I’ve listed down all my writings, and I will cross them all out tonight, so tomorrow, I could ask you to have coffee with me.
I looked out the window and I saw a person in a street faraway.
Trees and vintage cars filled the stretch of that long lane. Sunbeams passed through the gaps between the leaves and broke on his hair. Dusts made their small explosion at every crunch of his footsteps, and it echoed and it mingled in the crisp, vanilla scent of summer air.
Without warning he stooped down and placed a chess board on the pavement. The took a tether out of his pocket and tied its handle at the end of the rope. He tilted his head, looked at the blank distance far away, and inhaled and sighed. Then, he placed his palm on his knee and pulled himself upward and stood up and walked.
And he walked and walked and dragged the chess board and it rattled and bounced, as if complaining from the pain brought by the hard flints of the asphalt.
He passed through the window, under the blue summer sky, the man and his screaming baggage, and all colors wrinkled and fell like dead leaves on that summer pavement, and I am the chess board.
My desire for temporary death and eternal dreaming intensified as I clunk clunk clunk on that sidewalk, my pain displaced and drowning somewhere in the song of this merry world.
And he walked on, oblivious to my splintered shell, to the sound of my rattling bones against the sour, empty space. Summer is a crisp, vanilla scent, he said.
And he whistled and nodded and hummed and smiled at the passersby.
Come back, they say.
It’s almost a year since I graduated, and I never ceased missing UPLB, I never did.
I miss the old days and the long nights. I miss the endless walks around Freedom Park, the crunching footfalls, the wide expanse of canopies, the towering trees. I miss the buildings and the lectures, the isaw in Reymundo, and the way we meet our friends in cafes and pubs.
I miss the green shades and the comfort of an inward life and the spaces in the hearts of the gentle folks of Los Baños.
It’s almost a year since I graduated, and I still visit the place from time to time — Freedom Park, the canopies, the college hallways, the trees in Forestry, the isaw in Reymundo, the buildings where I used to live and shed thousand selves. It was nostalgic, but more than that it was painful.
I miss that precise time period in life when I was inhabiting Elbi. The day to day routine; the familiar faces of our old friends in the crowd. The time when happiness has meaning and when life was bearable and worth living.
It’s almost a year since I graduated but I was not able to move on. It’s like after the blaring sounds and cheers and graduation event last year, I stayed in the venue — stuck and immobile and unable to let go.
And I was just there, that way, as everything, every life, recedes far, far away from me. And I sat there. And I held on.
Come back, they say.
There are jobs in Los Baños, why not apply, they ask.
That could be an option, I agree. But more than the place, it is Time I’m after. It’s the old days I want to live again, and I don’t have any portal for that.
“I don’t think that person knows how sandwiches work,” you said condescendingly.
You have fits, I recognized that. My relationship with you has never been easy — filled with sex and shouting and hair pulling, my wrists still bruised from your cuff and bondage.
I secretly liked it, you know that. You dominate me and I am possessed by this desire to have myself physically abused and gorged in the bedroom. This is something I cannot openly admit to the conventional society.
This is something you willingly took.
You made me recite the names of far away stars as you unbutton my blouse and cupped my breasts. Pavo, I panted. The fire in your breath made my grip tighten around your arm. Betelgeuse, the hand of the giant. Rigel. Deneb. Altair. Bellatrix. Orion the hunter.
And I kept on reciting and reciting and did not stop and all you could say, in a condescending manner, is how you don’t think that person knows how sandwiches work.
But you do.
Oh yes you do.
Ohgod you do.
You do you do you do.
Burn me tonight. Bite my shoulder blade until it bleeds. Let the gods condemn us. Show them, hungrily, how sandwiches work.