By Erin • September 03, 2016
In my first blog entry, I mentioned that my heart got broken recently and that I do not believe in true love at the moment. I fell hard for a person who wasn’t all in. I do not know how to narrate my story well, because he was a chapter in my life that ended. I’m in the process of forgetting him.
He came as someone sweet and thoughtful; someone who insists on seeing my dark side. He promised to embrace it, because, as he said, it made me who I was.
I liked him beyond the physical – he’s not even my type. I only like Caucasians and mestizos. My previous paramour was a Caucasian. Well, I think the Universe played a nasty trick on me because he’s a chinito. For me, dating a chinito was like dating your long-long second cousin or something, and I was very vocal about it. (My previous boylaloo was a 6-foot-2 ½ blue-eyed former college quarterback). I don’t like his physical appearance. It’s really weird for me because, for the first time in my life, I liked someone for who he is.
It was super nice at first. He would call me several times a day and we would just tell each other stories - how our days went so far, our past lovers and relationships in tidbits, the absurdity that is Metro Manila traffic. We exchanged stories of our past paramours. I told him about my goals in life. Just anything under the sun. We always find something to laugh about. I found it easy to laugh at his jokes and anecdotes because he really has a good sense of humor. It was my primary reason for liking him. For 3 weeks, we were in “Unli Call, Unli Text” bliss. I enjoyed every minute of our blooming whatever-you-call-it.
His voice was very enticing to me – a sparkling, tinkling sound. He spoke in conyo English that reminds me of the conyo Mestizo boys I used to be classmates with back in my college days. These boys did not speak or write Filipino well. They have that ditsy slang accent and as I observed back then, talk about seemingly imbecile topics of conversation.
I wanted to know where I stand. Yes, what I felt was warm and fuzzy but still confusing. I do not think it made me clingy. I just wanted to know if I should stop giving my contact numbers to the guys who talk to me when I go out. I decided to be direct. I wanted us to be on the same page if we continue this.
One night, I asked him point-blank if he has romantic feelings for me. He said yes. “Yes, I have feelings for you,” he said. “Maybe you’re also like this to other girls,” I countered. “No, I’m not like this with other girls,” he reassured me.
I was so happy that I mustered the courage to ask him. July 8, 2016. It would be in my memory for as long as I live.
I was not ashamed of sharing to him my humble background. I told him that in college, my daily allowance was P100/day. “How were you able to survive with that amount?” he asked. “I wrote a lot of reaction papers and school projects for a fee. I was lucky enough to be enrolled in a school filled with trust fund kids,” I replied. We both laughed. That was how we were. We laugh about out “kapilyuhans” and “katarantaduhans.” I felt like I was talking to my male version. It was a fantasy of mine to meet my male version – someone who is like me, who sees life in rose-colored glasses, Optimism Personified, who digs my own brand of crazy. I thought that he was the Male Erin.
“I’m happy when we talk and how we talk about everything,” he said.
“Likewise…. Has it ever crossed your mind that we’re actually twins separated at birth?” I replied.
I was joking, but it kinda felt like it. You know these sappy soap operas where twins were separated at birth? The older twin stays with the middle-class tightwad parents, and the younger twin gets adopted by a childless, affluent couple who then spoils the kid rotten? It felt like he was the Male Erin. How else could I explain the “connection” or whatever it was?
It was just so comfortable and natural talking to him even though we are of the opposite social classes. He said it’s because of our common ground, which was the private college we both attended, but I think it’s more than that. When I told him about the “twin” crazy narrative, he said “Could be… Hmmmm”. We were so in sync with each other at that time – that blissful 21 days.
I’ve always wanted someone academically-inclined. Truth be told, I didn’t find him so because he didn’t know the meaning of such terms as flaneur, typography and Kaballah – just a few of my interests. I have a penchant for verbosity. Obviously, I am a frustrated writer. Sometimes, I would see his misuse of contractions such as “your” and “you’re,” which I find irritating. I love reading all kinds of tomes. He, on the other hand, could only read Haruki Murakami. I cringed when he texted me, “I’ll lend you my Haruki Murakami books.” I resisted the urge to reply, “Um, no need, because I’ve read them all already. By any chance, do you have books by Vladimir Nabokov? Or Asleep by Banana Yashimoto?” (Funny nom de plume, I know. If I should compare their style: Murakami is expansive, Yoshimoto is compact. Murakami is easy reading, Yoshimoto is inscrutable.) If it was any other guy, I would have made “bara” him, but he’s my male version so I didn’t insult him. He’s just a man who was not fond of reading, I suppose.
I was able to see past his imperfections. He doesn’t really need it because with all his financial wealth, he’ll tread through life well.
“Knowing more about you fascinates me. The past doesn’t count. We all have made mistakes and has crazy moments in our lives, and that’s all part of growing up,” was one of the messages he sent me.
I told him that I have a terminal illness called “tamaditis” (tamaditis, get it?) and my family hates me for it because they say that I do not have a right to be lazy. I revealed to him that there are days when I feel depressed for no reason at all. He seemed worried about it.
We talked about Goosebumps and Lego – the stuff 90s kids went gaga for. He told me that he loved reading the Goosebumps series as a kid. He said that he has some copies in his old house. I shared to him that it was only when I was in college that I owned Goosebumps books thanks to my college allowance. Growing up, my family did not have the money to buy me toys and books. We talked about our love for a 90s children’s book series, in an insightful way.
He told me that he’s amazed and baffled at how simple and interesting I am, compared to the girls in his world. I like what I like. I don’t have to explain why I enjoy something. Although of course, I get weird looks from the madlang pipol when they ask me about my interests. It felt so refreshing to meet someone who is accepting of my love for the arts and pop culture. In our conversations, I expressed my love for “high art” and “low art.”
I told him that I was raised to be independent, because I had no choice. My parents let me commute everywhere within Metropolitan Manila to attend art events. My family looks at my bohemian lifestyle with disdain. “You’re not acting like a normal Fil-Chi girl,” they insist. Still, I am thankful that my family lets me do the things I wanted to do, within the parameters.
I told him that he was so lucky to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth. And that is the crux of it, in my opinion. It’s so easy to criticize, to look down on him for the perfect life that he was given. I was just so fascinated with this chinito who lives the perfect life whose only “problem” is how to fit in the Armani tuxedo that he has to wear to a friend’s wedding.