Monday, October 8, 2012

paralisado


4:20. Your absence holds me when you’re gone. And I always thought I’d somehow learned to be on my own. I look around my apartment, all 20 square meters of it and remember how your presence, the light of your smile, and the sound your laughter filled every corner of it. It is dark. I am immobile. My cigarette burns to the tip as your absence holds me into paralysis. I cannot move. I cannot breathe.

4:47. I decide to focus on menial tasks to snap me out of this comatose. I sweep the floor, use scotch tape to lift the small strands of hair that collect in the corners, and mop twice for good measure. I feed the fish (yes, I know they’ve eaten but they seemed hungry) and do the dishes. There aren’t a lot. Just a fork, a butter knife, a ceramic plate, and two glasses – two. I stop dead in my tracks.

4:57. One of these glasses was yours. I hold it up against the light and see where your lips touched the edge of the glass. I press my lips against the mark you left. The soap suds collect on my shaky goatee. I close my eyes, count to five and imagine you were here.

5:03. The hamper is overflowing with dirty clothes. I empty it out on the cold tiles and sort the whites from the coloreds, my cotton tees from the delicates. I assign a special pile for your clothes- the black A&F golf shirt, a checkered pair of shorts, the tattered yellow tee you love so much, your trademark khakhi pants. I sort the clothes for too long and notice that I had failed to segregate them right. There were only two piles: your clothes and mine. I crawl towards your pile and hold them close to my chest. Though a meager bunch, they still smelled of you. If I imagine things right, you know, like if I really put my mind to it, maybe these clothes would turn into you. Time blurs away and I am stuck here on the floor still holding you in my arms.

9:06. I awake in a pile of dirty clothes. I realize what a mess I’ve made of my house and of myself. I wipe dust and salt off my face and stuff all the laundry in garbage bags. I seal the top nicely and phone the laundry mistress to pick them up. I grab my keys and hope the city’s droning sounds would block you away.

9:17. I am alone in a restaurant. I chose the one that reminded me least of you. I needed a break. This wasn’t like me. I wasn’t the type to entertain clingy thoughts that prod and gnaw at your brain like a little freak. I make a mental note to chew slowly, to spend as much time here as I can. The food arrives and I devour it like a monster.

9:23. Belch. Cigarette. Check.

9:30. I decide to take a walk. I map a route in my head of all the usual places: quite streets, dark corners, a park bench to clear my mind. With these reminders of who I was before I met you, I find a little bit of solace. A man asks me for a light and strikes up a conversation. I answer politely and talking is as interesting as watching paint dry. I turn around to face him and he is gone. I light another cigarette and check the time. A tanod comes up to me and says I can’t smoke here. I stub my cigarette on an old molave and walk home.

9:56. I am back in my prison cell and it reminds me less of you. I plant my iPod on its dock and let Shuffle do its thing. I mix a fresh batch of iced tea and obsessively scrub empty corners of the fridge. I whip out the Domex and mop the floor again. The water splishing and sploshing calms my nerves and I feel unjudged in the confines of my own home. Afterwards, I shower and feel the city slipping into the drain. I walk to the sink to brush but once again, I am stopped dead in my tracks. Our toothbrushes are making out.

10:07. I needed to know you were here. That I wasn’t just imagining your presence, the light of your smile, or the sound of your laughter. I grab your things and walk back to the living area. I rip the garbage bag open and take your clothes out. I sit on the floor and surround myself with your things. I place your perfume in front of me, your special soap and loofah on my right, your toothbrush in a glass behind me, your contact lens case on my right. I make a path of your shirts. I make a spiral of your things, maybe a treasure map with me in the center. Perhaps you will find me here when you follow the trail of your belongings.

10:15. I am on the floor together with all the things you left behind. My iPod shuffles in a new song and though the verses don’t make sense to me, by the time the singer gets to the chorus I am convinced she is at my window singing the story of my life. It’s the perfect soundtrack for when I’m paralyzed and I have nothing but your absence to hold me because you’re gone.

And then I wonder who I am
Without the warm touch of your hand.
As I sit and watch the snow falling down,
I don’t miss you at all.

♫: Norah Jones | Don’t Miss You At All (2004)


POSTSCRIPT
11:59. My phone lights up, stirring me from my slumber. Three messages and two missed calls. He’s been wondering where I was. I’m fine. I’m sorry. I fell asleep.

12:03. What have you been up to? he asks. Nothing, I lie as I pick his things up from off the floor. Maybe tomorrow won’t be as twisted as today.

63 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. LOF: The lack of space confused me a little bit. Thank God for Google! lolz

      I've been thinking about how siya nawa is used to end a prayer. And though this is anything but that, I can see how devoted (ugh) my words make me seem. In that case, here's a siyanawa to your siyanawa. :p

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    2. maybe that should have been siya na or siya nga instead. lol

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    3. LOF: or as the local baklas say, shayonnnnn!!!

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  2. Replies
    1. Yohan: Perhaps we know it all too well? I have a feeling this post exists on the emotionoal polar opposite of my usual emo posts. :p

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  3. haay.. ambigat sa dibdib..

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    1. Nate: Relate ba? Namimiss mo ba si boyfie pag di kayo nagkikita? hehe When it's put that way, parang ang jeje ng post na 'to. :p

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    2. @nyl: true.. may pagka-jeje nga.. hehehe.. :p

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    3. Nate: But we do what we must and say what we can to show how we love people, diba? Maybe you were sad because... you were channeling something else? #echoserananaman lolz

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  4. I was looking for the "Fiction" tag.

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    1. Rudeboy: I notice you enjoy looking for that tag. This was semi-fictionalized. The obsession is real, and the OC cleaning was real too. I guess the reality was just more grounded and less interesting. And yes, it's the Leo in me who said that.

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    2. "There is fiction in your truth, and truth in your fiction."

      Creative writing, unlike journalism, requires us to spice up the banality of events from time to time. I relate with you on the cleaning, though; I embarked on a similar compulsion about three days ago and am nowhere near finished as of this writing.

      And I'm not even a Leo, Leo.


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    3. Rudeboy: The little boy in me (no, I didn't eat him) who kept getting scolded for lying a lot applauds you. You make it seem like such an easy process when in the process of "spicing up the banality," I often find myself cutting, bleeding, and posting pictures of it online.

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    4. @nyl & ruddie: anubeh?! katakot... :/

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    5. Nate: But isn't that what it feels like? haha I'm sure you've had your fair share of emo posts. Didn't you revel in your catharsis?

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    6. "You make it seem like such an easy process..."

      I work in an industry fueled by dreams and illusions, Nyl.

      And the occasional trickery.

      But we leave the outright lies to those [muzzled due to some stupid annoying hastily-passed law abridging civil liberties and freedom of expression and wait who the fuck are you get out of my house - *888..................]

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    7. Rudeboy: I'm not used to you being so political. Lolz or did I misinterpret you? If it makes you feel better, as I'm writing this Twitter is all abuzz about a certain TRO. :)

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    8. I try not to be involved in politics and save my fury for other things, Nyl.

      I don't always succeed in this matter.

      Or perhaps my intense seething hatred for stupidity in all its varied forms overrules any attempts of mine at equanimity.

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    9. Rudeboy: I myself avoid conversations like this as 1, I am so uninformed and 2, I don't really undestand half of it. All I know is this seems personal and the man in question? Nananadiya!

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  5. im sure a lot of people will relate on this post idol!

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    1. Mark Joe: Uy, long time no hear! :) Ganun ba? Naku, sana nga. Bagama't masaya na I got to write this down and it didn't rot in my head like all the other posts, siyempre iba parin yung pakiramdam na may ibang nakarelate diba?

      Oi, di na tayo natuloy sa gimik! Nasaan na ba 'tong si LJ?

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    3. Darc: Umeecho? Haha napanood mo ba yung Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa? Yung original song that I was gonna use here is called Paglisan. Listen to it!!! For more relate action? Haha

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  6. Replies
    1. Nybachoi: Larong bata ang peg? Haha if only all things were as easy. Tapos after a messy breakup, paunahan sumigaw ng VIVA!!! Tapos bati na ulit. Hehe

      welcome to my blog! :)

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  7. It's hard to move on; it's one of the pitfalls of going into a relationship. It does make one a stronger person, though.

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    1. Andy: and it all depends on who you're channelling: Nietzsche or Kelly Clarkson. Haha Victor always says everything is a risk. This strengthens my theory that you guys will really get along. Haha

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  8. Replies
    1. Beliza: why thank you, dear. :) i was a little shaky while writing this. It had been quite a while since I wrote anything long. And it ended up looking more like a time-motion study than anything. :)

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  9. In every memories and past we've had, one thing that I've learned so much about it: is we sometimes missed the memories rather than missing the person, understandably we do, but those little things and that helped us remember the glimpse of the past, the sweet past. How I wish everything can be tracked back, everything can be lived once more, this post is a simple illustration of how I am feeling right now.

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    1. Tim: it sounds like you know quite a lot about missing someone. I hope you feel better soon. And if it helps, blogging has always gotten me through all the daily crazy shit that's hurled at me. :)

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  10. I have gone back to a place, a space, where we or he once was. Stood there. Sucked in the air. Let out a breath, knowing what and who once occupied another moment.

    I have, and do, touch an object I know that person touched; a handrail, doorknob, the back of a chair. It's this physicality that performs the exorcism of memory - no, of bittersweetness - and allows me to move on. Moving on isn't necessarily the goal, it's just the mechanical tool for containing the sanctity of what passes for normalcy.

    We tend to believe that time is a great equalizer and healer. It is, rather, a great deceiver, for we never ever forget the taste or fragrance of beauty and bittersweet.

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    Replies
    1. Rick: and in my case, I do not want to ever forget.

      "We tend to believe that time is a great equalizer and healer. It is, rather, a great deceiver, for we never ever forget the taste or fragrance of beauty and bittersweet."

      this line...me gusta!

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    2. Thanks, Nyl... I edited that line a bit and posted it as an epigram tonight...... Your story reminds me that personal selfishness and selflessness must be recognized and delt with accordingly!

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    3. Rick: I know! I just saw it. I left a reply with this quote I read somewhere. Yes, I'm *that* original. Lolz

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  11. Replies
    1. Erin: it's a scene I borrowed from Chloe! If you haven't seen it, you totally should!!

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  12. "Our toothbrushes are making out."

    I fell in love with this line Nyl. And I also realized how much I, we've, missed your posts. You make blogging orgasmic.

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    1. Rei: orgasmic? Lolz you naughty boy!

      Thanks Rei. I've really missed blogging here too. :)

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  13. Oh my, I love the new theme. You have to teach me how to do something close to this. lols.

    There will always be something about falling in love that will make us feel different. Everything matters and every little thing will be a big deal, even the longing.

    Well, I know he is there. But seriously, your house must be really really clean. :D

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    1. LJ: oo naman! Let's think of a theme for your blog when you get sick of your current one. :)

      And that line about love was very well said. It's funny how this post can be interpreted as a freshly broken up narrative. When what it really is is separation anxiety! Oh well. That's the good thing about the written word. Different people can have different interpretations. :)

      And as for my house... You'd be surprised how much dust accumulates in a small Makati apartment. Now excuse me while I sweep the floor. hehe

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    2. If your house is beside the main road, then it is understandable, wait I need to mop din pala. Haha!

      Yeah, I am a little sick with my theme na. :D

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    3. LJ: gawa tayo! Fun yan! Hehe

      side road naman yung nakikita ko from my window peri feeling ko dusty lang talaga tong city natin in general. Haha

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  14. haha alam ko yung non-fiction version nito. nanonood ka ng new girl habang naglilinis? ahah :))


    love love love the new lay-out. nabuhay yung pictures, pati music :) dali, yung lay-out ko naman ang ayusin mo nylpot! :))

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    1. Mots: and 2 broke girls! :)

      I'm glad you like this template. The goal was to have a header that didn't distract people from the pictures in the posts. As for your template, seryoso ka ba? Kakaayos mo lang nun ha! If you really want to, sige I can help. Haha pero waley ako pag-dating sa drawing ha. :)

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  15. Replies
    1. James: why thank you! For what it's worth, my neurosis loves you right back. :)

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  16. pag nagcomment, bitter ako. lols

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    1. Arkinscent: hahaha and here I am, recalling how you were that night at Mary Grace. :p pag-nakakamiss, bitter na agad? Di pwedeng malungkutin lang talaga?

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  17. that terrible feeling, i don't want to go through that stage again.

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    1. Xtian: Oh dear. I only know bits and pieces of that story from what's written online. Chikahan tayo one of these days. :)

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  18. Ang halay nung mga toothbrushes parang nagpipinggeran or something...

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    1. Glentot: Kiss lang yan! haha baka nasa monitor (read: utak-slash-kaluluwa) ang problema. :p

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  19. So mabigat na ako bago pa man basahin ang post na 'to. Pagkatapos,/wrist lang. Pero that part about holding up the glass against the light made me smile. Ewan ko kung bakit. But more than anything, I want to visit you o kahit see you soon. Pleeeease soon.

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    Replies
    1. Debbiesoria: haha ninakaw ko lang yan from this scene in Chloe. Maganda yun! Panoorin mo!

      Tara na kasi! When're we going out? I miss you soooooooooo much!

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  20. Replies
    1. Debbie: set an appointment by getting in touch with my secretary. Chauce! Tara naaaaa!!!

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  21. toothbrushes making out... makes a good Colgate commercial for Valentine's. i miss this. glad i can still enjoy your brilliance.

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    1. Huber: brilliance ka diyan. Haha sige, ipitch natin sa ad agency kaso baka magka-MTRCB SPG warning yung bawat commercial.

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  22. It brings back the pain </3 nagemo an naman ako .. hays.

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    Replies
    1. Bagotilyoako: I'm sorry to hear that. But welcome to my blog! :)

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