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.

28 May 2010


For the past seven years I lived in a wonderful little place in Makati, a tiny space that housed my books, my files, my thoughts, my solitude, my memories. I made that small space my own little world where I could be happy. What made it more endearing to me was that I was its first tenant, and it was my very first apartment.

I called that place the College of Chaos.

It was literally chaotic and almost a college because of the amount of time I spent studying and writing there. Books and files were all over the floor, the shelves, the tables and chairs, and the countertops, and for a time, books and files and manuscripts stayed on half of my bed, and I slept curled up beside them, waking up often, and then falling back to sleep with an open book on top of my chest. There I re-discovered my first love -- Physics -- and went giddy over Chaos Theory and the concept of superstrings. There I grappled with my sensibilities just to be able to put on paper what my professors felt was best for me, and also what was bad for me. There I began this blog in December 2005. There I drowned in Shakespeare, reveled in Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and fell in love with Margaret Atwood over and over again. There my Bible was the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.

That was the space in which I discovered the merits of doing housework while listening to Sex and the City, where Carlos Santana’s “Winning” has become my favorite feel-good song, where I have begun collecting fountain pens and vintage cat’s eyes eyeglass frames. That was where I lived when I taught at the PNPA and wrote for the PNP-SAF. That was where I moderated the Philippine Macintosh Users Group.That was where I learned how to buy my own bedsheets and hang up my own towels and sort my own trash. That was where I found out that my annulment has been finalized. That was where I wrote my Palanca-winning story. That was where I fell into depression and then got hauled back up into the land of the living. That was where I found love and lost love three times in a row.

That space was the microcosm in which my heart beat wetly against the desires and longings that marked my solitude. Through everything that happened in my life for the past seven years, there has always been the College of Chaos, and little me, sometimes resolute, sometimes bewildered, but always, always finding comfort in the four walls that enveloped me.

Sadly, I had to give up that space and the life that went with it. I have said my goodbyes to the College of Chaos, amid tears and a quiet ten minutes of sitting on the now-empty floors one night, moonlight streaming through the now-open windows, much like the very first night of my life in it. The College of Chaos is no more. And now, I am elsewhere, living differently, around different furniture placed at unfamiliar points in a space that I have yet to grow accustomed to.

It takes time, this business of getting to know a new apartment and making it your friend. But so far, my new apartment has been kind to me, and I do my best to be kind to it in return. I sweep the floors regularly and clean the bathroom everyday, and make it a point to make things look pretty. At night, it lets me sleep soundly, without nightmares, and always wakes me up at the right time every morning, and as a gesture of thanks, I always make up my bed and keep my dresser neat and orderly. I always greet my apartment when I come home at the end of the day, and I have promised it new lamps and curtains. Little by little, my new home is taking on a new singularity. And as each day goes by, it will blend more and more with the new kind of solitude I have chosen.

[Image credits: 1, 2]

21 May 2010

Six months and one day

to the day since my last blog entry. Six months and one day of doubts, fear, nerves, hopelessness, deception, violence, risk, hurt, fury, passion, resentment, vacillation, and raw love.

It was crazy. It was a tempest. It almost destroyed me, but it didn’t. Thanks to friends and family and other unlikely people who kept me hanging by a thread, and miraculously, by that same thread, pulled me back to where I could feel safe again.

And now I can write anew. Maybe someday I will write about what happened; maybe I won’t. But what I know for sure is that I will write, write about other things and other lives and other days, and in the words that form on the page, from memories and darkness and airy nothing, I will find my direction once more.

[Image credit]