A LOVE LETTER TO THE CITY

Holding hands with skyscrapers lit by moonlight, in the dead of the night we've never felt so alive.


Part One
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Dear Manila: You broke my heart 5,862 times.

The first time was when you were all I had. I was smitten the second I met you - you were all I wanted, all I could think about. I can't wait to be with you, I kept thinking. I put my happiness in your hands, and you dropped it (as you do every time) - you smashed it into little intangible pieces and hid it on almost all corners, so when I least expected it, I tripped over my misery and bled over the debris of what I used to have. It left scars that will never vacate me, and I will carry those scars, the evidence that you have indeed broke me, as long as I live.

The twenty-third time was when I learned how to stand on my own for the first time. I don't need you anymore, the confidence in my voice was unwavering. But who was I kidding? Of course I needed you, wanted you. You seemed so, magical. I was so mesmerized - maybe we'll be happy together, maybe if I stay with you, I'll be half as alive as you. Your bright lights were toxic.

The four hundred sixteenth time, I left. I found myself looking for even the faintest relics of you wherever I went. I hated myself for doing that.

The one thousand two hundred eighty-fourth time, you were angry. I asked you how you have been and all you replied were hot, impatient breaths down my neck and a noise so constant it left a ringing in my ears.

The one thousand two hundred eighty-fifth time was when I realized you weren't mad, I was actually just too fragile to be with you. You didn't change - I did.

The three thousand four hundred sixteenth time, I was beginning to fall for you again, but you gave me such unbearable memories that I couldn't stomach ever seeing you again. I felt irritated with you - how can something so inviting be so cruel?

The four thousand six hundred thirty-third time, you tried treating me better. I felt my heart wrench. I looked away.

The five thousand eight hundred sixty-second time, you made me feel alive. Electricity pulsating through my veins, static crunching at my skin, alive. You finally gave me what I wanted - after it died down, I went back home - I still left.

Side note: To be honest, it never died down. I left, but I still feel. No matter how far away I am. I ache at the absence of your touch, but you have broken my heart far too many times. Maybe it's time I break yours (although we both know I could never do that).
Part Two
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Dear Manila: For a long time I found myself not missing you anymore. Today that changes.

I love home. Home's skyline is soft, its voice calm. I belong here; at least I like to think I do. The sound that the big trees make when dancing in the wind is a lullaby, a sigh of relief, a sign that I am indeed home. And I am happy here.

Today I discovered that wherever I went, the sound that the big trees make when dancing in the wind, the lullaby, the sigh of relief, the sign that I am indeed home, is everywhere. There is no escaping the rustle of the leaves. I am constantly reminded that I am here, I am home, and here there are no rough edges and sharp turns. Nothing happens here.

Maybe I am not actually stuck. Maybe I am just not taking advantage of what home has to offer. I never saw myself as the 'I can't wait to leave this deadbeat rural town' type like those in teenage movies, but the second someone told me I look like I belong with you, I can't help but long for the adventure you have kept reserved for me.

I guess I am just addicted to change. I hate routines and things I have already memorized. I am not comforted by the fact that the world is spinning and I am staying still. 

Why did I even resent the idea of me being with you so much? Did I find comfort in the pastel clouds  and green scapes of suburbia and settled because I fit? Was I afraid of the skyscrapers the streets the people the stories of the city that are so much much much bigger than me? Why was I afraid of being small? Did I want to stay home because home is small, and if I am in it, I feel bigger, more relevant? Did being known even appeal to me? Or have I yet to fall in love with the idea of me being irrelevant, unknown, in a place that's big and brimming with things I can immerse myself in over and over again?

None of the reasons matter anymore -  all I know is that I have fallen in love with that idea now.

The good girl falls in love with the bad one(s) every time, indeed. I guess there have always been a part of me that longed for you the second we have been apart.

2 comments:

  1. I love your writing!! And the gifs are so pretty :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. u so good at your own thing
    -roast(er)

    ReplyDelete