My sweetheart and I were lying in my bed, just talking. We were trying to see if we could still catch up with a couple of errands for the weekend. But seeing that it was around 6pm already, we revised our itinerary on the spot and just let our minds drift with the conversations we were having in bed, all while thinking of what we'll have for dinner. We've already had a full day anyway, starting with a good friend accompanying my sweetheart who really wants to go back to her jogging mode. So this friend dropped by, the one starting her own fitness mode, after a recent break-up. I joined them for breakfast of take-out McDo, here in my place. A great way to start the morning. Then sometime along the day, I fell asleep again, and so did my sweetheart. It was a lazy but not so lazy day as well, and we're just glad to feel the zen of it, right there in bed, near sunset, when she woke up. So that was our day, and we were pondering on what else the night could bring. As simple as the moment's feelings may sound, something profound later emerged from that scenario.
I couldn't recall anymore how our convos led to us discussing dreams, or body parts. But suddenly, something dawned on her: recurring dreams. Yes, I remember now: I shared with her a dream I had earlier, during my nap or from last night I couldn't recall. I dreamt about her jogging mode, and how Marlboro made a 4-stick pack of Lights for her, with her as the cover photo model or something, and her silhouette photo is the pack's decor. Yes, I remember now, we talked about dreams, strange dreams, and recurring dreams.
And that's when it hit her, and she suddenly stopped, undecided as to what to feel, or even think, because one of her recurring dreams way back in college was that of a pair of eyes. No body, no face, just darkness, and those eyes. It was persistent during those times when she felt down and depressed. We've all had days like those. And during hers, those eyes emerged. You'd think that it was a scary dream, seeing that it's somehow part of the horror genre convention that we should be scared when we see a pair of eyes floating amidst a sea of darkness. But it didn't scare her at all. In fact, she got curious about it, and what it meant.
She had a boyfriend at that time who was an artist. She asked him to draw those eyes as she described them. The artist got it perfectly, because she was able to describe it perfectly. So I guess it's that vivid of an image, the kind of vivid that will stay with you, make you memorize the lines, the curves, the shades, the shadows. It was like that for her, those eyes. It stuck with her for years, but she didn't really look for them. In fact, she didn't even try to match those eyes with the partners that she's had all these years; she never saw those eyes in them anyway. She didn't even know if the eyes were gendered, if they belonged to a man or to a woman. All she knew was that when she saw how those eyes were looking at her, lovingly, she felt happy, and she felt that she could fly, with those eyes looking at her with care.
And that's when it dawned on her: as she stared into my eyes, she realized that her dream's eyes...were mine. "No wonder I said before that you look familiar, or your look or eyes looked familiar!" she gasped.
Eyes on the prize, always.
[Baler, December 2014]
True, she has been telling me that ever since we met, a very innocent meeting a year ago this month of February, when she remembered meeting me online about 6 years ago, where we briefly chatted about LGBT advocacy through literature, and lost contact in an instant. Last year, her office had one of those plans to involve the LGBT community in their work, and she had to contact someone from the community. Remembering how she attended a Ladlad partylist literary event eons ago where I read my literature -- something that stuck to her to this day -- she thought of contacting Danton and me. She didn't quite find Danton's details, but she found mine. And emailed me. And set up a meeting. And the rest, as they say, is history.
It was a year ago today when I branded her as The Girl Without An Agenda. During that time, I've been meeting up with many women who had an agenda or two up their sleeves, or their skirts, if you know what I mean. So I had to do this "dance" with such girls, but not her. That first business meeting of sorts, my sweetheart and I talked for about 5 hours straight, nonstop. Seeing that we also came from the same college back in UP Diliman, we really had lots of commonalities. We discussed many things about the parallelism of the industries we worked in, and we compared histories and lives we'd had with different sorts of people. She just lived near me, in the same city I inhabit, all the more making access to such meaningful conversations easier, as we made each other available for the other when we needed to talk/process things happening in our professional lives. I loved talking to her, and the feeling was mutual. Of course we also talked about personal lives, compared notes on failed relationships and our respective restored individuality. All the while, I thought she was straight. It turns out she had a previous relationship with a butch who was bordering on being a transman, but it ended because it wasn't what she was really looking for. I guess all this time, she was looking for a woman, but it just didn't dawn on her earlier.
Until she met me.
But I really didn't bookmark her the way I bookmark girls. You know, a potential. I think I did back then, eons ago, when we met online. I searched my journals of that time and indeed, there was a small mention of this girl who could be a potential something, someone I just talked to online. She actually remembers talking to me, me inviting her to that literary event, me reciting that funny piece that stuck with her, and her meeting me in the flesh. Alas, all these things I couldn't remember clearly. I was really embarrassed when she told me these things. I couldn't remember her at all, but somewhere in my recorded history, I mentioned her and bookmarked her.
In a nutshell, that was our story. Of how we met. Bonded over coffee, beer, cigarettes, crispy pata, and conversations. And one thing led to another. It was an organic kind of development, something not planted, and certainly not orchestrated. For the first time in my herstory, this was indeed refreshing. It's one of those times when the universe conspires to bring certain elements together, to cook up a good thing. And boy, I tell you, we were both in for a surprise -- the greatest dish of our lives.
To infinity and beyond! With a Hogwarts stopover?
[Marikina, February 2015]
And so, here we are. Ten months and counting, officially as a couple, racking up simple but meaningful memories, day in and day out. Bonds keep getting stronger and stronger, amidst tests here and there. And then, as she stared at me last night, the way she often does, that realization came. Yes, it was indeed my eyes, the ones that were staring at her, in her dreams, way back in college, when she was feeling sad. Staring into my eyes made her happy.
"When was this?" I asked.
"That was around 1997," she remembered, "1997 or 1998? More of 1997."
I smiled. "Ah, 1997. That was the year I 'became' a lesbian. I 'turned' mwahahaha. Like a vampire." Indeed, it was the start of a new life, a new me. The better me. This I joked to someone who devours books, particularly those penned by Anne Rice.
"So many symbols, right? Such dreams," she mused.
Symbols. What do they mean? As I discovered who I really was back in those days, perhaps I was already staring at the one person I was bound to be with, for real. We always talked about this when we were starting: what if we met during those online days, for real, and started getting to know each other? We both concluded that it wasn't time yet to meet, it wasn't time to chat for real, not a time to see each other's soul, not yet. She still had to undergo cleansing stuff after that, and I had yet to experience three different kinds of heartaches that time, the kind that would fortify me today. And with her cleansed self and my fortified self, we met.
And here we are.
It was just strange, yet wonderful, that story of those eyes. I guess I could say that we just rocked that cliché apart -- that instead of her finding the girl of her dreams, she found the eyes of her dreams -- attached to the girl that made her dreams come true. In a manner of speaking.
More than eye candy.
[Marikina, February 2015]
And this, during Valentine's weekend. We're not such huge fans of this time of the year, me personally believing that love should be celebrated daily, not just yearly, like this commercialized effort, no. But somehow, this year, it felt different. I don't know, but there was an extra urge, extra push, as we were being immersed in the love bits flying all around this month. No, no fancy things, no elaborate preparations. Still not subscribing to those things. We're not into that show. We're all for simplicity, and finding happiness in the simplest of things, showing love in the simplest of ways. For it is in the simplest of things that you will find the most meaningful of feelings.
And that was our Valentine weekend. How was yours? I wish it were as meaningful as ours, even if ours weren't that elaborate.
Be well, folks. And now I begin my broadcast day.
And now, a word from our sponsor:
Pride, wear it with ease, and love.
[Malate, December 2014]