Saturday, December 15, 2007

This only happens in the movies

You can skip this entry if you're in no mood for "emo" drivel.

I saw all my exes today. And it's funny that being cuckolded, stabbed in the chest, played and flat out told to f_ck off and being shunned hasn't really changed my regard for any of them.
The first of my exes I carry on with as if we were still a couple, except that there is nothing sexual whatsoever between us. She was my best friend before we became an item and even after our mutual betrayals, I still believe she's a soulmate. But she still waits for her American beau to take her away from this third world country to a place where her ambitions can be realized. And she loves him in her way. And that's enough.

My second ex wasn't ready for a commitment when I asked for it. We were rebounding from prior relationships but I was pretty much ready to devote myself to her. To be harsh, she played me. But I saw her smile at the wedding today and for a moment I forgot just what kind of hell she put me through. (You can tell how painful a life period is by the strength of my poetry at the time, and the number of blog entries I wrote discussing the dynamics of relationships.) All I knew when I saw her smile and when she held my hand in greeting, was that I loved her, that I would always love her and that was enough.

My third "ex" isn't even an ex. Just a good friend who I found beguiling, enchanting-- someone who also had goals and social resources that were related to my own. She helped me find my "missing" Manila-based Jap community, helped me set up Studio D and helped me buy my cel phone's SIM card. I made her a video once, where I basically said I was crazy about her. Fat lot of good that did. I didn't need for her to be coupled with me, if she didn't want it. I just needed to be around her, to learn from her. She obviously didn't see it that way, and has talked about me being a pest to my other friends over beer and sisig. I saw her today, at the same wedding, and I couldn't hide my smile.

The last of my exes likely leads a double life now, having an alternate instant messenger handle that periodically changes. Not her standard practice. I didn't mean to hurt her so. She loved me at a time when I was decathecting from my third ex. Despite all my protestations she never truly believed I loved her. We push-pulled breaking up (her idea) making up (my idea) until she just got fed up, I guess. I wanted to do right by her. I still do. Half the things I did for my old office I did because I wanted to help her, because they made her happy. Among them all it is her I miss the most: she had the sweetest laugh. I can still smell her shampoo every now and then. I remember what it felt like to kiss her lips, her soft hands, her forehead. To hold her close to me by her waist. I saw her tonight and she was very beautiful.

My exes are all at parties tonight, or at home or with friends. Meantime I'm in Cubao, looking for printer ink, typing this because I remember how I loved them, how I miss them--my latest ex in particular.

* * *

I can't keep carrying them with me. There are enough monuments to them dotting the landscape of my memory. Sooner or later, I'll have to let them go, to make room in my heart for someone new. Or at least make more room for me. But not tonight. Not yet. I want to hold onto them at least until the year ends. I don't know what that'll accomplish but it's just something I feel I have to do.

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