Electric Itlog

An archive of what was and what will be...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Disforget

Warning: This post is unusually long. If you're not into reading long blog posts, do not proceed. If you are, then get yourself a comfortable chair. You'll need one.

I always had an eclectic taste in music. Unlike most other gay dudes out there who prefer high-pitched diva songs and popsy female vocals, I often find myself listening more to alternative rock bands, "emo" OPM acts and music that only straight guys would understand. Maybe this is the effect of spending seven years in an all-boys school where each first Friday celebration is accompanied by rock sounding mass songs... or maybe I was just born with heterosexual ears.

My usual Musikcube playlist is dotted with songs from many of my favorite bands: Spongecola, Yellowcard, Acceptance—to name a few. The emo sound really sticks to my ears, and I often find myself singing songs that would never give a hint of my sexual orientation.

But this post isn't about my auditory preference, but about one song from one of my favorite bands—the song that keeps on playing on my head; the song that I sing every time I board an FX home; the song that has kept me awake many nights, thinking and humming and introspecting.

That song is none other than Join the Club's Dekada (Nakalimutan Ko Na Bang Magmahal?).

***

I remember the first time I had a serious relationship: it was my senior year in high school. I rose from being a nobody to one of the campus figures—the one you see every morning and leading prayers, the one who asked you to rise and sit at every mass, the one who wrote the best documents for the student council, the one who introduced every guest, performer and activity during major campus events.

He was really more of a nobody. While I was standing under the lights of the follow-spots of the gymnasium, he was there among the multitude of students on my front clad in white polos and navy blue pants. We didn't share the same stage.

But to be fair, he did have his own stage. He was one of the best athletes in school, albeit not one of the well-known. Give him any kind of ball and you'll know he'll win. He could even beat me at table tennis if he wanted to.

We didn't really share the same space. His crowd, although not directly in opposition to mine, was not one of those that I hang out with. Unlike most of my batch, he was one of those freshmen transferees who never really fitted into the whole system.

I never really fancied him, nor did he fancy me (I think). All I know is that during our freshmen year, one of my close friends had a huge crush on him. But weird things happen. And come the third academic quarter of S.Y. 04-05, I found myself tied to him. We were the new couple... although no one knew except for him and me.

But it never turned out like the fantasies I had since I knew that I had a liking for men. And within three months, we broke up after an incident that is almost exactly like that in Jojo's "Leave":

Cause I know, about her and I wonder
How I bought all your lies
You said that you would treat me right
But it was just a waste of time.

It's funny that most of my friends only knew about our short-lived affair after we broke up. I guess we were good at keeping secrets. We did have casual sex every now and then after that, but we never really got back together, even if I have always wanted to. (In fact, I even wrote this post, which I reposted for the sake of posterity. And yes, it was a nasty post.)

I had flings and short lived affairs after that, but nothing serious nor long lasting. I guess I felt that that was my first, true relationship. And I never had another one since then.

***

Join the Club's Dekada has strong lyrics. Strong in a way that you either don't get it or get it completely as though it was written just for you.

Although the whole song is ripe with lines that strike the rusty chords of a loveless heart, perhaps the best line is from the chorus itself:

Nakalimutan ko na bang magmahal?

Join the Club has a track record for their songs dealing with the lives of broken hearted people—their band, after all, is a homage to the bitter. But this particular line has haunted me for quite a bit, because I have asked myself the same question for quite some time now.

***

Many of my friends who have not seen me for quite some time often begin our accidental conversations with the question:

"O, may jowa kaba ngayon?."

But for most of my close friends, this question almost never pops. I guess they know that I'm the type of guy who thinks boyfriends are like cellular phones—you don't have to get a new one every month. Indeed it has been quite some time since I last had to answer that question. I'm sure they know that if I had one, I'll be proud to tell them all.

Don't think of me as someone who's afraid to get into a relationship, or someone who doesn't have crushes or never fancies anyone; I have had more crushes than the number of contacts in my phone book. And the list grows almost every month. And I'm sure that if someone I like asks me to be his boyfriend, I'd be on the next train out of Singlestown.

But though I can say that I know how to fancy, I cannot say for certain if I still know how to love.

***

Whenever I go and meet my friends, I try to stay with them as much as I can. It's not always because I love wasting my time but because I don't want to go home.

Because location has always been a problem for me. The places I tend to visit the most are the places which tend to be miles away from where I live. When I was still studying at UST, it would take me an hour to get there every morning and another hour to get home at night.

I always get that nasty feeling whenever I wave goodbye to my friends, because I know that in a few minutes time, I will be boarding my ride home, alone and lonely.

Two full hours (sometimes even more) of being alone.

***

They say that you can't forget being human—because that's who you are. I won't be wrong to say that you can't forget hunger or thirst or pain.

But when you've been alone for almost all your life, is it not possible to forget how to love?

***

Do you know that feeling you get when your riding a PUV alone and a bunch of people ride the same vehicle and they talk for hours on end about all things they could think of and when they say something funny, you're left all alone to fend off the laughter in you? It seems that it's rude to laugh at jokes which are not directed towards you.

How about that feeling you have when you suddenly remembered something and you want to share it with someone else but unfortunately, you have no one to talk to, aside from the other people around you who you barely know?

How about when you go to bed at night, feeling so sad, wanting nothing else but to share the bed with another human being, only to find that you are still alone and that the only thing that will touch you is the cold wind from your fan?

And how about you not needing to remember those things, because you never forgot them in the first place since this is how each and every moment of your life feels?

It sucks to be lonely.

***

I love the concept of the word "forget." At it's purest, it is a verb, an action word. But aside from that basic definition, it has semantical implications that are very interesting.

Unlike many other verbs, "forget" can be intentional or unintentional—meaning you can do it on your own free will or do it without your knowledge. There are two sides to this word. Two very different sides.

***

Yes, to answer Dekada's question. Yes, I have forgotten how to love. I have forgotten how it feels like to care for someone so much that you can't sleep or you can't eat or you can't even think properly. I have forgotten how it feels like knowing that you'll have someone who cares for you so much. I have forgotten the feeling of sleeping with someone you love so much at night and waking up to see him still there, still with you, still loving you.

And now I remember how it feels like to be so alone.

***

The English forms of the two concepts of "forgetting" are the same, primarily due to the highly uninflected grammar of the language. But if we switch to the Tagalog forms, it becomes clearer.

The Tagalog root word is "limot." There are two verb forms in the present tense: "kinalimutan" and "nakalimutan." The first signifies forgetting willfully, out of your own free will. You forget because you want to, because you need to.

But the second is an unconscious act: one which you didn't do on purpose, one without consent. It's not your decision to forget. It was due to circumstances, it was accidental, it was unwanted. It was Fate that decided.

I find it interesting that the line that strikes me most from the Dekada doesn't use the first, intentional form but takes the second one:

Nakalimutan ko na bang magmahal?

Why is it interesting? Because the song is given a whole new depth. The lyrics resonate a new message: with this unconscious act of forgetting, there is that possibility of reversing the action.

With every instance of "nakalimutan" comes the hope of redemption:

Maalala

***

If I fall, will someone catch me? If I cry, will someone dry my tears? If I'm sad, will someone cheer me up? If I'm cold, will someone be there to warm me with in arms? If I wake up, will someone be there by my side?

If I finally decide that it's time, will someone be there to help me remember how to love?

***

This is one of my longest posts and certainly one of the most "emo." I won't be apologetic about the length—I have so many things to say and I need many words to express them.

You can infer that from the subject, the tone and the length of this post, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and you're right. I guess that's all I can do while I'm all alone.

In the end, I'd like to post another question to myself, now that the former question that Dekada has posited upon me has been answered:

Maalala ko pa kayang magmahal?

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14 Comments:

At 10:20 AM , Blogger goddess said...

feeling ko wala talagang FORGET, because you can never forget.. (in terms of love ito ah).. hindi yung mga Alzheimer’'s disease effect ah..

 
At 2:57 PM , Blogger bitterbitch said...

Ang haba! Wala akong masabi...pero masarap basahin...

DOnt know if iwiwish ko din makalimutang magmahal...o nakarating na ako doon tapos umalis din ako at naalala ulit?

 
At 9:30 AM , Blogger the nomad said...

*big sigh* may I never forget what it feels like to love. *bigger sigh*

 
At 5:59 PM , Blogger kalansaycollector said...

it was a long post but worth it basahin. hay nakakalungkot siya. ewan ko ba. kasi emo masyado?! haha. anyway...

But when you've been alone for almost all your life, is it not possible to forget how to love?

...for 20 years, iam alone. i know i'll be counting more days pa, months or years perhaps? but did i forget how to love?

no. alam kong nandiyan lang yung feeling. natutulog lang. hindi ko siya nakalimutan at hindi siya parang bula na lang na ay "naalala ko pwede pala akong magmahal."

bakit ang pag-iisa nalilimutan ba iyon ng isang taong may kasama? ngayong may kasama na siya matutulog pansamantala ang pag-iisa. tama si k.rich, you can never forget. ang gutom nalilimutan ba ng taong busog? alam kasi natin na magugutom tayo any moment after nating mabusog kaya hindi natin malilimutan... uhm parang ganoon yung logic...

kaya ako basta kabisadong-kabisado ko ang ibig sabihin ng pag-iisa from its deepest sense. pero alam ko hindi ako makakalimot at nakakalimot. well siguro inantok at nakatulog lang ang pagmamahal sa akin...

hihintayin ko na lang yung gigising.

 
At 8:27 PM , Anonymous Reyville of Simply Manila said...

I can feel it. I certainly feel you. This is the best follow-up post to that bus moment. I can't remember when was that. I just knew this is the best post I've read by far. I've written emo entries, too. But mine rarely exceeds 5 - 7 paragraphs. Loved it.

 
At 3:31 PM , Blogger thesocialcritic said...

bat pag love na ang subject marami kang nasasabi? masarap ba mainlove?

tsk. try silverstein. malupit ang lyrics.

 
At 5:28 PM , Blogger Electric Itlog said...

@goddess: Can you honestly tell me right now how it feels during the downhill slope of a rollercoaster? Or how about the sensation of jumping from a diving board into a swimming pool? Of course you're right--you really can't forget everything. But you don't actually remember the real sensation. What you'll remember are the traces of those feelings, like excitement, adrenalin or even fear. Just like riding rollercoasters or jumping on diving-boards. You may think you know the sensations, but until you experience it again, you really can't be sure.. I think.

@bitterbitch: I really don't know. IMHO, I think you tried to forget it during your Classical Period. Then when your Neo phase came about, you regained the feeling.. ^_^

@thenomad: Yeah, I wish you never to forget how to love. I don't think that misery will love company in this case.

@kalansay: I sometimes wish I wrote with more specificity. I would give a wholehearted yes to all your questions. When you're full you'll forget you're hungry. When you're with someone you'll forget you're alone. Your point is exactly what I wrote--when you've been alone all your life, you sometimes forget how it feels to be with someone. I guess in my case, my solitude sometimes turns into deep (a)loneliness. And no matter how I see it, I really can't remember the sensation of love anymore. I do hope you're right, though. I do hope..

@reyville: Thanks. Albeit, I really didn't know how this post came about. I guess I just think too much sometimes..

@thesocialcritic: I don't know the reason as to why I could write long rants about such things. And almost as unfortunate as that, I couldn't answer your other question--I guess yes; I guess it's nice to fall in love. I guess that's the reason why I even want to write these things in the first place, because I somewhat yearn for it. BTW, I do listen to Silverstein, though they're really too "emocore" for me. Have you listened to the Plain White T's? Now that's really more of my cup of tea.. ^_^

 
At 1:48 AM , Blogger LAD said...

kudos for a long but worth-the-read entry.

ganyan talaga pag nagmamahal, minamahal, or both.

the heart uses the mouth to express things. the hands are used to record them. and the eyes to feast.

 
At 6:29 PM , Blogger thesocialcritic said...

woa. plain white t's? not my thing. i do believe they're post hardcore (silverstein). theyre mislabeled. i do listen to real emo/screamo bands. hiretsukan. saetia. hot cross. case of grenada. try these bands. worth the try.

i dont wanna talk about love anymore. di ako makarelate. nyahaha

 
At 11:34 PM , Blogger goddess said...

yes, like love, you can't explain it.

 
At 8:08 AM , Blogger Kiks Phulumulu said...

sometimes, you forget it.

but it never really left. unless you suppress it.

 
At 7:51 PM , Blogger Abad said...

"I always get that nasty feeling whenever I wave goodbye to my friends, because I know that in a few minutes time, I will be boarding my ride home, alone and lonely."

Tangina, tagustagusan. Nabasa ko mula simula hangang huli kahit napaka haba. galing.

Teka, 04-05 ka natapos ng high school? ilang taon ka na ba? Ano course mo sa uste?

 
At 11:11 AM , Blogger Nadriamez said...

hello :-) "PINK is the new black" has a new domain. Please update your link. http://pinkandblackblog.com

hi electric itlog..i'll find time to read your posts again :-)

 
At 12:32 PM , Blogger mrs.j said...

powerful ng sagot ni kc ha! winner!

 

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