Sunday, April 17, 2011

Against the Light

It is summer and a thousand and more flowers have already blossomed, their colors a motley of pleasant hues. There is a sweet scent in the air that invites the senses to a festive treat of lush greens, vibrant and lovely from the distance where they dwell with the gentle creatures of the fields. Bluer than her eyes, the sky extends almost infinitely, as if it is one with a universe that is strangely familiar. Back then, she thought I love her. She was right, not because there was no reason not to love her but because I simply do. My name is Paulo and I still remember both, the girl and the memory of her, together with all the warm kisses that were never given for reasons my humble heart cannot fathom. I have always looked upon this day to write about her. Then again, I might as well not. The rest of summer awaits. Today is nothing more than the sinew of a future shaped in the past.

But I miss her, still.

From where should I tersely cull the full memories I have always tried to forget? I have tried before and yesterday was the last time I did, only to discover each time, then as now, that she can never be found again, perhaps not anymore in this lifetime. All I have now are shards of that ever so brittle history of ours. They are little pieces that seek to dignify themselves by flailing my conscience, hurling themselves against my understanding of what our lives have once been. To this day, I still bear the scars if only to prove my point. They go beneath the skin and hurt just as bad.

She is always against the light in my mind, like a portrait of her covered in a translucent veil. Her face and who she was before refuse to reveal themselves in full glory, as if they have finally found their sacred refuge in that bright scepter behind, her being now as complete as she has always wanted herself to be. I try to remember her like an incarnate subject of stills but all I see are underexposed frames of a woman who has probably lived long enough to witness a man turn the world inside-out, all in her name. Or maybe it was, at the same time, short enough to barely witness the same man suffer a voiceless cry once. The second time she no longer heard, for the dirge I sung was meant to be the first and last.

I stared at the distant sun, its radial blessings shining forth, piercing through the nimbus and causing an explosion of ocher. I do not know where she is, her flesh having returned to the elements. Heaven knows where, if at all there is one. Perhaps, she has become a nymph guarding these fields where I first held her hand. Maybe she is someone else, the daisies having already pushed themselves up two years ago. But even floral beauty cannot last forever.

At least thrice every May, I return here. What I practice is a pilgrimage, with her memory, or what remains of it, as my scapular—never held by my hands, only remembered by my mind. Sometimes when I write here, I think I hold my heart instead of my pen. The world is my blank slate, patiently waiting for the words to be forever etched in stone. Soon, I would start professing feelings that, time and again, have been evenly wrung from the recesses of a passionate longing, unspoken but always throbbing with life, its pulse having its own way of wrenching my solitude with—to borrow a line from a song—more loneliness than any man could bear. But before I could finish the first paragraph, I always find myself losing the strength to write the last word because I would suddenly recall that last Thursday of her life.

Had it not been for the rope, I thought she levitated in her dark room, her hands reaching for the ground, feet pointing to the floor. There was that unmistakable madness in her method, and so with the method in her madness. I held her down and embraced her just the same. Her body had the fading warmth of dying ember.

"You cannot move-on if all you do is move around in one place," she told me once, to which she added, "I want to break your heart someday." When she said it, her smile was beautiful, her eyes more so.

I met the girl with pale cheeks and lips to die for in a summer sunset long ago. Her name is Aubrey and I remember her.


Spiral Prince said...

If this is not fiction then my melancholy is increased twofold. This is bittersweet, and whether it is more bitter than sweet, or the other way around, I cannot really say. Still, yet another beautiful prose, Splice. :)

sub said...

if i am to re-write this in my own words, i would have come up with a five-paragraph condensed article with no attempt to discredit you. lol

ang init, pahalo-halo ka naman! lapit na beerday ko!

SPLICE said...

@Spiral Prince
It is fiction. But as with most fiction, it has some touch of truth to it, even if minute. Thank you for the compliment! :)

I challenge you to rewrite the whole thing in five paragraphs hehe :D Oo nga pala, malapit na malapit na. Anong plano mo pala? Eroplano? lol :D

sub said...

xempre jino-joke lang kita nu ba?! hindi pa'ko nasisiraan ng ulo noh! hahaha, i mean 5-sentences bleh!

wala, sa bahay lang ako...samahan mo nlang ako sa palawan, dali na trip lang!

SPLICE said...

Hindi ko pa sigurado, depende pa kung matutuloy ako this June sa dati kong pinagkakaabalahan :)

Anonymous said...

Haven't been here in a while. Will dedicate some time for reading... YOUR WHOLE BLOG! Haha, jk. :) I'm thinking of spending my summer reading two to five posts each day. How's that for an idea? :P

SPLICE said...

Hi Miho! I must warn you, the more you read further back in time, the more you'll realize how bad I am in writing hahaha :D

This blog first tried to stoke the fires of living memory, especially the things that have a lot to do with politics. I've already abandoned that impetus, though :)

kae said...

Been trying to read back and I'm thinking here's a real writer that should get published.:)

So part of this is somewhat true? Did Aubrey exist then? :)