Multo

Naririnig ko silang kumakatok lahat
Narininig ko ang mga sigaw nila
At pag tumitingin ako sa salamin
Mas natatakot akong
Hindi nakikita sa mukha ko
Ang pagkarindi sa mga boses
At katok ng mga sarili kong multo

May isa sa kanilang ginagamit ang kanyang kamao
Narininig ko ang dagundong nito kasabay ng tibok ng aking puso
Wala siyang sinasabi
Pero ramdam ko na dala niya ang aking pagkaguho

May mga iba namang bumubulong lang
Banayad ang boses nila pero napakalinaw
Ng nais nilang iparating
Na mas maliit ang tingin nila sa akin
At alam nila na konting pilit pa
Na bibigay rin ako
At pakakawalan ko sila

Pero hindi sila dapat makawala

May isa sa kanila, inuuntog lang ang ulo niya
Habang sinasabi paulit-ulit
Na wala akong kwenta

Naririnig ko siya
Sa pinakaloob na parte ng aking tenga
Yung pakiramdam na nakalubog ang ulo ko sa batya
At wala akong ibang naririnig kahit sarili ko
Pero naririnig ko siya

Naririnig ko silang kumakatok
Na para bang ilang siglo na silang nagpipigil
At oras na nila ngayon para lumaya at kumawala
Para maghasik ng lagim sa lahat ng gumawa ng mali sakin
At una sa listahan nila ang pangalan ko para puntiryahin

Walang ibang nakakarinig ng mga katok nila kundi ako
Mahirap itago ang isang bagay na hindi nakikita ng ibang tao
Hindi ko kayang ipaliwanag ang itsura ng mga multong parating nag-iibang anyo.
Tuwing akala kong nakikilala ko na sila, may panibago silang sorpresa

Silang pumapalakpak kapag nakikita akong balisa
Silang humahalakhak tuwing nawawalan ako ng pag-asa
Silang parating kumakatok sa dibdib ko at
Nagmamakaawang palabasin ko

Kaya paano ko sasabihin sa ibang,
“Sandali lang, kailangan ko lang patahimikin ang utak ko.
Kailangan ko lang maramdaman ulit na kontrolado ko pa rin ang emosyon at mga saloobin ko,
Na ako pa rin itong nakikita mo at kumakausap sayo.”?

Hindi ko sila dapat hayaang makawala
Hindi sila dapat makawala

Marami na akong sinubukan
At mga taong tinakbuhan
Sa pag-asang malunod ng mga
Tawa nila ang alingawngaw
Ng mga multong sa isip ko
Napiling manirahan
Para hindi ko na marinig kumatok ang mga ito

Paulit-ulit, gabi-gabi
At tahimik na akong makatulog

Pero minsan
Magsisimula pa lang ang araw ko
O kaya habang naliligo
O nagpapakain ng aso
Tatahimik panandalian ang mundo ko
At bigla na lang may kakalabog
Dito sa dibdib ko
At mag-uumpisa ulit
Na maririnig ko
Kumakatok sila

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Stay

I’m not an important person. People never get my name right. Baristas never know how to spell or pronounce it correctly. Strangers who see my name but have never met me always think I’m a boy. But this never really bothered me. Because we are never too mindful about things that are not important.

Oblivion has always been a most comforting promise. I could disappear and it wouldn’t make a difference. The world would stay as it is, not budging in its greatness. And this doesn’t break my heart. I’m comforted in the fact that my being gone wouldn’t make things worse.

I’ve never been scared of being forgotten. Friends and lovers have lost me way too many times and yet they’re happy and I’m still me and we’re all still here. I’m okay with people leaving without blaming them because in this lifetime, there are too many people to get to know and places to go and we can’t keep everyone.

And I have left people. Because sometimes caring gets too heavy for my already shaking hands. And sometimes, I don’t even care about myself so I can’t imagine how I can be good enough for somebody else. Like I said, I’m not an important person. It’s the most selfish thing–accepting too soon that nothing is wrong with being temporary.

But this is what I’m used to and this is what’s comfortable. But let me tell you something:

He kept saying my name. He kept saying my name and I felt my heart grow bigger. It looked so much like a smile when his lips curved to mouth my name. And I couldn’t help but think that maybe it isn’t so bad that someone chooses to remember it.

And he always remembers. I’ve gotten so used to repeating everything and people forgetting that my words nearly turned into a stutter. But he remembers, and now I’m slowly saying goodbye to repetition.

And I swear I’m not important. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t matter, and we will keep on letting people go and believe me, I’m not important.

But when he says my name, my god it sounds like a prayer.

When he says my name, it sounds so much like “stay.”

Netflix and Chill

I never want to have sex. This means that I never want anyone’s dick anywhere near me. This means that I will never be fascinated with your dick, so send that photo to someone else. This means that all attempts at flirting and getting me in the mood will be pointless. This means that “Netflix and chill” to me actually means “Netflix and chill…ing at the sofa binge watching The IT Crowd.” 

This means that pickup lines will be met with a resounding, “WHAAAAT?” This means that, “fuck me” will always be just an expression. This means that asking me to talk dirty to you means telling you the story of that one time at a bar, I drank a blue cocktail and the next day my pee was the same color. This means that if you really want me to talk dirty to you, I will tell you that one of my favorite bands is Garbage. I mean, how dirty is that, right??? 

Garbage???

I never want to have sex and I never talk about the boys I like in sexual terms. This means that I don’t care if Leslie Odom Jr. is topless or wearing a bespoke suit—he will always be beautiful to me. This means that yes I like this one boy very much but no, I don’t want to fuck him just to prove it. This means that I really just enjoy talking to him and listening to him talk about his music. This means that sexual innuendos will never come from me.

But this doesn’t mean that I don’t laugh at green jokes. This doesn’t mean I am less interested in making connections. This doesn’t mean I find beauty less appealing. This doesn’t mean I think sex is dirty. This doesn’t make me a prude, a tease, or a bore. This doesn’t make me a fucking challenge.

I don’t want to have sex. But this doesn’t mean that you can look down on my lack of experience or that I will let you “teach” me. This doesn’t mean that maybe I just need alcohol to loosen up. This doesn’t make me ignorant or incomplete or a freak.

I don’t want sex. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t want love. The holding hands, the butterfly kisses, and late-night drives. This doesn’t mean that I don’t fall in love sometimes with the slightest hint of someone’s kindness. This doesn’t make me a sexually repressed, un-feeling robot.

It just means that I never want to have sex. This doesn’t mean I don’t have anything else to offer.

Alaala

Alaala

Naaalala mo ba? Yung unang beses na sinabi mong mahal mo ako, kinakabahan tayo pareho. Di mapakali sa pagkakaupo. Dun nagsimula ang ating kwento. Pero simula din ‘yon ng pareho nating pagkatalo.

Dahil dadating yung araw na hindi ko na malalaman ang pagkakaiba ng “mahal kita” sa “sino ka?”

Maguumpisa sa maliliit na bagay ang ating pagkasira. Yung hindi natin mamamalayan. Yung matatawa pa tayo dahil nakalimutan kong Lunes ngayon at akala ko Sabado. Yung mapapailing ka na lang sabay ngingiti kapag napagtanto mong imbes na asukal, asin ang nailagay ko sa kape mo.

Magtatawanan tayo, aakalaing ito yung tipo ng mga kwento na iniipon at ibabahagi balang araw sa ating magiging apo. Hindi mamamalayang unti-unti nang gumuguho ang mundong kay tagal natin binuo.

Bukas, hindi ko na maaalala yung huling limang paskong magkasama tayo. Sa makalawa, susunod na mawawala yung mga gabing wala tayong ginawa kundi tumawa at kumanta. Sa isang linggo, titingin ako sayo na walang bakas ng pagkilala kung anong pangalan mo.

Patawarin mo ako.

Sa iiwan kong kirot. Sa lahat ng gabing magkaaway tayo at hiwalay natulog. Yung papasok ka sa umagang walang imik dahil ayaw mong may masabing hindi maganda. Lahat ng pagbabanta natin ng hiwalayan. Mga nakaligtaan kong anibersaryo–nung sinabi mong wala akong pakialam o kaya siguro hindi lang kita ganun kamahal. Sa mga pagkakataong wala akong ibang dahilan kundi, “nakalimutan ko.”

Napakadaya ng kapalaran. Alam kong pinangako sa isa’t isa na magkasamang tatanda. Pero hindi yata kaya ng Panahong ipagkasya sa habambuhay ang pagmamahal ko sayo, kaya siguro hanggang dito na lang. Kaya baunin mo sana sa iyong pagtanda lahat ng beses na sinabi kong mahal kita.

Dahil dadating yung araw na hindi na mapipigil ng utak ko yung dapat nitong malimutan. Lahat ng taong mahal ko, magiging estranghero. At ikaw. Tayo. Magiging anino na lang ng lumilinaw na kawalan. Ng walang hanggang pagbalik sa simula.

Dadating yung panahon na para kang sinasampal tuwing tatanungin kita kung sino ka. Kung bakit mo ako tinitingnan nang ganyan. Bakit mo kailangan hawakan ang kamay ko? Sino ka ba sa buhay ko?

Dadating yung oras na hindi na kita maaalala. Lahat ng pinagsamahan natin unti-unting mawawala. Isa-isa. Mga litratong pinira-piraso ng pwersadong paglimot.

Kaya bago ko makalimutan kung sino tayo sa isa’t isa. Habang kaya ko pa, sasabihin ko paulit-ulit. Naaalala kita. Naaalala kita. Naaalala kita.

Naaalala mo ba yung unang beses na sinabi mong mahal mo ako? Nagbiro ka pang araw-araw mong ipapaalala ‘to at baka makalimutan ko.

Umaasa akong tutupad ka sa pangako. Kahit na araw-araw unang beses sa pandinig ko lahat ng sasabihin mo.