On The Twelfth

My dearest DRP,

Twelve years. That’s how much time. That’s how long it has been. And your birthday is the ultimate reminder.

A lot has been said and done. Unencumbered numbered words. See, we’re all about them words. You are my personal Bob Ong. You are my weirdest friend. You are my greatest love at one point in time. You are my wandering/wondering/eating/drinking buddy. You were the brightest star during the darkest chapter of my life. You are my anchor to the remaining poet pieces of myself. 

Those twelve years were long and eventful to ever tell of our lives. From the moment you first let me read your lofty verses to the day that I told you I was finally getting married. Everything in the middle went blur and vivid in bursts at the same time. I suddenly didn’t know which memory to grasp and which to let go. 

Is it my grave infatuation towards you? Is it the heartbreak? Is it the friendship? Is it all the long letters and poems? Is it the staring at waters? Is it marveling at sunsets? Is it the endless talking? The long awkward silence which lasted for years? The broken friendships? The attempts to save them? Is it the times we were together with nothing?

Or is it the time apart when we had our dreams come true?

Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe I will just let them flow. I have not put ink on paper in such a long time. I am afraid that my handwriting is no longer legible. But I am more scared that I do not know how to articulate my thoughts anymore. Or that I haven’t really taken time in reverie for so long now. You once said I have let the inner child in me go. Because I didn’t want it anymore. And perhaps that is true…

Perhaps the long awkward silence was the child gone. The hesitation to see you alone is the fear of hearing myself in that old voice.

I can only talk about our past because we have never really moved forward from that. We have not carried our connection through the new chapters that we tread. And no matter how I try, my letter in Tagalog or English, points to goodbye. Or at least an ending. Of what? Im not sure.

But I am certain that something is ending. Literally another year of your life. Literally my singlehood. But I still cannot put a finger on it. Maybe I want to say my formal goodbye just in case life brings us farther apart. Maybe because I want you to know that even if that happens, you will always and always be a special part of me. Maybe because I know the child is lost and I am getting much older each day.

Maybe because this is my chance. Maybe because I am reminded - That 12 is your favorite number and 12 years is how long it’s been.

Happy, happy birthday.

I will always love you. Not in the same way now.

September 12, 2014

Liham ng dahon sa puno (o kabaligtaran).

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