Let’s take it slow, we said. One date one day at a time. And I try.
But how do I slow
my heartbeat each time I see you?
How does one slow
a fall down into the rabbit hole
when she knows Wonderland awaits?
Take it slow, they said.
Get to know each other first.
But how, when each conversation turns
into a confession of past sins?
Or when every time I talk to you,
it feels as though I’ve known you forever?
All things considered, I guess you could say we took it slow, since the realization – that I had already fallen in love with you – dawned on me just as the night shifts to day: gradually, quietly, slowly.
Written years ago, for a lover who eventually left.
Last January, I made a life-changing decision: I signed up for a membership at Gold’s Gym, and sessions with a personal trainer.
The first few sessions were exhausting, to say the least. Every muscle in my body ached, and I was walking so stiffly that even getting out of a car sent waves of pain screaming down my legs.
Still, I persevered. As of writing, I’ve lost 4 pounds. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. With every session, I feel myself getting stronger, able to do the exercises without getting too out of breath.
I used to be a bit of a news junkie, thanks to the Flipboard app. I selected a bunch of topics that I wanted to see on my feed: global events, news from the Philippines, civil rights (feminism, LGBTQ+, racism), and mental health, among others.
I devoured all the articles. In that way, I formed my opinions on the social and political landscape.
I have made a lot of mistakes in my 26 years of existence; thus, I have a lot of regrets. Poor choices in romantic relationships, self-destructive behavior, etc. But the one thing that sticks out for me is a friendship with a particular person.
What I discovered during our friendship
This person had deep-seated trust issues. They were possessive of me having other friends, to the point that even missing a bus ride home with them was a point of contention. I had to walk on eggshells around them because they were especially sensitive. I always had to be the bigger person—I justified it by saying that they were too young and less mature than I was.
Gelo was always annoyed at my friendship with that person because he knows that they don’t treat me as well as I should be treated. He wondered why I bothered to keep up my friendship with that person for so long.