The U– love and friendship

I was skimming through my past journal. That Unscholarly Notes blog from way back when. It chronicled my journey from a budding program assistant/development practitioner. My posts were cynical, but a bit more independent. Less dramatic than my posts here. I wonder what happened. Tee hee.

Anyway, I just want to share this poem a friend gave me years ago. In my entry that contained this poem, I recalled it was given to me after I lent him the book “By the River Piedra I sat down and wept” by Paulo Coelho. Maybe , he saw that my eyes scream of “unrequited love” chuva.  I posted the poem on November 23, 2007, two days after his birthday.

It must have been the story that she hopelessly shared with the cold wind of midnight, the sole witness of her heartache;

It must have been the romantic, but quite painful story that gave her a bitter taste of love;

It must have been the tears that persistently came out from the eyes of a babe that seemed to hold the consuming fire of emotion for so long, and was no longer able to control the dam of tears from breaking out of the human walls;

It must have been the infatuation or juvenile affection that had floored her wit and composure in the world of make believe;

It must have been the innocence of youth that had fooled her fragile heart — leaving her groping like a blind, searching for her path going back to where her journey had begun.

I usually cringe at the sight of my old poems, but maybe, if I happen to write this one, I won’t. There’s no sugarcoating on it. Just plain truth. Just as our friendship is. No pretensions, just plain truth. Of the handful of friends I had, I really appreciate the fact that there is one out there that bravely crosses the line and never gives up on showing me the truth and still bearing with me no matter how bratty I get. I wish I could be like this to all of my friends. I wish I could be remembered like a friend who can say the truth but never affords to hurt the person for being plainly true. I wish I can manage to say the truth, yet stay behind despite the odds. It takes a lot wisdom and principle to be able to do this. And this type of person will always earn my respect no matter what…despite the odds.
But well, for unrequited love, I think, each one of us has a story to tell. At some point there is hurt, but most importantly, there is love…and learning. What is most important is that we know the value of it and we become a better and stronger person out of it.

the art of friend zone

It’s official.

I’m addicted to Sarah Kay, one of the fastest rising spoken word poets. And who has heard of  “spoken word poetry?” I didn’t know another piece of literature existed until a friend shared me a link to this girl’s youtube performance at SF Cafe. It was one of her, and her best friend Phil Kaye’s  (not in any way related to her) first performance, I assume.

They were standing at the stage in black sweaters, sleeves falling on the same place. Sarah delivered her first lines and I was hooked. They perfomed The Origin–it’s their poem for each  other. But as I listened to it, it was more than that. The first few lines hit me. “We decided not to go out,” they declared, and I  wondered why. Geez, I’d like to have my guy best friend for a husband, I thought, how come these two won’t want that? And as I listened on, I understood. I very well understood. Their poem below says why, and everything suddenly made sense to me. Yeah, there were days when I so long wanted to have my best friend as my lifetime partner, but, in case that doesn’t end that way, I could very well understand why. Now the song friend of mine doesn’t affect me anymore. That line when the song “now I know friends are all we ever could be…”  yeah, it could be lonely, but, as long as you know you can love the person and be his friend forever, that’s a feat. Friendship is also a relationship blessed by God so you can run to each other, less intimacy. You can love a friend as infinitely as you can love anyone else in the world. Through high hell and waters, you can always be there for each other. Your love for each other will be your commitment. You can always share your home to this person as well. You can fight him without feeling guilty, knowing that at the end of the day, you will still be accepted for who you are.

Who says, “friends are all we EVER COULD BE?” Friend is what I will always and can be, through thick and thin. In sickness and in health. I love you, but there’s no need to always validate it. I always will. A friend always does.

The Origin (Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

what are the odds of finding someone who can finish your sentences? who will let you cut in line. who knows not to just lend a hand or an ear when you need them to give you their spine. who keeps every secret, saves every letter, tells you how you really look. remembers every single one of your birthdays, without checking facebook. what are the chances of finding someone who knows your poetry by heart? who won’t freak out if you’re hanging out and accidentally fart.

I will always save you a seat. I will always pick you to be my partner even though you are terrible at handball.  when you lose everything in the fire, my home will be your home. when you get old and can no longer remember my face, I will meet you for the first time again and again. when they make fun of your accent, I will take you swimming because we all sound the same underwater. when Ellis Island tries to erase your past, I will call you by your real name. when they call your number for the draft, I will enlist to fight beside you. I will march with you from Selma to Montgomery and back as many times as it takes. we will stand together against the hoses and the dogs because it didn’t start with us.

it started with Lennon and McCartney. it started with Thelma and Louise. Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. Bert and Ernie. Abbott and Castello. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Mario and Luigi. Watson and Sherlock.

& they could tell you what a miracle this is. they could tell you how rare this is. but they could tell you how rare it always is. the chances are slim. the cards are always stacked against you. the odds, always low.

but i have seen the best of you and the worst of you and i choose both. i want to share ever single one of your sunshines and save some for later. i will tuck them into my pockets so i can give them back to you when the rains fall hard. friend, i want to be the mirror that reminds you to love yourself. i want to be the air in your lungs to remind you to breathe easy. when the walls come down, when the thunder rumbles, when nobody else is home, hold my hand and i promise i wont let go

Farewell to you, my friend.

Hi Lizt,

Two days after your silent passing, I sit here in a room, trying to get back to my usual routine. Burying my thoughts in work, trying to work on a planthopper flyer due tomorrow; then the invitation letter for my project’s Planning Meeting scheduled next month, and the list goes on. Funny, as I attend to all of these, I can hear your voice in my head…your soft voice back a month ago telling me to never to take work too seriously and not to stress myself out. That I should go out and enjoy. 5 pm and I should be out of the office and get more life and relax; then not to go to the gym, jog in the morning, ensuring to ingest more postivie ions; then get married, bear children who will take care of me when I get sick. Have a husband by my side that will always be there for me. All of these, no matter how soft and far, rings clear and reverberates a hundred times.

For those are the last memories you chose to leave with me…that 29 December morning of 2010 way back from June 2007; when we first met in DEVC 201 class. All the memories are washed down like a series of slideshows and videos. That time, I never treated anyone of you as my seniors but of colleagues, where my bratness found solace, and you shushed me like an elder sister. You told me not to curse when mad, finish the food on my plate, and taught me how to flirt. I can only give you dagger looks then, but I always looked up to you like an elder sister. When it was my turn to take the comprehensive exam, you told me not to study, but I did not listen to you; then you gave me this ‘I-told-you-so’ look.

Those memories seemed not so distant, so forgive me if until now I find it difficult to gather my thoughts that you’ve gone so fast, for I still hang on, hopelessly, to the hope that you still have two years to go.

And you knew me so well, you didn’t say goodbye for you knew I wouldn’t take it and I won’t be ready to. Just not that soon (like 48 hours after). I am still insistent of long driving to Ilocos or Bicol with you and the DevCom people. I am still insistent of changing steers with Ate Indhi; assigning Jaime to be the tour guide. Then Rizza’s contagious giggles will fill the air. Our craziness will make our day. I know it would have been a crazy ride, I like I always envision it. But then you cast your sad smile in return. Foolish of me to know it’s the last time I’ll ever see it. Foolish of me not to realize it meant, “no.”

I will miss you, Lizette. I will miss seeing your current playlist song as status in your Yahoo Messenger, and then fussing you about the songs (especially when it’s Madonna’s Like a Virgin) while working. Even though we were not able to meet up regularly after our graduation, I know our time is always well-spent every time we get to hang out and am glad to have paid you a visit during the last three weeks of your life.

You have gracefully fought your trial, for you have a lot of friends whose lives you touched so dearly. I am glad to be one of them…and you’re one heck of a tough cookie.

It is now time for you to rest, my friend; where there is no more pain or suffering. In God’s everlasting arms, I hope you will finally find peace and happiness.

For the meantime, please allow me to shed a tear for you, kahit one minute na lang. For my tears can only attest to the friendship and the fact that I will forever miss you. You’ve triumphed 32 fulfilling years of your life and I am so proud of you.

after our DEVC 201 class; Lizette, Me, and Jaime bide the time by taking pictures.

Just friends?

This is probably the biggest puzzle of the century. When a male and female or simply two people of parallel psychological and physiological anatomy meet, converge, and find commonalities and then spend more time than regular Friday-night groupie does, they will get some people thinking “are they more than friends?” Below are some social construct that creates a demarcation line to get “others” thinking that they are “just friends”:

  1. If spending time with him/her become  a “regular” routine to the others, you are more than friends.
  2. If you get to spend half of the Christmas day with him/her after your family reunion, you are more than friends;
  3. (For Females) If he starts spending weekends at your house and almost kissing your entire clan’s feet just to please them
  4. (For Females again) If he braves the 3 hour traffic twice a week just to drive you home (then he takes the bus to get back to his hometown 93.41 kms away lang naman by road.
  5. There’s the incessant exchange of messages in every means (phone, text, IMs), they say.
  6. You meet each other regularly (just the two of you, they emphasize) than anybody else and talk until the store/restaurant closes.
  7. Quoting 500 days of summer, the 6 word thing “I haven’t told this to anyone before” (my version is seven, I know, I forgot the exact line)
  8. You tend to pick up a very special gift for her first during Christmas, and then do the last minute shopping for your relatives (and even complain about being short in your available funds)

Of course, these are just social constructs. Who we are to say if people can be really just friends or there is something else? The answers, we don’t need to know the answers for now. Unless anyone involved in this situation who is actually doing “special” things (quoting 500 Days of Summer again, “Friends don’t do that, friends don’t f**k in the shower!”) appeared to have intentions of something more than friends, then that will come one fine day. If that person happens to be a guy, you just wait for a provocative situation that will conspire the universe to finally let the two of you unravel your true feelings (considering it is two way, you may hit the google “I’m Feeling Lucky” button a zillion times). If you happen to be a girl, you have two choices: wait for that guy to confess first before hitting the “I’m feeling lucky” button; or if it’s one sided all along, to quote from the movie My Big Love: “Ang nararamdaman mo, iburo mo na lang; atin-atin na lang ito.”

But while the situation does not call for it, be compelled to the current situation that you are in and be grateful enough you’ve got a friend that is always there. It just happens to be special because it is not the ordinary girl-girl or guy-guy friendship. It is special because two people of the opposite chromosome make up find mutual understanding and create similar templates of experiences together. There is nothing else to that, for now. But don’t TOTALLY close the door; bask under God’s love that He gave you someone you can rely on; but do not look beyond what is there in front of you. Live for the moment, don’t put any other feelings; just give your best to give out purest, and truest friendship that you can offer. And for the others, just don’t give a damn. I’ve learned through that years that most of the time it’s not good to put malice into any extraordinary situation. Friends from the opposite sex can be and remain as friends, as long that they perfectly understand their role in each other’s lives. What separates romantic to platonic love is the sexual intimacy/desire and physical attraction. If you can hold off your senses to feel everything but the last two mentioned, you should feel safe; and I think a great feat. Not in a million years you meet someone who can be of two things: be a marital partner or a lifetime buddy.  If not, then, quoting from a wedding ceremony “speak now or forever hold your peace.” But will be another story.

Post script: I just got a text from someone under situation 3 and 4, telling me that they are now officially a couple. Just a few minutes ago. So, social constructs 3 and 4 are not really for friends only thing. That’s pretending to be “friends only” thing.