It is Damp.
And he tries to make out what is written in that wet notebook. The ink is smudged, the lines too, the edges torn.
But he can’t. So he closes his eyes and remembers.
There’s nothing original about that walk in the rain. Water seeks its level. Tears, rain, beer. They’ll mix where they will. They’ll flow where they can.
It’s the end of a secret language. Secret looks. Embraces that carried more than they dared speak of. And with every end, a wrenching. And he braces himself. And it happens. And no bracing eases the pain. But it affords him a semblance of dignity. Where there really isn’t. So he goes. Into the rain.
Maybe if that one was braver. Maybe if this one was less frightening in his fearlessness. Maybe if that one was braver where it mattered. Maybe if this one showed a bit of the fear he has expertly wrapped in laughter and bravado. Maybe if this one didn’t see too much. Maybe if that one didn’t need to hide so much. Maybe if that one just cared. Maybe just one little bit. Maybe if this one cared less. Much less. So many maybes. So little certainty.
It is Hollow.
It’s the wrong time. With all the wrongs songs. And those oh, very wrong smiles from the wrong face. So said Cole Porter. Even that isn’t original. A breaking heart isn’t original. It happens left and right, all around.
You heard one break right next to you at the jeepney earlier. That lady who stared into space after putting down her phone. Long, vacant stares. They go with broken hearts. Maybe people are listening close to hear if what’s broken is still beating. Or if there really is a sound to a breaking heart. Or maybe they’re just trying to listen to a world gone mute. And maybe what they hear are echoes. Of whispered words. Of soft kisses. Of skin brushing against skin. Or maybe of lies. Of screams. Of insults. Of slaps maybe.
For this one, staring is trying to see through defocused lenses. Like trying on some one else’s glasses. Try as he may, everything’s a blur. Everything is distorted. And that dull throbbing in his head. Always that dull throbbing. Always. Always. Always.
This one is fire. And that one is rain. And what you see is not mist but steam. It’s doomed even before it has begun. But there was love there. At least from one of them. And the other loved as well, but differently. And this one waited. Like he never had. Like he never dared. Like he never allowed himself to wait. But fire can only wait so much. And then he flares up or he dies. He consumes what he feeds on. So he must go to let the other flow where it must. But just before he goes, he tries for one shining moment. A beautiful flaring. And fails. He just hurts the other. Just confuses. Just disappoints.
He chuckles bitterly. What was it he used to say? His heart cannot break anymore. It’s been patched up with so much glue and tape it only bounces now when it falls. But he lies. It still breaks. And how much.
It Blows Away at the Slightest Breath of the Wind.
He hopes to continue loving from afar. A safe distance. A terrible distance. A distance that lets him live under the ashes. A sad distance.
He should travel. He really should. New vistas will distract him. And that will make the distance less sad. Less terrible. Safer.
He only wants the other one to remember. That there was love there. So much more than he let on. And he is sorry. That he is flawed in so many ways. And wrong in so many ways. That he isn’t enough. And he never will be. And goodbye…