OCTOBER 20, 2004 (WEDNESDAY)
Crash and Burn
I got home this afternoon from the office after sleeping over at Meia’s house yesterday. I didn’t even have the opportunity to pass by our house – my officemates were waiting for me because we had to go to Cainta for a recording. I didn’t know that I could still operate on the same perky energy with just roughly four hours of sleep, but when I got home, I took a bath and then fell asleep while watching the film interpretation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. I like Anthony Hopkins in that movie.
So this is what a hangover must feel like. My head feels as though there’s a rave party of neurons going on inside it, and my eyes are still squinting in direct light. For thirty minutes or so, I didn’t want to get up from bed: the sheets were cool and the dark was comforting, but my stomach was already demanding its dinner – it was past nine and I probably got more sleep than the pre-dawn hours I got over at Meia’s. I didn’t even taste the chicken curry – my nose was clogged up with snot like gunk in a kitchen pipe, and I didn’t even want to pay attention to the swollen state of my right eye. To think that I’m going to subject myself to another sleepover on Thursday and then the Baguio trip next week. I need to get a portable radio before then.
I Am Sepia and Faded
I’ve just recently concluded that this was probably the most difficult semester I went through in college. And it wasn’t just all the emotional shit I had to deal with: it was the classes that I was taking, the writing jobs that I found myself occupied with, the people that I surrounded myself with, the experience of going through the proverbial emotional paper shredder and still managing to come out intact (if only a bit bruised and mangled around the edges). I’ve questioned everything I held near and dear, and I’m still in the process of figuring myself out the second time around. As Yeats had written: Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. I love that poem.
Some days I still miss myself. This day last year, I was preoccupied with my stint as writing coach at Miriam. I was going to the Oktoberfest with the Grey Table girls. I was already shopping for my costume for Halloween. I just bought my copy of John Mayer’s second studio album. I was in love with someone who loved me back. Not necessarily better days – after all, they are already colored with the perspective of someone looking at her past and comparing it to her present and finding the circumstances more favorable before.
Some days I think I’m all right, that I’m finding my center at last. I wonder how dysfunctional I was before, and old blog entries are testament to the state of mind I was in before – vacillating from depression to numbness to falling and failing, moving through the spectrum of emotions as if I were playing hopscotch. It’s a nice feeling to be able to genuinely laugh again. It’s a nice feeling to be able to move on to better things, one difficult step at a time.
There are still moments when I realize that there are things that are never going to happen again. I miss going to lunch with Kurt and Arvin. I miss midnight adventures around our neighborhood with my favorite gay man. I miss kissing. I miss having someone to lean on. I miss reading good books in one sitting and feeling out of breath as soon as I close the last page. I miss hanging out at the GRAIL tambayan. I miss singing with my friends while Al plays the guitar on golden afternoons, just after it rains. I miss late-night conversations over the phone, when neither party wants to let go and the sun is already tainting the sky gray. I miss watching videos with my friends while eating large bags of chips. I miss cooking at Tanya’s condo. I miss writing stories that I want to write. I miss being nineteen, and eighteen, and seventeen, and sixteen, and fifteen. I miss my innocence and my idealism. I miss wanting to conquer the world by the time I’m twenty. I miss my freedom.
Yes, I'm not happy. I never said I was. I never claimed happiness as of the moment. I can claim contentment, yes. A semblance of peace. The still pond and Zen gardens. But that doesn't necessarily equate to being happy. You appreciate happiness because it comes rarely, like falling in love with someone who loves you back. It just so happens that there's no drama in my life as of the moment. But that doesn't make me happy. It doesn't make me sad, either.
And you know what - it's not a bad thing after all. It's not a bad place to be. I don't think I'm depressed or angry or sad. But it ain't happiness, either. And I don't mind. It just is. So don't mind me, really, because I'm honestly all right and okay and all that. Not happy, but all right.
Why should you be happy?