To the Imaginary Girl of my Daydreams

Here’s what I wanted to say to you.

I wanted to be debonaire and say that you have a very nice smile, one that makes me smile as well.

But of course, I wouldn’t have the courage to say that to you.

I just glance (of course with my usual tact– and non-creepily if I may say) for when I’m sure you would take it like I’m just looking at the person that passed by, and our gaze would meet and I would break contact, like it didn’t mean anything. Though your hazel eyes were a welcome view or perhaps the only view, in this coffee shop.

I keep wondering what you were listening to, and imagine we’re listening to the same song. Like Japanese Denim by Daniel Caesar, which I can’t rightly get enough of, on repeat and I don’t even care how many times I’ve played it. I keep wondering what you were laughing at on your phone, and how sweet that smile truly is, as I’m to thank whatever or whoever was making you smile. It just made the whole world sweeter.

I would’ve liked to thank you, thank the way you capped off a relatively great day, given the circumstances, and hell, I don’t even know you. But imagine your name is Althea, because I’ve never met an Althea, and that’d be interesting as well as a beautiful name.

If I’m being truly brave and frank then, without concern for my own mental and emotional well being, I’d tell you how beautiful you are, and the way you light up the room and the lives of those who see you, and how much I hate the guy who sat in front of you because he’s blocking my view of you. That you seemed interesting and that your smile was dynamite. (However embarrassing the statement “was dynamite” is). Oh and thank you, I guess for giving this hapless idiot a fighting chance today, against his own misfortune and demons.

So to you random girl with the beautiful eyes, in your own little world in the couch you occupy, may the stars that streak light like rain in the sky tonight honour the moments spared and unfulfilled. Have a nice evening!

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Grievances

Of course, there’s always something.

Just when your foot is marginally better, and you think you can sleep early tonight from all the hulabaloo and confusing things.

When you’ve counted your smaller victories, building quite a small mound of ego from the pit you’re currently buried in, just to feel a little taller.

There’s sharing with people, and focusing a lot on yourself.

Then there’s aimlessly looking at your news feed and seeing something that sets you off again. The kind you don’t rightly expect, even though you know in your heart that what you’re seeing is just the consequence of the choice you made.

It hurts. The weight of his arm on your shoulder. The lack of any space between you and him. That twinkle in your smile that you had that I thought I’d never get to see.

But then again, what is pain but the natural experience of man. That happiness is the absence of pain and suffering is a reflection of our desire to transcend humanity and finitude.

So I grieve once more, perhaps for the millionth time, and perhaps for another million more. I grieve for my arm that longs for your shoulder. I grieve the space that exists marked by the times I told you I needed you because I’m depressed and you’re really the only one who truly understood me but you couldn’t or you thought you shouldn’t and I understood. I grieve in longing, for that twinkle of a smile, that snooty way you roll your eyes when I say something stupid, that crease on top of your nose when you’re focused and the way your hair feels in between my fingers.

I grieve for the way I miss you and the cute way you’d relentlessly wipe your eyes when you’re sleepy. I miss the way you’d cling to me like you’re a monkey and I’m your tree. I miss the way your smile and laugh and the instinctive way you cover your mouth when the joke is mildly funny and how you forget when it’s hilarious. I miss the way your nose flares up whenever you enter your ‘gigil’ mode, the way your eyes would sparkle at the thought of food, or watches or brand new clothes. Perhaps, in levity. Of a time that used to be.

I grieve, perhaps, like I always do.

I just never thought (though actually I think about it night and day) that I would ever see, feel and oddly enough taste through the saltiness of tears, that there would come a day that a love I deemed so true, would never have won me you.

#62 Algebra

What I feel is not the difference
Of subtracting you from here
But rather the product of my love for you
And the desire to be with you forever

So that even if you were x,
An unknown value, to search for always
Every situation, every equation
Is a matter of remembering one simple thing

That you are always the answer
No matter how complicated
Or even how unbelievably simple
It is to love you

#61 Phantom

I feel you in your absence
Like a limb in negative space
That it doesn’t even make sense
To miss you in the first place

Its a solitary longing
Brought about by the want of you
Like missing the dent on your pillow
And the shade of your shadow

Perhaps you’re the part of me
I never knew I had
Or its proof I gave you
The part of me I most need

So its true
Only the thought of you
Ever gets me close to feeling whole
And actually completing me too

The Highest Virtue

The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self
The highest kindness is to give without a condition
The highest justice is to see without a preference

When Tao is lost one must learn the rules of virtue
When virtue is lost, the rules of kindness
When kindness is lost, the rules of justice
When justice is lost, the rules of conduct

—verse 38 of Laozi’s Daode Jing (translated by J. Star)

So I guess this is a practice of refocusing peace. This know is one of many discourses on purpose, in a mindset that has once regaled and lost a purpose. Its weird, yet the good kind of weird, and necessary to take it from random yet sensible things. I explore different philosophies and different religions in order to find inner peace, as I find some difficulty aligning myself with the thought that peace is within the infinite of God.

So the first thing I went back to was my Philosophy notes featuring Laozi (Lao Tzu) and came upon his concept of the “Tao”. He argues that searching for meaning is a futile and unnecessary exercise, and it is our “oneness with the Tao” — our surroundings and inner beings and all that contribute to it — that makes us purposeful, and as an effect, happy.

Wherein people are best when they are not governed, in practice of oneness without being forced into following that oneness. Imagine that this is where the concept of “yin and yang”, a way in which we can understand ourselves, other’s actions and the world came from. This all leads to an alignment and balance with the inner and the outer, the good and the bad, the light and the dark.

It is this alignment with the Tao that leads to purpose and happiness. In search of it, we are given three concepts, but the only one I have already fully grasped in concept is “Wu Wei”, which loosely translated means “the action of non-action”, from where the concept of “going with the flow” and being “like water” arises from. From which our actions are in accordance with the ebb and flow of the world, not fighting and working through challenges by utilizing the inherent weaknesses and strengths allotted in the situation. Furthermore, and to avoid unnecessary discourse, it boils down to the statement above — in which one of the natural courses of the world is that of kindness, justice and good (conduct).

So being one who has lost a sense of “Tao”, I need to turn to kindness, a concept I wish to uphold at all times, justice, a concept I still wish to fully understand, and good, to which I scale my life with. In an effort to regain balance of self and to effortlessly realign with life, I then therefore, need to:

1.”be kind without a condition”
2.”be just and understanding” and
3.”act in tune with the world, even without a sense of self”.

Huhu, easier said than done. But I guess, that’s a viable start.

#60 The Stand

I collapse immediately
At the slightest angry breeze
Melted down to the core
At the mildest sunny day
Shivering and frozen
At the slightest drizzle rain

Yet with you, and only you
Do I gain invincibility
That there will be no wind so strong
No heat so smoldering
No rain so harsh
That can ever bring me down
For all I stand for is loving you

All I breathe for is being near you
All I grow for is to hold you close
Where no abyss can daze and erase
No dark shadows can blind or overcome
The singular happiness
Of loving you and being loved by you

An Exercise in Kindness

It’s really hard to be kind these days.

Its more about being ‘safe’ and ‘secure’, and most times that translates to personal things that sacrifice other people’s welfare.

Its especially hard when you think you’re depressed, yet am in most ways, unable to fully actualize ‘personal growth’ since it is such a selfish concept that is most necessary when trying to rebuild your mental health.

I guess the true exercise for a depressed person, when it comes down to it, is the ability to see the kindness in the world. To see the kindness in between dull or even the worst moments, even in random places, and strangers you’d never expect it from.

I write this on one of the good days. With friends around who do nothing but tell me that they are there for me. I guess that’s the first kindness right there. It’s so easy to think that this internal struggle, given the personal nature of it all, is a solitary endeavor. But it does take good friends and a little in ways of never thinking you’re not worth it to see that there will always be people out there who are willing to give just a little of their time for hapless idiots such as me.

Then there are strangers. People you can, by default, think that they’re just out for themselves. Everyone’s on their own journey and to their own desired destinations. As a result, my journey is mostly walking around familiar and unfamiliar streets, wasting time and expelling thoughts. One such moment happened here in the foreign streets of Alabang, while I was walking from the hotel to the mall from a failed stint of finding the nearest 7-eleven. It had started to rain, and being unfamiliar with my surroundings, I had just aimlessly walked around with a daydream of dodging raindrops with my impeccable agility. That’s when the man who was walking in front of me looked back at me and asked if I wanted to share his umbrella. The invite struck me and I did share it for a good 3-4 blocks till the mall. He even gave me directions and smiled a nice neighborly smile. He must’ve seen that I was lost or down or something, but it makes me remember the days when I thought that humans are inherently good. That act cheered me up a lot that night.

Finally, I guess, is a kindness borne of an utter desire to be kind. Viki, a friend of Alex’s in her residency in PGH sent me this letter, acknowledging my aimless rants and giving me perspective. That’s even without knowing me, or from whatever Alex tells them I do. Haha. It was, I don’t really know how to feel about it yet. I just know that the act was so very kind. Or maybe Alex forced her to do it, haha. But even so, to make it so personal and to give me a perspective of someone who has been through the same things really does make me think that perhaps the world is a little less bleak than I initially judged it to be.

So, those are the three kindnesses that I saw this week. Its relatively easy to see it in good days, and for that I’m glad. Now I just need for them to stick through the bad days. Okay.