This week, I have been particularly delinquent.A major chaotic mind thread is bothering me and I’ve been telling my Ma that it’s just writer’s block. But it’s not. I don’t want her to worry.
These days I have a bum leg. My left leg refuses to cooperate with the rest of my body, and I’ve been in therapy for almost a month now.
Sigh. I need to walk properly soon. I want to see the man I love, March of this year, being the soonest estimate.I didn’t see him, the whole of last year. I made a mistake and chose to teach full time. I was busy studying. I was in and out of the hospital. I had three projects to finish. He and I fought big time, I think about 3 times, based on my telephone long distance bills, it seems to be about 3.
I made another blunder and forgot the content of my own letters to him, I found one letter and there I was asking about his travel itinerary, and there he was answering, and there I was completely stupid as not to see that 1 (one) week window somewhere in his booked full
travel engagements, I could have seen him. Instead, I chose my lady professor and sat down to read Gattegno’s silent way, Stephen Krashen,and that tiresome Celce-Murcia Communicative Grammar ELT Heinle &Heinle book. And I’m a little bit allergic to these subject matters. I don’t intend to teach Grammar to graduate students.I can’t even imagine myself giving a lecture on BICS OR CALP. [ Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills/ Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency. I could, if I wanted to. But I don’t. For almost a year now, my mother and I have had our bonding laughing moments wherein she was able to hear me say that I never thought I’d feel like the Professor in George Bernand Shaw’s "My Fair Lady", when I was Eliza in the late Prof. Pesigan’s graduate school Lit class on Genre: Drama. I remember twirling my umbrella with that Renoir print on it and singing "All I want is a room somewhere" along the corridor of the Bellarmine hall,one very hot summer term at the Ateneo, to the extreme amusement of my teacher (God bless him, and his glasses that were scotch-taped together) and my classmates.
Yes, I’ve turned Anya to every other bloke’s version of Onegin. The dream has gone up two levels, you know? Now, I’ve lost the enthusiasm to teach in college, due to my traumatic experience of near paralysis last September while teaching. The University had no elevator, and I would be climbing stairs, 3rd floor then 4th floor, then 3rd floor, then 4th floor again~ five times a week, and to think that I was ill with something else already. Now, I’ve latched on to the graduate school sector. Much better option for my health. Not only this, since now, I don’t just have all the required units to be a rather swell Literature professor…now, I’ve already been trained to really know how to be a master English professor. Now, I’m a trained educator.
What has happened to me? The family sees it as a blessing in disguise. Nine years ago, I turned my back on a scholarship offered by a good friend/mentor for a famous art school in Liverpool. Reason? I was engaged. It was raining that day, and my boyfriend and I had just
made a new landmark memory of sharing an umbrella while walking from the parking area on Emerald Avenue, Ortigas, in the rain..crossing the street to a Starbucks [ I was a big coffee fan before, so big a fan that his first year anniversary gift to me was a coffee-maker machine and one of those industrial size packs of pure African ground coffee beans, which made me smile because I didn’t have the faintest clue that my beloved (then) was an observer. Does it not touch the heart to realize that someone watches you closely, even if you are unaware of it, and he watches you, observes you, because he loves you? He did take me to watch "Hannibal" for our first year anniversary date…but no one’s perfect] ~ I told him about the scholarship. Dumb Francess bid the chance farewell, in less than a second."We’ve just reconciliated, haven’t we, dear Frannie? So why leave me? Please. No. Choose Ateneo, you’ve passed the graduate school entrance, right? Take up English Literature, like you’ve always been planning about in college. (We had both just graduated with our Bachelors)Let me take up Law.You, you writer. Let’s get married like we’ve chosen before.Please don’t leave for Art."
I looked at my love. I remembered that I had waited for a year and a half with my hopes and prayers. I had been praying to St. Therese
of the Infant Jesus for a love of my own. The shower of roses came from him. From mr. college classmate crush. We were classmates but I didn’t know his name.The first time I noticed him, I had fallen in-love. It took a year and half after, to have him notice me back, to have me know his name. And then one dozen yellow long-stemmed roses, plus one white one,with dark pink colored edged petals. No other sign from heaven, he surely could have been the only one from my dear St. Therese.
Then I belonged to somebody.Then came the semblance of a happy, normal future life. Ms. Francess Raymundo was not born with a curse to remain alone for the rest of her life, after all. She didn’t have to live, fighting in order to live. St. Therese had sent her, her someone who will be saying, "goodnight, frannie.i love you. goodnight." for as long as he can say it, for as long as she can hear him.
It had come true. The lines of that song. Even that stupid e.e. cummings poem.( which now makes me gag during Valentines season, asking those guilty, " don’t you lovers know any other poem?" My hands now had their rightful use, a palm to touch his face, gently and tenderly.Moments when your husband to be would rather have that hand on his cheek than a kiss from your lips.One gives it up to cliche: sigh,and yes. Love exists.
I looked at my love. Alright. I won’t leave.
What followed? Let me summarize these 8 years from then by citing Murphy’s Law. Parapharasing Murphy’s Law using two words: shit happens.
This. This is my love story that has left my heart scarce. These days, I hardly notice the location of this heart.Then "Mr.Thoughts" enters memory and something tackles down something else off-center in alignment. Here. It is my heart, no? That’s another problem.
Can I sort this one out with the toss of a coin? Maybe.
For am I really strong enough to stay where I am right now? And where I am, exactly, is nowhere. Nowhere near happiness, somewhat of the latter.
I bite myself, sore, to contain my bewilderment.And since it is bad for me to cry, I sigh countlessly. Deep, heavy exhaling of breath.
You see, beggars are not choosers. And last night, I reminded myself, " He will punish you like this, for as long as he knows that you love him. You have not been forgiven. Just words. Like saying, ‘I will never fight with you.’ Outcome? Fights. An apology for being quick to anger. Another fight.His great revenge was in saying that he could never love you. He didn’t say that. What he said was not to hope.And isn’t that just the same thing?"
And you, what’s your revenge?
This. " It is true that nothing is impossible. Everything is possible and it all depends on those who choose. We could always be the ones who chose to make this impossibility, possible. Then there’s one less impossible situation.I think when this world finally dies, the list
shall be relatively shorter.There would have been long years then, where many, many people could have chosen all the other impossibles with this.If something has never happened, it is only because people have not chosen to make that something happen.Its all in the choosing."
Last night, before dozing off, I had put this together using more complex terms. I’ve forgotten the original words. Oh well. I’m not very young anymore, am I? I’m a little bit forgetful these days.Too much medication. Too much stress. So very little of him and his remembering.
Eight years later (after the Starbucks scene), and here I am. And my life crammed with books.Paper. Bottles of medication. A mailbox that waits for a letter 10 months overdue.Another cane. A phone that never rings, not even when I’m in the shower.( not literally, but, he never calls )Silence. Waiting to be remembered.Sighs. A heavy heart. Frowns. A passport expecting that familiar blue stamp with the words "Masuk" that will be followed by that familiar triangular red stamp bearing "Keluar". Resting one’s thoughts on how to remove his eyeglasses when next you see him.Scolding yourself for thinking such thoughts, " Do you think that he shall slap you? No, of course not. But he will shout.Push you away.Will you really let him keep treating you like a child, and cheapen your worth by bearing it? And then call it all, patience?"
Now my bum legs needs attention, and I’ve made myself sad again by writing this. When I close, I will think this, " Aren’t we just the pair? His right leg, he says is permanently injured. You keep saying from playing futsal, it’s a football injury according to him. No it’s soccer, you idiot. You call yourself an idiot.27 years in the R.P. so don’t forget that Filipinos refer to that game as soccer.Never mind that it’s football, where he comes from. Get better, as fast as you can, do you really want to say, " a pair of limping lovers"?
Lovers? Yes. Sure. Lovers. You are 10 years younger, go ahead and be happy without having to explain yourself.
(making the sign of the Cross here, ‘Hesus, Maria, Jose, Sta. Maria! Tumahimik ka na lamang diyan at magdasal na sana ang tanging dahilan
na kung bakit niya pinasasakit ang puso mo nanaman ay dahil sa ano ba’t malay mo kung grabe na talaga doon, at maski siya ay nagtatago pala kasi baka kasama siya sa mga ide-deport o hinaharass dahil sa lahi na pinanggalingan niya?’Sana nga na naiisip ka rin pala niya. Sana. )