Archive for October, 2017

Please do not forget me. Not for so long, because I know that perhaps after some time you’d have your hands too full already, and you’d have no more time to not forget the mundane. That in time you’d have to let the insignificant memories like me fade and disappear. But please don’t forget me. At least just until I become someone significant enough for you that you would start to think of me.

Please remember me. Not necessarily the entire me, nor does your memory of me have to be with such clarity—I can deal with a little vagueness. But please at least remember just enough things about me, so that when you see me again you’d be able to say, “Hey, haven’t I met you before? What was your name again? It does start with an R, right? I’m so sorry, I’m so bad at names. But I do remember you. Would you like to have some coffee and help me recall your name?” And then that you be the start of you not needing a reminder of who I am. So please remember me in bits and pieces, until I become a whole character you’d gladly know by heart.

Please let me not fade from your memory. You don’t need to have me distinctly imprinted in your subconscious. But at least let not your brain forget that at one time you’ve met a certain college girl, and that at one time she ate pizza and drank Coke with you after an eventful, poetic afternoon. And please, please, do not let your impression on that girl as someone “so amazing” ever fade away. Because I’m hoping that someday we would meet again, and with that memory still intact in you I could hope that you would say, “Hi, it’s been a while since we were last able to talk. How have you been doing? I’ve watched you perform some of your poems—how do you find it? I knew you’d be good at it. What did I tell you? You’re so amazing.”

See? I’ve already imagined how we would be really, really good friends. How we would turn out to be two people having so much more in common than our plight in poetry. How you’d talk me into running with you every morning, and how I’d convince you to go hiking with me every term break. How we’d go and promote so many advocacies together. How we’d be staying up so late at night, talking on the phone about a wide range of topics—from Physics to Philosophy to history. To allusions and analogies and to a whole lot of other things that totally don’t make any sense.

I’ve painted in mind a clear, distinct picture. I am that flower with blue and purple petals, planted by the way side, pleading very quietly that you forget me not. That you not let me wither away from your memory, until one day I grow into a full-bloom flower that you would admire. Until one day I would become significant enough to earn your friendship. But until then, please do not forget me. And until then, please, remember me—even just in bits and pieces.

You are the first poem I’ve memorized.

And believe me, I’ve written hundreds of stanzas and lines, and I’ve never been able to decently remember any of them. But you, you are the first ever to get stuck in my head, like a song played repeatedly, over and over, for the entire week.

You are the first poem I’ve memorized. The first image I’ve painted on my blank canvass that I’ve never forgotten a detail of. The picture that would eternally burn in my mind, embedded. Stamped. Imprinted upon my eyes forever.

Well, okay, perhaps you’re not getting the picture of how seriously weird this is. To give you an idea, I was never good at remembering things. I often forget why I have to log into FB, or what I had to buy in a grocery store. That’s why I always had to have a list at hand, so I won’t forget. And whenever I had to answer an algebraic problem, I always had to have a formula card with me—I wouldn’t have been able to answer any item otherwise. Not just that, but one time I even flunked a major exam in Advanced Chemistry because I couldn’t recall a single molecular formula of the organic compounds I’ve studied for that quarter. I simply couldn’t remember.

But you? You are… a set of formula I’d never have to hold a copy of. The only periodic table I’ve come to fully know by heart. I didn’t need a list to remember your name, your middle initial, your number, your smile, your laughter, your likes and dislikes, your pet peeves, your insecurities, what pisses you off, what makes you smile even if you’re not in the mood—your awkward posture? I didn’t need a prompter to memorize all of that.

I didn’t need anything to remind me of how your uneven footsteps approach the door, how your greeting would sound in the morning if you are in the mood—or how your silence would make me feel when I knew you were giving me that cold treatment. With just one look in your eyes I knew if you have your tales to share, or if you wanted to avoid me altogether. With just one glimpse at your face I knew if there was something wrong, if you were tired and exhausted, if you needed help and encouragement, or if you simply just wanted people out of your way. If you simply wanted me out of your way. You are the first poem I’ve come to fully know, to the last word, letter, punctuation.

But years passed, and as our only photograph started to fade as it lies in between the leaves of my journal, so you started to fade from my daily existence. Very subtly we have reached that forked road, and before I knew it you started walking towards the other direction, every step taking you farther and farther away from me.

But that’s okay, really. I mean, I understand. I completely understand that sometimes two people are really called out to tread entirely different paths. I understand that you have to follow yours and I have to follow mine. That’s alright. We were hardwired that way. Anyway, I told myself, I didn’t need to see you every day. I’ve known you by heart, remember? I’ve memorized everything about you, remember? Every preference, every weakness, every detail of your tone patterns, even the sound of your slightly uneven footsteps. Your entire being is a stamp branded permanently in my mind, so much that when one day our paths cross again, I know that despite all the beard and wrinkles you’d probably hide behind, it would take only a second for me to know it was you. So there I was, watching your figure get swallowed up by the darkness, content with the thought that when we meet again, I would still recognize you in a heartbeat.

And I did recognize you in a heartbeat. You now wore thicker glasses, your tone a little gruffer, your expression was even a little more serious. But looking past all the added layers of coats and ties, it was still you. I smiled radiantly and almost as a kid skipping and jumping with so much excitement, I approached you. “Hi! It’s so good to see you again after all this time! How I’ve missed—oh. I’m sorry. My name is Rebekah—umm, your classmate? Back in college? Fellow debater? And no, my name is so not spelled as R-E-B-E-C-C-A. It ends with K-A-H. Yes, of course, it’s alright. It’s been years anyway. You could not have remembered that. Yes, it’s been good to see you too.” And then you started walking away, without giving me so much as a second thought. Or even a second glance.

Of course, how could you have remembered how my name is spelled after all this time? How could you have remembered that we’ve used to share the same sentiments and insecurities, the same limitations in our capabilities, a couple of years back? How could you have remembered that we had so many things in common, you even started calling me your girl version? It’s not like we were fated to be similar—we were simply a coincidence. I realized that now. And it’s not like a coincidence would make so much of an impact.

But the thing is, I do remember you, and I do remember everything. I distinctly recall all the conversations we’ve had; no matter how seemingly insignificant our topics were. I do remember quite well all the times you confided to me and shared to me your deepest thoughts, your deepest fears. I do remember you and everything about you—to the last stanza, to the last word, to the last punctuation. And it’s just sad and anticlimactic, that the only poem I’ve memorized—doesn’t know me at all.