(Would you mind playing this first? I apologized, I don't know how to make mixtapes. But this is one of my favorites.)
September 30, 2012
I’ll be really honest.
First, I don’t really intend to write you a letter, answer those bunch you’ve sent, but please know that I am very honored of the faith you gave to a stranger as myself entrusting your story. It’s just that I thought I should be silent about it. But I listened, believe me, and I think I understand and I know where you’re coming from. So I write to you now because I know you of all people would understand. I think I need to bring things out of my system and that you’re the perfect person for it.
Things had been tough. And by tough, I mean hell tough. But it’s mostly me. I just can’t control the images anymore and they keep on coming during unguarded moments, plaguing. It was so dark and all I could hear is the sound of my own tears trickling down, but not on my face, but down to my insides. I’m fighting it. Honest. But I’m losing.
One time, I went home late night very tired from work and all. Down there at our street, Diego, my aunt’s dog is waiting. I guess he’s always delighted to see me for he’s always there waiting, wagging his tail in anticipation. I would give him food in return so I wasn’t sure if he cares genuinely or he’s only interested with the food he gets. Nevertheless, his company wards off unnecessary fears on my nighttime prowling.
So we were walking in this stretch of a driveway leading to our house. The neighbor’s dog barked at us and Diego angrily retaliated. I ignored the two dogs’ alpha male posturing and proceeded instead. Once in our terrace, instead of getting inside like the usual, I sat at one of those two wooden chairs outside, settled my bag in a table nearby and looked above at the heavens.
Dark clouds enveloped its entirety and the cool night breeze smelled a coming rain. At that point I realized it’s been so long since that last time I took the time to look above the night sky. And what bad luck, I wanted to see the stars and be amazed like I used to when I was a kid swinging my scrawny legs beyond the rusty gutter of our roof, but no, they weren’t there.
“It’s been so long” – those are the words that came up out of nowhere. I didn’t know what it fully meant, but it came like a sound of a yovel reverberating from all direction taunting me to meltdown, forcing those sad images. It’s one of those moments of weakness when you question when will it finally gets better. Because that’s what they would normally say, right? That things will be better. I’m just wondering why it never did for me.
So I cried and cried sitting on that chair until a weird noise came and I just noticed Diego was already sitting in front of me with a weird expression on his face. Like he’s trying to fathom what’s happening to me. I don’t really like pets, but at that point I felt the urge to stroke him. I reached for him, but instead, he stood up and placed his head on my lap.
Days after that, I was ready to sink once again into the oblivion of my depression. Then came flashbacks of those two instances when I tried committing suicide. I just want to be with my Lolo Martin again. Because you know, when I was a kid and my lolo was still alive, there was never a moment when I felt alone. I feel so alone Charlie. And I feel very tired.
But then I remember this boy I know. His name is Keanu. This boy, who despite Science telling him he’s not going to live long and that his days are numbered because of some stupid illness in his blood, fights his way to live. He smiles and dreams of becoming a doctor someday, not minding those purple blotches in his arms and back and a machine pinched through his skin to monitor the amount of iron in his blood. He stood there and I hugged him. Although to be honest, at that point, I don’t know anymore who’s comforting who. It just felt precious to me.
I really want to help him, and those sick children who, thank God, finally found a new home after almost getting evicted from their last shelter. It might sound arrogant and assuming, but I think they need me. And I need them. Also my lolos and lolas in this mountainous area in Rizal . Also my sister. Also my mother – my family, they need me. And then I saw myself and here I thought: I need me.
I thought of how much I love them and how much I want to give them so many things (whatever those things are). I remember how you said we accept the love we thought we deserve. To add to that, I think we could only give love that we have for ourselves. And I also think that I want to give as much love as I can especially to those people who need me, those who want it and those who are willing enough to take it.
I can’t just be a sad story forever, right? I’m alive!
So it’s decided. I’m gonna love myself so I can love more those people who need me. And I’m not waiting anymore for things to get better. I’m just going to live.
I’m afraid this will be my last letter here and I guess I owe it to you and perhaps, let’s say someone might be accidentally reading this letter as well, I owe it to him/her/them for simply listening. But please know that I’m not turning my back. It’s just that I think, from here on, I’m going to be too busy “participating.”
I will be fine and I believe the same goes for you. I just know. I have so much faith in you.