I have no updates for you, my friends. My fingers are just really, really itching to text him right now, and so to prevent myself from yielding to the (dare I say) “thirst,” I must write. I must write and share nothing. The Guy has completely vanished into the maddening, intoxicating ether of douchebagdom. There is absolutely nothing new to share.
Every now and then I write on my offline journal. I have this thick hardbound notebook with watercolor peaches on the cover, and its sheets are lined with orange dots. It’s cute but a little pricey, although not as pricey as the (faux?) leather-bound journals that some of my friends own.
“Journaling helps you process your feelings,” a friend once told me. Other friends have also recommended that I write down my thoughts as a way to self-soothe. Writing on a journal has helped them sort through the cumulonimbus clutter in their heads, and having that clarity and organization of thought was key to their recovery from whatever rut they were in.
And so I journal. And this year, boy oh boy — I have written lots of entries about men. The Guy, in particular, has existed in my head for far longer than he existed in my life. An entry from two months ago:
I am the reacher. I fall for men who are simply not that into me, and I know it. I am aware of it. And still, I spend 80% of my day telling myself don’t text him don’t text him don’t text him, only to fold and eventually send a message that is both dripping in hope and drenched in desperation: “Hey, are you back in the city yet? :)”
And the app shows me one grey check mark — these fucking annoying check marks that I obsess over and over and over. One grey check means the message has been sent to the server but not delivered to the device yet. Two grey checks means the message has been delivered to the device and the user has received a notification. And when the grey checks turn blue, it means the message has been opened and read.
I know he will see my message, I know it. I also know that he will swipe it off the home screen because that’s what he does. He probably just says to himself: maybe I’ll reply to her later when I get bored.
But he won’t. Of course he won’t. Fuck him, man. Fuck men.
He actually replied to that message a few hours after I wrote the entry. “Hey, I just got back,” he said, and we ended up hanging out a couple days later. It was my message from last month that he never responded to. It has two blue check marks so he has read it. He has also chosen to willfully ignore it.
There’s this one panicky neuron in my head that wonders: what if he’s just waiting for me to text him again? Hey, been a while. Did you end up going to that trip in [city]? What if sending that message rekindles what we used to have?
But ah, of course that’s not gonna happen, is it? If he wanted to see me, he would text me. And I should be with someone who enjoys my company, someone who wants to spend time with me as much as I want to spend time with them.
But what if such a person does not exist? What if I, by virtue of being old and ugly and basically below-average on many, if not all, measures — what if I am simply not meant to love? To be loved?
Okay, fine, I don’t think I will text him tonight. I have enough cake and ice cream to last me through the evening. Oh! And I have my sketchpad lying open on the coffee table in case I get extra lonely. I was feeling a little nostalgic last weekend and thought, hmm, maybe I should pick up the brushes again. I guess we’ll see.
maaaring maangkin sa pag-inom
ang isang tinig —
pag-ibig, pag-ibig, pag-ibig.
— sipi mula sa “Ganap” ni Carlos Piocos III
The images on this post are all mine. Watercolor on paper. Digitized using a phone scanner haha.