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.

27 September 2006

Forty days and forty nights

A funny thing happened last time the man in my life came to my apartment. At 2 o’clock in the morning, on a Wednesday, he called me up, telling me he was right outside my door. I looked out the window. He was not there. I opened the door and stepped out into the balcony. He was not there. I got my robe and cautiously walked towards the stairs and peered down, but he was not there, either. So I figured he must have meant to say that he had forgotten his key to the downstairs gate and that was where he was instead of actually being outside my door, so I started to go downstairs.

When I got to the second floor, that’s where he was. He was standing right outside the door to the apartment that was right above mine.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi,” he said, giving me a quick peck on the cheek. He’s always uncomfortable about kissing me on the lips in public, even when there’s no one else around and it’s an ungodly hour of the morning. “Where did you come from?” he asked, putting an arm around my shoulders.

“I came from the third floor.”

“Oh, we have moved to the third floor?”

“No. We have always been on the third floor.”

“Really?” He looked genuinely perplexed.

This is, perhaps, what forty days and forty nights of not being with his girlfriend can do to a man. Also, I suppose, driving for most of the night from the long and winding roads of Baguio to the straight yet just as long roads of Metro Manila can mess with one’s perspective of buildings one has not been in for forty days and forty nights.

It wasn’t really our plan to invest our relationship with this rather biblical detail. It just so happened that life got in the way – he had to continue his training that was getting more demanding every week; I had to finish ten chapters for the commissioned book I am working on, sapping me of much of the energy that I would have needed to drive to Baguio to visit him. Our phone bills have been really high because of the distance, and some nights I had to sleep wearing his sweater. So when one clammy 2 a.m. finally found us together again, he after a long drive and me after a particularly difficult chapter, and after we realized it had been forty days and forty nights since we have been together, we were ready to create overwhelmingly literary and unforgivably corny metaphors for our reunion, since it had also been the rainy season and there had been a particularly vicious typhoon.

But the moment he stepped into my apartment -- on the third floor -- there was no more thought about possible metaphors. It was as if he had never been away, and his presence and proximity has somehow become more real than the biblical, more present than the weather, more pressing than the life that always gets in the way. When something is that real, words, strangely, are irrelevant.


Blogger Sidney said...


8:05 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

thanks, sidney. :)

12:49 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

I love, love, love this post. And I love, love, love the fact that you're in love! Woohoo! c",)

Hope you had a memorably romantic reunion, Maryanne!

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I just love reading all of them. Continue to share your gift with the world.

Can I purchase your books on-line?



6:44 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

sure! try or you can just do a google search. these are old books, by the way. the last one was published in 2002. i'm now wrapping up work on my third one.

thanks, rmada.

9:01 PM  

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