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.

29 October 2010

In Walter's office

One Friday afternoon, while the officemates and I were in our work cubicles, cramming for the week’s deadlines and dealing with last-minute stuff that kept coming up as we went along, it rained. But it was no ordinary rain. It was cold, dark, dense, driving rain at half past four, after weeks upon weeks of fiercely hot weather. It was rain that seemed bent on some kind of revenge, making itself heard even through the sealed windows of our office, and the wind it came with howled with force that the glass panes rattled in their frames.

At the sound of the thunder and the sudden heavy rainfall, everybody got up and ran to the window.

“This is exactly the kind of weather that I like,” announced Louie.

“This makes me want to read a good book,” said Gretchen, giggling.

“Ayos ito, ah,” said Dennis, dancing around.

The rest of us just stood by the windows, and then Walter shut the lights in his office (the one that our Vice President was previously occupying before she was transferred to the executive wing in another floor) turned on an OPM classic, and we all trooped in and watched the rain from there, and each retreated into their own quietude.

I myself love the rain; I love it extravagantly, outrageously, unreasonably. But I didn’t always use to. Just a few years ago I went through some very sad and heavy months, and the rain that seemed incessant then seemed to mark the beginning of the realization that the man in my life was falling out of love with me. That was the era in which I had to drive to Baguio, in the cold and the mist, with rain sheeting on my windshield, to deal with some problem or other, to clarify some issue or other, and the misunderstandings never seemed to end, and phone calls never seemed to suffice, and then eventually, it all had to end.

But there is a reason for every season, as they say, and as I moved on (having no choice in the matter, anyway), I’ve grown to accept that some things will always be out of my reach. The concept of love is itself something that will always elude me, and I have the perpetual feeling that love is constantly slipping through my fingers, and I spend most of my emotional energies trying to grasp at the light, feather-like slivers that remain, like the vapors that stay for just a few seconds before they disappear completely and so smoothly that I never notice that they have already gone. Such was my life then, and such was I: always grasping with my cold, wet, half-numb fingers at ever-elusive things that didn’t quite belong to me.

But now, I jump with joy each time it begins to rain. I think that to some degree, it’s because I’m happier now, because I know I’m beloved, and I’m not alone. And with that love, rain has become my new sun, filling me with warmth and acceptance, and happy memories, making my heart feel hot, sweltering, summer-like. Because that’s what the heart keeps at the foreground after all the hurt has receded into the deepest abysses of our remembrances. At some point, it all starts to heal, become good again, become happy again, like a child again. No one who is loved can ever be sad in the rain, and as I looked at my officemates, I realized they must already have known what I am just realizing then.

And so we sat there in the semi-darkness, at 4:30 in the afternoon, listening to the sound of the crashing rain and songs about unrequited love -- Ricky the Photographer, Louie the Copywriter, Walter the Art Director, Dennis the Webmaster, Gretchen the Executive Staff Assistant, and I, Resident Misanthrope -- and quiet contentment wafted around the cold room, because we all knew in our hearts that none of us were loving unrequitedly.

[Image credits: 1, 2, 3]


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