I was 21 when I last fell in love. The dawn of my 22nd birthday, what I thought was repressed came surging and I confessed how I am very much in love without saying I am in love. Two months after, I was recuperating from that heartache while it stomped on me and laughed at me maniacally while I was in hiccups from too much crying. My 23rd birthday, I was sick and told myself I will never drink so much alcohol because I finally resigned on the fact that my feelings will not metabolize like liquor does. Not with any volume, not with any kind. I’ve been 23 for exactly six months today. I still can’t drive. I don’t ever think I will in this country. Although I remember vaguely someone told me that our roads are the best driving track and I know this was said in rhetoric. I like going to gigs, love them as much as those once or twice in a month routines that occupy my ‘social calendar’ that include seeing a good movie, buying a book (this happens every now and then, I’m afraid), and rebuilding dreams. I am proud of myself fifty percent of the time, the other half questioning why I made some irrational decisions in my life, but that half is almost always negligible because I think I’m pretty good at moving on. My mother, of course, taught me that. She passed away ten years now and I’ve learned so much from her death. Like going back to falling in love, because maybe it’s complicated, but it makes you feel alive. It kills you, but then just think, if you bleed, that means you’re alive, still alive, or used to be alive – whichever applies. I support my family, and in turn, or even in the absence of, they support me. Endlessly. Unconditionally. My mortal life is surrounded by the choices and the defaults placed in accordance to my will and fate. I cannot regret anything. I like listening to different types of music. They make me cry. I learned that crying isn’t always evil. Right now, my eyes are misty because I am having these feelings, those I know and those I have no name for. I think of this guy who I think about twice a day before, countless times now. I like him and his wit and the blissful ignorance of it all. He and I. I don’t mind getting lost. I’ve wandered in the known cities and the far-off streets and the farms and trod on narrow roads and empty highways. I have always loved cruising on the expressway at night. I spend my money on books, books that I read and then eventually read, read a hundred times, held dearly, batted, dog-eared, smooth, mottled, and filling every inch of my room. I used to smoke a pack or packs of menthol cigarettes two years ago, when my companion was liquor and the tears of my friends. In my opinion, that was the worst I did to my body. Of course, this is just an opinion nobody, especially myself, cares about or believes. I love sunsets. I keep a list of my favorites and linger on each memory. May 1, 2012, Manila Bay shoreline. The sun is on fire, more than usual. It sheds its strongest light on every body and thing alive, casts a longer and darker shadow; It was breathtaking. December 16, 2012, Makati skyline. I was aboard the train as I watch the sky. It turned from light to a darker shade of plum, it was a still for a moment, and then the hues shifted to cerulean and sea green, until it settled into a shocking deep blue. I play my favorite album in my head because these are the odds that I favor. I despise the sadness and the ubiquity of hearing “Take care of yourself,” for I have heard it so many times in so many ways but it still remains unfamiliar, unwanted, and ironically uncaring. I never get tired of tired cliches as much as I wish I am. I don’t like and need and never wanted too many friends because there’s only so much relationships and emotional attachments that I can accommodate in this lifetime. Money appeals to me in a way that it buys things I want and need and makes me human. I save it and spend it and repeat the cycle until I get the recurring assurance that happiness is free in some cases and some times. I just want to be happy. We all just want to be happy. Repeat until fade.