daybreak. almost. still awake, gnarling at one task after another, snarling at each word written, each letter scribed. it was almost daybreak and yet he was still wide awake, completing the remaining minutes before it was technically daytime.

the night curtains closed,
a yellow speckle peeks --

leaks -- a rooster crows

as he was to take a long break, he felt the urge and the motivation to complete what can be completed at little time left before he leaves for another task in the morning. and time would sweep away like fallen leaves after a long forceful wind. he had to finish what could be finished before he became incommunicado for almost four days while spinning the hours away in a laid-back mountain village - walking, drinking tea, marveling at the panoramas, and of course, ruminating the days on thinking and planning his life.

the fan gently hums
pattern after pattern

of its rhythmic snores.

he needed to wake up from his dreaming - of her. the possibilities were slim. the engagements would be rare. he had to see sense in his lunacy - in his ardor longing to the only detail of knowing her and hearing her speak her name. and he was going away to set his mandates straight and real - to come home assured and no longer listless.

the sun - its golden
carpet crisply flooding
the darkness - rises.

hoping, he finally set out to fill the void.



and because i want to do my part in helping people, saving the world.
i will grapple and find order.

in the meantime,
on the verge of lunacy,
in longing for you,
allow me to fall
this just one moment...

let me fall.


as she was still sleeping

she had slept soundly already, her breathing as calm as ever, a warm draft on a cold evening. her lips gently clasped and her eyes unassumingly fazed already in a dream-like state, she was almost like a young child cradled between a mother's arms - akin from the bed she's lying on. the more innocent she looked, the more i could not take my eyes off her. and the more i could not stand to love someone as delicate-looking as her, sleeping ever so comfortably and trusting that none may come against her.

my hand could only go so far as to unravel the angelic face slightly hidden by a few strands of hair that managed to straddle to cover her. her cheeks still held traces of a prior's sadness, yet her lips had already managed to draw a smile before succumbing to sleep. it was a cold night.

the unbearable lightness of her slumber now managed to awaken a slow stirring inside me - as it gradually heightened and agitated my senses - could i still love. the demands that the world has apparently placed on my shoulders far outweighed the image of this young girl and the ability to ever place myself in a precarious position as intimacy.

she was sleeping soundly still. she seemed to have twitched for a gentle touch of comfort, of affirmation that i was still there to keep watch over her. naked as she was in the comfort bosoms of her bed, i could only watch in loving contrition thinking...


wandering pieces of his soul

"there are times when we need to undergo a ritual to recollect the souls we left in places we have visited."

"this white string tied around my left wrist means that i recently underwent a ritual in my hometown to recollect my pieces. and i can't just give this if you mean to ask it from me. this one is special for me."

he was told that when persons travel to different places, they always leave a part of themselves - fragments of their souls. in some instances, they require a certain kind of ceremony to re-unite the lost fragments and make them feel whole again. it did explain a lot of things about himself - how fragmented he may be feeling possibly from the pieces left wandering in the various places he had visited and seen. it was as if he had left in himself almost none a soul at all with all the pieces scattered and possibly awaiting recovery.

in his last journey, it seemed that he left none when he returned home - leaving what little soul left he had to that last place. no wonder he had been feeling forlorn - perpetually listless and wistful.

if ever he would intend to reunite himself with all his other fragments, a white string borne by a ceremony to recollect all that had been unintentionally left and scattered. or the need to return in this lifetime to reclaim his pieces - from those who may have unintentionally held on to them - a woman possibly that could have stolen his affection, or a vocation to relocate. or perhaps, be reborn in these places to relive what secrets these places held that enamored parts of his soul to stay.


as i leafed through her

"there's nothing really much about it. it could be just because of the frustration. frustration borne out of desperation can spell an awfully lot of chaos in a person's predisposition in life and... you know... your heart."

infatuation maybe. but i have held out all possible cards to explain this - from the very moment i laid out my eyes on her, a twitch from her soft cheeks turned her supple lips into a delicate smile, and her eyes laid out on mine, glimmered of a familiarity that only unexplained mysteries have the plausibility to enchant in longing significance. it could only be - but it's too early to say. the only thing i have now is the fact that i can't get her off of my mind.

"you do find her pretty. maybe you should get her as your wife. you can practice here. you have good profession."

and he talks of marriage as if it's as easy as picking guavas in a nearby guava tree. however, much of what he said holds true, to the extent of studying marriage customs and laws. this sickness may be going too far ahead of what i should actually do initially - which is to get to know her more first. not even a name, a number or an address. and this creates more of the frustration - that in order to truly - you know what - her, i should, at the very least, know her name and how to get in touch with her.

"thanks for a great night. i really enjoyed the company."

"did you find a beautiful l girl after? i couldn't come anymore because of something urgent for the next day. next time i'll join you."

chuckling to myself, i replied, "yes we did find beautiful girls. they were remarkable. not as tall and gracious as the beer lady but still good-looking enough."

"but you did pursue them afterwards, i mean, make love?"

i have wrestled with this in my mind for quite some time. the frustration of wanting but not having, the frustration of hanging with my pride but losing the prize, the utter disappointment of losing an apparent sense of climax. all the while, i am thinking of the prolonged connection with the meeting of the eyes, and the sincere smiles with that woman, different from the one i was with then. "no. she did not want. shy maybe or she doesn't understand my intentions," my intentions being practically obvious at that time and in that place. and further deeper, i could not bring my principles to stoop further lower to force the woman that would not want. it extinguishes what little semblance of intimacy to make. and my pride would not want me to look for another other than her.

"language would never pose a problem. you can use body language. you need to have better negotiation skills, more than technical knowledge, more than an academic pursuit of social and cultural assessments of actions. in short, you have to be more personal with her."

how more personal can one get with arms deeply wrapped around her shoulder, hand straddling along her arm and slowly tempting itself to enamour her cushioned bosoms - disengaged with a sudden wave from her hands. how more intimate can one get, after a slight rejection around her arms, when the hand gradually and sensuously grapples towards her cushioned bottoms, awaiting an opportunity to be permitted to explore the deep crevices of her pleasure cove - interrupted by her sudden twists to disrupt my searching hand. language was never a problem. connection was what was lacking then. completely a turn-around from when i met this other woman's eyes and smiled at her reciprocated smile. "maybe you are right. she doesn't want me to touch her. now i decide to learn more about the language to make love... but the beer lady is more beautiful and very tall. i could not keep my eyes from staring at her."

"another girl sat next to our table when we were drinking beer. she can speak very well. maybe you can say to her in german - 'ich liebe dich sehr. liebst du mich? danke!'"

"ah yes. i got her number but can't figure out from the number how to call her. her name is c-p. she said she works in a nearby hospital as a nurse."

"oh be careful with the nurse. if she's not happy with you, she will cut yours. you should try more next time. and inform me or invite me during the negotiation."

"that's crazy - to cut mine. i can make her happy. it was frustrating that the other girl was playing hard-to-get. maybe she was too shy. maybe she doesn't like me because i refused to eat the pork she offered me." although i would never have thought for a woman to dislike a man who doesn't eat pork. maybe there are. in my case however, it seemed like... impossible.

"you don't have to worry about the food or the eating style. what happened to me once, i don't eat dog meat. eye contact is very important. usual for the first time. second time is better. don't give up."

"good advice." so i am thinking. she was right beside me, eye contact was rather difficult - not precisely because of our positions but more on the fact that i unintentionally refused to make eye contact with her - afraid perhaps that she will know i am of no good to her.

it was however different from that other one - the meeting of the eyes - a sort of an unexplained but an unspoken contract of affection - the reciprocated mutual smiles - and the anonymity that shrouded them all. this may actually be enough for me to conclude, that i may... after a long time of complacency...
in fact, be in - __

and i really can't take my mind off of her.


and i saw her standing there

a feeling was left hanging - disappointment, frustration, a certain longing, an amalgamation in a deep breath carried by a listless view of a place now far away from where he is now. it was curious as this had never happened recently before, that is, less than a span of a few years. he never did think of undergoing a same confusion as many years back when he attempted to coo a woman from school - so as to attempt a closure of forever not having made his feelings known. closing that chapter of rejection in his life then, the feeling would have almost been lost in the back attics were it not for that long night of merrymaking and realizing that its ardor was once again a-flamed upon remembering long glimpses of her...

hours before in that afternoon as she swayed herself with grace outside the car, a short look at him with a flurry of a sincere smile to send himself swirling back again to memories of forlorn fondness.

"i don't know. i never got her number or address, and i'm leaving tomorrow."

"she's pretty huh. you like her? she's 24," b said.

"yes. indeed she is. but maybe she has a boyfriend. don't you think so?"

"i know she doesn't. if she does, then it's competition for you. you like her a lot eh?"

"you're right. competition," and he never had thought of being competitive for women, as disappointment started to take his eyes off the side-mirror complacently adjusted to still see her as she went off to wait for possibly a tuk-tuk ride.

"so tonight, we go out and drink beer and eat eel. it's good."

"ah yes," as the thought of his last night's beer drinking relieved him temporarily of that forlorn feeling for her. and he never did get her name, and felt embarrassed even to ask b in more detail about her, "so it will be fun tonight eh."

"yes, we'll go out to friends' beer. it's maybe five kilometers from the center. maybe, fifteen minutes to get there. we'll have beer and eel."

"fun. thanks so much."

it took more or less twenty minutes to get to friends' beer, a bar located near the outskirts of the city beside the highway. with a marvelous view of rice-lands stretching almost to the horizon, it was gradually eaten from view by the fog as the late afternoon slowly turned into night. it was then with the enveloping darkness of the horizon that initiated the night of a fun-filled drinking among friends and almost strangers, as he was almost a stranger to most of them, as did the women that came and left in the bar through the night were initially strangers then turned acquaintances.

rounds of beer came and left as each hour passed. the beer lady came and became friendlier as the night wore on. mon was her name and he was never able to take his eyes off of her - the height, the face and the smile all too well reminded him of back home and sent a cringing frustration through his spine. much as he wanted to become more than friendly, the barrier of differences that each spoke was enough to lull any exciting moment into utter downed frustration. he could only do so much as smile at her when she glanced, smile more when she poured beer one after another to his emptied glass, and offer a limited complement through b when she fretted a second time to become more friendly with him.

"r, look behind you. i think she wants to talk to you," b exclaimed suddenly after quite an insightful discussion about revolutions, parties and memberships.

"ah who?," and he glanced at his back and saw a fair-skinned pleasant pretty face, amidst the karaoke revelry and interspersed yellow and red light to temper the darkness, "ay hello miss. you speak english?"

and the conversation continued on between the two
for a few minutes with b jeering beside him in his indistinct local language. she said she worked in the nearby hospital as a nurse and she welcomed him contacting her anytime and meeting her when he comes back. he was pleased with himself, as he did almost believe himself to grow old dry and shriveling hopelessly for a glimmer of intimacy from a woman's loving embrace, as a beatles' song slowly and mellowly repeated in his head "and i saw her standing there."

it was a night of revelry and merry-drinking, building friendships and meeting new acquaintances, of realizations and rekindling of a lost youth and core principles. he may have found himself, after a long time, to be in that confusing disposition as love. and he may have felt, with longingness and fondness, her always standing there.