JUNE 21, 2004 (MONDAY)
Reaching a State of Illumination
So this is what my life is reduced to: at the end of my increidubly long day, I end up in McDonalds’ Philcoa with a cheeseburger and the latest Mike Gayle novel, Dinner For Two. Distancing myself from the typical artiste, I gain my insights from such lines as, “No matter what, you should know that I’m always going to be on your side. Always. No matter what you do, I can’t stop loving you. That’s how love works. Did you think I was going to turn around and say, ‘That’s it, I don’t love you anymore’? I love you without condition…what’s happened has hurt me and yet despite it all I continue to love you with a strength I didn’t know was possible.”
Sometimes I wish that love was a choice, was something that one can just switch off like a lightbulb. I wish that being bound to another person heart and soul was nothing more than a romantic notion culled from Sidney Sheldon novels and trashy Filipino romances. But when you’re in a situation when you try so hard to forget that it ends up the other way around, sometimes the simplest solution is to accept things as they are.
I still love him.
And I know that he will never love me the same way again, that we will continue on with this pretend-platonic-friendship until such a time when both of us simply drift away from each other, that pride will prevent the both of us from ever mentioning what has happened between us – all of this will never matter in that secret core of me, that part that I refuse to acknowledge because it contains fool’s hope and might-have-beens and the future. And so this one-sided love of mine will take me through each day, because it is now pain and longing that keeps me alive.
So it’s true, in the end: first loves never die. I would have wanted him to be my last. I would have wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I cannot remember ever feeling this way for another human being before – not even my parents, or my siblings, or my family. But I am over and done with regret and with wishful thinking. I have long realized that I do not want to play the martyr forever, that I do not want to wait for him forever. And yet a part of me is silently challenging him to prove me wrong, that in the end he is worth all of this.
But that is all in my head.
Before I went to sleep last night, I wrote in the Reminders of my mobile phone, “Find a new man,” and then set the alarm for June 21, 2005.
Mother Hen On Strike
I am waiting for my beloved organization, GRAIL, to prove me wrong regarding a lot of things. I am waiting for someone to go, “I tolja so,” and do the whole victory dance in front of me.
For once, I’d like everyone to be on time when someone calls a meeting. As in 15 minutes early, or at most 15 minutes late.
For once, I’d like someone to take charge and actually tell me what to do.
For once, I’d like everyone to stop making excuses and work together when we have a project.
For once, I’d like people to actually be interested in what we’re doing.
For once, I’d like people to keep their promises. When they say they’ll be there, then they’ll be there. It would be nice to be able to depend on more than a handful of people.
For once, I’d like a project to actually push through. And push through successfully – in other words, I won’t have to do all the thinking.
For once, I’d like people to actually enjoy what we’re doing. That it doesn’t feel like an obligation. (Because for me, it’s starting to feel like an obligation to always be the safety net, the mother hen, the Florence Nightingale. I’d like to remind the org that I am also human, and for all my altruism, I cannot keep on doing what I’m doing forever.)
For once, I’d like someone to tell me, “Why don’t you take a rest, Gabs? We’ll handle it all from here. You don’t have to worry about a thing.”