On Change and Changing

Oct 23, 2016


LIFE LATELY: DUBAI, UAE




SEPTEMBER 2016 — On the way home, E grabbed me by the arm and asked if I could stay a little longer. We were laughing about how our lives have turned upon flying here and how it gets a little too hard to be broke at times. Suddenly she was crying. Little stomps on the ground, a few rubs in the eyes, and a hug — I felt her breaking down from within and I couldn't do anything to make her feel better. I just listened and stayed for two cigarette breaks.

A woman was dragging a trolley towards where her car was and asked us to step back a bit as she wanted to reverse. She saw E crying and asked what the fuzz was. We told her nothing, but she went on with a loud voice, saying "Whatever you're crying about, it's not worth it. When someone dies, that's the time you cry. The dead won't come back forever. All the other things, don't cry for them. They're not worth it." We both nodded. I said thank you and told her we needed her words.

As if licking her wounds, E wiped her tears and gave me an embrace. A long one. I told her everything was going to turn out fine and soon enough we'll have better days.

She left and I walked towards the metro station.

The next day went bad and she came to work late. Then the day after that, she quit and I took over some workload she left.

I wouldn't lie and say that I am feeling better. In fact, my heart breaks a little whenever I think about the coming days and how it can make (or break) me as a person.

Th other night, R and I were exchanging voice messages and he asked me if all I photographed now were commercial. I said yes and he proceeded with asking, "What about your art?" I went on and on about going back to the basics of photography and strengthening my foundation as an artist. The last message I recorded and sent was about how I felt I was growing everyday and there is nothing wrong with that.

It's nice to think that even R is growing now that we're apart. If anything, I'd wish for him to stay with L and strengthen his soul, the way L gets stronger every now and then. He's back in Davao now, leaving the company we both worked for, living the old times without me. There is not a day that I do not envy him being there. I wish it was that easy for me to come back home, not by plane but by heart.

M and I would meet each other days after R and I talked. When I saw her waiting by the convenience store in Union station, all I wanted to do was run to her and embrace and break down. Sweating from the long, long search for that certain convenience store where she was, all I ever did was say hello. We walked to the nearest Starbucks and ordered iced lattes and whined about not having cold brew. Like pretentious rich kids, we talked about how others' desperation have affected ours. In the end, we had to admit that we needed to let go of our old lives, living with expensive café food and condo comforts. Life updates, of course, would've been so easy if we were in Manila, seeing each other after long days and exhausting hours. Now, it gets harder as I am having a more hectic schedule and she aggressively ups her career.

It's still the same with M and I, though, only in a different city. We were walking on the way back to the station and said our good byes after agreeing that we were both founding officers of the Wrong Decisions Club.

Life is funny.

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