Dark Clouds

It never really goes away, you know, that heavy weight on your shoulder, that dark cloud that hangs over your head that seems to follow you everywhere. You can feel their presence, only you can feel their presence, actually.

You want to scream at people to look at the cloud, to cut the phantom rope around your neck, but you can’t. So you give them your megawatt smile instead, throw witty assurances their way so they won’t suspect that anything is wrong with you. God forbid if they find out that you’re not right in the head. You are, after all, a calm, collected, reliable adult.

So you try to silence the nagging thoughts in your head that tells you that you are nothing but an insignificant speck on this universe. You try to quell the repeating visions of your death —it varies, sometimes a horrid car crash, sometimes a quiet peaceful death. You also tell yourself that the caresses of blade you feel on your wrist where your old scars are is just a  phantom thing from your past, like a pain from a missing limb.

So you just scream internally. Keep it all bubbling inside, waiting for the cathartic moment where you will (hopefully) be free from the dark clouds and phantom ropes. But you doubt if it will come, of if catharsis would equal to eternal rest.

There are good days though, it is not as sunny as other people’s good days, but it is warm enough. Probably more tepid than warm, but it is a vast improvement from the constant chill in your bones, the nagging weight on your shoulder, and the dark ominous cloud overhead.

Those days you cherish. There is only so much sunshine that your dark cloud can allow you. It’s not that you refuse to fight it and actively seek sunshine from somewhere else, it just hangs there, out from your reach yet near enough to block the sun.

Those good days are the only thing that keeps you afloat during the worst. A silver lining, if you may. So while waiting for it, you just keep on swimming.

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I can’t do poetry

I can’t do poetry, I never had the patience for rhymes and meters. Pentameters, a-a-b-c’s,  couplets and whatnots, spare me.

I can’t do poetry, symbolisms and metaphors fly over my head like sarcasms on a literal person. Blue skies are just fucking blue skies for me, okay.

I can’t do poetry, I don’t know how to group stanzas and lines. My writings always linger between being prose-like or a half assed, badly done, deconstructed poetry.

I can’t do poetry because I can’t translate my emotions to words. I’m numb, I’m cold, I’m stuck in a rut. Poetry cannot be stone cold and empty, can it?

I can’t do poetry. I don’t have the heart for it, okay maybe also talent and patience, but mostly heart. Probably because I’ve lost my heart while searching for poetry in you.

Calluses

“You know when you write for too long the side of your fingers chafe, it will be red,  slightly tender, and warm. Your skin will repair itself eventually, but then you would write for too long again, your skin would chafe, your skin would heal. Overtime you would have calluses, and your skin wouldn’t chafe anymore. Calluses are tough, rough, and they decrease the eventual pain.”

“What is your point?”

“Don’t give me hope. Enough hope that I may decide to do something about the calluses. Don’t make me forget all my scars, especially if you’re going to leave me with new wounds. I can deal with my old pain but I don’t think I can take new ones, much more so if it’s you who inflicted it.”

“I can’t promise you. I can’t promise you anything, actually. I can’t promise that you won’t get hurt, I can’t promise to not give you hope when there’s none, I can’t. But I will try, I will try to do my best not to hurt you, us. Pain is inevitable my dear, but I will try to soften it. Even if it means I will be hurting more. You’re not the only one with scars, with calluses, but I will be willing to take more wounds for you.”

To the boy I loved from a long time ago

I thought of you today and my heart didn’t do its usual dance, which is good, I guess, because maybe it means that I am finally, finally over you. Getting over you was a long, arduous journey. Not because I miss all the things that we had, which is impossible because we never really had anything, but because I am plagued by the endless probabilities that we could have had.

I can’t really remember much about you now. I am not sure if what I do remember are facts or just fabrications of my infatuated mind. I forgot why I liked you in the first place.

When you found your love and I lost mine, the world felt like a dark place. I felt as if I have been robbed of something that I do not even own, something that I am not sure that I even really want in the first place: us, together. It was a phantom pain, a pain felt by something that ceased to exist.

My dramatic teenage heart wept for those times that it felt that there was almost something. In retrospect, looking at it through the cold cynism of adulthood, there was nothing, absolutely nothing.

It was still painful losing you, yes. But it was not the sort of stabbing pain that I felt when I first saw you with her. The pain when I thought that you betrayed me, which is funny because there was nothing to betray in the first place. It mellowed out into a dull ache eventually. The kind of pain that you are not sure is there until you really think about it.

We were friends before I made the mistake of crossing the line. It’s not hard to do, you were heartbreakingly perfect. You gave mixed signals, or I just thought you did. What can I do but read into them, I am a female after all, our minds jump from friendship to matrimony in an instant. Or so you say.

I ended our friendship. You found her, the one that completes you. I am here picking up the pieces of something that isn’t broken.

Seven minutes in heaven

You kissed him, but it felt wrong. You think maybe it’s just the technique; the depth, the tongue, the position of your lips. You try to deepen the kiss, try a different approach. Pull him nearer, grab his hair, let his hands roam your body. It still feels wrong.  Instead of feeling heady, you are more aware of how slimy his saliva is and how clammy his hands are. You can feel the heat radiating from his body, burning your skin in an unpleasant way.  You feel a heavy lead settle in your stomach,  and it’s not the pleasant one that you know, the one that you feel when you explore beneath your blankets at night.

You control your breathing. Hitched breaths between slow ones. You will yourself to like it, to feel at least a smidgen of heat. You should be ecstatic, you think, you like him after all and all your friends know it. That is why you will be in this closet for the next seven minutes.

When the seven minutes are up, he lets go of you then gave you one of his lopsided smile that you love so much. You smile back politely, go out of the closet before him, still feeling nothing.

Choices

I am a registered nurse, and I don’t want to work in a clinical setting. 

I know that confession may sound odd since nurses and clinical setups always go together, or at least the concept of a nurse working outside that setting is foreign to almost everyone.  Well, probably the BPO industry is an exception to this concept,  since nurses who can’t work in the hospital almost always go there.  But nurses can also work in a lot of areas outside the clinical, or patient care setting.  Like research, health program implementation, and military nursing. 

Even nurses are sometimes unaware of these career paths. Most of them usually go the well accepted path of working in well-known hospitals, who pays next to nothing but works you to the bone, for at least two years. Then they would spend a fortune just to work in another country. Just so they can earn more, and they can also petition their families to go there. 

Given that paradigm, I am expected to work in a clinical setting, because not doing so means wasting my four years of nursing education. But the thing is, I do not want to.  I never really wanted to be a nurse in the first place, then there is also the trauma from my father’s hospitalization. Not that he was treated badly, it’s just that watching someone die in a slow painful manner is really traumatic. And having that experience in my first year of nursing school is awful because as I progressed with my education, I learned more about my father’s disease and how it can be managed,  but it was too late because I can’t use that knowledge to save my father. I felt guilty for being useless. My psychology professor told me it’s not my fault,  but guilt creeps in from time to time and it’s hard to stop. 

I also don’t like working in the clinical setting because it depresses me. I hate seeing the patients suffer. Of course it makes me happy that I can help alleviate their sufferings, but there are just times when I know all my efforts are just for naught and it is really sad. There are also times when I cannot tolerate some situations. Like when we were rotated in the dialysis unit, I broke down. I know I should be in control of my emotions, and I should have dealt with the trauma years before that but… I had flashbacks and I almost didn’t function. There was also the time when my patient was dying, nobody told me he was,  I just knew. His BP was fluctuating, he was in a coma,  and his pupils are unequal; increased intra cranial pressure, I think.  I think I cried for at least 10 minutes.

I know nurses really go through those kind of things, dying patients, that is.  And I know that nursing school did not prepare us for those kinds of events. Actually no nursing book can prepare us for that.  I know nurses can get acclimated to that but I am not sure if I can, or if I can I don’t know how long.

So now, I applied for an office job, I want to take it but, my godmother recommended me in this good tertiary hospital and it’s kind of hard to refuse because it’s a favor. And I am confused.
Maybe the interviewer was right, people my age are still confused.  The young is perpetually restless.

Not a rom-com

Ours was not a rom-com movie, where we get to have dozens of second chances and serendipitous meetings. Ours was not like in those movies, where we wouldn’t care about the people we hurt just so we get our happy ending.

Unlike in those flicks, I would not hurt and leave the man who helped me rebuild myself just so you can destroy me again. Nor would I forgive you so easily, nor believe that you have changed just because you cried in front of me.

I am not a rom-com heroine, unlike them, I do not spend half the screen time fretting if you love me or not. I would not go back to you and forget my dreams even if you ran after me to the airport with a bouquet of roses and a letter full of apologies. Because, like them, I gave you a lot of chances, but unlike them I gave up.

I am not a manic-pixie girl, or any type of female tropes you see in films. I am a mixture of everything; a conglomeration of ingenue, manic-pixie, bitch, with a dash of something else. But in a way, I am like them: a strong independent woman who knows what she wants.

You are not a rom-com hero. Unlike them, you did not change for the better at the half of our story. Unlike them, you have missed all the climactic points where you change from being a selfish boy to a sensitive man. Unlike them, your character did not have any development.

We did not have our rom-com ending, the one with the tacky pop music and sappy lines, and it will never happen.

Maybe we just have not yet reached the end of our stories. Maybe we are just minor characters in our respective films and we haven’t met our love teams yet. I do not know for sure, but all I know is that this plot will never be ours.