Sunday, October 5, 2014

on growing old


If you ask me how we got here, I honestly would not know what to say. Like the sunset, it just crept up on us unsuspectingly. One minute, he and I were taking spontaneous trips to Batangas and watching exotic French movies at midnight, the next we were suffering through the silence of countless breakfasts and forgetting each other's birthdays. Three years can do that to you and on most days, I'm okay with that. There is some value to a stable relationship. But then there are days like today where I wonder whether it was time or was it romance that truly passed us by.

And what kills me is he's a good man, that much I know. I could do so much worse. Wait, let me rephrase that. I have done so much worse. I've been lied to, cheated on, I've been hurt and all for what? The pursuit of a happy ever after? When I met him all those summers ago, I was a wounded bird with a broken wing. I was beginning to believe that happy ever afters only existed in fairy tales and cheesy Sunday movies. When my last lover left, he took so much more than my heart. He stripped me of my pride, my confidence, and my will. This brand new boy took one look at my heart and said I could fix that. I could fix him. And so I let him. It wasn't easy at first but through time and with his gentle heart, I learned to trust again. I learned to love again. He was the kindest man I had ever met and so we took our vows to grow old together. He with his gentle heart and I with my mended wing, we would get our happy ever after.

Nobody tells you what happens after the couple rides off into the horizon and the screen fades to black. Let me tell you. What follows is a whole lot of… nothing.

All that feels like a lifetime ago. These days, we hardly ever talk beyond the how was your days and what do you want for dinners – these questions disguise themselves as everyday pleasantries but I should have seen them for what they truly are. They are footsteps. Each question and its corresponding monotonous answer brought us closer and closer to silence, to complacent, to mundane.

I've become increasingly good at keeping these thoughts at bay. But just when I've let my guard down, they crash into me with the impact of a bursting dam. Today, it finds me on a quiet Saturday morning, as plain as the last sixty-three. He lies sleeping beside me. His snoring stops, signaling he is about to wake. The curtains sway without tire as the aroma of breakfast wafts through from the neighbor's kitchen. I daydream of dried fish, scrambled eggs, and a love that will hold me till morning.

You're up early, he says, mid yawn. What time is it?

6:30? I'm not really sure.

Why are you up so early? It's the weekend. We should be sleeping. He rolls over to my side of the bed to embrace me and I let him because that's what lovers are supposed to do.

I don't know. I couldn't get back to sleep.

Well, let's… he continues incoherently. His silence was soon replaced by quiet little snores. We lay there, two spoons with mountains of space in between. Now how much of that space was on me, I didn't want to know. Because I couldn't afford to think about these things. I couldn't afford to lose my savior. I close my eyes, hoping the same slumber that took him would swallow me whole.

He's a good man, that much I know. I could do so much worse. But now and then, you wonder how growing old together somehow turns into just plain growing old.

♫: Pancho's Lament | Promise Me This (2000)

40 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Sepsep: I am! And it took me a while to figure you out. New name? Gawd, I need to blohop more. haha

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    2. More like a nickname. May nangyari kasi kaya I changed some things, but it's a long story. Oh well, I'm just glad you're writing again. Na-miss ko ang posts mo. :)

      I felt quite sad while reading this, because it reminded me of someone: the one that got away. The memories are bittersweet, but I like lingering in them from time to time. You really know how to make your readers emotional, Nyl. You have that ability to affect others in a good way.

      I'm happy for you though. It's great that you got it going for you, after all you've been through. I can't say I'm not envious, 'cause I actually am. *haha*

      Anyway, welcome back! Stay in love with your "good man". And just keep on writing, will ya? :P

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    3. Sepsep: Thanks and (ugh) I hate to burst your bubble but this doesn't end well. Anyway, thanks for all the kind words. I appreciate it. :)

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    4. Oh I forgot to ask you. I have my blog URL changed months ago. Could you edit my link below? If it isn't too much... Sorry for the trouble. lol

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    5. Sepsep: No trouble at all. Without Google Reader (huhu) medyo hirap na rin ako to keep track of everybody and it just took a few minutes to update anyway. Sorry about that!

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    6. Whaaat? Nooooo... I thought those thoughts of yours will just go away... I also had them before. I thought they're just normal, especially for people who are in a relationship for years... :(

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    7. Sepsep: Maybe they are normal. Iba-iba lang ang manifestations and reactions ng mga tao. :x

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    8. I read it again knowing what you said, and I fully understand it now, like a movie which require multiple viewings to grasp the meaning. lol Stupid me. :P

      I thought you're talking about your current relationship. I didn't realize that you're just talking about 'growing old' with someone you love for a long time. Damn, it's even in the title! *hahaha*

      Sorry. It's still a great read though. ;)

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    9. Sepsep: Don't be silly. Don't apologize. Medyo malabo talaga ako. haha

      My Jung typology says I'm an extrovert who (like introverts) needs time to process things. I wrote this two weeks ago at fiction pa siya nun not realizing na magiging totoo pala siya. I've been meaning to continue the story kaso medyo sariwa pa so hirap ako iprocess. Maybe when it's viewed with it's unbirthed siblings, mas maiintindihan? I totally get the other angle you were going for. Maybe that was the angle it had when I wrote it pero iba na when I published.

      So ginawa daw natin PM? lolz

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    10. OMG, so based on recent events pala to... How are you now?

      Oo nga, ginawa ko nang chatbox to. lol

      I'll just wait for your other posts. :)

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    11. Sepsep: Aliw nga eh. It feels like we're catching up.

      Grabe yang how are you na yan. I've been asked that question too many times this week. For once, I will answer it in all honesty. I've been better. I know I'm gonna be okay.

      Sige, dadalian ko. haha

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  2. Joms and I make plans. Plans to donate stuff we don't use. Plans not to buy stuff we don't really need but kept hoarding. Plans to buy the stuff that we really need. Plans to save and travel.

    When the movies, eating out and everything else becomes predictable, we reminisce what we were like back then and then i enjoy how far I've come along from being a village bicycle to someone's treasure.

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    1. Seth: That's so nice! I hope you guys stay happy and in love. :)

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  3. I read this, I tried to read between lines of your recent FB posts. I hope this is all fiction for your sake, but for mine. Mine because I have enjoyed seeing you appear so happy.

    How about "On Staying Young" ? That's where I'm at, and in my mind I am. That is MY fiction.

    I hope this write is yours.....

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    1. Rick: Unfortunately, it isn't. And I guess that's what's funny when people cross over to that side of my cyber life. You get to see the unedited parts. Yes, I was happy. Delirious, even. But then I stopped being happy and I guess that's when I stood up for me.

      Thanks for all the kind words. :)

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  4. It's really sad when the love fizzles into nothingness over the years. Maybe you both need to rekindle the romance? In any case, I hope things get better for you guys..

    We miss you here on the blogosphere Nyl! Welcome back :D

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    1. Rei: Thanks for the kind words. And I'm happy to be back too!

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  5. wala ka talagang kupas. habang binabasa ko ito, tangay na tangay ako. makailang-ulit akong napabuntonghininga pagkatapos.

    masaya ako sa iyong pagbabalik. mabuti naman at nagwakas na ang matagal naming pag-aabang. welcome back, nyl! :)

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    1. Aris: Ikaw 'tong walang kakupas-kupas. Hanga ako na kahit na di na tulad ng dati ang blogosphere, never kang naubusan ng isusulat. You have to teach me how you do that!

      Thanks for dropping by! :)

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  6. ...

    hay speechless.
    as usual, the best ka pa rin. hehe

    ang well written post ay doble kargado ng emosyon.

    kaya nang mabasa ko ito, doble ang lungkot.
    as in. :(

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    1. kalansaycollector: Doble talaga ang lungkot? Sorry naman. :( Thanks for dropping by anyway. :p

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    2. syempre naman hindi ko palalagpasin ang mga post mo no. :)))

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    3. kalansaycollector: Salamat sa patnubay at sorry narin sa kaguluhan ko. haha

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  7. And I just thought that this blog will be closed for good. We need this kind of blog para kaming nagbabasa ng engligh novel by chapter minus the fictional character.

    Keep it up and stay positive. :)

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    Replies
    1. Limarx214: Haha ako yung main character! ;p salamat and I will!

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  8. rooting for you! :) :) i hope you guys make it :D i'm a new fan <3

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  9. The heavens open and brought down this post! Finally! Namiss ko po ang mga munting kwento nyo. Puwede po bang manghingi pa ng mas marami, as sunod-sunod na mas marami pa po :)

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    1. Dindin: Oo naman! haha di lang yung sunod-sunod! haha Salamat!

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  10. Nobody tells you that ever afters can consist of long stretches of boredom and familiarity, Nyl. But in that selfsame monotony of routine lies the comfort and security people still on the prowl claim they seek. That's the settling down. Boredom comes with the territory. Those who seek the thrill and excitement, that blush of romance, those are the ones in love with love.

    I paraphrase, but I once read something along these lines: "The first flames of romance burn bright and burn out, but love's embers smoulder on."

    By the way, it's a pleasant miracle to see you back in this howling wasteland.

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    1. rudeboy: It took me a while to respond to this because I never expected anyone to get it this spot on. This is why I'm glad to come back to this "howling wasteland" whenever I've got heart bruises. It's little nuggets like that embers quote that help me stay sane.

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  11. Oh God, Nyl, you have no idea how this resonates. Sigh.

    I'm kidding. I fed the concept of loving to the dogs, and, these days, I am getting my sodomy when I feel like it. Growing old, oh wow, this sucks. I could unload mouthfuls on this, but I much rather not. You could be happy, since you are getting there with Someone. What about the rest of hopeless Them who can only be half as lucky at best? I suppose you could get away with this sadism, Nyl, on account of making us sigh has always been your finest quality as a blogger.

    I miss you and your voice, Nyl. I am glad you are updating.

    Muahness from Pasig Cirehhh!

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    1. Momel: I'm glad you're still around too. I often drop by your page to get my daily dose of realz. You have no idea how reliant I am. I should get this checked. lolz

      And I suppose we never want exactly what we have. For when I was one of Them, I would have killed to have what I had when I wrote this. These days though, it's hard to want a situation you don't understand. So much feelz! haha

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  12. You're back! the first song comes into my mind when I saw the title is grow old with me by tom adell. Happy 10th!
    Miss you Nyl. Hugs & Kisses from Dubai =)

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    Replies
    1. Ahmer: Hugs and Kisses from Mandaluyong! I miss you! At papakinggan ko to. hehe

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  13. reminds me of sartre's nausea. but as ts eliot once said we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

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    1. LoF: I'll let you know when my things begin to attack me. haha Maybe TS was right. The only thing is I feel I'm back where I started only this time, I'm even more clueless than before!

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  14. Dear N,

    It's almost ten in the morning here in Cebu, waiting for my airplane to bring me somewhere further down south. And I read this, and can't help but be a sponge absorbing all these sadness and beauty all in one article. Buti na lang may maraming tao, umiyak na sana ako.

    E,

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    Replies
    1. Yas: Ang descriptive ha. haha Salamat phoez!

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