Thursday, October 22, 2015

wish you would



These morning cigarettes lend so much clarity, it hurts. When only quiet fills the void, every little thing you hide comes out to play.

I know what we have is different, that his love for me is in a language that escapes words. He looks at me and sees me. He kisses me and I’m home. He holds me until the early morning. And though I often wake up without him, that doesn’t mean he loves me any less.

I know he doesn’t need to say it. But every now and then, I can’t help but wish that he would.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.

Photo: artolove
♫: Carole King | Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (1971)

Friday, October 9, 2015

on how I write you



The words come as it happens. There’s an absence in his eyes, a shiver in his voice that tells me he’s stopped loving me. “Where are you going?” he asks, as though it’s the last time he’d ever see me. I can only watch as he walks away, gets on the next jeep, and rushes out of my life.

Then I tell the story again. There’s an absence in his eyes, a shiver in his voice that tells me he’s stopped loving me. I choke back tears as I struggle to memorize his face, the lines around his eyes, the tiny hairs on his chin. My palms were sweaty. I didn’t want to see it, didn’t want that last image of him. “Where are you going?” he asks, as though it’s the last time he’d ever see me. I shrug. I didn’t know where I was going. I can only watch as he walks away, gets on the next jeep, and rushes out of my life.

Then I tell the story again. There’s an absence in his eyes, a shiver in his voice that tells me he’s stopped loving me. The October showers are unpredictable and unforgiving. I choke back tears as I struggle to memorize his face, the lines around his eyes, the tiny hairs on his chin. My palms were sweaty. All around me, the world was alive. People rushing through the streets with umbrellas to the sky, never knowing that at that exact moment, a heart was breaking. I didn’t want to see it, didn’t want that last image of him. “Where are you going?” he asks, as though it’s the last time he’d ever see me. I look around me, the streets, the buildings, there was so much going on around me but not a single place felt like home. I shrug. I didn’t know where I was going. I can only watch as he walks away, gets on the next jeep, and rushes out of my life. It starts to rain. The people, they keep walking. They never stop. No one ever does. And that’s what it was like when you broke my heart.

Then I tell the story again. Each time I tell it, I get farther and farther away from you. How many more must I write until I’m over you?

Photo: typewriter
♫: Lucy Rose | Shiver (2012)

Monday, October 5, 2015

missing halves



He says “Ah, but that was a lifetime ago” and I nod.

Sometimes, memories are so distant, they stop belonging to you. I remember loving him, I remember slowing my breath so our hearts could beat in time, but it’s as if it was a story someone told me over breakfast or a short film I saw online.

Yes, I loved him but that was a lifetime ago and I’m barely the same person.

One day, I believe all the socks who’ve lost their pairs will find their missing halves. When that time comes, would wethey still feel the same?

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.

Photo: socks
♫: William Fitzsimmons & Priscilla Ahn | I Don’t Feel It Anymore (2008)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

the farthest distance



What I learned from all my years of loving and failing is that you never truly own anybody.

I’ve heard him say he loved me, scream promises to never leave me, and I watched as he took it all back. I’ve held on to his words, I’ve waited for him to come back only to find nothing but the cruelty of a door that by all means can open but never does.

I have climbed many mountains and crossed many hearts, many seas but the farthest distance I will ever know is between a forgotten promise and an unforgetting heart.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.

Photo: ocean-still
♫: Paula Cole | In Our Dreams (2007)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

what it's like to die



People who’ve been shot and lived to tell their story claim it doesn’t really feel like anything. The bullet punctures your skin and an overwhelming feeling of numbness takes over. Such is the body’s nature when it knows it’s about to die.

In contrast, it’s the small and constant pains that are unbearable. Ticking headaches, impacted molars – they bring even the mightiest to their knees.

Everytime you slip away, the pain floors me and I have to wait for the room to stop spinning. I look forward to the day you leave me. The numbness will be a welcome mistress.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.

Photo: tunnel
♫: Sheryl Crow | I Shall Believe (1993)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

the boy who cried rain



He said he loved the smell of rain. I said rain didn’t smell like anything. It must’ve been the heat escaping from the ground. No, he insisted. When it comes, you’ll understand what I mean.

He said he loved the smell of rain and so I showed him mine. I let him in to see my thunder, my scattered rainfalls, my tropical depressions. It was too late when the first of the floods rushed in.

Struggle. Air. Footing. The last time I saw him.

In the early morning when there is quiet, I still hear the boy who cried rain.

This and other 100-word stories in Project 0.1.

Photo: art-rain-room
♫: Diana Vickers | The Boy Who Murdered Love (2010)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

on how I got over him



And you wonder how it happened. How you jumped heart-first off a skyscraper and into this stranger’s bed. How you trusted his words, the little they meant, the iceberg you imagined he implied. He looks at you and you think that he sees you. You think he listens to you but he just hears you. He draws cartoon hearts on your dirty dishes and you start to believe it could be that easy. That you could just meet somebody and begin your happy ever after. It couldn’t be that easy. Nothing ever is.

And you wonder how it happened. How you woke up one day with your heart caving in. How he threw you away like a discarded syringe. Use once and destroy. You pray that the hours will be more merciful. That the hands on the clock would start telling time and stop measuring how long it’s been since you last saw his sullen eyes or heard his beautiful voice. You type furiously into your phone praying for the courage to hit Send. You draft questions laced with accusations. Where are you? Why did you go? Did you really love me? You are asking the wrong questions. Or rather you are asking the wrong person. Where did I go? Where have I gone? Why didn’t I love myself?

And you wonder how it happened. How you thought the world would stop spinning the day he walked away. How you couldn’t find the strength to put one leg in front of the other. And then that leg in front of the other. But the world kept its axis and you, too, found the courage to crawl. You prop yourself up and you start to walk. You gain momentum and you run. You close your eyes and you fly. You thought it would all end the day he said goodbye. But it didn’t. It couldn’t. Maybe you don’t know your own strength.

And you wonder how it happened. How you could love someone so deeply, so irrevocably one instance and feel nothing the next. How you see him one day and it doesn’t feel like anything. You put a hand over your heart and find it’s still beating, still keeping tune to a song. Except this time he doesn’t know the words anymore. This time, he cannot hum along. And so you look stare at him. You pick at the scab that was your love. You will him to look back at you. And he does. But he pretends he doesn’t see you. And he keeps walking away and that should wound you. But it doesn’t. It doesn’t. Why doesn’t it hurt anymore?

And here’s how it happened. Here’s how you walked away from the car crash that was your life. Science tells you that the heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. That it pumps out 71 ounces of blood every beat. That it could beat three billion times in a person’s life. That even as you weep, you sleep, you breathe, you eat, it beats and it beats and it beats.

That’s 71 ounces of I could have loved you. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of he’s not coming back. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of I don’t love you anymore. Thump thump.

That’s 71 ounces of I choose to love myself. Thump thump. Instead. Thump thump.

That’s 71 tiny ounces out of the 213,000,000,000 ounces you’ll ever pump out in your entire life. Thump thump thump thump thump.

And so you watch him walk away. Like he did five months ago. Like nothing ever happened. Like it was the easiest thing in the world. And you move on with the rest of your day because it doesn’t sting as much or at all. It doesn’t hurt anymore. He’s just a boy you loved who left you, just a mistake among many, many, many wonderful mistakes. You plug your earphones in and listen to a woman singing words she pulled right out of your 71 ounces.

Dreams are dreams,
Will alas come true?
Skies will clear,
Leaving me bright and blue.
I will raise my glass to my heart and say
“Here’s to tomorrow, not yesterday.”

My heart proved stronger than your love. Here’s to tomorrow, not yesterday.

♫: All Saints | Dreams (2000)

Monday, February 16, 2015

hello, my name is



So I made a couple of these over the weekend. It's a sampler with seven of my favorite stories. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to get published. Here's hoping that this is a step in the right direction.

If you want a copy, please fill this out and I'll get in touch with you.

♫: American Authors | Best Day Of My Life (2014)

Friday, January 23, 2015

on remembering the firsts



I find myself thinking about the early days frequently. Mostly, the scenes come back to me in flashes – that tiny macchiato I ordered for you by mistake, the swollen bits of lamb swimming in garlic and soy sauce, the beads of sweat that glistened on your forehead as I beat you in pool hockey, that first stolen kiss in the crisp, November air – they string together like tiny beads of light. And I remember thinking about them on the bus back to Manila. My fingers run through these memories the way a kid brushes over an old scar. You are sleeping right next to me, your shoulders hunched up in the cold. I adjust the AC, put my jacket over you, and try to catch up on too many long, looming sleepless nights.

NEVER thought something so sweet could become so sour but we sure knew how to hurt each other. Those moments flash back too – that night I told you I was giving up, that time you took our picture off the wall, the hurtful bullshit we said and did to each other – they scratch my skin as they zoom past. And I’m sorry I gave up. I’m sorry I tried to run away from you. When you’re in a shithole, all you can think about is climbing out and pushing through. You never stop to think that maybe you’re not alone in all of it. I wish I had seen you right there with me, grasping through the darkness because neither of us knew it could get so bad. But you never thought about leaving me. I’m sorry I did. I’m sorry I thought that I could stop loving you. That I will stop loving you. Or that maybe, I had found a way. Maybe I

STOPPED. I didn’t. That was a lie. Through the awkward silences, the passive aggressive shit we’d do to each other, through the stolen embraces while you slept and the nasty things I said but didn’t mean, a part of me held on to you. When you stopped talking to me, it felt like I lost more than a lover. I felt like I lost myself. You’ve become such a big part of who I am that at times, I wonder where you end and I begin. I knew I would never be the same. I was hollow most of the day. I walked around with empty eyes and a heavy heart. The only time I felt whole again was when I saw you. And though you looked back at me like you were about to scream bloody murder, I knew I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I knew I’d rather be in an empty house with you than anywhere in the world by myself.

LOVING you again was easy. It was like putting an old sweater on. Maybe we needed a trip to remind us why we fell in love in the first place. Or maybe we would’ve found our way back eventually anyway. Either way, once the debris had settled and we’d both run out of horrible things to say, I felt your warm, familiar fabric as it embraced my longing skin. That first night you held me even though I knew you were livid with me, I heard your breaths draw deep and sharp. It was like you you were trying really hard to push me away. But you gave up. You couldn’t. Just like me, you understood that on some cosmic level, we would always end up with each other. Thank you for truly seeing me. I still remember those first tentative kisses, the way your fingers felt like tiny little firecrackers, that night you held me again and I cried so hard I had to hang the pillows dry the next day. It felt like I was at the end of a long journey and in your arms, I had somehow found myself back home.

YOU were, you are, you will always be my life’s greatest adventure. As we made our way back to the city, the sleepy bus lights forging through the darkness, I think about the many firsts we’ve had – first date, first cup of coffee, first kiss, first time we made love. Then I add a couple of new ones – our first big fight, our first breakup, the first time we got back together, the first time that didn’t work out, the first time it actually did, the first time it felt like we’d finally figured things out – these all go into the box of memories we’ll open when we’re old and gray. I know I don’t say it much and I sure as hell don’t know how to show it half the time but it’s all there in the firsts. I didn’t need to fall back in love with you because

♫: Taylor Swift | Out of the Woods (2014)

HELLO 2015! So I was late for my own challenge. Sorry about that. Obviously, life got in the way. I spent the New Year's figuring out what I wanted to do with my life and rebuilding bridges I haphazardly burned down in my last crisis. I promise to take better care of this space this year (and lose weight, quit smoking, be a better person, yadda yadda yadda) I hope you all had a great New Year's!

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