Monday, February 25, 2013

purging as a sacrament

To A. Because I wrote this to let you go. To Z. Because the broken in me doesn't make you run.

September 14, 2011

Up until now, I’ve done a good job of putting my problems into little boxes, dealing with the ones I can, storing the ones I can’t. My new responsibilities at work have been helpful. The overwhelming feeling of coming to terms with all I have to learn has been very helpful. It keeps me from thinking about you, about us, about all we lost to the tide.

Today’s a little different though. I’ve been starting at this Excel sheet for quite some time now. I can’t seem to make sense of its entirety. I understand the parts. I see the variables and where to get the values. It’s how it all comes together that I don’t get. The error stares at me, heckling, laughing at my incompetence and all I cannot be.

Before I could stop it, I found myself in a daydream. It was from the last time I saw you. You hailed a cab for me and as we drove away, I could see you walking towards Makati Avenue. Had I known that that would be the last time I’d ever see you, I would’ve told the driver to stop. I would’ve run to you, told you how much I loved you, maybe to stop what you were doing and just focus on what was real, focus on what was us.

They say when you chop a chicken’s head off, they just keep flapping around until they die. I guess that’s how I’ve been feeling since that day we last spoke. I know you’re gone. I know my anger has consumed me. But when will I come to terms with what I lost? When will my body expire to the ground?

And so begins the dance of breaking up and moving on. We go through these sacraments to speed up the process, to let go, to accept the reality of separation. I’ve deleted your number, sent a few drunk texts, written a few posts detailing my feelings. I had one last task and that was to pack up your things and give ‘em back to you.

Your shirts. The socks I borrowed when I stayed at your apartment. The hanky you made me use when we got lost in Taguig and I was sweating profusely. The travel toothbrush I bought you when we stayed at my house when my parents were away. I was numb as I packed them. I couldn’t feel anything, didn’t want to at least. I was expecting a few butterflies in my stomach but it was pretty quiet in that department. Everything was going right until I saw a little black notebook. Suddenly, all the reserve I had went out the window. Winded, I sat on my room’s floor praying the room would stop spinning.

It was the anniversary gift I was to give you. I bought this journal back in August when I had no idea we were going to break up. On the first page, I stuck the ticket to the first movie we ever saw. On the last page, a haphazard wedding invitation. It was a picture of us when we were in Pagudpud. I was trying to lift you but I couldn’t. We had smiles on our faces and the sun in our eyes. We didn’t know what was going to happen.

There was a note I wrote too quickly. I wanted to capture my train of thought. Write down our story, I said. Fill in the pages between our first date and our wedding day. I apologized for my shortcomings, for not always being there. I realize now how naïve I was, how stupid it was to place all bets on something that was against me, someone who was going to hurt me. Someone who didn’t understand me, or at least stopped trying to. How silly of me.

The sacrament tells me to remove all traces of you. I said to myself that this was nothing. I breathed in, breathed out. The shirts, those things, these were just tasks on a checklist. I didn’t want to think of them anymore. I didn’t want to remember you anymore. I took all of your things and put it in the first paper bag I saw. If only it were that easy to truly let you go.

February 25, 2013

I survived. I didn’t think I would. And I heard you did too. Thank you for everything you taught me. I would’ve never known how to become a good lover if you didn’t show me how. With all my heart, I wish you all the best in life.

♫: Ashlee Simpson | Say Goodbye (2005)
Photo: YJ