*apologies to Cole Porter for using his song lyric as my blog title. well, not really...
The reason I watch movies is to escape from the realities of my daily grind, among other things. I also want to experience other worlds they offer and I also am interested in the stories of the characters that circulate in such worlds. But that's the creative person and the storyteller in me speaking.
But it sucks when the movie's world directly parallels yours. And then the quotable quotes and the character's emotions, needs and wants start to parallel yours.
I was on to my routine of working at home then catching an early evening movie near my place when the movie I caught suddenly caught me by surprise. It should have been an ordinary film, a product of the local film company where I used to kinda work and whose main TV network I am involved with right now. It's a typical love story, your usual glossy film fare starring your popular actors du jour. I always watch movies to scrutinize the technique and content because that's also part of my job as a film school professor, and because that has been a habit of mine, being an avowed cineaste.
But of course as a human being with feelings, sometimes the film's emotions poke you really hard.
The film was typical, a story about a girl dying of cancer who meets a guy and they fall in love. Now the question that the girl said to the guy, as she was pushing him away, was this: "Kaya mo bang mahalin ang taong alam mong mawawala rin sa iyo?"
One word: OUCH.
The question pertains not only to someone who's dying, but also to someone whose time will have a definitive ending and expiration date in one's universe. Loosely, it translates to "Can you love someone whom you know you will also lose eventually?"
One word, encore: YEOWTCH!
When I met someone last year, this was the very same question -- or perhaps query -- that a good friend told me. Well, more of like a declarative statement than a question, really, when I told her "Hey, you know what, I met someone interesting, but she's staying here for five months only" and she said "Oh good for you. At least you know when it will end, right? Easier to deal with."
Uh, not so true, my friend. Not so true.
I guess it's a matter of circumstance. When love gets in the way, things get sort of crazy and convoluted.
And hence, here we are. Or here I am.
In all my 38 years of existence and in all my 15 years of experiencing falling in and out of love (and it has been several times, dears, but I'm not ashamed to admit that), it's quite surprising to learn that there are still new nuances to this thang called love that I haven't quite mastered. And by now, I thought I would have had a double PhD in these sorts of things called lurv, rowmhance, heartbweyk, sexdrugsnrocknroll bleh and whatever else falls in this crazy category that makes the world go round, as they sang. DUDE! The learning doesn't stop, apparently. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Or maybe I'm a bit tipsy right now to decipher which is which, really.
So when this recent interaction ended, I felt so sad, as in abysmally sad, not because I have lost physical contact with the one I have been interacting with (well, of course that's partly it), but perhaps it's more because I don't have the chance anymore to fully express and show and demonstrate to her what my love could still offer and do to her pa. And now you know why I am not such a big fan of long distance relationships. LDRs don't cut it for me because I prefer physical interactions with the woman I love. I love having conversations face to face, interactions where I could reach out and touch her skin in an instant, things like that. But okay, communication isn't so bad these days thanks to things called Skype, SMS and devices like internet phone and webcams. Still it's not really the same as person to person interaction. But whatever works, man. Whatever works.
We do whatever works for love. Unless the one you love doesn't want it to work anymore. But that's another thought.
And now, I have new found respect and admiration for those who keep LDRs and make their relationships work. Such brave souls, these people have. But I guess that also depends on the parameters and guidelines -- or boundaries -- each person sets for the other. Like a friend of mine has a long-term LDR with her partner who works abroad, and they opened up their relationship but the details of being open they don't want to know much. Fair enough. I've also done that in the past, even if I wasn't in an LDR. I told my partner that if ever she wants to experience being with another woman -- because she hasn't experienced certain aspects of being with a woman yet -- then I'm fine with her exploring such aspects. I can be open-minded that way, really. My only prerequisite to that is honesty. As long as my partner is honest about wanting to be with another for some (honest-to-goodness negotiable) reason, then we could talk about it openly and I'll just deal with this thing called jealousy in a civil, non-destructive manner. Not that I also want the same thing or same leeway afforded me (although sometimes it's nice to be fair and equal). But I could also hack it if she told me that she just wants me for herself and she doesn't want me to see or be with other people. As long as I know where she's coming from with this prerequisite -- and as long as she treats me right and loves me without any sort of emotional blackmail -- then I'm down with being monogamous for her sake. I mean hey, if the person is worth keeping in your universe and if the person is worth it, then yes, I am willing to overlook certain things and bend some rules a bit in order to maker her happy. The bottomline is always to make her happy, and keeping you happy in the process.
Complicated, ain't it? But love is grand that way sometimes. Perhaps that's why we engage in it, we complex human beings we.
Or maybe that's just me. Chos.
Okay now I've lost my train of thought...
Kidding. Yeah but the thing is, I never realized that in this day and in this age of mine, I would still be challenged anew by this thing called love. Goes to show that we still have a lot to learn in this universe, di ba? And this is why I am a big fan of knowledge, of learning new things, even if it involves not the brain but the heart, and to a certain extent, the soul.
Yes, loving someone from a distance sucks big time, but I still find myself a willing player in this gamble called life, and love. It's tricky, I know. I don't know if I will win or lose in the end. But that's really not why I do this. I play to experience the game, not to come out as a winner. But if I do win, then that's an added bonus. Life is all about accumulating experiences, anyway. That's how I choose to see it.
But of course, it won't hurt if I get the girl in the end. But alas, life is not like in the movies most times. So I just try to deal with it and, while watching the end credits roll, anticipate the trailers so I could still see what's next for me out there.
Yes, options. Life is also grand that way.
What a friend told me last week also struck me. I was having a hard time dealing with the departure of my beloved, and I told her why I constantly engage myself in such romantic interactions that end up hurting me -- in certain ways -- towards the end. In a sigh of frustration, I told her "This keeps on repeating to me; loving and losing." In frustration, I asked why the universe keeps on testing me in this aspect. But what she told me hit a nerve as she said that it's not about being tested at all. She said that each person she falls in love with comes with a totally new and different set of criteria to deal with altogether, and that each person is not a continuation of a string of tests the universe wants you to pass, so I should deal with each one individually, differently, separately. I was like PAK!!! Three point shot. That hit home.
So okay, from now on, no more tests. Each person is a new person. No comparisons. And with that, realigning newer types of engagement with each one.
Okay I'm down with that. I hope she is, too.
Well, we'll see.