An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

12 January 2006

I, watcher

I have settled into a rhythm. I wake up every morning and see a man’s face, magnificent in the semi-darkness of the bedroom, and trace my fingers over the features gently. I always wake up to him looking at me, not even waiting for me to awaken, but just looking at me while I’m asleep then when I’m awake. And I, first groggy with sleep and then eventually a little more alert, let my fingers travel over his eyebrows and then his eyelids, and then I let my fingers hover over the tips of his eyelashes and then trace the line of his nosebridge that is a bit crooked which makes his nose veer a little to the left. Then I trace my fingers over his lips, gently, until I reach his chin and his jaw, rough with stubble, and settle my hand on his cheek. Easy does it.

He is a joy to touch. Often, with my hand, I trace a line from his nape, down his shoulders and his back, and all the way down his legs, and see how his body hair varies in length, color, and texture – light and very short and soft along his back, crinkly and darker on his legs. And his legs, long and sinewy, make me wonder how a man could exist in such beauty and proportion. His hands, too, I could write volumes about. I marvel at the way he holds his fork, the way the fork seems to shrink in his big hands, the way his long fingers end in large nails that are of an unusual quality that they seem almost invisible, as if they were melted into the skin. I notice every single detail about him -- the certain way his hair arranges itself when he is a few days from getting a haircut, the way a line forms under his chin when he smiles, and the way the skin around his eyes turn a bit pale when he is drowsy.

Throughout the day I watch him. I could sit perfectly still for hours, just watching him. I have memorized his every move in the morning: his smooth roll away from me to the edge of the bed and his soft exhalation as he hoists himself up, and the way he runs his hand over his hair as he walks to the bathroom. Even the sound of the shower is exclusively his. No other shower can ever sound the same as the water that pours over his body, rinsing his skin of the last traces of sleep.

I watch him as he stands over the stove and looks out the window a split second before he turns the eggs over in the pan. I watch him as he paints the skirting boards, and as he stands in front of a built-in bookshelf and contemplates tearing it down because he just loathes where it is at the moment. I watch him as he looks out the window to the magnolia tree that’s just outside. I watch him in the garden as he waters the plants, and up on the roof as he fixes the lights. I watch him walk in after work, filling the house with his presence. He is so organized that he never just dumps his things on the floor or on just any table or chair. He always walks to the study and places his briefcase exactly where it should be, and goes to the bedroom to take off his shoes. When a storm is due for the night, he closes the windows methodically, beginning with those in the bedroom, and then all the way across the house, one window after the next, one room after the next, and then goes back to check them again. His barbecues are always neatly placed in the center of the grill, and always follow the lines of the grill. He is symmetrical, perfectly balanced. Even his voice resonates with just the right timbre -- not too deep, not too shrill, but perfect enough to cut through distance, through space, and through time, to get to me.

There are little things about him that seem to defy this symmetry. There is his nose, after all, that veers a little to the left. And after he makes the bed, the sheets always appear a bit lopsided, one corner of the bedspread hanging down lower than the other, although he always tugs at it one last time in a futile attempt to make it straight. Yet these little things, irregular as they are, only serve to heighten the perfect balance of the angles and curves, instincts and habits, that make up all of him. This is a symmetry that can only be his, a perfect balance of flesh, air, and electricity that has the ability to awe me with the little things, the details that, though tiny, are never ever insignificant.

This is my rhythm. I watch him everyday, watch him unfold, watch him reveal himself in hundreds of little ways. Because I am here, his life will never go unnoticed. I am witness.


Anonymous holyfather said...

Very good writing. I am glad I visited your blog.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, holyfather. Do keep visiting.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous gonzo said...

got to your blog by way of carlos celdran's 'Walk this Way'. am very impressed with your writing. beautiful prose. keep it up, maryanne.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, gonzo. Please keep visiting.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Samarth said...

Hi Maryanne,

Good Writing.


2:03 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

thanks, samarth. :)

2:09 PM  
Blogger faye federis said...

We discussed your story At Merienda, in our lit subject and Im really amazed at how vividly I can see the story unfold before my eyes. This one too, is my favorite. I love your writing, you're definitely an inspiration.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hi. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I appreciate your comment.

4:12 PM  

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