“How are you?” Somebody asks.
“I’m okay,” you say.
We say “I’m okay” so often we even come to a point of believing we’re okay. It’s sad that we have to lie about this. Heck, I even find myself literally telling myself while I’m breaking down, “You’re okay. It’s okay. Everything will be fine.”
Do I believe everything will be fine? Maybe. But am I really okay?
I think I have gotten so good at pretending that things are fine and dandy because when I’m around people I actually “believe” I’m okay. It’s almost like I’m a completely different person when I’m around people.
It’s when I’m alone and alone in my thoughts that I say, “No, you’re not okay.”
Not okay is all I have right now.
Any time spent with the family is a time well-spent indeed. Last Saturday, April 15th, my family and I went to Talisayan, Misamis Oriental to visit a piece of property that my parents own there. Talisayan is a special place to us because it is my maternal grandmother’s hometown. I’ve gone there countless of times as a kid but I haven’t really made it back there in a long time. Here are some snippets of that day.
Here’s me, being an annoying sister. Haha!
A little family photo shoot with special participation of my dad’s ear.
Seriously, we barely had decent photos.
Roadside find: Sweet corn for 20 pesos. One of the best I’ve had!
We had what I would call an ironic dry picnic. Ironic because the beach was just a few steps away and none of us went there. It was packed with people! It was around 2PM when we at lunch, by then, everyone was too hungry to even think of taking photos so this is the only one I got. Hahaha!
On my insistence, we had a stopover at Balingasag for a few minutes on our way back. We got lost at first but I think getting lost was definitely worth it. I really wish there’s something like this in Cagayan de Oro.
Finally, here are three of my favorite photos of this trip.
We got back in CDO at around 7PM. Mom talked dad into treating us out for dinner out. Yay! We had dinner at Gerry’s Grill.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say that day was a 9, almost perfect. It would’ve been perfect if my elder brother and his family were with us, too. For that, I declare my family’s official tagline to be: Always Incomplete.
In comes the winter breeze
That chills the air and drifts the snow
And I imagine kissing you under the mistletoe
When springtime makes its way here
Lilac blooms reminds me of the scent of your perfume
A scent that I could not for the life of me describe. I have no idea what brand of perfume or cologne it is. I don’t even remember it when I voluntarily try to recall it. But I swear just one whiff of it gives me this crazy nostalgia.
Yesterday, it happened again. It was probably one of the worse ways it could happen because it was while I was walking the busy streets of Cogon. For context: being around the public market, the streets of Cogon are jam-packed with people, street vendors everywhere, parked and moving vehicles alike. A vortex of chaos.
It was getting late so we decide to divide and conquer the errands that had to be done. My dad asked me to go buy meat from Ororama Supercenter, which was a few blocks away from where we were parked.
So there I was walking, maneuvering my way around the chaos and attempting to cross a street with a slew of oncoming vehicles, when a cool breeze came along with that scent. I caught a whiff of it and I was done.
How could I have forgotten that smell? The scent I smelled on a lot of days a thousand moons ago. That scent will always bring to me a sense of nostalgia. Memories both happy and said. Memories that I sometimes willingly relive and sometimes I desperately run away from.
Unless I scour the depths of the malls here around the city, I’ll probably never find out what scent that was. And I choose not to. Because, as much I hate suddenly being nostalgic while crossing a street, I also like being hit with some of my favorite memories without notice. Like a good kind of warmth on a long, tiring day.
A time machine.
That is the power of a single scent. It takes you back to what once was.
With that, let me cap off my reverie with this beautiful song from Boyz II Men, 4 Seasons of Loneliness.
A beautiful string of words
A poem cradling my soul
A soft rhythm
A warm embrace
A goodbye that wasn’t said
A home I used to have
A dream never to come true
A love I’ll never have
“…a part of me still thinks we’re an unfinished story. The biggest cliffhanger of all time. A TV series on its winter break. A movie franchise rearing for its sequel. An ellipsis before the next chapter.
I guess I lived my life secretly thinking we’ll see each other again. And somehow the universe would be on my side then and everything will work out between us. But that’s where I’m dead wrong. People only meet again in movies and we are not an unfinished story. I want our story to be unfinished because I just couldn’t let you go. “
“Do you still love him?” Iris was asked.
She stilled as she let the memories of him consume her. Of the boy who once made her feel alive. The boy who used to be her life.
“No, not anymore,” she lied.
Nugget: a small lump of valuable metal
How very apt that I’ve decided to call you nugget. However little part I have left of you, you remain so precious to me. Minute, yes, but never insignificant.