May 22, 2005

K-

Nice day? Or still too much? A lot of questions you had there. Thank you for them. I let them keep me company for a while, as I simmer through my routines.

What have I been up to? A lot of boring stuff. The type that drives your folk to mark us socially challenged. Or misanthropes. In truth, I'm trying to keep to myself as much as humanly possible. Before, the coffeeplaces sufficed to give me some alone time. Overpriced drinks yes, damned too classy of me. But I like the understanding that I can stay there for hours, smelling other people's coffee while getting lost in the amorous wood of Petrarch's Canzoniere, the night of Williams's Iguanas, and the length of my own pen's shadow upon some unfotunate paper.

But recently, I end up studying people's faces and ways of conducting themselves. Those shiny elbows, those fine brows, the nasty hips, and all the blank eyes I can drink. It's a guilty pleasure at least, a perverse habit, at most. But I guess, that's my work. You deal with numbers and balances, I deal with character sketches.

I went to the hotel again on my own a couple of days ago. Going through much and I'm not disposed to disclose details.

I had a ballpen and pad. But then there was the expanse of the sheets. Although I had a craving for the stronger scent and color of oils and the thick brushes of coarse goathair. The bedsheets were as white as reams of bond paper. It was horrible.

I made full use of three hours and I didn't even touch the bed. Although, yes, I was dead tired. I guess I'm undergoing a lot of clarification too. A lot of "what's up now?" "what next?' "how do I work though all these?" I wrote so much that time. It took me almost an hour to realize that the aircon was not on at all.

You asked me too if there was propriety in writing me. While I don't know if you did right, I know that sometimes it's enough that you felt right doing so. You taught me that. Of course, you were never keen on following your own advice. I wonder if any of us can take the weight of our own advice?

This doesn't matter at all but allow me to say it: I'm glad you did.

See, my guide is this picture you gave me. I want you to always have that smile. I want to remember you as you were in your old safety-pinned whites and in your black elegance in diliman and rockwell (and all those places that I want to be dispossessed of). Most of all though, I want to be sure you are smiling.

Keep well and stay rested. The monsoon will come soon enough to soothe you. When was the last time you took a bath under the rains? Thank you for making your presence felt during these hours. Always pamper yourself.

And for your last question: keep him.

d