigurls Herbs, it's not you... hihihihi

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  4. @YJ ~ bakit naman may sigh? haha

    re: gaspard i had a lot of fun aging the picture. i wanted it to go with manech's whole theme. haha lookalike? medyo. sige na nga. haha

    @felipe ~ welcome to my blog! :D ahh facebook. how odd that a tool that's meant to bind us together seems to pull us apart half the time. haha

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  5. "Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
    because even today I still arrive.
    ***
    Please call me by my true names,
    so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
    so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

    Please call me by my true names,
    so I can wake up,
    and so the door of my heart can be left open..."

    -Thich Nhat Hanh, "Call me by my true names"

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  6. @ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ ~ that's really beautiful. who's the writer? *is googling*

    oooh a monk! how cute. his phrases are beautiful. they cut right through the heart.

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  7. I watched the head nun in his order sing this, it was very very touching just like your story.

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  8. @ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ ~ it's a song? nas a youtube ba siya? i wanna hear it.

    i wasn't sure if i was going to post this last night. i felt like it needed something. parang soup that needed salt. i dunno. a strange series of events made me publish it and by the time i decided i wanted to figuratively add salt to it, it was already in google reader so.. oh well. haha

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  9. This is so beautiful & bittersweet..

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  10. its a poem, but his head nun sang it. i don't know if it is youtubed or not, this was like 10 years ago and the VHS that I found it on was already like 15 or 20 years old.

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  11. @ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ ~ the things you've seen. nakakainggit. haha

    at least VHS. i would've felt off if you said betamax or laser disc. haha

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  12. i will continue to buy dual VHS/DVD players until they stop making them precisely for these old treasures!

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  13. @ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ ~ in all fairness, i have a lot of videos na naka VHS. perhaps i should buy a dual player too. haha

    i especially miss my sound of music vhs tapes. there was a time when it was the only movie i wanted to see. you know how much i can be a creature of habit. haha

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  14. i think that is a global indicator if a Filipino child is bakla: unnatural interest in the Sound of Music. hahhaha!

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  15. loved this post. cuts deep.

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  16. Fiction? The Manech reference is cool. I wonder what he'd say about the picture.

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  17. @ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ ~ i saw a patricia arquette movie one time and my major takeaway was that people who grew up with that movie are a little insane.

    @engel ~ thanks!

    @victor ~ yeah, fiction to. bat ba no one believes me pag nilalagay ko yung tag na yun? haha

    i think he's fine with it naman. he said i chose a good picture. haha

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  18. i thought the post was for real, until i saw the fiction tag.

    but still, this is really moving. the emotion cut right through me.

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  19. @lee ~ thanks. based sa comment niyo ni engel, gunting yata tong nasulat ko. haha

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  20. "I have nothing left but pictures and memories of him--our last ones being the most vivid and incomplete. In my heart of hearts, I know this is not the end. There are plenty of things unspoken and unheard. I know one day I’ll see him again. Not now, not yet but soon."

    There is a difference, though, when things are rather difficult to pick up where you left off, you agree? Or do you share your character's optimism, Nyl?

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  21. This is beautiful Nyl. You made it your own. :)

    I love the picture too. (Here's the answer, Victor.)

    And I want to have the character's optimism. I want to believe that distance is always finite, and that one can always reach its end, bridge the gap. But it takes great amount of, well, faith, something that doesn't come easy these days.

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  22. @victor ~ i wish it were that easy but you know what i mean, right? i suppose it would be nice to be that optimistic again. i ended the story there but if i had to guess, the character would probably be waiting for nothing. he'd always see john as 'the one who got away.' in his memories, he is perfect but what he doesn't remember is how john never bothered to keep in touch. all he remembers is how they never got to tell each other and that unfinished business will haunt him in the long run.

    hala. nag-rant daw ako. haha

    @manech ~ thanks although i'm not quite sure i did. haha don't we all wish we could be as hopeful? faith is wonderful but it always seems to be in short supply. coupled with a lack of hope, i think it's bound to get us all screwed. if u ask me, by the time the moon gets completed, we rarely get to see it so what gives, right? oh well papel.

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  23. all i have to say, i knew this kind of story and the emotions that came with along it...

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  24. @the geek ~ oh do u? kwento mo naman. hehe i honestly didn't experience the whole thing completely. siguro it was a mixture of a couple different things and some movies na i saw recently.

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  25. i love... you never fail as always. me likey a lot :)

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  26. @darc ~ thanks much! :D di na tayo nakapag-chat. haha super busy kasi eh.

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  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  29. @mike ~ yup it's fiction. sent u a PM nalang. haha

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  30. Hurray, this is well-written, indeed! <3

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  31. @basterda ~ thanks, erin! :D i had my doubts if i could reprise the manech. i mean, he's an awesome writer and our writing styles couldn't be more different. haha

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  32. There's always the next life you know... :)

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  33. @glentot ~ ang hirap naman nun. pano kung u don't believe in reincarnation? haha

    naalala ko tuloy yung kinwento ni wanderingcommuter na short film. starcrossed lovers ata yung title. depressing.

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  34. Awww I thought it was real. Well written dude.

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  35. I hate transitions in general. Back when I was in my early twenties, I was always the new guy in the office (job hopping was my thang back then). I'm not very sociable so I always had a hard time coping, heheh

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  36. Oh shoot nyl, you got me. =))

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  37. @ewik ~ thanks :D

    @galen ~ well some parts of it are but if u view the whole thing, it's mostly fiction. hehe thanks for the compliment. :D

    @andy ~ i've only started a new job thrice but i can relate with how awkward it can be. lol our common friend victor, now he's the sort of expert in that scenario. lol

    @ronnie ~ how did it happen?

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  38. @nyl: nah, don't mind me. i'm just a sucker. Haha. My head isn't working too well. (always)

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  39. lungkot.
    haaaaayst.

    hi cb!
    ^ - ^

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  40. @ronnie ~ maybe it was just the time. if ever you wanna write about it, i'd love to read it. :D

    @gege ~ hi gege! :D

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  41. Hindi ito fiction. Merong pinag huhugutan. LOL Nakikichismis lang :-D

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  42. @jepoy ~ talagang may pagchi-chismis na nagaganap? haha

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  43. "But people move on. They move forward. Sometimes, they move away."

    --Pwede sabihing.... TOTOOOOOOOO. Hahaha. Wala lang. Ang hirap tanggapin eh!

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  44. and when they move away, go on with yours too. that's just life. gnaun lang talaga. ☼4

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  45. and when they move away, go on with yours too. that's just life. gnaun lang talaga. ☼4

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  46. @pau ~naka-relate? lol nasan ba si april boy regino when u need him?

    @yas ~ooh haven't seen u round here in a long time. tama ka. tama din ang salbakuta. often times, it's a little stupid. lol

    @chyng ~yup. may magagawa ba tayo kung hindi i-continue ang life natin? hehe

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  47. nko wala ako masabi, at least nalaman nyo kung ano talaga an feel nyo sa isa't-isa dba

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  48. wait, is this for real? if it is, awwww.... if it isn't, awwww....

    btw, i have to add. you're still a bit too young to start asking "what ifs" in life. hehe!

    take care.

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  49. @thecurioscat ~ yupyup.. kesa naman tinago nalang forever, diba?

    @angelo ~ lol fiction naman eh. haha i have a few whatifs but nothing i can't get over. :D

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  50. this is a very sad story. good thing i read the comments too, so its fiction. nice blog.

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  51. Hi Chris! It was nice meeting you. Welcome to my blog. :D

    Yeah, this didn't really happen. It was just a fun project I did with one of my favorite bloggers. :D

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