Letter no. 38: Stefano’s Letter to Landon

man-walking-away-on-lonely-roadMy Math teacher once asked me a question, “If triangle has three sides, what polygon has two sides?” Everybody knows there’s none. But I insisted and answered, “Ma’am, a heart,  heart-shaped. It has two curve sides meeting at two points across”. I got an x mark after the class and series of laughter along the lobby. My Philosophy teacher asked me the same question the next day, and I answered the same and I got exempted from the final exam.

Dear Landon,

Sometimes, it’s funny how contradicting subjects in school are. We follow different rules in Math and Philosophy. We follow different set of formula that only a few can be used on our daily living. But that’s not the point. I wanted to just start this letter on that day because it was a very memorable day for me. That day, I saw how everyone threw shame on me except for you in the corner sitting 3 seats behind me. You have probably taught that I had a point, which you know, I think I had. Math just don’t accept it. So you followed me out when the class got dismissed and told me that you were thinking of the same answer. I got enlightened somehow.

So I was thinking right. Your hazel eyes were distracting I must say.

You might not know but all this time, I’ve been adoring that same eyes who looked at me a year ago when we were juniors.

And that’s where it all started.

It is quite strange Landon because you seem to be different from all the people I’ve shared my friendship with. You exactly hit what my dad once told me, that I would meet thousands of people and none of them would matter, and then I would meet one person, and I would feel like my life is changed forever. To you Landon, I feel different, I feel changed. I am moved.

We became bestfriends since then and you always stood beside me on my ups and downs. We jived in a way, which is ridiculous and funny. We are both funny guys I know and logical at the same time, and that makes me happy being with you.

Do you remember the time I told you about my family situation? When people would question me about where I came from, you were always there to support me. You know for a fact that I was an adopted child to gay parents. It was until I was six that I fully understood the situation. I love my parents so much. They taught me how to respect other people in all walks. I still found it weird sometimes though that I have two parents, both a daddy but can both be an instant mommy too. They have different culture: a Filipino and an American- but I loved how they raised me, I learned both. It’s an advantage in a way. I don’t depend on biological roles anyway. it’s just a social structure, you know, impression built by society but not a law. So I didn’t question God. I started to not care about it when I grew up. You know why?… because I met you, and from then I understood what my parents probably felt when they first met, and Math has really nothing to do with it.

I told them about you by the way. And they were thrilled. My Filipino dad was actually the one who pushed me to write this letter for you. He always says that I don’t have to suppress feelings when they are existing. Feelings are meant to be shared, expressed and talked about. So here we go.

I wouldn’t go too far of what I am about to say. I think I kinda like you Landon. I haven’t talked about this identity crisis to anyone else apart from my parents who totally understand me. I think I am gay. You are the third to know, and the first guy to whom I like to say I love you. Isn’t that cute? I know you weren’t homophobic. I see the respect in you and that gives me the courage to say these things. I love you Landon several months after the first time I noticed you in our Math class. I liked you the time you followed me out of the classroom. We used to be bestfriends since then and I hope we would always be afterall.

I love how you walk me home every other day, when our badminton session is over and I love how you groom up and give a killer smile when all else fail. To you, there’s never a question. There’s always an aswer, which added to my attraction to you. I’d like you to know that I am happy having you for I realized my real identity and real place in earth. I couldn’t ask for more. I love you just the way you are. I couldn’t be any happier.

That’s what I thought at least. But the sad part Landon is, I am leaving the Philippines to Australia to get a college degree. My parents want us to move there for good and start a new life. It means I wouldn’t be able to see you in the next few years and that saddens me a lot. This is the first time I feel this strange. We are graduating this May from highschool and my heart is starting to melt like frozen for quite sometime. It tears me that someday, you would realize the same feeling but your hazel eyes would find someone else, probably in the same classroom that once we were, or outside the world, where life is too tough.

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In the last three days, I’ve been sobbing a lot. I told my parents about it and they were sorry but happy for I finally realized who really am I. And they you know, their lovestory inspired me to hold on to this feelings and hope that you feel the same way. As you know, my parents just started their relationship online. My American dad was just following my Filipino dad in his blog, the typical journal blogs that we see in the web- that’s where the communication started. They began liking each other and fomally introcuding each other thru email, sometimes skype. That time, my daddy Andrew was in Minnesotta and my other daddy Coco was in the Philippines, and you know Landon, it’s really the feelings, trust and willingness that moved them closer, like the two curve sides in our Math class that meet at one straight way- the heart. That’s what they have that polygons never had.

Daddy Andrew taught daddy Coco how to be independent and Dad Coco taught Andrew how to live a life with smiles and positivity. I see love everyday. I see effort and sacrifice. I see smiles on their face as they raise me. I get the same warmth of embrace. Me, my two dads and you would make a perfect holiday somewhere out of the world.

In the last three days, I would find myself alone in the park, watching kids playing with balloons and flying kites and I wished you were there. I would find myself sitting on a bench before the green meadows trying to stop the sunset to rest, but it just won’t stop. And day by day, I am getting weaker inside.

I sometimes pictured it out. You know.., me and you, you and me… like how my two dads were. But I know I would only have a small chance. I don’t know, sometimes you feel like confessions really would mean a luck; that you either get the chance or bury your feelings forever. I fear of the latter. There would always be fear I know, greater fears are about to come for sure and I’m willing to taste fear at its greatest, just to let you know of this love.

And so to conclude, I love you. My parents already love you. Today is the 8th of April, the same day last year that I walked out of our Math class and you followed me. I am proud to say you are the other half of the curve side I’ve been looking for. I just hope that we meet at the two points across forming a heart… a love… a different kind of shape that polygon never had.

What do you think Buddy? I will be waiting for your answers.

Lovelots,

Stef.

The letter above was written from the first person point of view of Stefano, the supposed and soon-to-be name of my future adopted son, with my partner Andrew. To both, my love is all for you.

Letter no. 37: The Ex Types

FFFBreak ups can perhaps be the second most heartbreaking happening in our life next to death. And just like death, it is the same as losing people who have become part of us, not in a literal sense, but are like being detached from our system.

For some who have experienced break ups, you might agree that there is no perfect resolution in dealing with it. There even is no formula to ease the pain, but there is always a way to heal and get back to feet.

There are usually four types of brokenhearted people. Let’s meet them and see how they react to break ups.

I. THE FOOLISH- Foolish people revenge. They retaliate. They are immature. They usually aged 20 and below. They would threat back, sometimes attack behind your back to match the pain they are going through. For them, there is no such phrase as ‘past is past’, it’s rather “the end justifies the means”. They would seek so much attention by pleasing you or by spilling what you had with your friends. They would highlight your bad side to others especially to your close friends. They would have a tendency to kiss and tell. They are annoying. They always draw a loophole no matter how you explain things. And they will always be hopeless. The best thing to do is be ignorant and don’t threat back. They would only stop when they feel like nobody cares and they have no choice but to move on.

2. THE WASTED- These people are sentimental and too emotional. They would love to see themselves crying and self pitying instead of doing something else to distract the sudden breakup. They are always occupied by memories, the ones playing emo songs on Sunday or eating their feelings out to the max. They see temporary light in bottle of beer and cans of Cali and lots of it until it’s out of sight. They sleep with wet pillows. Dreaming is their sweet escape and waking up is the hardest part.

3. THE ELITE- They are usually the dominant ones in a relationship. They are the stubborn ones who would usually break the walls in a relationship. They are termed as heartbreakers but when it’s them whom you broke up with, they wouldn’t care at all. These people feel like the world is in their hands that they don’t mind whatever happens to the relationship at all. They easily cope up and they feel no pain because they easily find a new one. Their notion is to always go with the flow and stop when the flow goes wrong. Their first choice is to stop and not resolve so you would always go wrong in the end. They only say sorry once and when they got denied, they wouldn’t please you.

4. THE INTELLIGENT- These are strong and wise people who understand the logic of break ups. When it’s time, then it’s time. But unlike the elite people, they would go through all the odds and experiment the flow of relationship before they go to the last resort of breaking up. They would try new possibilities and strategies to work things out.  They are nice people to deal with for you can befriend them afterall what happened. They usually believe in ‘past is past’ passage and they would usually find light despite the pain. They feel hurt but are wise enough to deal with it. They would see the lesson and move on. They don’t retaliate. They don’t question the worth. They are just silent about the break up and they have sense of respect.

For whichever one you’ll be, one thing you have to remember is that you are left choiceless.

Break up is like a bumblebee bite, it stings too fast and it lasts too long and sometimes leave a mark.

Letter no. 36: The Dirt in a Clean Closet

imagesCAX9JA3MThere is a closet, carefully locked by  a birthday’s passcode. Inside are clothes a normal guy would usually have: shirts, pants and undergarments neatly folded in series, properly arranged, no more, no less- now what would have been the dirt in that clean closet?

Dear Michael,

He is Carlos, 23, fresh like a rosebud, who blooms later on spring, the only rose among the 4 thorns and the youngest of them all. He grew up detached from his family, a quiet kid who had a lot in mind. He has 3 older brothers, all grown straight up, until he happened in the family, and unlike his brothers, he grew curved side, to a different direction.

The closet is where he hides his real identity. The closet is where he hangs his feathers, wigs, scarves and glitters. It’s where he locks his two sides, Carlos the brother and Carlos the woman trapped in a man’s body. The closet is where he sealed his letters, his emotions and longings to his family’s understanding. It’s his turning point when all is down and source of happiness to lift his spirit up. The closet is where he sobs when no shoulders are being offered. The closet is where he squeezes his palm to hate when no love is around. The closet is where he plays dolls when all his brothers are armed with guns in PMA. The closet is a totally different world for Carlos.

One time on a helpless days, he tried to burn it down, hoping all the feelings would fade, hoping to wake up one morning with all the confusions gone. But he realized that burning the closet is like burning his real identity, that it wouldn’t help at all the more he’s becoming close to reality. So he put a divider  between his clothes for Carlos the woman trapped in a man’s body and for Carlos the brother, and he found the latter as the dirt in his clean closet.

You woudn’t know how hard it is to be a closet gay unless you are one. I wouldn’t maybe understand how suppressing it is because I’m not one of them. But what these people need is a mind broader than the closet the moment it is unlocked. For sure everyone of us has our own padlocked closets, where secrets are enclosed. The only key to unlock those is trust when you open it at right time, place and to the right people.

No secrets are forever burried like no closets are forever locked. For Carlos, he’s almost holding the key. 

Lovelots,
Coco

*Carlos, not his real name, 23, is a closet gay who once tried to kill himself due to identity crisis and depression. He is currently juggling his time taking up his Masteral’s degree of Mass Communication in UP Diliman and photographing events. No one knows he’s gay but five of his friends including me.

 

Letter no. 35: The Fooler and the Foolish

Arjo is a Foolish, an emotional creature who collects jar of memories. Brent is a Fooler, a selfish creature who collects jar of hearts. They crossed ways, fell in love and separated eventually. In this thread, we see love as a game of fools- one trying to win the other’s heart and one trying to win his own battle.

Playing_the_Game_of_Love_by_sassion

Dear Michael,

This isn’t your ordinary love letter. This is just a piece of question for you to pop. Is there any chance Arjo and Brent can ever be back as lovers? Here’s the catch.

Arjo uses emotion to love. He believes in love in the making; that all the love in the world starts with getting to know the other person and drawing out the best in it, that keeping friendship at first could serve as greater foundation for a strong relationship.

Brent uses chances. He believes in love at first sight. At least he calls it love. Forgive him. He believes that happiness is rare to find and that he has to grasp it the moment it comes. He doesn’t believe in waiting, in getting to know the other person. He believes that love like life is an easy-come-and-easy-go.

Arjo put him in his priority, he collected memories of their content, sent gifts of appreciation and shared his love romantically.

Brent appreciated everything, defined his priority and shared his love logically.

Arjo believes in love and partnership.

Brent doesn’t define it as love, at the end of the day, biologically, people just need someone to be with.

Arjo believed in compromise, in openness and understanding Brent’s personality.

Brent believed in himself, that all odds can be resolved in his own way.

Arjo vents out through tears

Brent vents out through anger.

Arjo wants a legal relationship. He is open to his family and friends.

Brent wants a legal but a little bit private relationship. He is open as gay to his family and friends but he doesn’t want them to know any other else about it.

Arjo somehow realizes he was a foolish to know Brent but still drawing out the best of his times with Brent. He risked his beliefs and all he got is words gone with the wind.

Brent somehow realizes his fault, but chose to blame it with his personality rather than changing the whole situation upside down.

Arjo extended his string, loosened up a little bit and charged it all to come what may.

Brent fell out of happiness and started to see things as a responsibility.

Arjo believes indeed that partnership is a responsibility.

Brent sees relationship as a source of happiness and not as another burden to carry.

Arjo loved him, for what he was and what he was not. He embraced the goodness and handled the badness of him. He believed that imperfections make a relationship perfect. He loved him on their happiest times and he loved him more on their bluest times.

Brent needed him, for what he was and not necessarily for what he’s not. He believed in no perfection. He somehow loved him on the happiest times and he wouldn’t want to dwell on the saddest times.

Arjo gave up in the end, cut his strings and chose to consider it all as incompatibility.

Brent bid it goodbye without any bitterness in the heart.

Arjo was left wrecked.

Brent left damned.

No one is sorry. Arjo was never sorry for what happened, to him, Brent is not worth a tear. Brent was never sorry either, to him, Arjo just happened, he was happy and now he’s not.

What really matters in the end Michael? Who’s got the real score?

I will be waiting for your answers.

Lovelots,

Coco

Letter no. 34: Interview with the Broken Hearted

imagesIt happened in the library, an organized place where sobs and sighs dazed the quiet place . It happened in Coffee Blends, where a mug of cappuccino got cold, stayed still and untouched. It happened in a train station, on the third time, where another life could have almost lost. Now anywhere she turns, reminds her of the most difficult part of her life, the magic word- breakup.

Dear Michael,

I sat quietly on the grass and grasped the fresh air down my spine. The shade of acasia and the promising landscape of the meadows were just perfect for a great talk. It’s passed afternnon and the sun was up intensely. In a secondwhile, I opened my clutchbag and picked out my planner, ran through the list with my index finger and stopped by the date and time. It was August 5, Sunday. I cleared my wrist watch, it said 2:45PM. I had an appointment with Shayne right there, in Ayala Triangle Park. Shayne was a friend, not a really close one I could call bestfriend, but just an ordinary aquaintance you used to know and mingle to when I was in college. We were introduced by a common friend one lunchtime after a debate class.

Shayne is not your ordinary girl, a not-so-preserved but consarvative mixed, if you know what I mean, mysterious at first, but has a lot to reveal as you go along. She’s the type who wears eyeglasses on top of a miniskirt confusing guys which personality is which. That’s one thing I like about her. We somehow jive when it comes to social debate as she was a member of the school press that time, and we usually see and compete with each other during campus debate talking endlessly about current events. She’s good in logical thinking but her team never aced us even once. Then her teamates graduated a year after and she joined us, became one of our allies and we became friends second degree. That’s how we started. She works for an advertising company right now holding a supervisory position. She pretty much has everything right now; good bunch of friends, a loving family, successful career and perhaps lotsa money. But one thing she’s not successful at- relationship. It has always been a problem for her, and that’s why I was there for, to catch up with her life , specially with her lovelife as I was doing an article for an online publishing, about the magic word- “break-up”. I chose her as one of the subjects as she had experienced it badly thrice.

I supposed to have a coffee appointment with her but she refused, I guessed I knew why. Coffee seemed to remind her of her second boyrfriend, Kurt, who dumped her for someone else in Coffee Blends, while she’s chewing chocolate coated marshmallow. So she decided to meet me at the park instead.

She came 15 minutes that I almost jumped out of excitement. She’s in her office attire, corporate skirt, a pair of boots, collared top and neon red umbrella, hair done curled, lipstick checked and the old school eyeglasses, now in Silver frame. She looked very expensive compared to before, a little intimidating, and still mysterious.

After sometime of catching up, laughing out loud and exhanging stories, we strolled in the park, had some chitchat while sipping lemongrass tea. Right then, when the peace of mind was set and lovers walked passed along us I started the conversation.

Me: So have you been dating lately after you broke up with Jim?

She cleared her throat.

Shayne: It was Jess, not Jim, and for the record, I didn’t break up with him, he dumped me instead.

I was sorry for the name mismatching and she just burst into laughter as sign that she’s totally moved on. Right, Jim was her first, the one who broke up with her in the library because they will migrate to the US on that same morning. Then, came Kurt who broke up with him in Coffee Blends, where a mug of cappuccino got cold, stayed still and untouched- reason: third party, and then there was Jess, who broke up with him because, uhm, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say the word…

He’s uhm.

He’s not sexually ready.

He’s gay.

There you go.

Me: Alright, I see, so does that mean a no, you’re not dating?

Shayne: Yes.

Me: Yes, of course, you are!

Shayne: I mean yes, I agree with your question, so the answer is no, I am not yet dating anyone. You see, I have this post traumatic experience with Jess, I didn’t know he’s gay. I mean there’s nothing wrong with being gay but he could have told me sooner. I thought he’s the one.

Me: Well at least he still told you, and you should take it positively at least you’ve helped him realize his identity, for without you, he might still be hiding in his mom’s closet.

Shayne: I guess that’s the point of relationship Coco, we always thought they are the one, and in the end, we would find out they are not.

She sighed deeply and took the last sip of tea.

heartbroken

Me: Was there really love, I mean did you feel it reciprocated to you?

Shayne: Yes there was, at first. It’s always in the beginning you know. There was a spark… and like a sparkler, it dies as you go along.. and then I thought, there’s really no way of weighing love, it’s just a label, we just need someone to be with, it’s like adding a little reponsibility for higher sort of happiness. How would you know it’s love, right. It could be love for you but for him maybe it’s just a form of denial, a front act, a road not taken yet, a risk, a nice try, a sake, an experiment, it could mean any excuses you could possibly imagine.

Me: I see the point. But the fact that you were together, somehow there’s time spent, there are moments, there’s money wasted, it means value right, and when there’s value, there’s love.

Shayne: Somehow you’re right. In an ideal world, you meet each other, you find comfort, it elevates to happiness, you decide to be together, you fill the gaps, embrace the goodness and badness of his attitude, but somebody comes along, that he thinks has better way of filling the gaps, and you find yourself questioning your worth. It’s all going to be the same the next time, everything changes you know,  what goes up must come down.

Me: So is that the reason why you’re not dating anyone now, or are you closed to the possibility of being inlove for the fourth time?

Shayne: It’s all the same pal. Boys are piece of meat cooked in different ways, and these peices of meat could spoil if not taken and won’t last long if eaten.

I took a huge sip.

Me: Wow, that was deep!

Shayne: That’s what I get of break-ups.

Me: So how did you usually cope up after the break ups?

Shayne: Nobody in the world could help you but yourself, so I started thinking of my worth. Why would I cry for someone who’s not worthy of me? Why would I frown when there’s a lot of option to be happy. So I would usually go out with my friends, post bitter statements in Facebook, I go home drunk but I always make sure… to fix myself the other day..

Me: Oh yeah?

Shayne:… and.. delete the bitter post. If he happens to read it, the supremacy in him would arise. So show it for sometime and let go of it. I read this once, if you are angry of someone, you are a victim. And who would want to be a victim. I totally am not.

Me: I see that.

Shayne: …next, consult astrology if necessary, or if you have time.

Me: You consult what? Do you really have to consult the stars? Like you go out at night and find a comet, constellation and all the aliens in the universe? That is creepy.

Shayne: No, no, it’s not what your’e thinking. It’s all about personality compatability. It’s simple like you don’t put salt obviously in coffee because they wouldn’t give a good taste. You put sugar to balance the bitterness of coffee. So it’s important that you and your partner have that balanced taste.

Me: So where is astrology in sugar and coffee then?

Shayne: Did I say coffee? Oh I hate coffee, forget it. It’s simple, you study his personality, check if it fits yours, you consult the saying of astrology, consider his strength and weak spot and you compare it with yours. Love is not all about happiness. There’s so much more about it that people don’t realize. it’s more of compatibility rather.

Me: That’s a lot of effort if I may say.

Shayne: I agree. See zodiac sign helps!!! I swear it works. One day I ask myself, shit I am Pisces and Jess is a Leo. We weren’t really that compatible. He’s more of a stubborn type whereas I am emotional. He’s born to be pleased, they are closed minded, so at least it helped me figure out the reason that he’s not for me.

Long silence…

Shayne: Well, apart from the fact that he’s gay. He wouldn’t really be  for me.

Me: Are you kidding?

Shayne: No, it’s just a guide.

Me: So who are those compatible to you?

Shayne: It says we are water signs so better find Aquarius who are water caretakers. They take care of water creatures so they take control and hold of the relationship…. It’s funny right? But I’m considering it. :)

Haha. It was really funny that our conversation from dumping has gotten to astrology. We talked and talked until the last minute that we had. We reached the dead end of the park and bid goodbye after some time.

It was really nice to see her differently that day. She still has a lot to say. I thanked her too for some realizations, for some details and for helping me with the article I’m doing.

Not so later when I got home, I opened my laptop and typed on the web URL. www.astrology.com

I tried.

and guess what right now.

It worked!

Lovelots,
Coco