One plus one is two. Two plus one will not always be three.
I was reading Resident Marine Mammals v. Reyes during a date* because somehow he made me feel secure that even if I would go back to my reading in what is supposed to be a date, it doesn't matter to him. Somehow though, I feel queasy because I never learned how to divide my time between a person who I like who's just sitting across me and my work. Felt like every underline I make, I was moving towards the edge of my seat. I was gaining track in my reading when he said, I'm not sure if this is the right time to tell you this.
From those words alone, that seems to be a bad news. And bad news does not have any good time. I felt a cold fire draining in me. That "arctic perspiration, bugs in your feet, shovels in your guts" kind of self-awareness and said: "Okay, c'mon let's hear it," I said. He fumbled for a while and guess what, I was thinking to myself, "Please, tell me your positive too." But of course that's long shot because I knew since that he was not.
I and my boyfriend are not yet technically off.
"RIGHT." I placed back the cap of the pen, rested it in front of me, and God I was looking at him and at the same time can't see him. I rested for a good second trying to marinade myself through the words he just uttered. And somehow it felt like if I did one more underline on that paper right at that moment of revelation, the end of that stroke will push me off the edge of the universe.
I'm no scene maker. In every problems I face I try to be very diplomatic, compromising and level-headed. Like every obviously nerve-wracked guy but trying to calm and compose himself, the first question is why. Finally, he opened up like a book. He toured me around the edges of his scars. He showed his vulnerable side (or at least he tried to because he said he never like looking like a vulnerable saint to anybody) and somehow I got it. But I saw how we both pined. How our pains showed in our forced smiles. Truly, not all smiles are happy ones.
Of course, for someone like me who's really attracted to this sweet guy, I have to protect my lot. But it's no brainer. I saw the line, and being the would-be lawyer, right-versus-wrong, black-versus-white kind of guy that I am, I have to observe proper formalities. There is no dude in distress in this setup. There's no knight in shining armor. Only men who are trapped in what is a confusing and sad mid- to late-twenties dilemma.
(Don't ask about us right now. I invoke my right to privacy and to be let alone.)
Looking back, what actually makes me chuckle as I write this is that, somehow the order of problems that I can take has be shuffled. When he told me that he had something to tell me, the first thing that crossed my mind is he could have my condition too. But I was wrong. There was a far more unnerving problem that I could only imagine.
I guess that's the beauty of time healing us. For one person, he's much equipped to handle a third wheel dilemma than the guy he likes having HIV. But since it's been years that I have this condition, it's like the order of the "problems-I-can-handle" has been re-stacked. Imagine every kind of problem as a piece of wood in Jenga and HIV is now at the topmost. It's not as crushing as it was before. It's not hard for me to accept someone who has HIV anymore.
But surely, there are more problems to this world. I still can figure in a sideswipe accident as if I'm walking on the blind side of the road.
Yesterday night, I'm reading Ui v. Bonifacio. I know the story from before because it was already used as a reading in one of our classes. I laugh at the humor the world is telling me.
Essentially, what happened is Carlos Ui told Atty. Iris Bonifacio that he is single so they hit it off and had two kids. Later on, here comes now Leslie Ui confronting Atty Bonifacio and revealing to the lawyer that Carlos is a married man. Upon knowing the truth, broken and damned Iris fled to Hawaii and cut off all his relations and connections with Carlos, save it for the necessary support and filiation over her two daughters with Carlos. On the other side of the world, Leslie, a woman as hurt as Iris is, filed a disbarment case against Atty Bonifacio for immorality.
The Supreme Court ruled that Iris needed more compassion than condemnation. Reminds me of Haruki Murakami's line in Kafka on the Shore: "In travel, companion. In life, compassion."
Now tell me: should I head now for Hawaii and clear my head? Haha!
*Date /n/ : I am all about semantics. I don't call the first meet-up as "date." It's only a meet-up. So since I used the word "date" it's not the first time we went out. The connection is somehow there. We're just trying to figure things out.