365: On losses and pretenses

Flaws and failures, forgive me.


I am lounging on a narrow pier and this beautiful boy is in the water calling out to me. The strangers and their catcalls are flimsy and bearable, but that half-annoying half-smirk! I cannot stand this missing and this teasing, and the ocean looks terribly grey. But with unfamiliar abandon I have plunged in and he is laughing at me, that formidable a*hole. He shakes his head at me while his deep, deep eyes try to drown me. All too easily he holds me close and I realize I was mistaken: the water is wonderful and blue.


One: I didn’t even like you. You could have been her brother if it weren’t for the way she kissed you.

Two: Did you ever say a word to me?

Three: I know you know things. Do you know it drives me crazy not to know?

Four: An arm or two. Never me, never you.

Five: You shouldn’t have done that. I take it back.

Six: From the corner of my eyes, with your back turned to me. Don’t hold her so tightly, you might break me.

Seven: Nineteen lights, and none for us.

Eight: Yes, I remember.

Nine: No, I will not say.

Ten: Please, I don’t think I can lose you one more time.


A year without you will be longer than three years in your light. If only I could love you and still be selfish. But the heart refuses to be conquered. It will go quickly, I just don’t know where to. I will miss this moment, I just won’t remember it. People who say life is long: I wonder what they fill their days with, if they do at all.


Where there used to be an icy breeze, the wind has stilled into stone. The warmth is doubted for now, only for now. If conscience exists, it can be eroded. Someone once told me that if you give up pain, you give up pleasure too. But we won’t have that problem here.


Did anything happen today? When a question is a struggle to answer, I’ve been told, it’s possibly most worth answering. The hardest part was giving you away. It happened today. It happens everyday.


It had been raining for hours, but we still hadn’t gotten quite used to the sound. The window was so foggy, we could barely distinguish one color from another. A gentle chill settled in the room. I felt a shuffle on the bed behind me and I smiled. I dared not move the rest of my body.


I woke up around 6 a.m. to my alarm. So many things to do today. I vaguely wondered about the ratio of people waking up happy to unhappy today. Was there a way to count that?

On the kitchen counter stood a very large bouquet of pink roses, a card dangling from the wrapping. “Had to leave early for work, but I’ll pick you up at 7 for dinner.” I rolled my eyes as my heart curled into a ball. The longer I stay with this boy, the less I see the line between apologies and romance. 7 it is.

I draw open the curtains to the living room and the shops across the street greet me with large, glaring hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day.


Fibs and hopes for breakfast, empty promises for lunch, intimacy for dinner, and stolen conversations for midnight.


On Sunday mornings I take two trains and a short walk to a tiny cafe a town or two away. I spend roughly six hours here. Sometimes I finish the book I’m reading, or sometimes I start a new story. One: Without my Sunday afternoons I cannot look the world in the eye come Monday. Two: I never bring any work to do, for school or the magazine I write to. Three: I have never finished a story in the cafe.

The third Sunday of March, I had just left the second train and there were more people than usual in the marketplace I pass by. Curious, I followed the crowd to a large grey building on the edge of the market. It had been empty and unused for as long as I’ve known, and so seeing it surrounded by people was a strange sight. I felt like something in my home was rearranged by a ghost.

I didn’t need to come close to see it: a large portrait of a woman was spray-painted onto the wall in a rainbow gradient. Her hair flowed down to her shoulders, and her eyes were lifted upward and laughing. Her lips curved up perfectly and she had a beauty mark at the top corner. This is how a man might see his lover.

But nobody could see the portrait the way that I did. I drew out a gasp, but the air seemed to have left my lungs.

That was me.


Different ways you can stop being my ghost:
2. You call me this weekend and tell me I haunt you too.


Are you a tree? Steady, strong and quiet; so deeply rooted in your earth that not even falling for the wind could whisk you away. Yes, you are a tree. Once I loved you for it. Then I lost you to it.


If I could invent a memory in our minds, I would write it to be one day where you found the other world you used to dream about; the one where you are king. The day would be the morning after that last night, and the feeling would be wordless, endless glory. The consequences would be few, now that you are mine and I am yours. In this memory, I will stop losing you over and over again; because after this day, I will remember nothing else.


Things I love about rainy days:
* Blankets and sweaters are required.
* Everything is more colorful (if you know where to look)
* Proverbial “cuddle weather”
* Hot chocolate, coffee and tea taste hundreds of times better
* Even the dog feels like sleeping in
* Everyone understands if you’d rather stay at home
* The sea of umbrellas
* Hundreds of new poems are being written as it pours
* People are forced to be powerless and, therefore, human


How many times must you break me?
(I forgot what I was looking for and now it’s gone.)


I dreamed a lover lost, walking away from me slowly and with a smile on his face. He promised I will be okay. Visit me again and often, my very own someone like you.


I am miscommunication, I am red scars under your sleeve and I am burned love letters. I am misconnection, I am wrong turns, red wires in blue switches, I am miles of road in the rain. I am anything but missed.


I’ve forgotten full sentences, I end paragraphs in hyphens, I am collapsible, I make sense sometimes. How do you forget how to talk to someone you once told everything to?


You were temporary euphoria but I wanted beautiful words etched in sterling.


Alin ang mas nakakapagod: maging tao o magmahal ng tao?


The truth, I think, is that my world ends every day I wake up and remember that you are no longer here.


The haunting is always there, but sometimes the ghosts come too close. Every vibration nudges me closer to the edge.

Are you okay?
Are you okay?

Now I know: I don’t haunt you too.


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