< in the interest of the public >
On my way to the Ikot terminal by Vinzons Hall, I was greeted by an Experiment reader. After an exchange of pleasantries (in my case, it was "En Taro Adun") and some small talk, she asked the one question I dread:
"Who's that girl in TMX?"
Charos, the homosexual orangutan in my head screamed. I tend to write in a very cryptic form whenever I talk about my love life here. The way I see it, one tends to play literary Sudoku if he/she wants to know who exactly is the Girl in TMX. And since I know how nerve-racking it is to solve a Sudoku puzzle, I'll make it easier on you.
Yup, since I'm now theoretically and practically single, I guess I have nothing to gain or to lose if I confessed my love life here. The reader (I didn't get her name) says that it's a favorite among Experiment "fanatics," as she put it. So lemme get this straight: I've been writing all this time about my opinions about the sun and everything over, sideways and under it, and all everyone wants to know is my romantic history? In khasmi!
Well, since we have nothing to lose and all... we will rely solely on my prodigious memory for bad things that happened.
* * *
Back in the days when TMX was called "Planet Marocharim," it was a pretty good time for me... at least I thought so. Writing a blog was a distant matter: I didn't actually need it since I had a girlfriend for a month and a couple of weeks since. The idea of blogging was nothing more than something I would spend for some me-time, and I was already crowded with my work at the school paper and with my girlfriend then.
Well, my relationship was in a bit of a rut then: most of it was spent over sembreak. We were "on" on September 21: TMX's precursor wasn't born until November 9, 2005. Interesting enough that we were already an item on September 11 (yes, 9/11) and we were already on at the exact same time the Philippines commemorated the 33rd anniversary of Marcos' declaration of Martial Law. That was considering that I've been making ligaw for a month.
Of course, we could have been talo by 9/11 if not for a stupid act on my part. Karen (my ex-girlfriend) texted me that night to say that she was accepting my rather inane and asinine form of ligaw, basically the most conventional and safest route I can think of since this is my first try. And since I cannot comprehend text lingo and romantic jargon, I texted back to say, "Some other time." I need not expound on that... of course I redeemed myself a week later.
Come our second monthsary (whatever) I had this rather ridiculous premonition, backed up with the ever-so-reliable rumor mill, that I was being cheated on by my girlfriend. The culprit? My best friend in school. I shrugged off every thought of it until a house party. I wasn't there to see the "fireworks," but she did start to commit some promiscuous acts of PDA with my friend to the point of him having kiss marks in his neck area. I didn't get to know about it until a week later.
Ever the in-denial martir, I tried to win her back by dating her and doing everything I can to let the thing work again. I gave up by January: I realized that I was practically being pissed on. So I had every right to be pissed off and I let her have what she wants and I'm keeping the relationship extremely civil to the point that it became extremely uncomfortable for everyone around the office and at school.
A few weeks following our very tumultuous breakup, Karen finally became aware of her sexuality and became a lesbian. Save for her being kicked out of UP (or so I am told), I got plenty lots of good karma. As for her present girlfriend, they've lasted more than a year.
* * *
And so we come to the girl of TMX. By the time I broke up with Karen I decided to take things easy and cross out love altogether from my system... sort of an outright denial of history. That's when I started to feel really uncomfortable and really, well, lovestruck, with Rona. Of course, in my defense, allow me to contextualize: it's only been a month and I took a leap of faith. I went out on a limb that February to set everything up for the mistake-free love life I wanted.
Thanks to the rumor mill, word got out five days early (the plan was Valentine's Day, 2005) that I was concocting some Maro-Plan with spies, witches and cultists... or something to that degree. When that happened, I totally went bonkers: rather than the calm, methodical, scientific courtship I did with Karen, I veered down the sorry-ass path already downtrodden by the torpe population.
So far as Rona was concerned, it was to me a matter of being myself, which is a matter of being an asshole. Since that was completely unacceptable I decided - rather wrongly - that the best possible way to not be an asshole was to court Rona with the power available to me at that moment: text messages (?), Friendster (??) and yes, experiments (!). Having branded myself torpe I also started to explore the super-conventional forms of romance in the way of contrived dates and gifts.
So that explains it. Did I mention that I also failed here?
While some (and by "some" I mean a statistically-negligible number) girls would find that to be alluring, enchanting (and I am told that some people become horny if I write about sex) and romantic, Rona didn't. My cellphone was full of messages surrounding that, and why it wouldn't seem to work out.
"Wouldn't" would be sugarcoating it. It all came crashing down a year later when I was informed that she already had a boyfriend, along with some other issues I have yet to confirm from more than a single source. Well that did it for me - almost - since I still had an extra ace up my sleeve. I made up my mind to talk to her for the last time. As myself.
Well, that didn't happen. The more the thought comes to my head the more I become odious, the more I am repelled by the sheer unfairness of love to the point that I'm not willing to risk it anymore. Something tells me that if she wants to come across as uncaring and brutal, I should do the exact same thing. Why? Because I'm better at it than anyone in the world, especially when it comes to love.
To be honest, nowadays we have a tendency to avoid each other for some unknown reason. I think that there's still a little something there, although nowadays I think otherwise. I've made her suffer in more ways than one, although she'll never fathom how much she made me suffer.
* * *
That brings us to today. Like I said: in both theory and practice, I am single. Aside from secret admirers and girls doing the ligaw for me, I've taken up to enjoy my life without having to go back to that rollercoaster of love, being both Beavis and Butthead to my own heart (I'm never gonna score!). Granted that I still kind of feel like shit at times whenever I remember Rona, but nowadays that doesn't happen too often. Something tells me that if that's the way she wants to live her life, I suppose I should live my life doing the things that make me happy - than to find that one person who can make me happy for all the days of my life.
So I suppose that now comes a chapter in TMX where there is no more girl, no more love-related issues on my part, and down the line maybe I will find my one true love. Fat chance, though: with all the happy things going on in my life, even if most of the time I'm under the heap, ready to snap in more ways than one, there are more things in the world I'm willing to explore and more people I'm ready and able to meet. Between philia and eros, I take the middle ground: agappe. OK, it's too philosophical, too torpe, but that's Marocharim. No damn given.
But if anything, I don't think that people just read me for my love life.
But to all the girls of TMX (plural daw, dadalawa lang naman) I would like to leave them with a rather interesting response by the Experiment reader I met at the Ikot terminal this morning:
"Whoever she is, she sure is lucky."
Postscript: "Charos," so speaketh the gay orangutan in my head.