Monday, December 24, 2007

Meri Kurisumasu

I can’t believe 2007 is almost over. When I look back (which I should try to quit doing often), it leaves within me a deep hollow.

At this very minute, 365 days ago, I was glued in front of the computer, talking with somebody. We were talking about our plans on summer of ’07. We were talking about how the holiday season would just pass by.

He spends special occasions sleeping. During his birthday, he would lock himself in the house and I suppose not show up to the world until the day passes. On Christmas, he still is in the house, sleeping. And at that time, I didn’t want him to be alone. Surely we were oceans apart, but somehow, for no vocal reasons, we stayed connected.

It was ten o’clock. Should be midnight there. I sent him my Merry Christmas greeting. I knew he was already sound asleep by then so I didn’t wait for any reply. I spent my midnight just like other Christmas I had, so practically we were on the same boat. I was in the middle of opening a gift when my phone rang and to my grand surprise, it was him calling.

“I thought you were sleeping…” I told him with a huge grin on my face. “I had set my alarm. I’ve been trying to call you but I couldn’t get through.” I didn’t even understand the last words. I was struck by the alarm thing. He set the alarm?! What in the world did it mean? Yeah I know alarm clocks are designed to wake you up but what did he do that for? I couldn’t believe he woke up in the middle of the night just to talk with me on Christmas, and what, break his own tradition of spending it asleep? It was incredible and I couldn’t get enough thinking about it.

Christmas Eve 2007. What is it like?

I spent the whole day at the farmhouse with my family, relaxing and savoring the cold wind from the top of the mountains. Nobody else to talk with besides them.

When we arrived back home, there was an odd silence in the house. Sure we were talking, but something was missing.

7:22 pm – I finished writing my blog entry about friendship. I went down a got myself some veggie juice. Weird eh?

Now (8:37 pm) – 365 days back, I never imagined myself doing this today.

I sent him a message, checking if he were not drunk or asleep. Gladly, he isn’t. And it’s good to know that for a change, he’d be spending the night with his family. He ended his message as this: Thanks for remembering. Meri kurisumasu. I found that funny before. But now, staring at the message, I’m beginning to hate myself for wishing that he would set his alarm later at 2:00am there to call me and talk with me on Christmas.

Truly, things change. And you wouldn’t even notice it until it hits you boldly in the eye. I wonder what the rest of the world is doing at this very moment I am consuming myself from the memories of the past Christmas I spent with somebody miles away with a foolish phone call I just wish I could still have.

Gone Are the Old Times

I have this friend who was once very visible in my life. He broke up with his girlfriend a year ago and since I had no real love story ever since my first relationship ended centuries ago, we were stuck with each other. We reassured each other during depressing moments, and offered encouragement that somehow, someday, our true love will come along. It was comforting to know he was just one ring away. In the middle of our heart-to-heart talks, I knew he was truly there and not just spending some idle time with some old friend from some far away place.

Knowing me, I used to make up these scenarios that would leave me feel dejected for no apparent reason at all. (Tell me about schizophrenia or psychosis.) But he was patient enough to listen to my nonsense stories and my heartbreaking fairy tales which happened in 18th century. Sometimes he just quit making me realize how stupid my concerns were and he just listened. Maybe he knew the other side of me was in action during those moments and the sane one is already sound asleep.

He knew I was caught up with my little fantasy world. I believe he had accepted that disgraceful attitude of mine, which gave him the license to make fun of me for my habit of making a big deal out of simple gestures. For hours, he would bear with me blabbering on a very little detail of a phone call I received from a guy that day! And after I realized how stupid my “kilig moment” was all about, he would just laugh at me, making it really subtle in implying how “gullible” I was. I showed him my vulnerability and I didn’t care if he knew I was not the strong lady everyone thought I was. Coz I felt that he would understand.

But of course I’d have to say he shared the other half of the miseries showered on earth. I had to hear depressing grumbles turned into pathetic hopes of getting back together, over and over again. He would tell me, “I’m sorry I know I’ve said this a million times before”, and the fact is, he might really have. But I could identify with what he was going through and I knew he was undergoing a rather difficult stage, being left by the one he has set his mind and heart to be with for the rest of his life.

Self-worth was the last thing in his vocabulary. He had his dreams, his purpose, his whole life revolved with a single person who ended up not as willing to give him what he thought he should have. And the million-turned-billion times of saying the heartbreaks seemed a helpful, yet frustrating process he’d have to undergo.

I remember one night, it was around 2:30 am. I had my better side dominating me and I was already sleeping peacefully. He rang me in the middle of my serenity (which happened very rarely), and I found him crying on the other line, telling me how hurt and dejected he felt, as if it were the first time I heard it. I simply stood by him, knowing that whatever it is that I’d have to say, he already knew. The only thing I shared him was the one thing I had learned from my previous share of bad luck in love: If your whole life is focused on one person and she just left you hanging and you don’t know how to start all over again without her, maybe it wasn’t worth it after all.

He had the ultimate goal of being invincible. He wanted to look his best, to race towards success, and eventually to face the world, his head up high screaming from the top of his lungs that he made it. Then every girl would wish to have him (and probably the old one would regret to have let him go), but he would not make any one of them get through him and have that power to rule his life and take the best out of him. I thought it was fair enough after his failed relationship, and I truly supported him with that. I believe that loving and being happy with one’s self is a major factor in a success of a relationship. The famous line by Tom Cruise “You complete me” isn’t going to work for me. You’ll never be able to love anybody if you yourself aren’t whole. If you try to look for that happiness with someone else, then be ready to get disappointed. Stop looking for the “other half” of you. There’s no such thing.

Anyway, he soon managed to get back on track. He got a wonderful job, got his confidence back, gained new friends. In short, he started to move on. I would hear less of complaints and more of glowing hopes of what the future holds for him. And I was truly happy for him.

He might have moved on pretty well. It has been a year already and as soon as the heartbreak stopped, so did the old times. I’m not saying that we should stay in that state of despair forever, but what we shared during that low point in our life were simply washed away by the struggle to get back his life and the new world he’s in. I heard he has a new girlfriend and I was thrilled! I waited for him to tell me how happy he is and how everything just fell into its proper places. I waited for him to tell me all the good news in his life. I waited to hear every good thing repetitively; just the same way he told me the bad ones. I waited to hear him scream from the top of his lungs that finally, he made it.

But, he never did. He never shared any of it. At first I thought he was just adjusting to this new world and it was okay. We didn’t have a contract to tell each other what was going on with our life anyway. Every now and then I send him messages, asking how he was doing, but he never answered them. I guess he is preoccupied by his new-found life…a life he dreamt of, a life that has no room for despair to share with; thus a life that has no room for me.

I don’t know if I should be flattered that he ran to me when he was helpless, and forget about me when everything was fine. Sometimes I wonder if the friendship meant anything to him. I wonder if the times he spent with me talking about his miseries were really not a way to just spend some idle time with some old friend from some far away place. I wonder if he truly cared, or he just pretended to because he needed somebody to console him.

I wonder if he would have remembered me if he didn’t break up with his girlfriend back then… Maybe not.