Monday, March 10, 2014

The First Diary Entry of the Young Man

[Part 2 of the "Diary Entries" series]

“I was not born with the gift of poetry, certainly not the eloquence of speech. I speak with my silence. I swallow my thoughts and drown in them because the right words often slip through my mind like the water on my hands. For so long, it has been my weakness to wait for the phrases to declare their own mutiny against the lips that ought to breathe them into existence. Existence. I tremble at the idea. But when I met her yesterday, it felt like life validated itself for the very first time. She is poetry in motion, and I feel like I can write her soul. On my skin. Inked in permanence after the pain of the needle. She will be the verses and lines and rhymes, and the rest of the world will read me like an open book because she will be the only story that I will ever have in me. On me. Inside and out, through and through.

“I do not understand where this audacity is coming from. After our first class that morning, I walked up to her, told her Hi we’re classmates I was at the back, told her my name, and stood my ground. Maybe it is because memory is a commodity I cannot yet afford for I dwell in the present. And if things go well, I will live in the seconds and minutes and hours that she and I will be together. Or perhaps that’s presuming too much. Nothing is certain, so I might just settle with spontaneity, though I wish I told her that if the price for remembering is forgetting, every day, every now, is a gift. It costs nothing, yet it means everything.

“Of course, I told her anyway. And she said What are you, a poet? What is a poet like you doing here? You should be writing poems I will never understand. I said I wish I were a poet. I wish I could write, or write well. She said Fair enough, one day you’ll find the reason to write. You will want to write so bad that you’ll have no other choice but to surrender and let the words bleed from your heart to your fingertips. Poets. And she laughed. I didn’t know what to say, confusion having gotten the better part of me. Then she said Why are you taking Mass Communication? We won’t be doing anything other than fucking around and splicing videos. She laughed again. I shook my head.

“She paused and said So from now your name is Splice. Not bad, I said.

“I lied when I told her I did not mean to touch her hand, or hold her hand. I’m not good with excuses. Sorry was all I could say. She said sure it’s fine no big deal it’s just my hand and your hand, and she smiled at me. Strange, though, that she didn’t let go. She didn’t force her hand away until I felt guilty and had to withdraw my hand from hers. We talked, and walked, and had lunch, and talked and walked some more. We were late for class that afternoon, and somehow it didn’t matter.

“She said that she’s not used to the rustic life in this university beside the mountain, that she’s missing Quezon City, and that she might transfer to Diliman by next school year because all of her friends are there anyway and they’re her family because her parents are in Canada and I thought maybe that explains why she had blue eyes and god do I love her blue eyes. I told her to give it time. She said she can try and give it a year. Three hundred and sixty-five days, probably less. Way less.

“A day with her and she gave me a sense of time, as though there is urgency in things. But for having done so I have started to become wary, for time is the domain of the past more than the future, and there is no undoing what has been done because, in endings as in beginnings, there is a schedule for everything. May it not be so.

“May it not be so.”

Part 1 | 2

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