Peccavi

More than 5 hours of sleep.

With a slight headache and droopy eyelids from consecutive sleepless nights, I was more than ready to have just that as soon as I had replied to messages I have slighted over the weekend. But just as I was about to close my browser and shut down the laptop, a new private message in Facebook popped up.

Someone was asking me if I could attend to an urgent writing task.

As politely as I could, I turned down the favor. I am no stranger to writing all night, and it would have been okay for me to take up the request on any other day. But I could not just say yes to everything given the state I am in.

And this is not even just about my lack of sleep.

Now, I know what I do is not really much of a chore. Yet as I was proofreading a draft I was about to submit last week, I noticed how I cannot even perceive myself reading what I wrote. I was that detached from the paper I was working on. All the letters and words spread out before me made me feel like I was staring at mere symbols both weird and familiar at the same time, all but which failed to evoke any meaning or emotion from me as a reader.

If that is not an indication of a failed writer, then I do not know what is.

I have been wondering if that was just an instance of semantic satiation, and a wakeup call for me to enrich my vocabulary so I would not have to keep using the same words over and over in speech or in writing. Or maybe it was a simple case of burnout, with me getting tired of the seemingly mechanical nature of my duty. After all, mindless repetition tends to make that which is repeated lose significance over time, right?

So sorry if I don’t say I love you enough. But I digress.

To ’13

A lot of people I know, myself included, agree that 2012 has not been too good on them. How fitting then that an unmistakable double rainbow manifested itself in the sky over Las Piñas with remarkable clarity and immensity two days before the tumultuous year ended. I could go on and make a reference to the story of Noah and the Great Flood but the metaphor here is just too cliché that I won’t say more of it.

Speaking of clichés, so were people’s comments on how “a lot happened in 2012,” which had been “a rollercoaster ride” with its many “ups and downs.” We’re talking 365 days here, guys. A lot is bound to happen in that time.

***

We welcomed 2013 at the terrace, which gave us a panoramic view of the blinding night sky emblazoned with sparks and swathes and specks and spires and showers of gold and crimson and purple and emerald and a myriad of other tinctures; meanwhile, my ears were swollen with the whistling and shrieking and hissing and crackling and booming of the firecrackers.

As I was watching the display around me, a fleeting thought crossed my mind: a lot of people, myself included, have decided to make some resolutions for the New Year. How many of those would not be like these ephemeral fireworks, a common sight during New Year’s Eve but then you would only come across again occasionally for the rest of the year?

I decided I’d write mine down so I would remember.

Four days into 2013 and I still haven’t written down those resolutions I had in mind.

***

So far, so good.

See, one of my resolutions was to not get too wound up over trivial things like the unrealistically high standards and to-do lists I usually set for myself. Now before I get accused for being a slacker and berated for not being man enough to  improve myself and step up to life’s challenges this year, I would like to point out how that resolution is one I made exactly to challenge and improve myself.

Over the years, I have noticed how I’ve been too hard on myself and how most of my disappointments and frustrations in life were brought by those self-imposed exemplars. I’d ruin my days sulking and stressing over what could have been and what should have been. My vanity with the ideal often left me disgruntled with myself and the rest of the world that I always end up failing to enjoy each moment and the little things around me. Sure, we all need to think ahead and set long-term goals for ourselves (which is also why I didn’t skimp on resolutions focused on self-improvement) but then again there’s no other way to get to a couple of years from now than to take it one day at a time. So why not do just that?

I had also planned to write something to welcome 2013 by the New Year. I’d wanted to post it before 2012 came to a close but as I was saying, I guess this makes it the first thing off my 2013 checklist.

So far, so good!

Hello, 2013!

Letting Go of Nico

I hate to admit this, but even after one month I still find it hard to get you off my mind. But let’s be realistic here. One month is nothing compared to almost two years spent together.

It won’t be easy for me to forget you. You know that. And how could I? For the past two years I’ve grown used to doing a lot of things with you. Waking up before sunrise, I used to share a cup of coffee with you as we waited for the first rays of the sun to filter through the trees at the other side of the street, and I’d relish the thought of having you and caffeine to warm me up on early mornings like those. And the rest of my day would likewise be spent with you.

When I’m surrounded with my friends, you were privy to our every intellectual discourse and reprimand and joke and story of achievements and heartbreaks. You tagged along my travels to and from the opposite ends of the city and stuck with me even when the bus took longer to arrive. I’d let you lead me away elsewhere when I find myself in the company of insipid twats and amuse myself with my newfound perception of the world around us as you prod me to let my thoughts run wild. You stayed beside me as I downed bottle after bottle on nights that just won’t do without alcohol. I could always count on you (and I usually did) to keep me up late at night as I try to meet my deadlines. And when it’s finally time for me to go to bed, you’d always relieve me of the day’s worth of stress before I drift off to sleep only to wake up to you again the next morning.

I still remember the first time I felt and tasted you on my lips. I wanted to make it perfect despite me having no prior experience whatsoever, yet I was also hesitating at the back of my mind, telling to myself over and over, “I’m not supposed to be doing this. I’m not supposed to be doing this.” But I got over it and did anyway, because it was what I myself wanted. You could even say I was kind of proud to admit it to my friends when they first saw me with you.

But that was then.

I no longer want what I wanted then. I ditched you in a heartbeat and have been holding on to my resolve ever since that day a month ago. Those very same friends, they were just as shocked to learn what I did to you, and likewise, I was just as proud to admit to them my decision.

Honestly I still miss the moments when I’d take you in and you’d take my breath away and given the chance, I’d be more than happy to jump at the opportunity of having one last fling again before the year ends. Or, who knows? Maybe even from time to time in the unforeseeable future.

But will I?

I guess only time really can tell.

Birthday Wish

Author’s Note: In response to Multiply’s decision to shut down its social networking features, I have decided to export and adapt here some posts from the blog where I realized my love for writing. The following is part of my effort to preserve the contents of my site and was first posted at 10:37 AM of Oct 29, ’11.

Ah, I remember this. The time I wrote this must have been one of my most sullen moments. Worse, I couldn’t tell anything to the one person I wanted the most to talk to about it (although I won’t deny how I brought that upon myself somewhat). And so, I turned to my blog.

Minsan pa’y gusto kong magpakadekadente kahit isang gabi lang.

Walang dahilan. O kung meron man, di na rin kailangang pag-usapan. Para saan pa? Magpapahayag lang ako ng mga salita, at ano ba naman ang mga salita kundi mga salita lang din naman: madaling bitawan, madaling paniwalaan, pero hindi laging pinanghahawakan. Sayang, ngayon ko lang nalaman.

Gets ba? Okay lang kahit hindi. Maski ako naman, aminadong kadalasa’y hanggang salita lamang.

O, huwag mo agad paniwalaan. Pero seryoso. Kahit isang gabi lang.

Uwian

Author’s Note: In response to Multiply’s decision to shut down its social networking features, I have decided to export and adapt here some posts from the blog where I realized my love for writing. The following is part of my effort to preserve the contents of my site and was first posted at 12:05 AM of Dec 10, ’08.

This poem illustrates what a typical night for me was back when I was a student in UP Diliman who lived at the opposite end of Metro Manila, and one who commuted daily to school at that.

Malamig nang talaga ang hangin.

Sa likod ng mga bughaw na rehas,

Sana ay may naiwang tutong sa kaldero.

Sana ang natirang ulam ay hindi pa sebo

(Kung karne ang ulam).

Nakakapagod.

Matapos kumain ay kukunin ko ang banig

At ilalatag ito sa sahig.

Masarap din matulog sa sahig.