Writing as Memory

One . . . two. . . three

The jeepney swerved to the left and to the right before it made a full stop at a gasoline station where its tank was filled with fuel: hot, brazen, and gold. I imagined the smooth texture of the combustible fluid sliding effortlessly down my throat, setting my body in flames. I remembered the film I saw once about a Buddhist monk who burned himself to death in 1963: how fire licked his skin, his robe, his being, and how he felt nothing. I wanted so badly to assume that he died feeling nothing.

I looked at the weary faces of the people inside the jeepney and began counting the seconds that I was wasting in that goddamn gasoline station, waiting for the fuel tank to be filled. It was then that I remembered that that day was Friday the 13th.

Four . . . five. . . six

I scanned the events of the day in my mind and tried to recall if there was anything unlucky about that day. I squeezed every bit of my memory before I began to realize that maybe my bad luck comes in the form of a person; not an event, not a situation, but a person.

Images flashed before me like the tidal wave of diesel to a gas hose. Before I knew it, I was swept into an ocean of flashbacks to a time when we were young and happy, half drunk and drowning in late night conversations under the orange street lights of España Boulevard.

All too soon, I began to see my reflection melting, almost screaming, in the blazing embers of his sudden disregard. It took me quite a long time to grasp the concept and to acknowledge the reality of my life disintegrating, wasting away like lost time I can never recover, in the effort to love somebody. The years burned before me like bonfire, giving light to the only truth that love is dead and no amount of effort or willpower can ever resurrect what was already lost.

Seven . . . eight . . . nine

He was my superhuman: he set my wings and taught me how to fly high above the city skies, only to leave me hanging in mid-air. Now he is nothing but an idea, a once beautiful idea.

My love, my bad luck.

What is the point of numbers if they can not measure the time I wasted on you, or if they can not quantify the enormous magnitude of loss from spending half of what I am with you? What is the use of words if every letter is a testament to this colossal mistake?

Ten.

I keep writing to forget you, but every word is a remembrance of you.

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