Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Long Time Coming

Writing this blog entry feels different compared to writing the other entries. It proved to be very difficult because, even now, I have lots of things to consider. I reread the entire blog, and the conversations Emma and I had about this blog has totally changed my perception.

I do hope that you'll bear with me on this because it is really difficult, at least for me (I submit myself to the stereotype that engineers are not really writers) to constantly revise the entries starting from Questions and Answers. So far, this series is the longest I have written within the span of 48 hours, and it has been subject to much revision becuase it proved to be difficult to definitively write about the events as they happen.

Let me begin by explaining how I write.

It all starts with my cellphone. I have difficulty organizing my thoughts in one coherent stream, so what I do to "preserve" what my take on a particular event, I key it down on my cellphone.

These "thoughts" somehow make it to my PC, usually in an empty MSWord or text document which first look like this:

got a phonecall
invitation emma's aunt's bday july 17
buy cake first
emma's dont tell me i didnt warn you
driving there
meet the relatives
ate lunch
...
apologized
went home


From there I construct my outline- I attach as much detail to each keyword as I can remember,

got a phone call
emma is not around
guy looking for emma
he passes the phone to an older woman


and from the details, I construct my sentences, and eventually to form the paragraphs of the blog

It all started a few nights ago- Wednesday, I recall- I was in my room, writing some email to my mom regarding her trip home when the phone rang. Emma is the one who usually answers the phone (because sometimes I'm too lazy and I pretend not to hear it ringing), but at that time, she was still at the office, filling in a time quota. I got up, picked up the cordless and answered.

"Hello, pwede po ba makausap si Emma" replied the guy on the other end of the phone. He sounded like a teenager.

"She's not around. May I take a message?"

"Po?"

"Ah- Wala kasi sye eh- May pagbibilin ka?" I was a bit amused at the caller. Maybe he got intimidated because he didn't reply. The next voice I heard on the phone was of a woman, and she sounded much older. Unlike the kid, I recognized her voice- She was one of Emma's relatives... I think.


Basically, thats how I write.

(This has caused much dismay to my college communications professor. She recognized my yahoo ID and IMed me to give me both a relationship advice and a threat that she'll kick me back to highschool if I don't improve on my tense problems.)

So... the question is, what does my way of writing have to do with what happened after the party?

Apparently, lots. Shall we begin?

July 17, around midnight.

It feels very different when you lose control of something. It can be a big thing, something so significant, like your lovelife or career, or it can be a small thing like the way you like your coffe in the morning or how you want first dibs on the first dibs on a certain section of a newspaper.

In my case that night, it was driving. The road looks different from the passenger's side. I dont know if its the good dose of alcohol in me, or maybe its the fact that I've been driving for more than 10 years, but I really wished that somehow I had control of the car. If I close my eyes, I can feel the steering wheel in my hands, and my feet push at imaginary pedals in reflex to traffic. Timing is a bit off. Emma made turns a bit later or sooner than what I would've preferred. The felt the same everytime the car accelerates and brakes.

I would say that I felt really bad whenever I'm not in control. I had no control of everything that went that day.

But I guess thats how faith should be. The truly faithful can trust their lives to the unknown. I trust Emma.

(But it never hurts to put on the seatbelt.)

It was a silent trip home. She didn't even turn on the radio. Uneventful really, but it was torture for me. She didn't even try to speak to me. If you think being mean is the worst thing Emma can do to me, I found out that she can kill me with her silence. It's insane!

We arrived home. Emma parked the car, and I stepped out lock to the gates.

We entered the house and Emma tossed the car keys on the small bowl beside the telephone- the very same Telephone that I answered to recieve the invitation to Aunty Lo's birthday. The day was finally over, and we are home.

I locked the doors and I followed Emma up the stairs and up the hallway.

Emma turned at the hallway and showed no sign of stopping talk so I had to call her name.

"Emma..."

"Um?"

"Can we talk?"

"Sure"

"...I'm sorry"

"You already said that kanina"

"I know... are you still mad?"

"Mad about what?"

"Kasi... I called you a driver"

"Hay nako... a-apologize ka, di mo naman pala alam kung ano yung pinagsosorry mo"

"Ha?

"Hay... nevermind".

"Seriously Emma, I don't know why you're mad at me all day."

"Kung di mo alam, di ko sasabihin sayo."

I didn't know what to say, but I figured that since she dodn't move from her position, she still wanted to talk

"You know... we argue a lot no?," I tried to stall, because I really didn't know what to say. I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong, but nothing came to mind. "Sa car pa lang, nagtatalo na tayo eh"

"Uhuh," she replied.

"You were right about your family though"

"What about my family?"

"Well... they were not as what I expected"

"I told you so. You should've listened," said Emma. Yeah, I should've listened.

"Dapat nga di ka na lang pumunta eh," she continued.

"I don't get that. Ayaw mo ba ko ipakilala sa family mo?

"Ok lang"

"Would you have preferred if I didn't come?"

She didn't answer. She just looked at floor as if she cant look at me directly.

"Is that it? Are you ashamed of your family," I asked her.

"And what makes you think that its my family that I'm ashamed of?" Emma barked.

"Oh... I guess that meant she's ashamed of me," I thought. Who else would she be embarassed of, if not me. Its my turn to look at the floor and feel the shame.

"...I apologize if I'm not up to standards. Its your relative's party and I should'nt have insisted to come."

"No... is not that," Emma coaxed me.

"Then what? You can always tell me anything..."

"I don't know, ok?" Emma raised her tone. I heard a familiar tremble in her voice, and I knew she's on the verge of crying. I reminded myself that if Emma starts crying, I've no one to blame but myself.

"I... knew you're going to write about this and I'm sure if I like the idea anymore," she finally spoke. Her voice was much softer and calmer. "Al, its my family. it will be the first time you see them. I was very pressured"

"Hey, I was under pressure too. I'm the guy enterring your territory."

"Di naman nila alam yung tungkol dun eh"

"...I disagree. If you only knew what your cousin uncle told me kanina"

"No, mas ok nga yung alam nila yung tungjol satin eh. Kung si gale nga nakahalata, yun pang mga tita ko"

"Ha?!," I said in confusion. I thought she didn't want her family to find out.

"I'm talking about the blog Al," Emma said softly, "The way you write about me, yung ang nakakapressure"

I didn't say anything, so I just looked at her to listen. I felt that its important that she gets to say everything without being interrupted.

"I cant fill the shoes of "Emma" anymore."

"Why? what do you mean?"

"I showed the blog to some friends at work, and guess what? They don't believe that Emma is me. Nagmumuka tuloy na nag-iilusyon ako."

"Edi was silang maniwala. at least you were honest diba? Its thier loss. If poeple refuse to see what is obvious then wag mo pansinin. Its about you, so other people shouldn't matter."

"If other people don't matter, then why do you continue to write?"

This caught me offguard. It was Erika who sugested that I start writing a journal about my everyday life with Emma. This was originally about writing about what I feel about her. Normally It was supposed to abe a blog where I ask for advise, but now- it is so much more. Have I gone astray from my original objective? Perhaps I have been blinded by the compliments and attention of readers, and it has clouded me from that fact that I the person I care about is hurting from what I do.

"Everytime I read about it, I see myself through your eyes. I affects me so much and I really appreciate the effort you put into it," Emma spoke with so much sincerity. I wanted to hug her right there, but I saw from her face that there is something else that she wanted to say.

"Al, I'm not perfect"

"I think you are."

"People don't think the same Al. I have problems, and I make mistakes. I have enough problems being myself already. I don't need to the additional pressure of being your version of me."

It was an outpour of feelings. I was on the recieving end of something that's been bothering her ever since I came forward with this blog. I never meant to put pressure on her.

"Al," she spoke with a pause to make sure I listened. "You're not blogging anymore. You're blogging about blogging a blog!" She sounded frustrated and very annoyed.

This made me think- and she's right. Even though she sounded silly, she was right. As much as I would like to share everything, I realized that have to consider that relationships should be a private thing. Writing about our lives publicly has its adverse effects. At some point, if I continue, I'll be crossing a line where writing about something I write about is no longer appropriate.

Thats when I found out that I've lost the discretion that I have been hoping to keep, and there's only one way to make amends.

"Do you think we should stop?" I asked Emma, who now, has tears rolling down her cheek.

She didn't answer. We stood there under the yellow light of the corridor waiting for each other to speak. After about 5 minutes of silence, Emma talked.

"I'm going to take a shower," she turned hand started walking to her room. I didnt want to end the conversation that way, but with all the things happening that day, I hesitated. Maybe its best that I talk to her again tomorrow, when I know I can think clearer.

I opened my room and brushed my teeth. I smelled like cigarettes and alcohol, so I figured its best to take a shower as well.

I was relieved to be able to lay back on my bed, but I didn't sleep yet. I grabbed my booted my laptop and opened the folder aptly named "blog" on the desktop. Right clicked > New > Text Document: A Long Time Coming.

With great hesitation, I began writing the words of what happened that day. I only wished that if is the last entry, we could've written it together, not like this, where Emma was a few doors away, probably crying herself to sleep.

I hit CTRL+s and closed the file. I placed that laptop on top of the small square table beside and plugged it to charge the battery.

I cheked my cellphone. Not a single message. Not even a goodnight. I just stared at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to claim me.

Thats how our night and our relationship ended.











Ok, I'm kidding.

The next day, 6:30 AM

My alarm clock rang and I knew I have to get up early for work. I feel refreshed, but something feels different. My beed feels different. Somethinng feels... out of place.

I opened my eyes and the first thing i noticed was I wasn't alone in the room. Someone was sitting on my bed, with her back facing me.

"Hey..." I greeted in with a yawn (and rubbed my eyes baka may muta, and wiped my mouth just incase I drooled.)

"Oh hello. Good Morning," greeted Emma.

"You're up early."

"Yeah. Its a Monday." she answered.

"How is the hangover? Dalhan ba kita ng coffee?

"No thanks. I'm good. Di naman ako nalasing," I said

"Ah. I thought you were drunk kasi tinulugan mo ko," she said as she turned to look at me. On her knees I saw my laptop, and the light from the monitor gave her face a bluish-white glow. "I didn't want to wake you up"

The monitor was open, and on the screen was a white text area. I easily recognized this as the Text Document that I was working on the night before. I don't really mind her reading itsince its our agreement that everything I post goes through her first.

Hold on.

Pause.

Rewind.

Did she just say na tinulugan ko sya? What did she mean by that? I don't lock my door anymore she could've entered when I was sleeping. Did she enter my room while she was sleeping? I'm normally a lightsleeper but when tequilla is involved, I can sleep like rock. Anyone could've entered my room and I wouldn't have known about it.

OMG. She could've been in my room all night!

Then it dawned on me. If you have been drinking the night before and you wake up with a girl in bed the next day, whats the first thing that comes into your mind?

I suppose anyone doesn't need any more clues.

What happened next was happened in a very a fleeting moment. Its as if all of thinking power I can muster that morning got compressed and exherted instantaneously so I can remember what exactly happened last night.

So? What DID exactly happened last night? I'm sure I remember plugging the laptop to charging the battery. I remember staring at the ceiling waiting for sleep to come- but I can't remember one thing thats supposed to matter! I can't remember falling asleep! No one can! !#@$%@&!!!!

I fely my shorts under the blanket, mainly to check if I had one on. I don't wanna get up only to realize that I don't have any pants on. What am I going to do? Wrap myself with a blanket? The blanket. THE BLANKET! Why can't I remember covering myself last night with a blanket! Hmm... Maybe, if I can find a source of black light, then I can check if there are any indications of hair orbodily flui- wait. Thats CSI. Demmet Al! Think!

It was a moment when you are confident of your recollection of events but at the back you your head you know, you can never be too sure. Lol. Seriously, it was worse than being drunk.

"Hey... are you sure wala kang hangonver? You don't look so good." Emma asked.

Say nothing. SAY NOTHING!

"Uhmm... Yeah... So... how did I do last night?" (Demmet!) "I mean, hope you're not upset about what I've written." (Good save. Good save.)

"Yeah its OK. Ang drama mo nga eh", she said with a laugh while she closed the laptop monitor.

She laughed. Owgademmet she laughed! Two and a half 'Ha's! Magpapamisa ko sa Linggo! She Laughed! It's not the same laugh she had yesterday. It was subtler, softer, but no less infectuous.

I couldn't help but smile, not only because I heard her laugh again, but also because she's ok with what I've written.

"Thanks. Your approval means a lot to me right now," I told her. I said that. I really did. A few seconds later, I realized how stupid I must've sounded. How many in the world wakes up in the morning and tells their special someone "Thank you, your approval means a lot to me right now" ?

"You should get ready," Emma said as she lowered the laptop monitor and gave it to me. "Ortigas ka ngayon," she reminded me before disappearing towards the corridor outside my room.

Ok, now you're probably wondering what does my way of writing have to do with this. Well... this is it.

I sat up, opened the laptop, and checked the entry I have written last night.

To my surprize, the list of events that happened the day before has been changed. Not only were they changed, it was much longer! Emma normally doesn't edit the entires until I have completed them, but this time she has injected details to the events of the party herself!

Not only that, she already started drawing sentences and reconstructing the conversations we had with the people at the party. I started reading the unfinished first draft of the blog entry, and the first thing I noticed was it grew. It grew so long that we had to divide it into 4 parts.

All the while I was thinking that Emma was just making me feel miserable, she was paying attention to detail of the events that. It is as if the past three entries (Question and Answers, And Pamamanhikan Bow, and @the Party) were written were mostly based on Emma's accounts.

This got me confused. I thought she didn't like the blog anymore, but she has put so much effort into writing this much. Does it mean that she is not upset anymore?

I stayed on my bed reading eveything she's written. I was in awe. I admit I'm a bit slow when it comes to lectures on relationship, but I began to understand what Emma felt when she read the blog entries about her. As I scrolled down through the white spaces and the black alphanumeric characters, I slowly came to the realzation that these weren't my words anymore. This is not the entry I have written about Emma.

It was Emma writing about me.

What she did isn't easy. It takes me a long time to come up with an entry, and yet, she managed to enough to make four.

It made me think- was she awake all night in my room, writing this? Was she up all night, on my bed, watching me sleep? It is a totally different scenario than I was thinking about earlier. The words "tinulugan mo ko" suddenly had more possible meaning than what I initially thought.

I scrolled down to the end of the text, and at the last line, Emma wrote a note, in obvious anticipation that I would be reading what she has changed.

PS: I'm sorry about last night. You gave me a lot of things to think about. I get too concerned with other people say, butI realized that the only opinion that really matters to me is yours. also, I took your advise so I did some changes, I hope you don't mind. :D

PPS: Regarding my relatives, You did pretty good yesterday, actually. You don't have to worry. My family says you're ok. I'm very proud of you.

PPPS: If you happen to see my Aldrin, tell him to stop moping around and come down. Breakfast should be ready. I don't want him to be late. :)


"...Wow."

Those were the first words that came out of my mouth.

I imagined how each and every syllable would sound if Emma would speak those words to me- but attention kept on gravitating towards a single phrase.

My Aldrin.

The last time she mentioned it was through a letter. In that letter, she was advising me to stay away. I find it ironic that she used it again to invite me to breakfast. But am I complaining? Heck no. :P

"My Aldrin," I spoke to hear how it sounded. I wondered if I would ever hear Emma speak those words.

I closed the laptop and got up from my bed. When I stood up, I realized how good I felt that morning. Having your worries disappear sure is much better than a good night's sleep and nothing beats a good affirmation to start your day. It's magic really- the way she made me feel bad all day yesterday and how she can take it all away with just a few words. The very same magic that enables her to use word "sir" and can make me very upset, or make me forget all the problems I had for an entire day. The very same magic that makes her touch feel like I've just been kicked behind the knees and at the same time make me nervous as a stiff.

"Madrama nga," I said to myself in amusement as I recall Emma's words.

So... Did she spend the night in my room?

Well, thats for us to know and for you to speculate about :P

I left my room and walked down the corridor like its any other morning. I went down the stairs and turned towards the kitchen where the smell of freshly made coffee filled the air. As I entered, I greeted my Emma a good morning.

She smiled and everything in the world is right again.

17 Comments:

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

naguluhan ako ah.. hehe so nangyari ba talaga ung before nung crtl+s??? ehehe

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wondering... na over exagerate mo ba ang pagkaka describe kay emma dito sa blog at bakit according to her hindi nakapaniwala yung mga friend ni emma nung pinabasa?

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Aldrin Lew said...

I dont think i over exaggerated anything. i think the problem was they don't believe that someone would actually go through the length of blogging. I encounter the same kind of skepticism everyday. If there non-believers, I can easily shrug it off since I'm not really affected by it. Di naman kawalan sakin eh.

Emma's case its really different. The blog revolves around her. I think the words that upset her the most was "why would someone blog about you?" Those comments easily became very personal to her.

 
At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Yuri said...

yeah yeah i guess yun yun aldrin, what upsets her na ung tingin nung tao is that feeler xa.. but well it doesn't matter anymore... inggit lang cla... hehehehe :)

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger PraetorianStorm said...

The very reason why you write about her - because she is special. Your blog is about what you both feel and not what others think about either one of you. You carry on!

 
At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Chill said...

i agree w/u preatorianstorm..

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger zahflo said...

well I hope someone blogs about ME hehehe! Inggit ako! (basta good blog ha, hehe)

Kaya they think illusionada siya kasi hindi real names ang nakalagay. Eh kung tiga-Makati lang ako eh di pwede ko rin sabihing ako si Emma. Anyway, ok lang yan, parang religion yan, you don't have to convince people to believe and convert. What's important is you believe in each other. Kasi if one of you loses faith in the relationship, everything will fall apart. Believe me, I KNOW. :-)

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous lucyvanpelt said...

"She smiled and everything in the world is right again."

- could anything be any sweeter?

 
At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sweet, really sweet ;) i guess most guys should learn from you :)

 
At 6:20 AM, Anonymous mhumhuu said...

... english teachers... ack!! well constantly writing would improve your way of contructing sentences. ^^V

very very nice entry!!! so far this is the best. ^^V

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous bycane said...

Im kinda confused as to which part of the blog were al's words and which ones were emama's. I mean i've always looked at this blog as somethin that is of al's perspective.

Anyhoo, still a good read. I really think you should write a book about this. Or maybe compile this blog and make it into a book or somethin.

Goodluck sa relationship nyo bro. And thanks, your blog is always a pleasure to read =)

 
At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Ekedric said...

*tears*

Oops I'm watching windstruck while reading this haha. Anyway I loled at the "that's how our night and our relationship ended. Ok kidding" part hehe. Damn you.

Ack I don't know what to say. I'll reiterate what you said in that last entry. WOW! 'Nuff said.

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous _M_ said...

"She smiled and everything in the world is right again."

Wow.. this is really very sweet.. Emma's really lucky to have you..

I wish you two all the best..

Emma, pretty please, don't fight with Al over this blog again, baka kasi di na sya mag-blog ulit eh.. pano naman kami? =) hihihi.. just kidding..

Kudos to the two of you.. We're all looking forward to the next blog.. ^_^

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger Anna said...

Wow nice entry!!! hey kuya! by the way coninue on writing dont mind other people! ingit lang cla kay Emma!

"She smiled and everything in the world is right again." (How sweet!! ha ha if the guy I like says something like to me I'd probably die of happiness!!! well not literally! ha ha ha)

 
At 3:34 PM, Anonymous tim said...

well emma should learn that its not important what will others will say about this blog... what important is Al created this one for her... for what and who she is to him... how important she is... how lucky he (Al) is... the "kilig" moments they have...

hey Fran listen to Mel's uncle pag niloko mo sya... PATAY KA SA AMIN lolz

im wondering what does XD means... and i found out that this one is a a closed-eye laughing smiley lolz... hahahahahahahahaha

 
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At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My life's been generally bland these days. I just don't have much to say. I don't care. I haven't been up to anything these days. I can't be bothered with anything recently.
- maidinmakati.blogspot.com n
spaghetti alla carbonara

 

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