January 30, 2018
03:30AM / Poblacion, Tuba, Benguet
You should not start your sentences with ‘I’. It makes you less sophisticated a writer. The ‘I’ signifies that you do not have any interesting story to tell save what happened to ‘you’ and your pathetic life. No one will ever be fascinated by your daily misadventures and misfortunes. You do not even write that well anymore. You are not as good as you were before. Your existence is conditional and directly related to your ability to convey your thoughts and emotions. Most importantly, there is no point to all of these, because technically, YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.
I do not exactly remember the first time I jotted down random words as representations of my thoughts, feelings, and observations of the world. What comes to mind are essay contests that past me would easily win because of the simple fact that I can express myself really well and really fast. Past me could speed-write a school newspaper article in a few minutes. My own valedictory address was written overnight. The writer-me would just need a one-sentence or a one-word prompt and she’s good to go. A good command to the language I was using was key to that, of course.
Almost every week, I will grab my small notebook and write a journal entry. It was my escape. That was a time when I sincerely believed in keeping my memories intact through writing about them (present me would thank past me very much, seeing that I am struggling to remember things about the past. How ironic). The dilemma was always how to balance the kind of experiences that I write. There were too many of the best and the worst and too scarce of the ‘normal’. Thus, present me would not remember how past me would ‘normally’ perceive, feel, and experience things. That’s a shame because right now, that is what I desperately need—the normal and everyday me.
Over time, the entries would not be written as often as before. Months would pass before past me realized that there is so much that she wants to write. She hastily looks for the notebook. In instances when the notebook was nowhere to be found, she’d grab anything, any piece of paper, to write on. The ink of her pen will continuously flow to the paper in the same way her blood would have (if it is humanly possible). She would have poured her blood, not just her heart, out to the paper just to release her unorganized thoughts and unsorted feelings. It was like returning to a lover after nights of being apart. She devoured the paper whole. She loved the feeling of emptying herself. She bled and bled until her heart stops—and restarts again.
For years, she lived this way. She bled for one night and lived for months at a time without sparing the notebook a glance. She (wrongly) thought that she could exist this way. She found new friends and lovers. Walking away from everything that she thought she knew about the world, she fell. That naïve girl fell in love too many times and by fell, I mean, got bruised and wounded so deep that no process of bleeding could help her. As dumb as she is, she refused to write and in the few times that she did, her writing was always half-meant, half-cooked, and therefore, half-written. She left her future self hanging—if there was a time that she wrote without end, now, she wrote without endings.
It is of no surprise that one day, she will forget not only her memories (how cliché and ironic), but also her unwritten endings. Most significantly, she will lose the ability to connect to herself. She would go from: “Other people will love me. They understand;” “He will love me for who I am. He’s a good person despite everything; to “They do not understand;” “Why does he do this to me?”
Everything was not about herself anymore. Almost always, it is always for a ‘he’ or for ‘them’. She bled, still, but this time, not for herself. She bled for others who would not, in any universe or world, bleed for her.
She abandoned the only thing that makes her live. Years passed before she realized that she’s dead. Yes, she’s dead.
‘She’ is you. YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.
But alive for everyone else. There are things that the naked eye could not see. This is one of them—the fact of your death.
You are dead and I am sorry. I cannot even look you in the eye and tell you that this is my fault. I am responsible for your death. I dreaded the blank pages of a notebook. I spilled tears and smeared blood on almost everything that I touch. I tried so hard not to show you the weakness that you have been trying to cure all these years. All of my waking hours had been about thinking, speaking, and feeling, that I forgot you. I forgot to write for you. The key is how—not what or when to write—or bleed. I forgot how.
I lacked the courage to bleed because I thought that I’d immediately die. My half-written works just pain me more than expected. I write to bleed but there was a point that I thought that I would actually die writing. He was too much. They were too much. I forgot how to bleed in order to die and be reborn again. I kept it in. the bad blood clotted and covered my heart, my brain—my hands that wrote so diligently for my sanity. I was afraid to die that I never thought—and noticed—that you were already gone. Already dead.
Maybe starting my sentences with ‘I‘ is unsophisticated. Maybe writing about me is too narcissistic and too much for this world. But how would I live again if I do not write about me? How would I exist peacefully if I am not at peace with my own mind and soul? What is the point of everything if ‘I’ am not important to me?
To you, I am sorry. Today, I bled for the first time in years. Years. I thought that I would not be able to breathe ever again. I was afraid of nothing, you see. I bled and bled through the pages of this notebook and believe it or not, I feel more alive that I have ever been.
Now, I have the life… and courage, to declare, you – past, present, and future me—
Welcome to the world again, my soul.