— which also happens to be my post-birthday reflection post, or something to that extent. It’s been exactly a week. How does it feel to be twenty seven? I don’t really know. Maybe everyday is exactly the same. Maybe not.
I’m listening to Bon Iver. The night is warm. The electric fan hums its tune with great subtlety. I’ve just noticed that the calendar from last year is still there, near the window, flapping soundly with the wind. November. Perhaps I’m still too lazy to take it down. The past is still hanging, I jest.
I can still remember how painful it was to leave my life in Manila behind. Having lived there for seven fascinating years, I found it so difficult to remove my “Metro habits.” To be honest I sometimes seek that feeling, that significant rush from work, of beating deadlines, of arguing with colleagues, of losing sanity. And the depression, that feeling of being alone despite the crowd around me.
It’s just a vestige, an insignificant trace. I can feel it, albeit fading, like some odd scar, like how I miss–
- sitting in the park somewhere in Legazpi village, behind Greenbelt 1. I can’t even remember the name anymore, but I can still remember how I kept rubbing the soles of my battered red sneakers against the grain and pebbles.
- walking on the bridge which starts at the Ayala MRT station and ends somewhere in… well, somewhere.
- hanging out in some cafe right after the morning mass, sipping coffee, writing on my journal, spitting on it every stress encountered: squabbles with the boss, depleted savings, hunger, loneliness, and every imaginable nightmare.
- daydreaming in the office amidst the busy clicks and the constant sound of shuffling feet. How I minimize the windows, how I maximize my time imagining.
- watching movies, alone. Going home at late at night, drunk most of the time.
- wondering alone, under the orange light. Listening to Team Sleep or Radiohead.
Three years. Three years of working in the university as staff. This is also my second [school] year as part-time teacher. Loving it so far.
My table in the office is trashed with papers containing drafts which may or may not see their final forms. Notes are everywhere, like some scattered fragments of my mind. One note contains numbers which I cannot even remember what they’re for, another has a phrase which I think I can use in my next poem, or perhaps short story. A doodle here, a name there. Scribbled addresses, crossed-out ideas. They’re just there, and they hope to fully exist.
I wonder: what if in some alternate reality I decided not to go home?
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Fr Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907 – 1991)