Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Send Every Boy to the Friend Zone Forever

Night Stroll by Leonid Afremov

“Tanga lang ang umiibig. At gago lang ang hindi.” - Norman Wilwayco

Give him ten years, more or less, to chase you like a shadow, because you’re quite like the sun, the light at the nucleus of his everything, shining as bright as hindsight at the cost of dimming the only future he will ever have. Look him in the eyes. Gaze at him. Observe him breathe. He is not about to asphyxiate. It’s just that you have your eyes directed right at him, which is too rare it might as well be classified as extinct. Notice that he wears his dignity on his chest as if it is a piece of armor shielding his heart, and your task is to dismantle it, little by little, the way one would demolish a shanty down to the earth. With perseverance and a suspension of conscience, you will triumph. You will emerge unscathed as you brush him off like dust. You will proclaim that it can be done. It will take time. But as you go along, feign interest. Pretend that you appreciate his gestures. Thank him for seeing you that midnight on such short notice because you felt depressed, and goddamn aren’t we all. Take him for a fool, because no one who has fallen in love has ever gotten things right. “Men most of all,” you say, to which he will momentarily bow his head, lift it, and try to reach for your hand on the table. Draw your hand back to your lap and smile for half a second. Repeat as often as necessary, perhaps all the time, because you are not to be touched, or physically consoled, by someone who is always on your beck and call, someone who lives far south and yet understands fully well that wherever he goes his compass will always point north.

You live north, a hundred miles away. “Of course it’s cold up here,” you tell him over the phone, and no you don’t need a hug.

And then complain. Complain to him that your ex-boyfriend won’t answer your calls and won’t send you a text message. Let him hear you whine about how scorned of a woman you are. Grumble at the fact that the guy doesn’t even want to see you. “What the fuck is the use of him having a car anyway?” you say, “and the pig only lives next town!” Suddenly, you are silent. You hear the boy’s faint breathing over the line, and he tells you it will be alright. “No,” you counter, and you finish the conversation with your injunction. “Come and see me.”

And so north he goes. Without his own car. Calling you while he is on his way, but you won’t pick up. Sending you text messages through his journey, but you won’t reply. A hundred miles of silence, cured only by the consolation of your question: “Are you in town already?” And quite eagerly, with the biggest sense of redemption to wipe away the dejection from his eyes, he will tell you I’m almost there.

Almost there.

Except that he will never be there, that solitary spot in you where he truly wants to be. To you, the boy is a dead and exploded ventricle that can never replace the chambers of your own heart. What he is more than willing to offer, you are unwilling to accept.

No doubt there will be happier days. Some Saturdays will be spent watching the sunset by the sunken garden, his arm deployed across your shoulders, your head leaning to his side while the world minds its own business. A few hours on some Sundays you will splurge in his apartment, waiting for him to finish cooking your favorite dish, and you will call it the best dinner you’ve ever had in your life before saying your casual goodbyes. The peck you will give him on his cheek will stay on his memory like scar on skin.

But at the end of the decade, reject him completely. Send him to the friend zone without the slightest hope of repatriation. And because he is already as naked as a conch deprived of its shell, he will be left wondering where his dignity went. But he has little use for it now. In the friend zone, pride is a severely deflated tire punishing itself against hot asphalt — it won’t take anyone anywhere. And quite incidentally, as if the universe is not yet done with its ruthless sense of humor, the bus he will ride back south will have flat tires somewhere halfway through the return trip. The boy will wonder where the cosmos has decided to trap him this time. Stuck in the middle, that’s where the boy is. North is far, and so is south.

Of course you are not cruel. Of course it is not in your nature, beautiful that you truly are, to see yourself as a royalty whose sole purpose of having been born is to dismiss everyone else as disposable appendages to your incalculable whim to embody perfection with such precision you begin to think you are a god yourself. You swear you have no intention of breaking his heart, or anyone else’s for that matter. You are pure. You are divine. You wanted someone like a brother and not a lover, or at least someone not him. More than seven billion people in the world, and in your records he is not even one of them. After all, mere objects do not count.

To you, he seems to be just like that — an object, a vague specimen yet to be placed under the rules of taxonomy. Had he not been one, he would’ve told you early on I don’t want us to be just friends because there’s more to what we have than amity. But he did not. Tanga kasi eh.


Geosef Garcia said...

For me, vulnerable lang ang umiibig. At ipokrito lang ang hindi.

♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔ said...

Urgh. The last line sent shivers down my spine (hey! that rhymed :D)

Kyllick said...

It is never considered a luxury to be loved.

kae said...

It's heartbreaking.:'(

SPLICE said...

It sucks big time to get stuck in that quagmire. We must avoid that zone, by all means :D