Friday, June 06, 2008


It was easy when I was in high school-- throw everything out the window for the sake of repairing the broken interpersonal stuff between you and the people you care for. You had cliches like "hormonal imbalance" and "folly of youth" and "growing pains" on which to lay blame. You were young, and therefore still resilient. If life and your own bonehead decisions threw you a curve ball you could reasonably bounce back and people would still be lenient with you.

It's not so easy today. There are no more cliches. The stakes are higher. And you cannot abandon duty.

Tomorrow I'll be tending to the needs of the Clavier kids, who have not seen their Kuya Dex since he implemented his mad scheme to return to work teaching Koreans English, so that he could earn again, and maybe bring back a semblance of balance into his life. The balance and self assuredness he lost when he lost his ex.

I love Tina. Everyone looking in my general direction will see it. She sees it too, but she no doubt has pat answers to that. Amazingly those answers parallel those served up by my other exes. They question the authenticity of my feelings, the purity of my intentions, the worth of my affection and ultimately pass judgment on my character and my intrinsic worth.

I'm crazy. I'm delusional. I'm evil. What I'm experiencing is a male fever dream, not the real, valid commitment that comes with cliches like "mature, authentic love." I'm "too weak" for them.

I hear variations of them so many times, there are days I believe them. I question myself (no surprise there, I always question myself) yet again.

But really, reduce everything they say to their core statement and what's left is that I'm inconvenient.

I'm not important enough to plan anything with, for or around... except when the plan calls for a rapid evacuation from wherever I am.

I've questioned myself long enough to find out that regardless of what my exes may have said, thought or felt in the throes of their fear, their anger, their temporary irrationality, I am important.

And it saddens me that somewhere between, what mistakes I committed and what blunders they made, amidst the babel of voices from our greek choruses of well-meaning friends, who I am has been lost from view. And more than this, that which is most significant has been lost from sight.

I never lost sight of it: all my exes were important enough, beautiful enough, intelligent and creative enough, wise enough--worthy--of the affection I had to give them. Worthy of my gift of self, broken toy that it is.

If you've ever wondered why I find it so hard to let any of them go it is because of that singular fact.

I love Tina. Among them all it is her laughter and the hours of talk, bus rides, her kisses that I miss the most. And if I write shamelessly about her now or in my Mammon stories it is because I miss her terribly and I can only uselessly write and write and write until Godot comes to bring her back.

Tina, I don't want anyone else. And if I can't even see your face then I'm screwed. I really will have nothing left to live for but myself ...and Mammon.

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