Monday, August 16, 2004

War and Remembrance

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Will I ever regret it forever? The loss of my BB?
Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.
Maybe I'm haughty. But maybe I'm right. Whatever regrets the future might bring, there’s one thing I’m sure of right now: I have learned my lesson. And learned it well.
I learned in freedom of choice, a dialogue among equals. This is key to recognizing the gems you have in the other. Or those gems you're looking for against the crap that goes with it.
Two people in love will know those nuggets of gold in their conversations, but especially in their silence.
But the extremism by which you sometimes verbally assaulted me during those dialogues (or fights, especially when you’re enumerated my flaws).
I accept my flaws like my skinned knees and skid marks.
But I'm also entitled to run for cover in my silence — and take stock of where the fire is coming from.
Your subsequent reaction was a form of refusal to recognise my introspective streak.
Or maybe I was reluctant to lovingly accept your possession of intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of the package I had in you — both the ecstatic moments as well as the nukes.
Looking back may also offer insights into this question (of living a lifetime of regrets).
Having a girlfriend in Jeddah was never in my agenda when I left Manila in 1995.
I just wanted to escape from a traffic-clogged city.
My life went from one filled with brimming enthusiasm resignation.
I thought Manila's intolerable traffic jams were a magic formula for a retrograde life.
Add to that the first-hand encounters with corruption.
Having seen the face of greed up close and personal, I didn’t know how to react.
My wonderful journalistic stint in Manila was a race to mediocrity, working for a paper I thought would eclipse everybody else in circulation because of its gung-ho team.
The paper never took off or shed off the perception of being Lucio Tan's mouthpiece or a front of Juan Enrile, one of the Harvard-educated henchmen of the tyrannical Ilocano from Batac.
I coasted along during a period of optimism, when the mass consumers were able to possess cellular phones for the first time, and the islands were linked together by VSATs.
At least there was something that’s going right with my country.
But my prospects weren't so good, including my work – and the traffic mess.
My mother suggested that maybe, I should go find my place under the sun somewhere else.
A job prospect in Singapore didn't pan out. I welcomed the Jeddah challenge as a way out of all that — and also especially for its financial rewards. Never mind if I’d become a veritable mercenary. To me it was a chance to learn new things, regain my sense of wonder about the world.
And I was ready for the surprises it may bring.
Little did I know that YOU would be the biggest surprise of all.
I never thought a girl who hasn't really graduated from her Barbie dolls could pull the rug from under my feet.
I never imagined a glimpse of the weakest glimmer of light from inside her room as I drive by from the Bicycle Roundabout would make my heart go off into bursts of gladness.
As of this writing, I realize that I might have lost a pretty bookworm whose image still hangs on my wall.
I may have scuttled the chance to spend a lifetime with the two goody shoes who offered rapturous moments on my days of solitude.
Those were the days, in the unmarked corners of the world, two people were locked up in each other's arms.
Behind the door of your Jeddah flat, under the canopy of giant trees in the campus, nothing else mattered except the presence of us.
I thank you infinitely for those moments, really.
You may never fathom the gladness of heart you brought into my life.
But the surprise I never expected was the extremism by which you reacted to certain situations.
What would you expect from a one-way communication? When two people veers away from a civilized dialogue among equals, how will you arrive at a resolution?
I felt like I was setting myself up to live within the parameters of a game of domination -- all in the name of love.
But maybe that’s just how you were.
And I tried to live with it.
When you’d go ballistics over my friends, I’ve chosen to ignore them when a simple text message from anyone would trigger a nuclear winter from you.
I had to learn to live with your tantrums, realizing that love has more to do with passion, and less about reason.
Reason, however, tells me this you-will-regret-it-for-the-rest-of-your-life warning is part of that same extremism I’ve seen in your reactions over the minor things.
When a situation is blown out of proportion, reactions could also be disproportionately passionate.
You’re capable of hurling the most hurting words at any moment you pick even for the most innocent of situations.
Perhaps, in your passion to inflict hurt on the other, you never cared about what those words would say about your character.
As for me, I’m not entitled to go to the extremes.
And when I did, like when you said I made a mountain out of the Manny#2 molehill, it will be forever cast in stone, never to be forgotten by future generations.
By the way, do you know that a “life” sentence for a capital crime is only good for 25 years, and can be eligible for parole before then for good behavior?
But maybe it’s just your wish that I’ll spend an eternity in living hell on earth for not following the rules of love you’ve written for me.
Yes, but sometimes it’s fun to break some rules.
Life is full of surprises.
Then I shall wait for the next surprise in store fore me.
And I’ll pray like I’ve never done before that it would be in the same order of magnitude of surprise I had from someone like you...
Don’t you think I also deserve to be set free from your curse?


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