Monday, September 24, 2007

It had been a couple of months since I last saw her. I didn't know that being in a distance relationship could be this hard. I was in Cebu, she was in Tacloban. I tried to make it work, really.

I don't know what happened, but there came a point when she suddenly stopped answering my calls and text messages. Her twin sister told me that she was feeling confused at that time. Still hopeful that our relationship might work somehow, I persevered, hoping for the best.

Months went by. One day, I was walking alone in Ayala, reflecting upon the sad state of my love life.

I love walking. I seem to think effectively whenever I'm walking, especially when I'm walking alone. I also love to observe people in a detached perspective, amusing myself with observing people's idiosyncrasies in interacting with each other.

When not observing, however, I'm oblivious to the world, not giving a damn to what's happening around me. The world is shit. I sometimes find that part of me strange, yet at the same time not strange. Perhaps that's the way I am.

It was almost Valentines, yet I was still alone. Happy lovers would pass me by, seemingly content in each other's arms. Yet there I was, sitting in the lagoon with only a cup of coffee as my company.

I'm not much of a hopeless romantic, I suppose. Or at least that's what I thought I was. But observing those couples made me realize how lonely l was. Emotions are scary. I thought I was immune to this sort of thing.

So there I was in the lagoon, pondering about the meaning of life, emotions, and this thing called love. Lagoon, coffee, and loneliness makes for philosophical shit, don't you think?

What is the meaning of love, really? Most people probably see it as a strong desire, a burning passion, or something that has been mysteriously predestined by fate; but to me, I see it as something logical: it is a natural consequence of free will.

Love cannot exist without free will, I realized, and this concept intrigued me. I believe that God was the one who gave us free will. And because free will is a gift, it follows that the capacity to love one another is also a gift as well.

I'm a former atheist. I never found the answer to life's meaning until I found it in God. Life is shit, and I've always find it unfortunate that evil is a byproduct of free will; but never have I thought that love also came with it. Love may be a very emotional experience accompanied by a strong desire and burning passion, but in the end, true love is still a logical decision.

I can go on and on and talk about my own Theory of Love, but do I really know what love is? If love is a decision, then why do I place high and unreasonable standards to the ones whom I choose to love? What if one day, I came across a great girl but later find out that she possesses certain values that are directly at odds with mine? What if the girl is a former prostitute who has genuinely changed her ways? Will I still love her? Will I still accept her with open arms?

I realized that I don't really know what love is.

It was almost Valentines, yet I was still alone. I'll send her flowers, I thought. It's the least I can do to make her know that I've been loyal to her all this time. But I already knew what to expect. I knew that giving flowers to a girl is a big no-no, because it has a high chance of evoking emotional reactions that would bring me away from the girl. In fact, I never sent any girl flowers until that time. It was my first, but I did it anyway. I didn't know what else to do. It was my symbolic way of saying that I love her.

Valentines came. I was expecting it, but at the same time, I wasn't. My heart sank. Of all dates for her to choose to break up with me, she chose the one on Valentines day. Oh well, life is shit.

Fast forward a few months later, and then came Francise*. I can't believe my luck. That girl from one of the commercials I've seen was there sitting right beside me. Her eyes were telling me that she wants me.

"Hi Simon", she said with a smile.

We were in Mactan island at that time, attending an FHM event. She was an usherette. I managed to grab her away from the crowd, and we were left alone in the seashore, under the twinkle of the evening stars. The rest was history.

Francise is not my type. She may be pretty, but she doesn't fit into any of my preconceived notions of my ideal girlfriend. I wanted a geek whom I can spend hours discussing Computer Science and Philosophy topics. I wanted a lady who is content on being loyal and who doesn't exhibit flirtatious behavior towards others. I wanted someone who doesn't fear commitment.

She is none of those. She is wild and daring, a party animal, the center of all attention. Gregarious and playful, she is not the type of girl who would appreciate the beauty of solitude. Yet beyond the surface level, she is actually the type of girl who values tradition, and decides things according to how they fit into her value system. She is the type of girl who is easily wounded.

I'm sure I also didn't fit into her preconceived notions of her ideal boyfriend either.

To be continued...

*This blog adheres to a No Kiss-And-Tell policy. Real names have been changed. Some details have been intentionally left out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

< I hate decaffeinated coffee... >
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Monday, September 17, 2007

Note: This entry was originally posted in my old blog on Thursday, March 10, 2005. Those were my innocent days. Somehow, reading this reminds me not to become cynical and jaded. :)

Confession #1: Of Pride and Lust

She looked at me, and smiled ever so sweetly. Never before had I regretted invoking God's intervention that he might lead me not into temptation. Did I really love her? Yes, I lusted for her, but the question is, did I really love her?

It was summer, and Christine (not her real name) invited me to her place. She was a scholar student of a med school far away from her home, so she had to stay in an apartment near her school. We met each other in a Christmas camp three months before, and I could only smile whenever I think about our serendipitous encounter.

It was a starry night, and the cold wind gently caressed our body, conspiring for us to seek each other's warmth. There was a star, somewhere near the Orion constellation, that we named "Miguela." Why she named it as such, she alone knows why. It was already past midnight, and our eyes were already imploring us to close. We slept beside each other, happy with this moment.

Then I woke up. Like an angel in her blue pajamas, I saw her sleeping so sweetly and so innocently--so innocently that I wanted to kiss her. Overwhelmed by my emotions, that is exactly what I did. I thought everything was going fine when she suddenly woke up and slapped me. Of course, I was a bit embarrassed, but I summoned all my courage to kiss her again; this time, however, she kissed me back. We kissed each other more, our tongues locked in each other's passion.

Two years ago, it dawned upon me the possibility of marrying someone who is no longer a virgin. That thought did not use to bother me until one day, a girl who is three years my senior befriended me in an aggressive, yet tactful manner. We met each other through the Net, and with the help of technology, our friendship flourished. There came a point when she revealed to me that she is no longer a virgin. She then asked me what I thought about it. I told her, with all honesty, that when I love someone, her virginity would not be an issue at all. I would even accept her dark past as long as we genuinely love each other.

Weeks passed by, yet that thought still lingered on. What I did not tell her, for reasons you will not wish to know, is that I was still a virgin. Deep inside, I told myself that if I marry someone who has already done it with someone else, then that would be terribly unfair on my part. If someone had asked me that same question again, I would no longer be telling the truth if I gave the same reply.

Then it happened again. Two years later, I am now with Christine in her apartment, letting our base instincts take over. Logic and Rationality's hold on us were slowly fading, and liberation would be taking place any minute now.

"Do you love me," she asked.

I knew, at that moment, what my answer would bring. I told myself that if it is her free will and that she indeed craves for it, then who am I to dissuade her from her desires? Yet something inside me was telling me to stop.

"Christine," I stammered my words as I decided whether to heed that voice inside me. "I... I'm sorry this has happened."

She looked at me, and smiled ever so sweetly. Never before had I regretted invoking God's intervention that he might lead me not into temptation. Did I really love her? Yes, I lusted for her, but the question is, did I really love her?

I'm sorry, Christine.

Although I initially regretted my decision, the one who may have been truly liberated from that experience was I. I realized that love is not a fleeting emotion, nor an intense longing for physical intimacy. It is not an overwhelming desire to kiss that special someone, nor an irresistible urge to caress her, and feel our hearts beat as one. These may be some of the manifestation of love, but the real test of love is to love her still, even when these emotions are already gone. Because we did not yet have such opportunity, I am glad it was not too late for us to have realized that.

I am not a saint, and I admit that. I try hard not to fall from grace, but circumstances lead me otherwise. Although I am open to its fulfillment outside the confines of conservatism, I will never use it to gratify my ego.

It has not always been easy to wait. That Christine and I have gracefully parted as friends a year later underscores the reality that relationships are not always lasting. I could only imagine what would have happened if she gave me that precious thing. Would she feel used afterwards? Would I later be forced to feign feelings that are not there?

I am torn between my rather conservative upbringing and by my need to be honest with myself. I thought the world was easy for me to classify as either right or wrong, but when the time came for me to be led into the test, I could not deny the fact that its beauty moved me to consummate it. Suddenly, it became clear to me that the world is in shades of gray. §
I've been browsing through my old blogs hosted at Digital Filipino. Some of the entries made me cringe while I was reading it, because some entries were very corny! I can't believe I wrote those.

I'm not sure how long Digital Filipino will continue hosting my old blogs because I'm no longer a member. It has been a couple of years since I paid my dues. I'll be pasting some of my entries here, especially those that I poured my heart into.