The Band Made of Rubber

I hold your world in place

With all my might

I search for scattered things,

Give them a hug; tight, so tight.

I hold your world in place,

And stretch my way through life.

But I hurt you when I break.

So don’t force me on things

You know I won’t like.

(image from http://cargocollective.com/fanny/collections)

 

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Dear future husband

I do not waste my time and energy on useless conversations, love. Talk to me about your fears. Or what keeps you going. Tell me about your dreams, your thoughts, and your eyes. How do you like to see things through them? Tell me the first time you were able to forgive yourself. Tell me a story, a good story. Maybe about a little boy who fell in love with painting and never stopped. Or a teenager with that fucking fear of asking a girl out. Or that “live in the moment” kind of man who stepped out of his comfort zone raising a middle finger at life.

See, I crave long and intimate conversations at 1:58. But not the kind that makes you want to have sex. I have my own definition of intimacy.
I want to hear what you think. I want to feel the warmth of your soul. I want to unravel you without being naked.
Take me to an art museum and then stare at me like I’m a masterpiece.
Kiss me while I’m in the middle of saying something.
Tell me if I’m being a pain in the ass.
Pick fights with me, spoil me, drag me to the roof and convince me how important it is to see how beautiful the stars are tonight.
Handle my feelings with care and I will love you forever.
Give me your heart and in return,
I will give you
my word.

 

(photographer yet unknown)

Out of shape

I miss my old self. I remember the days when it was raining and I had no umbrella, but I still felt happy and thankful for the rain. Now I wonder why. My world was multicolored and now I live in black and white. Nothing’s changed me entirely. I guess I’m still a bit shaken internally. It was only a few months ago and I was so eager to learn. I was an optimist on almost everything. I was contented and proud. I was great. Huh. I feel like I’m talking in an autobiography. I feel like I killed my old self, or at least somebody killed me and I let that happen. Nothing’s missing, but why do I feel so lost? When it rains, I feel so down even if I have an umbrella now. I guess the storm here is nothing compared to the storm inside me.

Have you ever felt this way too? Like, you’re lost at a point in life and you don’t know where to go? It feels like a dead end. Everywhere I look at, it reminds me of a distant place in my mind where I was once happy. And I’d remember that so much has changed. Then I’d get sad. Then I’d mourn over my old self. I haven’t been able to write recently. Well, I write often. But I don’t get to write about myself anymore. Writing was my passion but since I became part of the campus journalism club I wasn’t writing about myself anymore. My passion felt like a job I started loathe. I also can’t even stand my club adviser. She’s angry at us most of the time. And in worst cases, I would be the one she barks at. I guess I never expected that the writing life would be so dark. And that journ advisers would be THAT cruel. *journmates screeching in the distance*

A few months ago I was excited, because “now I’d be able to do what I love and I’d see my name on paper!” Quoting me, five months ago. But no. Hell NO. Since I joined that club I started worrying “often”. And for a person who worries a lot (plus that aforementioned “often”),  it was doomsday everyday. My friends remind me that I should relax after a tough day of an editor’s meeting plus a football training. But when I get home I receive notifications on my Facebook account from our editor-in-chief demanding the articles. Yay relaxation.

Classes on mornings, meetings after class, and training after meetings. When I get home it’s already 8pm and there’s still so much homework to be done and there’s still so much chores to be done and there’s still so much articles to be edited and there’s still so much that I forgot to keep track of my life. I want a break. Is this God’s way of telling me he doesn’t want me to be a writer someday? Because honestly, this is really depressing. In class hours I survive a day without actually learning anything. Literally. My butt gets tired of all the nonsense my teachers talk about the whole day while I’m forced to sit and listen to them. I used to love school. A year ago I had the best teachers. I actually learn new things everyday and they inspire me to be a better person than I was before. Now I wish I was the person I was before. I wish I still have the teachers I had last year. My classmates cheat. They cheat on exams, quizzes, and even in recitation for crying out loud. Then their names go on our Top Ten Students every quarter.

I don’t know if this is called a slump or something. Hey, don’t judge me for being a part of the school paper. Geez, I still have a grammar errors and misused lines. I’m not going to kid myself, some moments of this school year was good. But all I want is to be the “me” I was before. I’m still haunted by the real-life nightmares I encountered, but the me I knew is resilient enough to roll with them.

Can I still bring her back? Ang kalaban mo ay ang sarili mo. (A Filipino term which means “You are the enemy of yourself”). But is change possible in this situation? It’s like telling someone you don’t love them, but not promising anything. You might fall in love, or you might not. Who knows? This year started so good and I ended up wounded. I should just hope for the best.

(artwork by Hans Vandekerckhove)

She is us.

Picture this.
The sun is ready to envelop the whole town with the morning breeze. For a great way to end the summer, they decided to wander around the town and get out of their comfort zones. That’s what they’re all searching for, isn’t it? Adventure.
She takes his hand, he takes her heart.
When she looks into his eyes, she doesn’t seem scared. He makes her feel better just by being there. That’s why she always craves for his presence. He reminds her of a cozy place she used to go, back in her days as a child. He reminds her of home.
 Tick-tock.
How could she forget? They’re not supposed to last forever. It’s a summer fling. Time observes them in a complicated strategy, patiently waiting to tear them apart. Their hands remain intertwined for the rest of the hour. She laughs at their silly mistakes, their inside chemistry jokes, and the way their hands sweat. But whenever she looks at him, there it is again, his impeccable smile that never fails to take her breath away. It’s like she’s falling into this vast crevasse with nothing to hold on to, but she falls anyway. She doesn’t have a care in the world. Why would she when he’s there?
 Tick-tock.
She feels something slowly sliding away from her. She shivers. Those hands that used to give her warmth suddenly becomes ice cold. The coldness runs through her body. All at once she feels oblivious to her surroundings. It’s like everything is being taken away from me, she thought. Well, except for two things; a heart colder than ice, and a pair of eyes that are starting to fill up with tears.
 Tick-tock.
Their time is over. She watches him leave. Drifting farther away from her as the wintery air kicks in. He doesn’t even turn back to give her a quick goodbye. He doesn’t give her the last chance to hear his contagious laugh. He leaves so fast she could feel her broken pieces scattering once again. No letters, no signs, no anything. He just left. He left her hanging. He left her with a defeated heart. That’s when the tears come. That’s the moment where she stands in the middle of the bridge with loneliness as her only companion. And now the one she loves the most causes her so much pain. The irony of life hits her in the eyes. She wants to fall, but she can’t. She’ll drown in the water.
Everything she sees turns into the hue of darkness.
Then she gets confused. She thought that the world is losing its light, but the truth is she’s just going blind. Sometimes, there are painful situations that trigger her emotional imbalance.

Perhaps her eyes need to be washed by her tears so that she could see life with a clearer view again.

(The last sentence is a literary work from Alex Tan. Artwork by Soltreis)