up close, the view from the distance


It’s our third anniversary today, but the first one where we aren’t together. Plane tickets become absurdly expensive the closer they are to their flight dates, and we didn’t plan this out enough.

True, you made the decision to return to Cebu to be with your family in your new home, but remember that we made the decision to make this work. Long-distance relationships, they say, have a knack for screwing up, with only the question being the when of it; people already get themselves into so much shit even when they see each other everyday, what more for people who don’t, relying on nothing more than a few chat messages and Skype calls for assurance?

If anything, though, this relationship has taught me one important thing: how to appreciate time, to focus on the short presence rather than on the long absence, to take it all in while it’s there.

They say that the best way to truly understand something is to look at it from another angle; seeing the things that lurk on the dark side of the moon, and if they’re friendly enough to hold a conversation with. I think this is what this distance has done: given us another dimension with which to frame things through. I notice that when I am with you, I am fully alive, fully present–body, mind, soul–as opposed to those times when people reach the point where they simply force themselves to be together, squeezing themselves into mental and emotional spaces that are only good for one. This space also gives us both time to wander, to learn more about ourselves and re-frame everything every now and then, and I think it’s doing us both good. I am reminded of a new-age philosophy I once read, which described human interaction as a form of sharing energy–I am tempted to call it The Force because of the appropriateness of it all–and this system falling prey to two people’s addiction to each other’s energy, which runs to both their detriment after some time. I think that our relationship, because of the space we have, has culminated in a sort of steady comfort, a feeling that you’re all the better for the simple fact that there’s someone to “come home” to, in a manner of speaking; that you’re not THAT worthless a person, no matter how big a depressed misanthrope you’ve become.

They also say that the awareness of death is what teaches us to come to an appreciation of life, that those at the pinnacle of this awareness regress to the ancient religious concept of sleep as a little death, and waking up again as a little resurrection, akin to the cycle of day and night: Ra vanquishing the crocodile, Amaterasu coming up when Tsukiyomi isn’t around, Shamash doing his regular patrols as guardian of both east and west. Thankfully, this awareness of ours comes at a cost that isn’t as permanent, though there are times when all I can do is count down the days to the next flight out, or your next flight in, whichever comes first.

This distance sucks, and I see it in how you bawl your eyes out right before we part in the departure area, which I think sees more than its fair share of tears on any given day. But, in a way, I think this is one of the healthier things we’ve done so far, until the time we’re sure we can settle down in a more comfortable galaxy, whether here or far, far away. I’ve told you what I plan to do with my life, and I assure you that we’re getting there.

The Fourth is with Us, as it has always been.

Happy Anniversary, dear. I love you.