Wednesday, December 7, 2005
I consider myself lucky, for no one closely related to me has passed away yet (knocks on wood). I cried at a funeral only once, even I was surprised when it happened. It was the second night since our neighbor died and we were at the funeral home. He was 56 years old when he died of a cerebro-vascular disease. In layman’s terms, he had two consecutive heart attacks and went into a coma until he died. I had no plans o crying at that time. Being twelve, I thought if ever I’ll cry at a funeral, it will be for my relatives. But he was like a grandfather to me and he treated me like a grandson. Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming urge to cry. It was a sudden outburst of tears, and I never thought I had too much. It seemed like I was crying my heart out. After a while, I was calm again. And though I was sad that he was gone, I never cried for him again.
So I hope you would forgive me if I told you that my saddest moment is about love. Some say the subject is too trivial, but I beg to differ. One underlying concept of love is acceptance and I believe that acceptance is one of man’s greatest needs. I know you cannot tell that to people who are suffering poverty or to people who are in the mercy of their ailments, but then again, it is a matter of perspective. No one can deny the fact that it hurts to be rejected. Yes, it hurts to be alone.
Although I am lucky in many aspects, my love life happens to be on the contrary. This hopeless romantic has never had any romantic relationship whatsoever since he was born. Yes, I am part of the group who call themselves S.A.W.I. (Single at Walang Iniintindi) also known as the Samahan ng Malalamig ang Pasko at Bagong Taon. It is not that I had no opportunity. In fact, looking back, I think I had too much. Maybe I chose the wrong people to love. Or maybe, I just suck at what I do.
My first love happened to be in first year high school, and God, was she beautiful. She was a transferee then. She gave me more attention than what I thought was possible, considering that I was almost a nobody back then. She would encourage me with you-can-do-it-if-you-just-trust-yourself sort of things. I never told her I liked her, even though she showed me that she did. I thought I had more time. Just goes to show that I am more stupid than I thought. She left without warning and I never heard from her since.
Undaunted, I moved on with my life, forgetting her once in a while, but remembering her just the same. Let me tell you that the greatest regrets in life are the risks we do not take. It hurts like hell whenever I remember her. The one that got away.
I thought those would be my saddest moments. But I was wrong. Four years after that, I met another. Another one who’ll get away. I met her here in Mapua, she was my block mate. She was a very good listener and we had so much in common that I thought, hey, this could work. I hesitated telling her what I felt, but since I didn’t want another déjà vu, I ended up telling her anyway. She didn’t believe it, of course. Most girls never believe it when you tell them. It’s an unspoken rule, I guess. I told her I’ll prove it. Well, she cannot say no. It has been one of her problems.
And prove it I did. No one helped her more than I did back then. I was always there when she needed me. Then my friend enters the scene. My friend steals the show. I don’t know what my so-called friend did, but I found myself losing grip. I was losing her. Little by little. It’s the little things that hurt more, sometimes. A confrontation brought her to tears; she was such a tearjerker.
Back then, we used to exchange letters once in a while. She gave me one as I was going home, one day. I decided not to read it at once. But curiosity soon got the better of me and I read the letter on my way home. She told me that she chose my friend over me and I was busted. I tell you, no matter how prepared you think you are what will hurt you, will still hurt just as much. I thought I was prepared. I was not.
Surprisingly, no tears ever flowed. My saddest moment yet caused no tears at all. Maybe the pain was too much, maybe the pain was too sudden. You never cry when someone punches you in the face. You cry afterwards to ease the pain. But I cannot cry, no matter how hard I tried. I felt emptiness but still, no tears filled it up.
But I found out that whenever I’m hurt, I try to alienate myself from the pain. Drive it away as far as I could. It makes the pain bearable just as it makes me numb. It’s like having a dose of Novocaine, an anesthetic; you know it should hurt, but it doesn’t. I also feel like I’m splitting into two; one part of me, my alter ego, is hurting while the other part which is me, is observing. It’s weird, but it works.
They say everything in life exists in pairs. Good and Evil. Yin and Yang. Man and Woman. Joy and Sadness. No one can feel real joy until he is faced with sadness. No one can have real happiness unless he has been hurt too much. My life has had its share of both worlds. Call me merely hopeful, but I believe no matter how sad I am today, tomorrow will always be a different story.