The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, October 31, 2004

All She Ever Wanted Was (In This World Devoid of True Believers)

{to My Future Wife, Charlotte Belialba}

I wrote this poem in October 1996 as a gift to a long-lost friend, who found me recently, in June 2004, on the Friendster Web site. I never really expected this, though there were moments when I’d think of whatever happened to her after our last meeting. This friend and I were former officemates, as well as close friends, at Quorum Litigation Services [also, Quorum-Lanier (Phil.) Inc.], the company where I worked from 1996 to 1999.

I never kept a copy of the poem; in fact, I’ve already forgotten all about it, except for some bits of phrases that eventually (and inevitably) appeared in a few newer poems I’ve written, so one can imagine my surprise when my friend asked me if I still recall the poem I once gave her. The surprise turned into delight when she told me she still has it in her keeping after all those years, as a part of her treasured memorabilia. Sending me a copy, she melted my heart and inspired my once-in-a-while blotting pen.

Reading it now, I realized that eight years ago, or even farther back, I was already breathing and living the kind of poetry that has become a style of my own. And reading it gradually transported me back to our happy days.

The poem also made me remember the last moment we saw each other—it was a chance meeting several years ago--I was alighting the jeepney along Ayala Ave. in Makati City, Philippines), when I took notice of a petite girl seating there silently, who was equally surprised on seeing me as well but had rather become speechless, too, for I was already stepping out of the public utility vehicle. The sudden turn of moments failed both of us to utter anything to each other except "hi" and "bye" and half smiles.

We never saw each other again. I since then regretted that day, for my failure to exert any effort in, say, running after the jeepney or asking her to alight as well. For, it would have been my second chance finally to reveal that I have kept her for so long in my heart—that I was secretly loving her.

I’m sure it happens to many of us, placed in the same situation. No one, I think, is excused from idiocy once in a while (or even most of the times).

Thanks for finding me, Charlotte. Almost nothing can make me feel better than having a long-lost love regained and a prospect of a happy married life together rekindled.

Yes, Charlotte and I have finally decided to get engaged. We will get married as soon as I return home, in two to three years' time. A folly, some might think. Unbelievable, a few did already say. Romantic and good luck, we believe in your indomitability, my best friends encouraged.

Thank you, for believing in us. Encouragement and gifts of hope are what Charlotte and I need in this most difficult of times.

But as what my Charlotte wrote to me:

"Distance and Time are nothing compared to Love."

I believe in that, too.
Yes, I believe in love. I believe in my nobility. I am a poet; I have the heart to write my life's own happy ending.

But of course, with so much help from the wishes of people who truly believe in me.

I may have failed to catch you the second time you came to my life; but this third chance would be the last, for I would no longer let go of your love.

Again, Charlotte, this poem is yours.

All She Ever Wanted Was
(In This World Devoid of True Believers)

All she ever wanted was a man
who believes that fairies exist
and butterpillars think and caterflies dream

who knows that parallel lines are parallel
only in short distances
in respect to
the concept of infinity

who believes that turtles leave their carapaces
only when it is not raining and
that manatees are after all merfolk
pretending to be manatees that look like merfolk

who believes that once is better than never, and
part of forever is better than none

who believes that every day can be Valentine
and Christmas at the same time, while tomorrow can
be everybody’s birthday
(imagine those balloons and candles)

who knows that yesterday can hardly be
someday but will always be more memorable
than any other holiday

who believes that there is someone who believes
that there is someone who, like himself, believes in
such seemingly unbelievable make-believes
in this world of make-believing
devoid of true believers

—written in October 1996;
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
(Reprised while listening to “The Crying Scene” by
Aztec Camera (Stray; 1990, Sire)


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