Monday, September 20, 2010

two letters

Nerina Pallot  
Nickindia  
Fires  

Sunday morning. You lay asleep beside me. It was a special morning, one that came at the heels of our first night together. Outside, the sun was looming behind the curtains. It threatened to take away everything that took place here.

In a world that constantly forgets, who will remember us?

I feared for my memory was weak. I wanted to document everything so I would never forget. I wanted to write about the way the light danced from the swaying curtains, the hum of the air conditioner and the bead of sweat that trickled slowly down the small of your back as you rose to get a glass of water. I felt bad that we were leaving this place without any proof that we were even here.

There is only one way to leave your mark, a voice said to me. Write a letter.

When I was a kid, my mom enrolled me in a school that was very close to her office. Convenience, she said but I think she just wanted me to be close to her at all times. While most kids spent their afternoons playing with friends or watching cartoons, I spent the hours after class in my mother’s office watching her work.

On a particularly boring day, I told her I was claiming an unused desk at the northeast corner of the room. I need the space, I reasoned. To do my homework and stuff. At that time, it was the closest I had come to becoming an adult. The location was prime. There was no one around to bother me. The drawer proved most useful. All at once, it held my books, crayons and lessons learned.

I was very sociable back then. I made many friends in different departments and floors. One time, the seventh floor guard gave me a piece of Stork. He was a pretty notorious bully but even he couldn’t resist my charms. After I devoured the candy, I kept the wrapper in my drawer as proof that there is good in everyone’s hearts. You just gotta dig deep sometimes.

There was this other time when I was running around the office in my white socks. I think I was pretending to skate or something. My socks would often turn gray those days but it was a fun way to kill time. During one miscalculation, I ended up slipping and crushing this huge ass bug on the wall. Upon closer inspection, it was a beautiful insect with many colors. I started crying, the guilt of having taken a life deep in my gut. To remember how fragile life is and how some mistakes are irreversible, I wrapped the bug’s body in toilet paper and stored it in my drawer.

There were many stories, each one with a different lesson and a different addition to my collection. I learned a lot that year and it didn’t take long before I had enough stuff to fill the entire drawer. On my last day before summer vacation, my mother told me it was time to clear my desk. Next year, I would be studying in a school closer to home.

I had an urge to leave something behind, something to prove I once occupied that space. If I didn’t, it would be like I was betraying all the lessons that I learned. I decided to leave a letter in my special drawer. I wanted the next user to know how special it was to me. I wrote everything down in my crooked second-grade handwriting on a page I tore out of my notebook. Right before we left that night, I pushed the letter into the now empty drawer, hoping that my message would find its intended recipient.

In a world that constantly forgets, who will remember us? I asked.

Write a letter, my eight-year old self replied. Put on a show and no one will ever forget.

I started writing in my clumsy twenty-four year old handwriting on a pad of hotel paper. I wrote about my search for love and how it took me to different beds and different hearts. I wrote about giving up and resigning to live alone. I recounted all the mistakes I had ever made, mistakes that somehow led me to this hotel room and in your arms. And then I realized it was too long and too emotional. No one wants to read stuff like that anymore.

I crumpled the page and started anew. I chronicled each kiss, the way our bodies moved as one, how I was you and you were me. I retold Hedwig’s Origin of Love* and how each touch, each kiss brought you closer to me. I wrote about how I entered you and how it felt like we were jigsaw puzzle pieces who had finally found each other. And then I realized it was too erotic and I didn’t want the next resident to think it was that kind of hotel.

I wrote about the conversations that we had over cigarettes at the balcony. I recounted how I felt when I woke up beside you, your chest rising and falling gently with each breath. I described the wonderful, warm fuzzy feeling love brings and how I wanted to die and be reborn as that mole in the middle of your chest. I wrote about how we slow danced to a Sade song* that was playing in my mind. And then I realized that it was too cheesy and I didn’t want them to think I was some fool obsessed with love.

One thing was clear. We had stumbled upon something very important within these four walls. I just couldn’t seem to write it down. The concept was elusive and each attempt to capture it felt like a betrayal. After many drafts, I realized I was down to my last piece of stationery.

Make this count, my eight-year old self said. Use no other voice but yours. Ours. I looked at him in his navy blue shorts and graying socks and I automatically knew what I should write. He was there for a reason. His drawer was my hotel room. I furiously wrote down my letter, my penmanship heavy and excited. Right after we checked out, I ran upstairs and slipped my letter in the bedside drawer. There, beside the Bible and the room service menu, someone would find a letter. It would contain the most important thing I know.

Dear 3A Resident,

There is magic in this room. It taught me that love exists.

NL

Photo Credit: crumpled-paper

77 comments:

  1. grabe. KINILIG ako ng bonggang bongga NL!!!!! one of your best posts. love love love. :D

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  2. @Nimmy: Salamat Nimmy! I was afraid na I couldn't write anymore kasi 'di na ako depressed or emo. Thanks for dropping by. :)

    @Mike: Thanks Mike!

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  3. ahahaha. kahit hindi emo... easy, breezy, beautiful ka pa rin NL!

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  4. Nyl,

    I love The Origin of Love, too. I am happy you like it.

    I wonder why you are writing about finding love =) About rising chests, and kisses, and entering...

    Kane

    p.s. Swerve, remember?

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  5. I'm happy because I know you deserve this memory. And this time, you no longer need to borrow from the future. Which means the future is now all mine. Hehe.

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  6. @Nimmy: Cover Girl? haha

    @Kane: I thought about it. If you think about it, this post is quite a departure din naman on its own. It alienates some readers but I figured I really wanted to post it. It reminds me of how I used to write, siguro mga a year ago.

    @Victor: Yes, it's all yours. And thank you for saying that. :)

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  7. nakakalokang eight-year old ka! hehe.

    No wonder you turned out the smart and sensitive twenty four year old that you are!

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  8. Love is a curious, curious thing, ain't it?

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  10. Kakilig naman, samahan pa ng kanta ni Sade. Cheesy ba? Hehe

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  11. @Iurico: That's so sweet of you. haha Thanks!

    @Manech: It so is. And those who earnestly find it are eternally lucky.

    @LOF: Is that the horror movie?

    @Ronnie: Medyo cheesy. Pero minsan lang naman. lol

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  12. i don't know how else to explain but to say that i am 'moved' by your writing. perfectly beautiful.

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  13. This made me so sad I wanna just smack you in the head buti na lang matangkad ka. I can relate a lot (this is not a canned comment), because I too am obsessed with preserving memories. I even keep my used condoms ahahahahahahaahahahahahaha (awkward laugh).

    This is so sweet and sad and infectious I want to write something like this soon...

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  14. It alienates some readers??
    Nah, more like gaining new ones

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  16. Hay Nyl, you still don't get it, do you? You're Hollywood royalty, people will still read you no matter what.

    Para ka lang Julia Roberts. =)


    @Glentot: OMG TMI WTF

    Serious??? You keep them?????????

    Do you even wash them after???????

    Kane

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  17. @That Girl: Hey, I still don't know where you blog. Thanks for visiting again. :) It would be nice if I could read your stuff too.

    @Glentot: Hmmm.. for once I am quite speechless. Used condoms? Furreal?!

    But you know how much I admire you. You can write funny stories with the same impact as your sad ones. That's something I wish I could have. :]

    @Orally: Oh hi! You can never tell kasi these days. But I took a risk with this one, siguro kasi it's a very important story to tell. I had to let him know how important this is to me too.

    @LOF: I think they even had a Hollywood remake, right?

    @Kane: Aminin mo, nacurious ka sa usapang condom na yan. haha

    I remember that Julia talk last weekend. While I don't exactly agree, I'm super honored. :)

    Maybe one of these days, I'll let you read about my wilder days. When I experimented a lot and I sounded like a rhyming erotic Hallmark card. lol

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  18. that was heartfelt, citybuoy. you do dig deep, man. i'm almost happy you were depressed for some time. but welcome back to the light. and have some champagne! salut!

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  19. The idea of it is really beautiful. I should try this sometime, writing letters. :P

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  20. eeee, magic in this room... love...

    happy happy! :)

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  21. hmmnn i always battle with my memory. i did write to document the special moment but i get the feeling it wasn't enough.
    .
    .
    anyway..haaang sweet mo..hehe..in love?

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  23. from "leaving" to "loving".. you've moved me albeit in different ways. i don't need to be in 3A to experience the magic though. i experienced it reading you.

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  24. @John: When you put it that way, it does seem nicer. :) It's like this wouldn't mean as much if you didn't know about all the sad posts I've written. Yes, let's drink to that! :)

    @RZ: Although 0304 was arguably Jewel's worst record, there's a line there that I always quote. She says "eMail is cool but romance lives in a letter" and I cannot agree more. No one writes letters anymore, except for banks and stuff. And we all know it's pretty hard to see romance in bills.

    @Constant Bonsaist: Thinkyaw!

    @Darc: Haven't seen you around ah. How're things? Let's hang out soon!

    @DB: I think feelings, in its purest forms are very hard to document. But we try anyway. Kakaaliw nga eh. Kung ano pa yung mahirap, yun pa yung pinipilit.

    In love? Haha oo. (Geez, bat nakangiti ako habang nagt-type?)

    @Kane: lol did you see my reply? Malay mo naman, di generic. Bad ka! hahaha

    @Mark: Hey, welcome to my blog. I like your avatar. I wasn't sure if you were the Mark I was thinking of kasi I can't click your profile but thanks for dropping by. :)

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  25. For whatever reason, I've always looked for sequels in your posts. I get this feeling that some future action would ensue.

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  26. Hey Peter! Well, if it makes you feel any better, I don't think this is the last you'll hear of tag A. :]

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  27. aw ang sweet! :)
    ganun ata talaga if we love someone we will recall every single detail.

    matry nga yang gumawa ng letter. :D

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  28. Go, Ced! Gawa ka ng letter!

    Weird nga eh. Kasi I mostly try to remember every detail na nangyayari kasi natatakot ako na may makalimutan na kahit isa. So we remember everything but it's mostly motivated by fear. haha Ewan ko ba.

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  29. unknowingly, i've been following series A. so this is like telling me he made good his promise and never left. citybuoy you're floating magic and love in the air. i'm almost on the edge now ready to fall...

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  30. That's so sweet, Mark. I didn't know you'd been following so closely. No, he made good on his promise, thank goodness. And thank you for your kind words. A will be delighted when he sees this. :)

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  31. Awww... By Your Side by Sade a la Samantha Jones and Richard Wright? That scene made me love that song!

    As usual, a superb manner of creating emotionally packed images through words.

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  32. i am a new fan because of this post. it was beautifully written-- so honest and raw.

    aw. i do hope, one day, i will be able to find someone to whom i could also write a letter to.

    if i may ask, how are the two of you now? ^^

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  33. i should have read this post days ago when i was less emotional.

    this made me cry, nyl.

    (in a good way...)

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  35. @James: Haven't listened to that one yet but a quick trip to Google shows a lot of promise. Thanks for the recommendation and the kind words! :)

    @Master Clutter: Welcome to my blog! Thanks for reading. Yeah, no prob. We're doing great. Thanks for asking!

    @Geek: Cry? Oh, I hope everything's okay. >:D<

    @LOF: The comment police? Who's that? And what did s/he say to my dear Line of Flight?

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  36. That's good to hear. I went to your blog din. Followed you :)

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  37. To be honest, I didn't read through this entry; it's too long, it should have it's own metric system. Maybe it's own great wall. It should star in gay porn, too. But judging from all. these. comments, I gather they're gawking at your brilliance. I've never been here before, I mean, never long enough to read through the comments, and now that I am, I suppose I'm in for a whole hell-raising heaven of literary content. Us fags make this blogging thing work; we are just too shining.

    Thanks for the Roll, and if you can check me out, you will see that I have returned the courtesy.

    Cheers, Citybuoy!

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  38. Hey Momel! Wow, that's the most honest comment I've seen in a long time. Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy yours. :)

    And as for the length, I'm working on it. haha I have a tendency to become very wordy when the material means a lot to me. I'm finding the distancing part of writing to be very challenging.

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  39. Oh, may Part 2? hehe

    @Glentot : WTF

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  40. Hey Ahmer! Wala pa namang plano so far pero malamang oo. Di pa naman tapos yung kwento eh. :) At yeah, super wtf si Glentot.

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  42. And here I was thinking it was time to bring out the boxing gloves. lol You know your two cents are always welcome here, LOF. :) you're practically family!

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  44. @Rudeboy: Hey Rudie. A little bird told me something. :)

    @LOF: Your cousin was attacked?! That's terrible? Here or in HI?

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  46. Hey LOF, I'm getting a little lost. I think I should just email you.

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  47. It's either I'm honest or I'm a jerk; it's like 69 on account of it works both ways. And it's good that you are passionate about your creative output. Blogging needs more people like you because these days, its less material and more sponsored posts. I promise to bring some popcorn before I read your next post.

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  48. If you're a jerk then you're definitely the sweetest one evar, Momel. Us old timers need to stick together, methinks. Like war veterans, we can recline on our rocking chairs and talk about the good ol' days. lol

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  49. "Fundamentally, therefore, [love and spirit] seek a psychic relation to the other, because love needs the spirit, and the spirit love, for their fulfillment."

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  50. galing ... i really love reading your blog... nice one :)

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  51. Hahaha. Oo nga. Para kang Julia Roberts. Lol. Di nakakasawa. wahaaat. Nice one Nyl. Ahihihi

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  52. @LOF: I don't agree with jung a lot but this one's pretty spot on. Thank you.

    @Korki & Vher: Thanks for dropping by! :)

    @Yohan: Eto nanaman tayo sa Julia Roberts. haha Thanks, I think.

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  53. "Hey Rudie. A little bird told me something. :)"

    Nothing nice, I hope.

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  54. Very well written! ang galing mo magsulat, nakakainggit. your prose is very easy and flows smoothly!

    very nice!

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  55. @Rudeboy: Of course. It was all sugar, spice and everything nice. :)

    @MartinTC: Hey! Haven't seen you here in a while. Thanks for your kind words. Nakaka-tats, subra. :)

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  56. "I wrote about my search for love and how it took me to different beds and different hearts."

    this definitely moved me in a way, i never have imagined. thank you for your sharing your thoughts...

    :(

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  57. Ugh this kinda breaks my heart. Especially the part where someone just leaves the room without any evidence of being there. Memories just suck sometimes.

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  58. I can really relate to that eight year old you, even now. :)

    May happy days greet you.

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  59. the whole love story gives good feelings, if only most people think the same way as you do.

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  60. @Ewik: Well, you're pretty familiar with that line. lol Thanks! :)

    @CC, Spiral Prince and Carlo: Welcome to my blog! Thanks for following and leaving neat-o comments! :)

    @CC: Read a few entries back to a post called quiet. That's the root of some of this.

    @Spiral Prince: Why thank you! May happy days greet you too. Yeah, I think some part of us never grows up. :)

    @Carlo: Thanks much! That's so sweet. :)

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  61. "After I devoured the candy, I kept the wrapper in my drawer as proof that there is good in everyone’s hearts. You just gotta dig deep sometimes."
    awww i really agree on this one! ^_^
    awwww nyl i really love this post... totally! love it : ) you better tell me more about this next time we meet ^_^

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  62. Hey Carlo, yeah super dami ko nang kwento! We haven't seen each other in ages. Pag-galing ko ha, you totally have to meet A. :)

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  63. I've been silently reading this blog for a few months now but this post made me speak up, this is just too awesome. I was in tears while reading the last part. Beautiful. :)

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  64. Hey Louie! Silently reading? That's a new concept for me. It's good you spoke up. I loved reading your comment. :)

    Keep coming back ha and thanks for following. I followed you back na. :)

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  65. Hi. This, by far, is the most heartfelt post I've read for quite a while. Kinilig din ako. haha. Glad I stumbled upon your page.

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  66. i'm happy for you and your new found love! this post is just so sweet nyl.. nakakainggit :-)

    and i like how you addressed the recipient of the letter. it reminded me of barney stinson. 'dear resident'.. miss u nyl! i don't see u that often anymore :-(

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  67. @V1nC3: Thanks! I'll be sure to "stumble upon" your page as well. :)

    @Mikee: I know! Samantalang dati, pakalat-kalat lang tayo. We need to get together real soon!

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  68. This memory is most precious. I am very glad you knew how to write so splendidly that you always make me nostalgic and thoughtful.

    The boy, I am very sure, is the luckiest. Sadness, after all, has no room in this post.

    Nice. This is super nice.

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  69. Buti na lang nilink mo sa latest mong post, di ako masyado backreader eh, ang ganda nitong post na to! (kahit na nasabi na ng lahat ng commenter before sakin, at last year pa haha)

    Good luck Nyl :-)

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  70. @Aleph: It was easier to write then. hehe thanks Aleph! :)

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