Has my absence been a respite for you? I am aware it has been months since my letters graced your digital appendages. Rest assured that I have something delightful yet equally dreary to spare. It is my hope to shed some light on a number of dismal letters you have received from me. I feel I am in a comfortable place in my life where I can share this without care what others will think and feel—if they ever chance upon our virtual correspondence. That and the fact that reading nowadays has turned into a chore. Shortened attention span has left us with most audiences who prefer brief and impactful video content.
Today, as I write this, commemorates the martyrdom of St. Valentine. Its true significance is for history to define. Nevertheless, I opt to celebrate it in its mainstream fashion through this letter. Some see today as an opportunity to express, renew or strengthen their love for one another. I would prefer to mark it in life as a turning point from when I can move forward with growing vigor and purpose. The latter in the form of a lovely woman who manages to instill comedic fear and fill me up with warmth and love.
However, we cannot move forward without acknowledging the path we took that led us to now. Past struggles and pain; both mental and physical. In my case, D, the former detailed in the following facts as hinted in past letters.
A decade or so worth of eves on birthdays, Christmases and New Years I would have this pocket blade in front of me. Pondering over how I could cut myself enough that it won’t hurt so much but just enough to make me bleed to death. I would look at an old scar trying to reference the pain by memory.
Back in Keyland Building Makati, a former workplace. We had our cafeteria at the top of the building that opened up to the actual rooftop. There were a few times when we had the opportunity to step out. I would walk up towards the ledge and look down. I would wonder how fast can a fall take from atop an 8-storey building. Would death be quick when I hit the ground? Would I writhe in pain? Would I find relief and release in that short period when the city wind blows on my face as I plummet towards the concrete pavement?
Past midnight was when we ended our shift. It was when traffic was minimal and vehicles would speed up through the avenue. On days when I could not drive the car around the metro, I would take the bus. Wait at the bus stop. Sometimes I would stand there and wonder if I could simply leap in front of a speeding vehicle and be done with it. Same set of questions. Will I writhe in pain? Will it be quick? Will I find relief and release?
You see, D. I could go on as far as mentioning the countless times I pondered, while driving alone, about ramming my vehicle towards a tree, an electrical post or a concrete barrier with hopes that it would end quickly. All of these among the many other thoughts carried one recurring theme… worn out. I was tired of life. The only thing that kept me going were my many outdoor excursions and quick hikes. But that was being shot down by my folks. Imagine yourself an adult being scolded for your outdoor recreational activities; simply put, “Stop living and just die!” O my dearest D, how close they were to pushing me over the edge. If they had persisted, I would have made quick of my life. Because it was no longer me against myself but myself backed up by my parents. I would leave them a note thanking them for making it easy for me.
It did not help that we entered a pandemic era. All those planned excursions suddenly fell on the wayside. Some completely off the calendar. However, when I least expected it, I found a new lease on life. Do not get me wrong, D. My excursions are still a vital supplement but she was the missing core diet I needed. She covered the gaps in me; could do things for me that would otherwise be left at the mercy of my mental struggles. She filled me with purpose. She brought color, laughter, petty patweetum quarrels, and ignited within me a whole new fervor towards life. She is now my everything. I know I fail at times to make her feel that way but we still have a lifetime together for me to keep trying and outdoing the last.
You know, D? They say that you would find “forever” up in the mountains. I found mine down at the lake and I had the gall to act snobbish and nonchalant around her. It may have worked. #SupladoIsTheNewGuwapo
I would pen on about finding our matches in life but that will have to be for another writing. Today, I write you thankful that I am past those dark moments in my life. The rest will breeze through standing up our own family.