Day 49: naked


Freedom comes when you learn to let GO.  Creation comes when you learn to say NO.

–  The Power of Goodbye / Madonna

 

I am perfectly imperfect.

My body is a magnificent bovine combination of lucent food and streaming alcohol-intake. I can be called fat, yes, only because I am surrounded by people who are unhappy with how they look like and I preferred being dragged to their direction. My eyes, a darting porcine pair of clear glass, emanates smoke and can see through a person’s soul, befriending it more than the person’s body or language.  This is why I carry my Naphcon-A eyedrops everyday.  My eyes get strained looking at things thrivingly, henceforth, its bloodshot appeal dissuades its physical attributes of long curly lashes and diabolical gazes that breaches another person’s intentions and heartaches.  My hands are soft and yet the tip of my fingers, especially my fuck finger and my forefingers are hardened by years of staccato playing on typewriters and bitten morosely from days of blockage , oblivious of words and if my frequency were dwindling.  My skin is a representation of hurt.  It cataloged the holy grail of my teenage anxiety to learn and my panic attacks that scarred my face for good.  Not only did it symbolize my delicious trepidations, it also satiated my hunger to know and to understand.  Had it been enough, I should have not decided to get a tattoo. But I did.  And it has been happily seating in my right upper thigh since I was 20.

My words are cataleptic once born out of realization.  It dies on paper as much as it does once it starts coming out of my mouth.  People think I mean what I say.  I don’t. At least, not all the time. I meant to be heard and I long to be understood but more than ever, I just want to say it. I can be quite inconsistent, especially when it comes to me.  There have been numerous times when I give advice when the truth is, I am the one who needs one.  There were days when I stand on my own and cry in bed once a friend sends me an SMS saying, “Thanks for the guidance, Jon.  I feel much much better.”  because I should have taken that counsel instead.  Had I been a god, as my good friend Joon Tacio professed in my numerology and color readings, I would have been a flighty god with Alzeimer’s Disease because I do not usually remember everything I say.  I reread my published works and curse myself, “Why the hell did I write that?!?”

I was sexually abused when I was 8.

When you are 8 years old and you are beginning to see sex as something powerfully inviting, you begin to seek someone who can give it to you and will pick an age to give it all away.  I picked the age of 18.  I was too presumptuous and wrongly uncanny because I got it at 8.

He was in his late 20s, my sanctified family member who was vacationing at my grandmother’s house.  It was the summer and I was, at the time, fresh from muddied playoffs with my cousins.  There was no electricity that early evening and so the whole house was lighted with candles.  Family member asked me to bring him candles. I brought it inside his room where I saw him sweaty with no shirt on.  I was illuminated inside by his glistening skin and wished I could peel it.  He asked me to lie in bed for talks.  I did.  Before I knew it, I was smothered by the smell of his sully armpits and as he kissed me full on the lips, I discovered how commanding the tongue can become because before I can even repudiate its foyer-like demands, it was already poking my intestines and cultivating my soul deep deep down.  I liked it.  An hour or so later, I left the room ripened by sexual characteristics I did not know my body had.  Also, I was reborn into someone whose games did not just involve mud throwing and hopscotch but also medianed my fury and sparked my desire.  At 8, I did not understand most of it but through the years nursing what happened that night, I considered variations from bitter to sweet and then finally . . . to calm. From blame to my own version of mutiny and then finally . . . forgiveness.  Understanding something is not easy but as my mother used to say, “Surrender it.”  It took years to understand what happened that summer but it was worth the wait.  It was clearly a blueprint.  Not a tragedy.

The books called it sexual abuse because something was taken from me at an age when I was legally a minor.  It was offensive, unlawful perhaps, but it has awakened me more than a person my age actually did.  When I saw Family Member many years later, when I was in college, I spoke to him.  No, I did not talk about that night.  I looked at him straight in the eye and awkward as it was to him (and difficult to me), I asked him about his kids and he stuttered through his words and told me they were doing OK.  I touched his shoulder, as a grown man would do to a relative that he has not seen in a while, and said, “Give them my hugs.”

God help me find you.

I have many gods.  I do not believe in a singular God because he has many adaptations.  I failed to cope with my Catholic upbringing except that I unearthed many sexual associations kneeling down and praying and staring at ceramic idols for hours wondering why the crucified Jesus’ blood came in droplets rather than the usual gush.  I keep asking myself the same question all the time.  Why did I fail to cope and lived it instead?  Was it bothersome to be a grown Catholic?  A Christian for that matter?

I do not know how to answer that right now because my journey towards it is still on-going.

For the meantime, I am still looking for God.

God?  Where the hell are you?

I am sorry Mama.

I am not sorry for anything that has happened in my life but I think I need to say sorry to you, Mama.  It was never your fault that I am not the happiest person in the whole world because you did what you can and showed me many ways to make my life better.  I just chose not to much to your inductive hands because I was stubborn.  I was so stubborn that I never listened to anyone except myself and most of the time I was wrong.  And that ever so often how I wished I listened to you.

I am sorry for answering you back every time you judged me.  Sorry for saying words like Fuck it, punyeta and bullshit whenever you confronted me.  It only meant you won the argument and that I was wrong.  I am undeserving of your love, understanding and patience.

I am sorry for not giving you everything that you needed and for leaving you in the Philippines when I was 23.  I wanted to be with you, you know that, but I had to leave because I needed to embrace my own way to romancing my own life.  As much as you did.  Given the choice once again, I would still leave.  And I am sorry.

I am sorry for not being there when you had problems.  Problems that you had to solve on your own but would have solved properly had I been there.  Even if I was there, you would’ve gotten away with it with your classic gracefulness but I just wished I was there when you locked the doors and cried helplessly knowing that with every decision you ended up making, a certain sacrificial lamb was up for grabs.  Most of the time, it was your pride.  How I wished I was there inside that locked room to give you back yourself.  At least.

I am sorry when you cry on the phone because you miss me.  I laugh wickedly and mock your theatrics because I am actually holding back my own tears on the other end.  Imagine, I only see you at least once a year since I was 23?  How can I possibly not miss you?

And lastly I am sorry for being gay.  Evidently, it was never my desideratum.  It was my choice.  You raised 6 children and clearly, as a family devotee, I know you wanted to have grandchildren from me and probably a wife who will tend to my needs but here is a thought, Ma, I never wanted that.  The truth is I like being gay and is not apologetic to any dimwit who cannot understand that.  But here is to say sorry, at least to you and Papa, for not being the way you dreamed me to be:  a boring heterosexual husband whose life evolved around KFC dinners on television and salivating on hot girls on MTV.  Yes, I am over reacting.  I apologize for that too.

The Theoretical Lover and Me.

Me:  Why can’t you like me?  Why do I hear you say the word NO all the time? Are you scared that I would let the beast in and go crazy on you?

Theoretical Lover:   No, I am not scared of you.  You just have this tendency to get so attached after 2 days and I get suffocated!  I feel so owned and I hate that.  Why can’t you let me have my own ideas, my own set of decisions and my own dinner?  I say no all the time because every sentence that comes out of your mouth is already a decision.  Can you ask me first?  And for crying out loud, you are not just crazy.  You are a lunatic.  Where else can you find someone who contradicts his own judgment but you?

Me:  Do my words revolt you?  Am I too verbal?  Too silent?  Too imaginative?

Theoretical Lover:  Your words are always beautiful, babe.  It defines many things from that flower vase on the center piece to a squished dead cat on the street.  Your assessment on politics is wayward but your spirituality is seamless.  You inspire me, do you know that?  You make me become a bigger, more absolute being but you tend to be quite garrulous especially when you are drunk.  When that happens, no one actually listens to you, including me, because on the next day, you’d be sending I am sorry SMS messages to everyone for what you have asserted to as unbecoming, idiotic and plain downright unsightly.  It is good that you’re imaginative just do not give me the silent treatment because that is when resistance comes.  And it is dangerous because I know that you are already boiling inside.  Tell me, do you mean everything you say?

Me:  Next question please.

Theoretical Lover:  You are the one asking the questions.

Me:  Alright.  So, what do you like about me?

Theoretical Lover:  As much as I can I would be precise because I’d hate to be contradicted again and again.

(Sighs)

I like your smile.  It makes me feel good about myself.  Your musicality is amazing and you listen to great CDs.  Sometimes I wish I have your apathy because you have this habit of worrying about other people rather yourself . . .

Me:  Not true.

Theoretical Lover:  You see?  I am not even done talking yet.

Me:  Sorry.

Theoretical Lover:  As I was saying, your selfless nature is quite an enigma because you keep on complaining about NOT being satisfied and NOT being happy, sappy as it is mind you, but you actually don’t realize that there is a big room out there for you to love yourself even more.  Why can’t you learn to be good to yourself?  You smoke a lot, you don’t go to the gym anymore and people come to you for advice and insights when in reality, your path is so foggy, I can’t even walk through it, much more you, who claims to understand it ALL.  Believe me, you don’t.  As far as I am concerned, I know you more than you know yourself.

So tell me now, why is that?  Why do you fleet towards your days observing human behavior, embracing stories, analyzing life in general and writing about it on your quiet time when in fact, you have lost your steam on basic stuff like organizing your closet?

Me:  I really don’t know.  I guess through the years, I simply learned to embrace my other selves and have stalwartly educated myself towards forgiving everything that was done wrongly.  Listening to you right now and what you are saying about me made me understand myself even more.  So, yes.  Yes.

Self-forgiveness.  And no, you don’t know me at all.  If you knew me, you never would have asked me WHY in the first place.

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