Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The First Morning I Did Not Think About You

breakfast setting

It was a typical morning. I woke up, late as usual, the sun already near its zenith, its rays streaming through half-open blinds, the day as hot and as humid as it can be. I forgot to turn off the TV. A Discovery channel host was talking about whales, his voice a deep, monotonous drone.

I stood up, my head slightly aching from oversleeping, my thoughts still a blur, my knees, wobbly and unsure.  I staggered to the door of my bedroom, and headed downstairs for a bite. I was hungry. My stomach was growling in angry, desperate need. What my brain still failed to register, my limbs automatically addressed:  I needed sustenance.

I stumbled onto the kitchen and saw my younger brother in his pajamas, eating cereal, his hair unkempt and looking like it was badly in need of a bath. Much like I looked I suppose. I stared at his bowl, and hungry as I was, realized I still hated the thought of having cereal so late in the day. I asked Manang Cely what was for lunch. She didn't reply, but I heard bustling outside, and the familiar clangs of pots and pans. I settled myself at the table, and held my head in my hands. My brother ate in silence. 

"What time did you get home?" I asked him.

"Just this morning."

"Mom and Dad already awake?"

"Nope. They were still asleep." My parents never really imposed a curfew on us, especially on weekends, but they did like it when we got home before they woke up. 

"Where did you go?"

"Nowhere. Just out with friends."



"How was the crowd?"

"It was okay. Typical. Not a huge crowd, but enough to be fun. Why didn't you go?"

"I was bored. I figured I'd just watch television, play PS2 and sleep." 

My brother nodded, then finished his cereal. He left soon after to catch up on his sleep. I riffled through several newspaper sections, and settled on Lifestyle, reading an article Tim Yap wrote.  He was still writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer then. 

Manang Cely walked in with a bowl of hot tinola. I immediately tucked in.

Then I remembered you. Right at that moment when the spoon, filled with steaming clear broth, hit my lips.  Rather, or more accurately, I realized I forgot about you first, and then only remembered you.

What a shock. After weeks upon weeks of moping, of listening to sad, lonely, love songs, of waking up to the deep, precious pain a young man getting over his first love can manage to inflict on himself, I woke up to a morning where you weren't the first thing on my mind. And outside of the overpowering relief, I realized how funny it was that moving on would come at a moment so utterly, absolutely mundane. While at a table, eating tinola for breakfast and/or lunch, my hair a mess, smelling like something the dog just brought in. How unimaginative. How banal. How anticlimactic.

And still, I felt happy, and finished my meal in unanticipated felicity. Though lacking in theatrics (perhaps a lightning bolt or two in the background would have been nice), I exulted in the unadulterated joy of knowing that I have finally, completely moved on.  

Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.
~~David Mustaine~~        


  1. that is lovely. there was a point where i thought i could never get to where you are right now. but miraculously i'm slowly getting there and it feels liberating in a way...thank you for sharing.

  2. EXCELLENT. And sometimes, it's so damned hard, too. Great storytelling here, too. Have a good week way across the world, there.

  3. congratulations :) you know, you deserve better than that person whom you used to love :)

  4. well said...After all its all about to move on. hope floats...


  5. I remember a moment like that after my divorce. It's liberating!

  6. Moving on becomes considerably harder when you've loved the person in question for the past fifteen years.

  7. it does feel like doing a cold turkey.

  8. I'm glad you found me, because it led me back to your blog. Have you ever read Alain de Botton's "Essays in Love" - he talks about this feeling... anyway, great blog. Why "fickle cattle" though?

  9. It's as simple as that, I guess.

    I imagine that, when it comes to moving on from something, we all probably think of it being like a movie scene. You see yourself eventually picking up the pieces of your life while some cheerful acoustic guitar plays in the background somewhere. Then, of course, there's that part where the sun shines on your face & you smile knowing that everything is going to be okay.

    On a side note, I think I watch way too many romantic comedies.

  10. Breaking up is always hard, no matter what the reason is. But we all know that it's only a start of a very long process. And you only really know that you're free when you have finally moved on.

    Well done, hun. I am happy for you =)

  11. I know exactly what that's like! Ah! It's such a good feeling! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's experienced it.

    Conversations With Imaginary People

  12. Lucky. Still waiting for my moment :(

  13. congratulations, you've finally moved on :)

  14. This was great.
    I remember my first break up was the same way. Day after day of moping around and then it was like a fever broke. It was done. Yes, it still hurt to think about, but I could help whether or not I was thinking about it as opposed to before when it was on my mind no matter what. Now it doesn't even hurt to think about.
    Nice piece.

  15. lovely.. really lovely.. and i'm happy for you, you were able to move on.. :)

  16. Wow. These signs of progress, however little, are always good, especially after a very sad phase. Beautifully written also. Galing, :D

  17. This is heartfelt. :)

    Cheers for moving on!

  18. Raising my coffee cup in honor of your moving on... Cheers!

    No need for theatrics for this one. After all, some of life's most beautiful moments are purely simple and profound. Let's keep the confetti cannons on standby though for some other time! Lol! :)

  19. It reads as if this is working out for you. Nice.

    I like to think everything does eventually.

    Good hopeful thoughts from me to you.

  20. what a cute story.. ahaha.. I can say that i can relate with this "moving on process"... just like you, i was crying, has no appetite for almost 2 weeks after the breakup, but now, its been a month and Im am totally happy and free. I am so proud of you. ahaha..

  21. in short, MOVED ON. :)

  22. i can truly relate. great post. =)

  23. That is what I call total freedom.

  24. I know exactly what it's like! when such things knocks on me, I savor those moments that once in my life I was loved:)

    Btw, good thing you are able to move on.

  25. It's a refreshing moment, realizing you've forgotten about the object of your heartache.


  26. moving on is an option... i'm glad you just did! :)

  27. We should all live for that moment. I've only had a few like it but I remember it used to thrill me.

  28. Moving on after a relationship is the hardest.... Its almost like accepting death of a love one, its very difficult...

    Moving on while in the relationship (i dont know if youve experienced that) is the easiest. Its just like waking up one day and u feel everything has changed.


  29. i haven't read your blog in a while so i'm not really sure if i guess it right that you're in a heartbreak right now. sorry to hear that but i'm glad to know you've moved on.
    You have cool parents, like not having a curfew?! geez!

  30. ---moving on takes time and I guess a yummy tinola.... it's nice to know that you have move on...

  31. Glad to hear you started feeling better, but I personally still find myself unable to move on from the past. Heck, it has been close to 4 years now.



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