We all have stories we tell ourselves since time immemorial; narratives we repeat to ourselves throughout our lives until they form part of our philosophy and become the ultimate driving force of our rationale.
If you dig deep into this blog, you will find that the first entry I’ve ever written, almost seven years ago, was about a boy. I met him during my first year in college. I couldn’t remember anything about that day now. All I could clearly recall was the sun, burning brightly outside the classroom like there was no end to its flames, and his smile, warm as July weather to my heart that was frozen as ice.
And just like that, I fell madly in love with him — no questions asked. It was as if I was caught in a trap, almost as if the Universe never even gave me a chance to run and escape, or never even asked me if I was ready to risk my heart for what would turn out to be a grand torment of an experience.
I stood by the bridge, overlooking España Boulevard and UST. I thumbed through the spaces that surround me, overtaken by the swooping sensation that I was so close to the world, yet so distant and so disconnected from it all. Lights blinked from every corner of the place like kaleidoscope colors splashing life to the dead canvas of my troubled mind.
Certain places in the city never catch my attention and make an impact — like the crowded stretch of a boulevard or the blinking signal of traffic lights. I consider them ordinary, the way most people do, and recognize them as merely a part of the overall rhythm of the life force that drives and moves the city.
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.
There should be a word for the gap in our souls, for this hollow space in our chest where our hearts used to be.
I reach out for myself, dragging my hand all the way down my trembling lips, my bruised neck, my aching collarbones, and notice the cracks stretching infinitely into that lonely cave they call heartbreak. I let my hand wander further and find my skin a vast ocean of memories. My eyes water, my tears forming pool and tracing an island of scars.