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It's Tuesday and today I feel a certain tenderness for that young girl who was curled up in bed listening to the Universal Motion Dancers' Christmas album. This was released in...1993? She was 12. Today I decide there are three stages of love (towards a person, thing, idea, etc.). The first stage is when you truly feel in love; second stage is when you question yourself and kind of feel embarrassed "I loved that?"; third stage is years later when you look back and realize "Hey, yes, I truly loved that." That feeling that's so warm it melts you.
What's your go-to when you're sad? Mine's This Is Us, The Office, and videos of babies trying to stay awake. I'm sure there's a lot more but those are my top three. This year I finally felt the Facebook fatigue. Too many people broadcasting their joys and hurts online (this includes me, so I got tired of myself, too, as it were). Also, photos. What's up with posting different versions of the (basically) same photo? What's up with that? In the past, the Internet was for finding good stuff. Now it's a challenge to find something truly good. SMH.
I keep dreaming about you and I want it to stop. See, when I wake there's this unpleasant feeling that I can't quite pinpoint if it's brewing anger or aggressive indifference, it's almost like a nonfeeling, is what it seems like, but it's eating at me and well, I can't get up and I find myself wanting to sleep in so I can dream of something else and not have to think of that dream I had of you for the rest of the day. It's here now, I guess, that familiar yet strange knowing: It was bad all along.
In a lot of ways this year was a quiet one. I think I'd always see 2014 as that very difficult year, especially around August to November when things were often bright red and sometimes pitch black. Now 2015 is almost ending and I'm sitting here and thinking, wow homestretch yay! It was good and quiet and firm and dependable in so many places. I wish I can say what it is I learned this year but I don't know. I like the imaginary fresh start of every year even if I know I've been trying since 10 years ago?
On Saturdays you will find me in bed watching 1D clips, possibly munching on Ruffles or donuts, and it won't be obvious but I'd be feeling really low for doing that to myself. It won't be obvious because I'd be laughing at something Harry Styles or Louis Tomlinson said or did and I'd know I've watched that clip a hundred times but I'd go "just one more video, just one, and then I'd go look at that to-do list." And I would! I would look at the list but that's it, just look, and then watch 1D videos again.
Hi, I saw future me. It's horrible. See, I was looking at this polka dot house dress and felt sincere love for it. See, the old me would walk on and look for something plain, just...anything that's not polka dot. And I knew it, I knew I'd be one of those over-the-top Titas who make it a point to NOT dress for the occasion, no offense to Titas. Because you know what? I loved it, I embraced the idea of me deliberately dressing up in house clothes to a posh wedding because fuck why not. WHY NOT.
I think maybe in my past life I was a criminal or a policeman or a warped peacemaker maybe, a paid assassin, a vigilante, I don't know, somebody who resorted to violence in order to save themself and maybe, perhaps, make something stop? I'm typing these now and I'm cringing asking myself what am I saying on the Internet. See, I have the lowest tolerance for people lacking manners. There's this person I would really like to...Okay, I'm going to stop now because you know what, I feel better after a deep breath. I should always take deep breaths.
Faced with the choice of speaking ill or speaking nice about someone, I most often choose to speak ill because it makes me feel good about myself. I'm self righteous and entitled and I like complaining about other people and today like other days I try to tell myself maybe it's time to stop? And keep on seeing the good in people? See, this is why I don't want to go out anymore, because people are disappointing 80% of the time. You lower your expectation and most of them still act like scum and still manage to annoy. Complaining again.
You're constantly fighting against time, ignoring the fact that your feeble attempts at capturing a moment will amount to nothing in the grand scheme of things. What you do not want to know is that someday you will forget all this, someday you won't even know the name of that boy you're trying so hard to impress now, someday you will ask yourself where has all the time gone to? You were so busy taking photos and sharing it with other people, that you forgot to actually share the moment with the person right next to you, breathing, imperfect, unloved.
He is consumed by the sadness of not having your attention. Tired of trying, getting hurt. You talk about no one but yourself, you only mind him when you need something from him, and you don't ask him where he is when he's out late. Doors are there to be knocked on. Maybe you have to knock them down if they don't open with a simple knock? Why stop at "Oh, he's there and he knows I love him." I've no idea where this came from. Just, I saw a boy crying at 7-11 and it's 3 a.m.
How do you escape an island? What makes you think that an escape towards water is an escape to safety? If you can't swim and there's no watercraft, how is water your friend? If the island renders you helpless, where do you turn, where do you go? If flight is an option, are you sure you'd be perfectly safe? How about the danger of airborne creatures unbeknownst to you? Listen, if there is an explosion in your room, does that give you space and time to run away? Jump off? What do you do in the face of immediate danger?
The little boy looks at his mother for approval, any positive sign--a wink, a kind face, a smile. Why is it we need to see someone's face when we talk to them? Someone can always mask emotions in their voice, so the telephone is not a running candidate in this imaginary contest he's concocting. Not even computers. Not handwritten letters. Faces, he's going for faces. Skin, warmth, friction. We're not talking about the little boy anymore. We're talking about him. Him. If you don't know him now then there's no reason for you to attempt doing so. Too late.
There's a veritable way to remember all your thoughts, even the ones you haven't thought about yet. This is a new product: Remember From the Future Vitamin Pill. You can use this pill as your guide for your actions. See, time is a loop, your memory of happiness on a warm, green day on that mountaintop really happened--10 years into your future, 245 years into your past. It's not really you-you who experienced it, of course. Now, this veritable way of remembering everything, it comes with a cost. The question is, do you want to remember everything?
She can only operate in absolutes. The time should end in :00 or else she won't do anything for you, she won't move. She believes that acting on impulse is a sin. It can cost you your life. Her mother crossed the street at 5:07 p.m., according to the police, car hit her at 5:07.08. That eighth of a second is an anomaly. The seventh minute? Why cross a busy intersection at 5:07 p.m.? Her mother died at 7:09.12, according to doctors. She was left alone, trusting only in absolutes, in sureness.
The bingo place reminds him of his father's sadness. This is where he went whenever the house got gray, whenever a memory gets too intrusive, whenever an old friend dies. The bingo place is a reminder of the happiness he couldn't give his father. And what kind of happiness was it? Did it last? Did it truly make him happy? Whenever he got home and didn't win anything, he was more morose than when he left. There is only a forced smile, and he didn't know what he wanted more, to make his father happy or ask him to leave.
Googled the word "eighth" and found this: "A photograph is a moral decision taken in one-eighth of a second." – Salman Rushdie
Saw "Armida Siguion-Reyna filmography" in my notes. I don't know what my point is in telling you these or if there is a connection between the two.
Anyway, there would be times I know exactly what I'm doing and why I'm doing it but then forget about all of it in a split second. The feeling is much like forgetting how to swim after managing to reach the middle of an ocean. Help.
She tries to ration her words every day. Her mother permits her to use only five. Now, see, because she's a good daughter, and this is how she believes someone could be considered "good," she follows all of her mother's orders. Five words a day? No problem. As long as she essentially respects the rule, she's good. Do not leave your room. Do not smile. Basically "do not do what makes you happy" is the gist of the orders. The five words she says in a day? It's always these: "Mother, Mother! I hate you." The extra Mother! is important.
There's a boat in front of me, but no water. It's the only mode of transportation available for me to travel the long distance it takes to get to you. I can walk, but it will take too long and I might not make it in time. All I have is this boat. It's like this, my whole life, I'm tempted to say. Story of my life. An encompassing sentence to express distress and resignation. Like: I hate my life. But no, if this boat is all I have, there's another choice. I can choose not to come to you.
I'm on a knoll and below me is raging water. There is the gray sky and the sound of a song you used to sing. It's been years and years since I came here last, hoping to see you. On this spot where the gnarly tree is, we said our goodbyes. We pretended to hear each other and understand. We walked away with more questions than answers, more uncertainty than ever before. I have to be honest, I didn't want clarity from you at the time. I've decided to never come back. But hearts change and here I am waiting.
This year he decided to do one thing: Find out how people spend their time when they're alone. So, it's not just one thing per se, he would have to talk to everyone he will and can encounter, and ask them what they like to do most after they close the door and there's only them. Someone said she takes a deep breath and says "thank you, at last." Someone else feels the urge to go out again. Someone else throws his body on the bed and laughs out loud. Someone else heads for the window to check for rain.
And so this research informs him that many of us are not who we seem to be. Many of us, on the other hand, are exactly who we seem to be. That's not news, to be honest, we all know that. But since it's become so commonplace, people have found a way to say it in a way that makes it sound novel. He has learned that when someone is alone, he is most honest. That is not news either. What fascinates him is the locking of doors, there is a lot of reasons for locked doors, not just security.
Some say habit, some say secrecy, some say fear, some say selfishness, some say privacy, of course. But the deepest, darkest, dankest reasons he heard he would rather not say or write or even acknowledge. Do you know how many of us have done something so bad and disgusting that we dare not do it again or even admit to ourselves that we did it? Someone asked him this, and he knew exactly what the answer is, not a simple yes or no, but a list of names. This research on being alone, it's led him to spy on people.
Because how else could he get an honest answer if he relies on people's tendency to protect themselves by lying. Why does lying equate protection, why does it have to equate protection? He can't answer this, no. People like it when they're asked personal questions, they do, they do very much like it. If you observe a girl, for example, alone in her room and in front of the mirror, you would hear her pretend that Oprah is interviewing her. She would feign gentle laughter and make up a better life with beautiful people and an abundance of self aggrandizement.
Christmas Eve with the family in Sucat tonight, then Christmas Day in bed. I'm already looking forward to when it's all over, not to be a Scrooge. Just that, right after Christmas, it's amusing to see Christmas decor at the malls looking forlorn and unwanted, confused if they're still needed. All the energy dedicated to getting the perfect gifts for your loved ones will cause you to collapse in bed and say THANK GOD THAT'S ALL OVER. Then you do it again anyway and you don't know why exactly. You just go with the flow. Even if you feel lost.
Happy Christmas. My memories of this day consist of the smell of tinsel and talc, the feel of silk ribbons on my small hands, and blurry fairy lights whichever way I look. It's almost 10 years now, I think, that I've both looked forward to and dreaded this day. How about you? Do you like Christmas? Why or why not? And for what exact reasons? It's always cake I associate with this day, I don't know why, I don't remember ever having cake on any Christmas spread. It's like remembering the smell of someone you've never met. I want cake.
Imagine: We've never met. We've never even once set foot in the same place at the same time. Who would occupy your place in my head? I don't suppose I can be arrogant to ask who would take my place in yours. There are days I look at the past through kaleidoscope lenses: Events form a pattern, there are identical bits but some are upside-down, some are sideways, and they seem to be taunting you the more you look at them. And so I am forced to look away. I like that filter, it takes away the pointy irregularities.
Hi, you. A love letter now that you're almost here. I want you to know that I talk in my sleep, sometimes I sleepwalk, and it's okay, you don't have to worry. I would like to watch you sleep sometimes, I hope you'd let me. Did anybody ever tell you that to let someone watch over you while you sleep is a high form of trust? Oh, of course, nobody needs to tell you that because everyone knows so. But, I want you to remember this: We won't be perfect, but the stars above always will be, and that's enough.
If I tell you a random series of words that don't seem to connect, I'm sure you'll still understand me. I don't know how, I just do. For example: House mountain on trains in the rainbow of male and female unicorns sleeping floored on the sky yellow checks adoring curls in the night of the setting moon of flowers smell of heartbeat. I can rattle off these words and you can make up a thought that you think I mean and I would agree with you. There's no point here, just, hi, I can't wait to be random with you.
On afternoons I'd like to sit with you by a large window and photograph your profile. We don't have to do this everyday, just maybe once in three months? I'd like a whole afternoon with you, I'd like to photograph you under different lights and study the way your jaw moves when you chew your food or when you're deciding about something, the way you move your eyebrows when you're excited about ice cream. Because you know what? There is a certain way your face lights up at the mention of ice cream, and I want to remember it always.
On mornings we'd walk through friendly mud and fog, and if we're lucky there would be deer playing hide and seek with us. You would smell of sleep and your hair would stick out in all the right places, and I would fall in love with you slowly, again and again and again. I would look forward to these walks at night, I would be giddy going to bed, knowing that tomorrow you'd be first at the door putting on Wellies. Mine would be lovingly placed at the bottom of the stairs and I would smile a smile so big.
In our fascination with time and memory we have decided to devise a way to live without them. Remember? That day at the dock when we were asking the ocean to recede far enough so that we could dive into the bottom of the sea and pretend to save the dying mermaids and fish, the occasional dolphins and whales. Here, a photograph of a dry seabed. You'd remember but not remember at once. Under the sea, there's no time and you can do anything. It's best that you don't have a memory of this. Or anything good for that matter.
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