Monday, June 27, 2011


My sister visited an eraser factory in Japan and picked up a few trinkets for my nephew. Among the fake sushi plates and the gummy animals was a red and blue helicopter with plastic blades. She was showing it to me the night she arrived and while she was sleeping, I slipped into her room and stole it.

A and I had been going out for quite some time then but I couldn’t find the words or the courage to take us to the next step. It was clear that we loved each other. We both were just afraid of what could happen if we became a couple. One night, after videoke with a few friends, I took him to my favorite park. We both knew what was coming. I was going to ask him to be mine.

“I’ve made so many mistakes,” I began. “I’m not perfect. I’ve fallen for all the wrong people. I didn’t even bother to check if they were going to catch me.”

The September night was crisp. The park was almost deserted at that hour, save for a few insomniacs who were walking around to clear their head. I looked at A, wondering what he was thinking of as he stared back at me. His eyes were a familiar shade of brown. I remember thinking I could swim in those dark pools forever without tiring, without breathing.

“I once said* that the next time I’m going to love, I’m not going to fall into it. I’m going to fly.” I took out the eraser from my backpack’s front pocket. “I want to use this,” I told him. He didn’t laugh. He must’ve been used to my crazy by then.

“And I know that I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. When that happens, I need to know you’re not going to go anywhere. I need to know we can just erase those moments and start over.”

He smiled at me as if to say that he completely understood. There were a few challenges but we didn’t discuss all the details. We were young. We were in love and that was enough.

That was almost a year ago. We’re still in our red and blue chopper, floating around each other’s lives, hoarding the good, keeping out the bad. Several times, we had to use the eraser. Moments when we’d fuck up and we didn’t know how to move on. Lately, I ‘ve been wondering if I could ask for it back. You see there’s a moment that I desperately need to erase.

We should’ve seen it coming. In all fairness, he did tell me that day on the park bench. I just refused to listen. A few weeks after our first anniversary, I will have to say goodbye to A. He’s moving to a place where my arms can no longer reach him. With the advent of technology, you’d think it would be easier for us to stay together but fear and anxiety have their ways of making us doubt. I doubt if I can be enough for him when he’s miles away. I doubt if I can love him when he’s no longer with me.

“I don’t want to be like those long-distance couples who fight and end up consuming each other,” I told him. “I want us to end nicely.” He made a face. I could tell he didn’t agree. He just didn’t want to say anything. He was, after all, the one leaving. I was the one who had to pick up the pieces after.

We had so many plans. I saw countless mornings waking up beside him, hearing the slight wheeze he makes when he sleeps, listening to him talk about random things like life, work, dreams and friends. I saw him come to my aid when I felt lonely, when the demons would be too strong to contain. In my mind’s eye, I saw us sitting on matching recliners, reeking of BenGay, not a single hair between our heads, recounting times when we were just commenting on each other’s blogs. Will I ever see those dreams come to life?

So I want to take that eraser back from him. Because right now, it feels like it’s ending. It feels like we’re ending. It’s like watching a movie after hearing the spoilers. I have nothing but questions, so many questions. Most of them begin with why. Why all of this? Why now? Why did I have to meet him and fall in love if it was all going to end anyway? Why is he the only one who ever really got me? Will we ever be the same?

When he leaves, I know the world will still turn. The streets will still be filled with people rushing, never knowing what was left behind. They say the course of true love never did run smooth*. I was thinking of this one morning as I walked home when I saw a tree almost stripped to its core. I looked at the ground to see the damage most likely caused by that week’s storm. Flowers and leaves lined the street like glitters. They know not of death, I pondered. The flowers, the leaves, they are so unafraid to die. They leap, they fall, they embrace their fate. Why can’t I be as brave? Why can’t I hold on to him like I know he wants me to?

I want to take that eraser back from him and erase this part of our story. I want to rewrite our story so it can be fair, so it doesn’t hurt as much. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to rewrite our own endings?

♫: Adele | Take It All (2011)
Photo: manilabitch

Sunday, June 12, 2011

write me

They come from all directions. They whisper in my ear while I’m at work. They spark with my lighter when I smoke. They are in the exhaust while I shit. They tug at my underwear while I sleep. Each one beckons, they need something from me. I close my eyes so I can hear their voices.

Write me, one says. No! Write me first! says another. Their voices grow in volume and succession until I have to open my eyes to block the sound away.

My stories, I feel like they need me. You need us more, one snaps back. Without us, do you even know who you are?

One creeps up from under the bed. He wraps his body around me, slithering from my leg to my crotch, from my chest to my neck. Write me first, he begs.

Write me, they command. I get up from my bed, brush the dust off my laptop and clack away.

♫: Eliza Doolittle | Empty Hand (2010)