Tuesday, November 2

an ode to the voyager who broke my heart three years ago.

(a repost of a published essay three years back)

every morning when I was about seven or eight years old, my parents would take us all to rizal boulevard for early morning walks.

as they would briskly walk along the endless stretch of cemented pavement, my siblings and I would try, with little success, to keep up with their pace while pointing out the differences of those who also take refuge in the boulevard’s allure – we would see old people who barely move an inch every time they walk, athletes with earphones who breeze past everyone else, dog-walkers who are wary of those who are afraid of dogs, and lovers who seem oblivious to everyone else around them.

back then, this was the early morning ritual which jumpstarted the day and, young as I was, I did not complain each time my father had to shrug us off from slumber and make us prepare for our early morning itinerary. i remember that as a young boy, I was enthralled and totally captivated by the beauty of the first few streaks of light of the breaking sunrise and the cool gusts of wind which greeted us each time.

the rizal boulevard beckoned everyone to momentarily escape from the trappings of a stress-filled day and bask in the soothing monotony of rural living. the chilling morning breeze, which permeated with the raw scent of early morning dew, was always relaxing to my senses, making me face the new day with much zest and optimism.

when I had my first girlfriend in high school, I remember that the boulevard was the first place that we went to for our first date. no matter how young we were during that time, we were convinced that what we had was for keeps – that no matter how cheesy or cliché, we would inevitably spend the rest of our lives together.

the boulevard then, provided for the most picturesque setting to a love story that was slowly unfolding. I remember the golden silhouette of dusk hovering over our heads while we talked about how our life together would be. she would be a doctor and I would be a lawyer in paris or new zealand perhaps and, back then, we sincerely believed that this was our absolute destiny. perhaps it was the unraveling of newfound emotion which led us to believe in the folly of a perfect relationship, or probably, it was the boulevard’s touch which made us hopeless romantics and believe that our love would transcend the physical plane – that what we had was ethereal and, more than that, magical.

it did not, however, take a long time for me to realize that we were just blinded by the rawness of our emotions. we were broken, as sooner or later we would have been, to the simplistic truth that the ideal partner does not exist. after successive bouts of petty quarreling and endless disputes over the most trivial things, we finally decided to end our relationship.

fresh from the bitter pangs of my first heart break, I invited my close friends to a drinking spree in the boulevard. save for the momentary euphoria of alcohol intoxication, the boulevard then, was cold and lifeless for me. it conformed to my cluttered state of mind, and the dizzying sodium lights only exacerbated the dreadful feeling of desperation that brewed inside me.

the solace of our young dreams and unadulterated love was also where I learned that life and love are never constant – and that we are oftentimes broken rather than complete.

just november of last year, the boulevard was where I spent most of my pensive moments with only my thoughts and a couple of marlboro lights. much has happened since that fateful night of heavy drinking when a group of young boys foolishly believed that tanduay 65 was a comforting respite from the onslaught of solitary pain.

this time, i had been broken to the world and to the reality that life is what you make of it.

as I basked in the poetic allure of the last few traces of light giving in to darkness, I was contemplating on what I had done with my life: i had squandered three years of it in a university which taught me that although academic and personal freedom are essential, too much of the latter can actually make you lose your focus and direction in life.

the boulevard was my place of consolation when I felt that my life had lost all semblance of meaning; it was where I chose to collect the fragments of my broken self and consolidate my resolve to start anew; it was where I realized that change is never too late, and that yes, failures exist to solidify our perception of how our lives ought to be.

the boulevard for me, as with everyone else who grew up in this city, has been a constant source of comfort. people come here to take a breather from the intricacies of everyday living, they celebrate happy occasions with family members and friends, and at times, it is where love stories unfold.

but more than anything else, it taught me that although life is a constant struggle, the turbulence is never permanent – that although we occasionally succumb to the complexities of living, it merely serves to redefine our perspectives and make us see the grander scheme of things.

that although life and love are besieged with constant torment, we can, through our own ways, make ourselves complete – because life, as with everything else, goes on.


glentot said...

I liked reading this, it put me in a melancholic, yet calm, mood. Made me wanna write something like this. It's so nice to be sad again.

Will said...

Galing talaga, Claudio. Pwede siya sa Inquirer, hahaha.

"the turbulence is never permanent"

-tama. hope everyone will keep this in mind. Ika-nga ng finale song sa Avenue Q: "Everything in life is only for now."

claudiopoi said...

glentot: salamat at naapreciate mo naman ito. sulat ka din ng something like this. it's sad, but it's redemptive sad.

will: oo, kasi nga diba, sabi ko sayo sa FB. hahaha :) ikaw din, sulat ka din ng ganito! o di kaya yung november 17 na post. hehe :)

Andy said...

I enjoyed reading this. Sometimes, the feeling of lost and broken remind us of a harsh reality. However, they soothe our wounded souls and make us tougher.

claudiopoi said...

andy: salamat naman. at dahil sa comment mo, mag-aasume na ako na hindi mo ako babatukan. hehe :)

Yj said...

hindi na ako magko-comment ng maayos.... nawalan na ako ng gana sa comment ni Andy!

anyways... alam ko na kung saan ang magiging unang date natin pag punta mo dito.... at dun ko nalang ibubulong sayo ang comment ko sa post na to...

hahahahaha.... yaiy

Anonymous said...

galing... weee.... mababaw lang ang comment na to galing sa mababaw na tao.. weee

claudiopoi said...

yj: sa baywalk ba yan? hahaha! :) palagi ako dun before. sige ba, punta tayo! hehehe :D

kikomax: naka naman. hehe. walang mababaw na tao pagdating sa emosyon. :)

Jepoy said...

nag nose bleed ako ng madami lalo na nung nabasa ko ung "exacerbate" na word. Hindi ko pa namand ala ang aking english-tagalog dictionary. LOL

Nice post! Ang ganda ng structure. Blog on!

claudiopoi said...

jepoy: ibig sabihin ba neto ay hindi mo binasa? sinabi kaya ni glentot na kapag 'blog on' ay hindi mo binabasa. hahaha :)

Pipo said...

Beautiful. I needed this. Thank you.

claudiopoi said...

pipo, thanks naman sa comment mo. :)

Jepoy said...

hoy binsa ko noh, gusto gawa pa ko summary

claudiopoi said...

sabi kasi ni glentot.. hahaha!

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

i think we all have places like this. superman had his fortress. batman had his little lovecave with robin. you have this boulevard. i have a park in salcedo i go to when i'm conflicted. i recently went there on an off tangent hunt for coffee. it felt good to look back at all the shit i've been through. haha oo ako na emo.

claudiopoi said...

lovecave talaga yung kay batman and robin? lol. uhm. nyl, halata namang emo ka eh. sa mga posts mo pa lang. hehe. pero like i always say, being sad better affrims our humanity. kaya mabuhay ang mga emo. :D