Huwebes, Disyembre 11, 2014

For Miguel by Led Villafuerte

something fell and broke into smithereens inside your  room, your cat might have knocked off that bottle of beer you placed at the edge of your study table. or maybe, it was your graduation portrait, which you saw a while ago uncomfortably tilted to the left, that finally succumbed to gravity. at any rate, you should have stood up, turned the light on and picked up the fragments of whatever it was spread on the floor threatening to cut the pink soles of your feet when you step on them, instead you chose to sit in your chair, and flip through the pages of a diary whose words you could not see in the dark. 

many nights ago you felt immeasurably sad. you had always been sad, but that night it was different. 

in hindsight, you couldn’t remember a good reason why you fussed so much over something which always seemed banal to you, the ways of the world irked you in more ways than one, you believed everyone you met was nothing but a mere speck: fleeting and insignificant and hence, you ignored them, their feelings and opinions, or so you thought. but why did you court her in the first place? wasn’t it because you, being teased a sissy by those around you, wanted to prove that you weren’t as weird as people thought you were, it was this at first then it gradually evolved. love, camaraderie, recognition—these were things you never sought before, but you gave in, in  the end. you should have known better, the good things never last but, just like wounds, they leave imprints—scars—all over your body. they ravage you to the point where forgetting is almost impossible. you remember, that particular night, you were eighteen and in love.      

you recall quite clearly how painful it was, but how the pain came to be, is somewhat vague. this was more or less how it happened:she wanted to talk to you. you were working on a novel so you made yourself scarce. you and her met at the library, your favorite place for its silence, for its scent. the scent of old books swirling around you gave you comfort, an odd sense of security, as if the world, which you thought was already at the brink of an explosion, was not going to crumble down any time soon. later, you would witness the world destroyed before your very eyes. she was a physics student, more capable of talking about the moon and the stars than most of the poets you knew. she had a word for everything even for feelings which you weren't even able to discern. she had a perfectly chiseled face, observant eyes, and lips that curl beautifully when they speak. she carried a notebook wherever she went, she took note of interesting things and explained them from the point of view of science. it must’ve been windy outside for her hair was unruly, she placed her bag on the table, looked at you and gave a faint smile. she tucked a tuft of hair behind her ear, you thought this was a flirtatious gesture and for several seconds you felt aversion creeping on the skin of your chest, climbing up your neck. she wasted no time and said, “it is over.” it was puzzling enough for you to ask, “what is over?” and you naively expected her to say that some distant star exploded that morning, or a moon of an anonymous planet strayed away from its orbit and collided with an asteroid, but she said it clearly and matter-of-factly, her voice not faltering, “us”. you wanted to shout her name, “elise”, but what came out of your mouth was a faint whimper, it got swallowed up by the silence surrounding you. at least, she could've appeared as if regret was choking her after she said that. but no, she turned her back and walked away that easily, her steps never losing the rhythm it had. by the time you came to your senses, she was already nowhere in sight. the light of the sun passed through the tiny slats of the wooden windows, it hit the floor appearing to be luminous centipedes in stasis. but you did not notice this, you slung your bag across your shoulder and went out. sweat dribbled from your temple, and you were convinced, what happened was a perfect metaphor for death. you weren't aware, that in that exact moment when you stood up and walked, a star several millions of lightyears away from the earth, imploded and became a black hole.

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