The 25th Hour

May 4, 2004 at 6:46 pm | Posted in Something, Travels | Leave a comment

The long and winding road to Laoag is fraught with questions and uncertain intentions. I do not know what I am getting myself into but I take a deep breath, and get on the bus anyway. It leaves at midnight, will snake its way along the unfamiliar stretch of highway up north and lead me to a young man I barely know.

Turn the clock twenty four hours forward and I am back to where I was before. More positive than ever with a stupid smile stuck on my face.

What happened in between? Obviously it was something good. Actually, it was fantastic. And I don�t mean the physical side of it. Some people think I dropped everything just to get my rocks off. But that wasn�t it. People who know me, the ones who really know me, said it best: it�s not even about the guy anymore. �This decision is all about you.�

Eileen added, �No one deserves to be happy now more than you.� And I guess she�s right. Living a life is no crime. Letting an opportunity slip by is an option for losers. I�ve been called a loser before, and I�m tired of it. It was an unkind accusation, an arrogant judgment but I allowed myself to believe in it.

Thus, last Saturday was partly about proving that I can take a chance on life. Not for anybody else�s sake but for my own. That�s what I got out of PJ. That and the fact that he�s a wonderful guy who deserves the very same things I so fervently seek.

After dinner we sat outside his house and started talking. When he took me in his arms and kissed me, I felt a world inside of me open. It was a world inhabited by hope and acceptance. For the first time in a while, I felt it was okay to let myself be vulnerable again.

I told PJ I like him. I told PJ I wanted him. But I told him we should just take the moment as it comes. I opened up, unsure of how he�d respond. I expressed how I felt and yet I kept my expectations grounded. His response was beautiful.

To be sure, he is not without his own issues. I can understand his pain, although I cannot assume to know how it feels, nor can I assure him I will solve his problems for him. That�s not what I came to Ilocos Norte for. I came to PJ to see if we can have a connection, and I left PJ with the assurance that at the very least he�s found a genuine friend.

He�s walking wounded, but there�s a light-hearted beauty that shines through even when he claims he�s feeling shitty. And I love the form of his mass, the categoricalness of his bones, the tenderness of his arms, and his weight pressing against me.

I like PJ. It�s not difficult for me to see myself falling for him. He�s funny, he�s smart, he inspires me, and there are sparks.

So this is the 25th Hour: after spending a day with PJ, I find myself opening up even more. I am more courageous and willing to gamble. Risk isn�t such a bad thing after all.

Spike Lee asked whether you could change your whole life in a day in the movie from which I got this title. I used to chaff at that question. It�s so ridiculous, really. Maybe you can turn yourself around in a month or two, or more probably in a few years. But in a day? Come on.

But last Saturday was pivotal in that I learned that most important of all, I should learn to balance between distancing myself from how I feel and look at it objectively on the one hand, and giving in with total abandon on the other. PJ gave me the chance to do both.

In return, I�ve opened the door, and he can feel free to explore my heart anytime he wants. If he gets tired of me, because he says we all get tired of people eventually, then at least we tried.

I guess to make myself clear � I just want to say that PJ is an open-ended question. Someone asked me if he�s my boyfriend and I tell her flatly, that no, he is not. I don�t want to impose any more expectations on him. I don�t even want to crowd him. I respect his space, his freedom, and his context.

But at the end of the day, I want to be the first to tell him that whatever he�s gone through, and if he�s been dealt a bad set of cards, it�s still okay because I�m here, and I�m not going anywhere. If it doesn�t work, then I�m thankful because I was at least given a chance to say how I felt.

So all in all, last Saturday was all about shattering great expectations. But for now, I�m just watching the clock tick by, basking in and wishing that the 25th hour lasts a little longer.


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