Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sometimes All it Takes is the Courage to Lose the Way

There's a part of me that feels slightly embarrassed that a large part of time is currently occupied with finding a boyfriend, or at least a semblance thereof. I know, I know: I'm supposed to be independent and concentrating on a lot of other things, like work and writing and friends and finishing my master's, but I can't help it. It's just a part of my nature - to be a closet romantic, to be emotional and be at the sway of my intuitions and instincts. I'm not saying it's a good way or a bad way to live; it's simply the way I'm wired. And this part of me wants to be settled in that way, in a romantic manner - I want to put this entire obsession behind me, to finally take a deep breath, close this chapter of my life and get on with the next one.

I suppose that this is all fueled by the knowledge that I am not the type of girl that guys, or at least Filipino guys, are looking for. And since no one's going to come around and find me, I figured I might as well be proactive and do the looking. (This is not to say that there's anything to find; as far as I'm concerned, the best guys are usually taken, gay, or are simply not interested.) The journey itself is interesting - I learn a number of things about myself that I would never have discovered otherwise, and I learn more about how the male mind works, and how things operate on the other side of the fence, so to speak. But sometimes, the journey can get tiring, and I can't wait to find the shade of a particularly comfortable tree and settle down underneath it. But I'm not sure if that particular tree is waiting over the next hill, or the next three hills, or even the next THIRTY hills...or if my entire journey will take place across the grasslands without a tree in sight.

As a few friends have pointed out, there's really nothing wrong with me. I'm passably decent-looking, with the complete number of limbs and body parts, and I promise you that you won't be embarrassed to be seen in public with me; I can think for myself; I can be funny and witty and an entertaining conversationalist when I want to be (or when I'm high on sugar and chocolate); and yes, I'm not model-thin, but hey, real women have curves. I'm a low-maintenance kind of girl, and I don't need someone to hold my hand when I cross the street. However, as someone emphasized last night, I am not a conventional girl by any means - the way I think and they way I view the world, the way I speak and the way I carry myself does not conform to the typical Maria Clara that the typical Filipino male has come to expect. And so, my friend tells me, I need an unconventional man as well.

Having pinpointed the solution, I follow it up with the inevitable: So where do I find one?

And then we both stared into our coffee cups and contemplated the secrets of the universe inside the mixture of milk and coffee and ice for a while. Sigh.

But I mean seriously, do unconventional men lurk underneath the woodwork, like particularly incandescent glowworms? I mean, there are so many things required in the mix: a heady rush of chemicals to the brain, the rapid thumping of the heart, sweaty palms, the inability to access higher language skills for seconds on end, the way the universe seems to stand still and the stars to fall on the pavement. I don't particularly remember being wanted to the degree of actually being courted, being chased. What I know about wanting, about being wanted, involves shadows and moonlight and motel rooms, lips bumping underneath covers and hands slipping underneath clothes, the shedding of skin and inhibitions. I am not acquainted with the slow, languorous nature of being wanted, of wanting something beyond the secrets of the body, of something purer, perhaps? I don't remember such things; as long as I can stretch my memory, I can remember always wanting someone; I don't particularly remember someone wanting me.

Earlier today, on my way to Galleria, I was wondering if there was a connection between falling in love and creative output. One would think that because I have all this time on my hands, I could actually write. But for some weird reason, I can't even conceive anything to write about; everything moves like clockwork, and I can't really feel anything that can penetrate this weird amorphous blanket surrounding the part of me that feels. So what comes out nowadays feels wooden, fake, completely insincere. Everything feels detached, like I'm watching everyone through a fishbowl lens. I listen to stories and songs, but they wash over me like waves across a particularly vast and nameless ocean, and I can feel the cold and the wetness, but I couldn't bring myself to care. My momentary outbursts of emotion are simply that - momentary, a passing cloud across the immensity of the sky. There's are part of me that's slowly forgetting how it is to fall in love, how to feel, just because the larger part of me knows that all guys will inevitably lie to you, betray you, leave you behind, and one has to preserve herself from that, has to forget how to feel beyond the present, because once you let your guard down, once you trust someone, they will leave you.

And I wish I didn't feel that way. I wish that I was still possessed of that sense of wonder that defines love and happiness and bright bursts of energy that makes you want to write. Maybe this is why I'm obsessing over this idea of finding romance: because I need to remember how all of these things feel, and I find that if I rely on myself for that, if I rely on the voices inside of my head, I'll just sink deeper into this quicksand of cynicism and coldness. And I don't want that, but I can't help it. I need to be saved.

But is there anyone out there who will want to save me?

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