Monday, January 31, 2011

the alcoholic

he was holding a bottle of tanduay, his third for the day.
as if the lady was reading my mind, she said 'his name is paula. a homeless guy.' i later knew that the town has adopted him.

he was living in the marketplace. he gallivants the streets everyday or as he puts it, RAMPA ARAW ARAW. he did not have a house in particular, the community comprising of stores for different variety of goods served as his home. owners of the stores were kind enough to give him food, clothes and the company he needs. this day he'd stay at aleng nene's, next day he'd stay at mang aldo, with no assignment of home in particular.

i saw him hosting a mini- contest for the kids. he dolled them all up with make up, had them showcase their talents and answer beauty pageant questions. the kids were all pretty. they were all excited to have their pictures taken using my phone after my friend jen gave each of them a hair makeover (braid, crown-like hairstyle or whathaveyou.)

we got to talk with him heart to heart later that night. manang was telling us that paula was just in his drama mode out of the influence of alcohol. but my friend and i knew better. we never asked him to talk, yet paula started confiding on us, tears drooling down his eyes.
he was talking about his frustrations, about the fact that people judge him because of his appearance. he talked about a beauty pageant he never got to win, about his friends who would gossip about him. he was continuously crying. we asked if he is aware that he is an alcoholic, and he answered with a quick yes. he said he really want to stop it, but a day without tanduay would make him quiver in pain.

he is ugly, he is black, those words keep ringing in his head everyday. words most people tell him, hurtful words which makes him cry as he looks at himself in the mirror at times. from time to time, he said, he will hear discouraging statements from people, friends alike.

i cannot fathom how he is affected with stares being thrown at him because of his color. people may call it over reacting but we felt the pain and saw it in his eyes. we told him to just let those people be, to prove them wrong, to show them that he can accomplish things he wants to, that he can one day go back to teaching then quit drinking altogether after seeking professional help. we knew it was easier said than done. having the weak- heart that he has, he succumbs to some people's belittling statements then look for another way to get another bottle of tanduay.

paula was funny. manang told us that he oftentimes cracks jokes, dances and does his walk like he is a ramp model, making the street as his catwalk. people would sometimes hand him coins, which he will then collect so he could satisfy his thirst for alcohol.

i would always have this 'do your thing and let the others do the talking attitude,' but that night, i was made aware that some people don't cope with things that way, words being thrown at them will sort of stay in their entity like a permanent stain in a shirt. they will come across people who would belittle them, look them up from head to toe, but weak-hearted people like paula will never have the courage to confront them, hiding all the disappointments in their own closets, especially with the lack of people to talk sensibly with.

paula may have wished that people would think first before saying a word. paula knows so well that there are words that could break someone's confidence, let alone trigger someone to lose their sanity. paula may have wished that people would cease from doubting someone's capacity due to race and physical appearance. paula may have wished that people would stop pre- judging.
he was holding a bottle of tanduay, his third for the day. this encounter moved me, and i guess it's worth to share.

Blog entries are owned and copyrighted by Leah Bulacan © All Rights Reserved 2012. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the blog content, without his explicit permission, is punishable by Law.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

500 days of summer (my version)

i met my tom a year ago, in the fine white-sand beach called Boracay. i never noticed him. i was either too tipsy to notice anyone or i never really found him attractive.

well i guess i did. my friends and i were killing the time away. i was sipping a milkshake cocktail when the waiter approached us holding 3 bottles of beer. someone, he said, bought those for us. i never wanted to bother knowing where they came from but my friend was insisted.

then along came my Tom. wearing a blue printed shirt, smiling. he was never physically what i wanted in a guy and he never will, well unless he gains 5 or more inches in height and some more pounds (i like chubby guys). but the night was eventful. i was facing his friend, he was facing mine, they were sort of matching my Tom with my girlfriend and i thought they kinda clicked.

i may have liked the way he smiled, the way his eyes kind of smiled too. i could say he was cute, found him a bit cuter when i sensed he was clever (ah yeah smart guys turns me on). after the bottles were emptied, everyone danced and i just watched them from afar. that was just that, no more conversations after it, no exchanging of phone numbers (not on my end but he and my friend got each others' digits). i never expected i will get to meet anyone of them again.

and i did. i got to keep in touch with Tom again. thanks to facebook. we went out to see movies, viewed usher's concert together, had several coffee dates, and it was blissful. several months passed by and i wondered why he never told me he liked me, why he never even dared touch my hand. he'd always want to see me, always invite me out but that was never enough for me to feel he liked me more than a friend. i need to brand what we were doing. i did not tell him what my confusion was all about and somewhere around july,we suddenly stopped communicating.

i missed him. i got into an open relationship yet it was him i was thinking about. he knew about it one day then confided that he was hurting, that he really liked me, that he would not ask me out if he did not. we never stopped communicating until then: emails, YM and FB chats, SMS, calls and whathaveyou's. he made me feel he wanted to be the one always beside me, and i held on to that. he made me have the impression that if we were both single, we'd definitely end up in each other's arms (he immediately had a girlfriend after he knew about my relationship). he made me have the impression that he was not that happy with her girl, that we were two crazy people who liked each other a lot but never got to know that they did, thus, ended up in separate ways.

we ended up being single, both of us, i ended it up with my guy late november. he was still with his girl at that time but he insisted on booking a flight towards boracay so he could be with me. yet things got worse. december came, he let me know that they broke up because of a text message from me. they have already broken up after he assured me that he will make it to boracay. his last text read 'i need to think things over.'

few days after visiting him in his house, he finally realized he loved his ex girlfriend (xgf at that time but gf again a day or two afterwards) and can never afford to lose her. i was good with that, i could never expect US to be each other's rebound partner, yet he left me with no closure.

january came by. got a call in the middle of the night(3 freakin' am) telling me to wait foe his text about the big favor he was to ask me of. i never heard from him for a month until that night, i mean dawn and i never really wanted to. turns out, he needed me to deny ever dating him, to just say we met last march and that was all. he asked me if i was mad, and i said i did not know what to say anymore. in his seemingly demmanding tone he said (it was all about exchanging of text messages) let me know if you can or can't do it, because this time, i wanna be serious with her. the following day my inbox was screaming a message, with the most demeaning word i've ever gitten so far: please stick with the game plan, we just met last march. the word game plan kept ringing in my head.

in my sourgraping days i'd imagine myself responding to that message with the words "yeah, sure. to really deny everything won't require any effort, having met you is something someone shan't be proud about." i hated him for a day or two but wht i hated more is his lack of decnecy in asking for a big favor that will kind of hurt my dignity.

i cannot even compare him to Tom in the movie, Tom was sure he liked summer. maybe all along i thought he was Tom, and I was summer, yet the truth is, he was Tom, eyeing another Summer, leaving me and denying having known me.)

his last words were "i am sorry leah." well i guess that was sorry for not choosing me, sorry for making me believe things he really could not stand for. i was good with that. just like Tom who will meet his "Autumn", i know i will get to meet mine. i saw everything coming but just like all similar instances, i never got to be emotionally prepared.

for a week after he told me his 'i need to think things over' message, i had this sinking feeling. i had this idea that i would always be someone's second choice. i run low on self esteem and felt unpretty, unwanted, especially because of the fact that this is not the first time this has happened (went serious with a guy before who said the exactly the same i need to think things over spiel, the guy he ended up with a close friend, seeing someone else while he was seeing me, wtf? haha).

i am writing this down not to let people know how complicated my relationships were. i am writing this down not to arouse sympathy, from you, one of the few readers of my blog. i am writing this down to remind me of my capacity of loving, of immediately forgiving people who've hurt me, intentionally or not. i am writing this for you, for the US that never were, for the US that was just a pigment of my imagination. i am writing this, realizing that you came in to my life, to open my eyes and see the fact that one day, i will get to meet someone i will be sure about.

TOM: you never wanted to be anyone's girlfriend and now you're someone's wife. i just don't understand that.
SUMMER: it surprises me too. i just woke up one day and knew...
TOM: knew what?
SUMMER: what i was never sure of when i was with you.
(not the exact words but this is how i recall it)

Blog entries are owned and copyrighted by Leah Bulacan © All Rights Reserved 2012. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the blog content, without author's explicit permission, is punishable by Law.