Happy birthday, Butterfly.
Mommy loves you.
I’ve been going through my old blog and, if you haven’t guessed yet, the previous entry was from there. It was a letter written by someone way back in 2004. And, when I really think about it, he could have very possibly had the other half of my spirit. I, of course, wrote him back… (I want you guys to have the total experience – ambiance and everything – so please follow instructions as stated in the title)
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I guess it’s my turn to begin a letter with the words with ‘How do I even begin to write?’ I imagine you’re not too happy with me right now… Particularly after all the questions that I threw your way earlier.
I’m sorry if I make your life so much harder than it already is… But I refuse to apologize for the questions that I asked.
I know you’ve told me time and again that now is not the time… Nor do you have any idea if there ever will be… But for some reason, that just simply refuses to sink in. Perhaps in time it will… But not now. That much I can tell you.
I have the same hopeless inside as you do… That nagging feeling that I will spend the rest of my days alone. It always seems as if my purpose in someone’s life is to help them see just how beautiful life can be.. To bring back their faith in life… In hope… In love. And when they do have again, then my work is done. Then i have to leave… Or I get thrown away. For some reason I have resigned myself to this. I have always been the messenger… And it seems as if I always will be.
I know you don’t understand a lot of things about me. And I must admit there are a lot of things that, try as I might, I don’t understand about you either. I won’t even try to explain. Some things happen just they’re supposed to… And I guess sometimes, that’s all explanation I need.
Please don’t distance yourself from me… There are so little joys in life and I don’t want mine to lessen by one. Just be a friend, if that’s all you could ever be for me… If that’s the only thing you’d ever want to be with me. I can’t force you to be anything else… Free will. Just be a friend… Hold my hand… Just be there.
You keep saying that you prey on the innocent. But I have seen too much… Felt too much… Given too much to have any innocence left in me. I think you have it the other way around. I am not your innocent. You are mine.
I’d like to believe that no one and nothing can ever hurt me or break my heart if I don’t let it. So leave my heart to me. It is mine to own and mine to give away. It will be mine to make… Mine to break… And apparently I do a damn good job of shattering it over and over again.
I know I’m selfish. I won’t even try to deny that. But I would rather have you in my life as something other than what I want than to not have you in my life at all. I know that there are times when you wish that you didn’t love me. But you do. And there are moments when I wish that I never fell in love with you. But I did. So leave this feeling to me. Give me at least that. Give me the shortest moments… The most fleeting instances of happiness… And leave my heart to me.
For some reason, I never learn, do I? And my heart never has any decency to choose someone who could just fall back in love with me. I’m not sorry for loving you… But at least respect the way that I do, because it’s the only way I know how. You know how I am about regrets… My life is far too short for them to exist.
Not all this may make sense… But respect it anyway. Or pretend to, at the least. Be there, even if you can’t be with me. Love me, though you can’t entirely. And let me love you the way I know how. Maybe things will work out. Maybe they won’t. But just try to understand this… Even if we both know that you’re not ready to walk into my life… Even if we both know that I’m not ready to walk out of yours.
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It’s been almost 10 years since I last saw King. Although his face has become a blurred memory, today I cannot help but remember. We were kindred souls and these were were our lives put down in paper. I no longer wonder about him, even as I walk down memory lane. I knew being together was not in the stars for us… And I was okay with that.
I really did love him, although he was never mine. At one point I think I said I would have done anything for him. Looking back at how things unfolded for the two of us, I realize that, in the end, I did. I did the one thing that I never wanted to do.
In the end, I let him go.
From somebody that I used to know…
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How do I even try and write to you? My God, I hope that I find the right words and follow the right reasons for writing this. You know, despite my seeming indifference to you, you keep coming to me, and you scare me so much. Do you know why? It’s because you remind me so much of how I was when I was in so much love once. I loved no matter what. I loved even when it hurt. I’ve lost that part of me so long ago and am afraid that I’ve lost it forever. I sometimes weep for that part of me that will never understand nor recognize if I’d met myself in the past. I’m totally a different person now. I don’t even like myself anymore.
Do you know that I’ve tried to love someone? I tried to love the girl that I was talking to you about. I tried to love her. Like you, like so much like you, I lost. Like so much like you, I have tried and tested that in so many times in my life, when I tried, I lost. What can I say? Life plays a nasty game on us. I wish I was never born sometimes. I wish at other times to have this fake life end already and let me join the true bliss that there is in death and what comes after. I know that feelings never die. I, you, the ones that truly did try and love, go on… forever. This makes this life so boringly obvious to me. Life is, at times, a very deliberate delaying tactic of God, denying me of what’s really for me. But God gave me so much more than hurt. God gave life in its’ entirety; love, hurt, pain, joy, tears, and melancholic moments, in a wonderfully mysterious sequence unraveling everyday.
You’ve touched my life in so many ways and have confused my decision not to be with you so many countless times. I love you Joey. Please don’t get me wrong. I do love you. I just played the idiot and thought to myself that its not you because if it were you, then I would have never doubted in the first place. Stupid idealisms; goes well with my being an idiot. I hate myself for not being “the one” for you. Do you know how it feels to know something so much undeniably? I think that you are a very unique person; almost unbelievably perfect at times, and that’s no compliment but rather what just is.
Why do you love me? Why? Why is God like this? Why am I hurting you? I miss your company and the times when we would just talk and not worry about anything. I miss the time when we were in Laguna and just talking about life. Jing will never understand how pure my intentions were at the time. You are only one of a handful that I know who loves life so much like I do. I’ve held these people so closely in my life, and maybe that is the reason why I’m hurting you. I can’t stand to be away from you. Why can’t I just be with you and not hurt you? Why God? Why? Seeing you in-love with him was one of the unique pleasures I’ve cherished for so little a time only. I’ve always told you that I loved to be with you guys. I loved watching you in-love. But with me, when I saw that in your eyes… it was admittedly, the most fearful and most difficult thing I’ve faced in my life, and am still facing. I still am sometimes wishing that you guys get back together, but I guess none of that is up to me. More than that, I guess that I’ve ruined so much of what you guys had back then that it would be almost impossible for anything to develop again; at least not while I’m here. I wish I was out of Sykes already. I wish that I got my business going. It may be the reason why I’m working so damn hard in trying to get that started. I actually think that I will do so many people a favor by just disappearing.
I’m not thinking that my leaving will start things again with you and Jing. Instead, I think that I’ll at least stop hurting you. I’ll at least stop seeing Jing and missing our friendship. He was a friend to me Joey, not by virtue of us being teammates or anything. I guess I just felt so hurt to have another person totally hate my guts, and me not being able to do anything about it. I wanted to say to him that because of what I’ve done, and how things played out for the three of us, I wish I was never in Sykes in the first place. Again, I’m questioning why I was thrown in that kind of position in the first place. No matter what you say, I will forever feel that I’ve ruined your lives, no matter how good my intentions were.
I wanted to tell you that I think that you’re too young to die…not physically Joey, but to die in living life. That is what I feel so sad about, when I see you, and you’re lonely. I hate the fact that you resent your life so much. Despite what you believe, I know… I know that there is so much good in the world out there for you. I don’t want you to ever give up. Never. I can die tomorrow or today, but I’ll never give up before that. I don’t regret having lost Joey. Although it hurts so much, I won’t regret it. I’ve loved life and it has nothing to do but accept it. No matter what kind of deal life cuts for me in the end, I can say that I tried.
When you try, genuinely try. Genuinely forgive the times when you will lose. We lost, but we’re here. I love you and you love me. I don’t think that I’ll stop loving the things that you are to me. But I know that I cannot rationalize in being with you. It has to come naturally. I don’t know why it hasn’t come for me, but its no reason for me to play the risk I know which is not worth it.
You were right saying that you’re not worth the risk. But you got the interpretation all wrong. You’re not worth the risk because you’re so special. You’re not worth losing Joey. I guess that’s why I’m still around.
Please be happy that we’re very good friends, that we’re not even in the same category for friends to me, that we share so much of life and its’ simple goodness and wonder, that we can talk about anything, that the stars are so beautiful and patient with our sighs to them almost every time we look up, that we seem to be always at love’s losing end but are masochistically attracted to it, that love is all there is, that the heart is not an organ or a muscle but is our reason for living, that God sees all our fears and just urges us on to wait for tomorrow, that all our tears are worth something, that music will take us to the places where are tongues are mute, that you an I will forever be an anomaly that nobody could ever understand but us.
I love you my dear Joey. Blessed be…
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Now THIS is a love letter. Sometimes, I think it’s the saddest letter ever written.
This is easier said than done… Especially for those of us who have been hurt, who have hoped, who have waited in vain… Those who have hurt others, who have been denied, who hold on to regret. It’s so hard to move on.
Why do we keep holding on? Because it’s better to be alone than to be open to the possibility of hurting? Has the pain become addicting? Are we forever caught in that vicious cycle of longing for something that can never be ours? After all, as long as what we want is out of reach, it never really has the power to make us bleed.
This is my answer: I hold on because holding on is “safe”. When we are perpetually running after someone or waiting for something, we never have to do anything different. Actually, we stay where it is safe because it gives us an excuse to never really do anything. Period.
But at the end of the day, that’s what it is – an excuse.
Sometimes, I think, we make excuses to not be happy. We make excuses to not be with someone. We makes excuses to stay exactly where we are… even if it makes us miserable.
I was watching this movie the other day (Beauty and the Briefcase) and the long and short of it is this: she kept a list of all the characteristics she was looking for in her “Magic Man” and eventually fell in love with someone who scored a 0 out of 10. At this point, you might be asking yourself why I even bothered to introduce this bit of information. Wait, I’m getting to that.
Very recently, I realized that I have been holding on to the idea of being with this guy because I REALLY wanted him to be my boyfriend. So there was that hope that one day, he will be more concerned about me (because he’s not)… That one day, he will look for me (because he doesn’t)… That one day, he will offer to bring me home (to my house, because he hasn’t). I had boxed myself in. And my box wasn’t a checklist of what I wanted in a guy… My box WAS a guy!
I’ll tell you a truth that I’ve never told anyone before… I wanted to fall in love with him in the worst possible way. But I couldn’t. Because I couldn’t find reasons to (cue Breathe’s “How Can I Fall”).
No matter how old I get, the romantic in me never really fades away. It’s still the little things that count for so much.
…Like holding hands
…Like good conversation
…Like comfortable silence
…Like just hanging out
…Like receiving love letters or notes
…Like laughing together
…Like talking about everything and nothing
…Like being brought home after a date
…Like spending time together (sometimes doing nothing)
Time. Someone once said that the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. I SO AGREE. But that is a different story and will be told at a different time.
But for now, I will tell you this: I always say I want it all – the grand passion of a great love. At the end of the day, what makes the passion grand and what makes the love great are all the little things. And it’s the little things that I’ve been missing.
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If there are things I want to tell you, it’s these:
Let yourself be happy.
Take a chance
Fall in love – REALLY fall in love – again.
Give someone a chance to love you.
Yes, I’m talking about you.
To whet the appetite of those who have been reading my blog and those who want to join me in my many, many adventures in the world of books, here are some unforgettable moments…
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“And in my classes, I will talk most of the time, and you will listen most of the time. Because you may be smart, but I’ve been smart longer.”
“I would love to spend my remaining breath chatting with you about the finer points of Islamic history, but our time together is short. I must talk, and you must listen, for we are engaged here in the most important pursuit in history: the search for meaning.”
She looked at me and smiled widely, and such a wide smile on her narrow face might have looked goofy were it not for the unimpeachably elegant green in her eyes. She smiled with all the delight of a kid on Christmas morning and said, “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”
The next day, Dr. Hyde asked me to stay after class. Standing before him, I realized for the first time how hunched his shoulders were, and he seemed suddenly sad and kind of old. “You like this class, don’t you?” he asked.
“You’ve got a lifetime to mull over the Buddhist understanding of interconnectedness.” He spoke every sentence as if he’d written it down, memorized it, and was now reciting it. “But while you were looking out the window, you missed the chance to explore the equally interesting Buddhist belief in being present for every facet of your daily life, of being truly present. Be present in this class. And then, when it’s over, be present out there,” he said, nodding toward the lake and beyond.
Conversation between Pudge and Mr. Hyde
“Sometimes I don’t get you,” I said.
She didn’t even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, “You never get me. That’s the whole point.”
Conversation between Pudge and Alaska
Just like that. From a hundred miles an hour to asleep in a nanosecond. I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase.
“Don’t you know who you love, Pudge? You love the girl who makes you laugh and shows you porn and drinks wine with you. You don’t love the crazy, sullen bitch.”
And there was something to that, truth be told.
Alaska, as said to Pudge
People, I thought, wanted security. They couldn’t bear the idea of death being a big black nothing, couldn’t bear the thought of their loved ones not existing, and couldn’t even imagine themselves not existing. I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn’t bear not to.
The Great Perhaps was upon us, and we were invincible. The plan may have had faults, but we did not.
More than anything, I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someone who might have loved you back but can’t due to deadness, and then I leaned forward, my forehead against the back of Takumi’s headrest, and I cried, whimpering, and I didn’t even feel sadness so much as pain. It hurt, and that is not a euphemism. It hurt like a beating.
He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth.
And so that is the question I leave you with in this final: What is your cause for hope?
When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.
Someday no one will remember that she ever existed, I wrote in my notebook, and then, or that I did. Because memories fall apart, too.
We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
Pudge’s Final Paper
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PhoenixFire, if it was just about surviving, getting by, and keeping things the way they are, then how would you explain imagination?
If it was just about sacrifice, selflessness, and altruism, then how would you explain desire?
And if it was just about thinking, reflection, and spiritual stuff, then how would you explain the physical world?
Get the picture, PhoenixFire? Want it all. That’s what it’s there for.
Vroom, vroom –
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I love him.
One day, we will meet.