|9/21/2015; til morning at Alice's
||[Oct. 11th, 2015 | 09:38 pm]
|||||Sun Don't Shine (Nadastrom Remix) ft. Jaymes Young - Klangkarussell||]|
you have love in places I can't describe
I need you, it's the sunrise
I am a very forgetful person. My memory shifts between stretches of impenetrable haze, and shudders of absolute clarity. I misplace names, numbers, faces, people. It's why I take my photos- they're sometimes the only way to remember what we did, who we were, and what we were.
Photos don't ever tell me my present. They're always a story of my past, whether it was years back, last weekend, or just five minutes ago. There is no now-ness to my photography- why bother.
Everyone has now. Not everyone has a story.
One night, I was at Alice's, with David, Regina, Paul, and Bruce.
Regina and I had asked David what he wanted to do for the night. "Something!" he said. So we did something.
Alice is a prosthetic makeup artist. She's made zombies, amputated limbs, and disturbingly ordinary bananas. There were tongues and fingers lying around when we visited. Three years ago, she visited the country. For some reason (maybe because she's crazy) she never left.
It's an unofficial rule that we only see each other in the daytime for work or emergencies, neither of which happen often because we all don't work together, and are generally self-sufficient creatures.
We also have a rule of being DIY about things, like rolling our own cigarettes (just Alice and David) and fetching our own goddamned water (all of us).
Some of us have a beer rule, which I find very cute.
Where are you when nights last forever. I know where I am.
I am with friends, wherever they are. It's always warmer, softer. Many times they don't feel like friends, the way we act more like siblings.
And I am so thankful.
This is why we are family:
1. We're very orderly.
2. We all have compromised respiratory systems.
3. We smile, in secret.
Alice lives in a narrow townhouse, nestled together with other narrow townhouses with that all used to look the same. They fill a tiny, irregular space between fancier gated communities, while clinging to the edge of an active faultline casually dividing Manila.
We're overdue for the earthquake, but I figure it will come at the right time.
Whenever that is.
She will be leaving sooner or later, like everyone I know. Many of them come back, but some do not.
I find it strange that it's the nature of this city to force you to choose, whether you stay and get trapped, or go and get lost.
Something tells me I am trapped here, watching friends grow and leave, and return. I never felt like leaving.
But- I know what it feels like to want to leave.
There's just a difference between wanting, and having to. Maybe I never have to. Is there anything wrong with that?
There are so many answers. It's just that none of them seem to be mine just yet.
Hello, Paul. Paul is quiet, except when he dances. I try to give him space when he does.
I don't remember what we talked about. It's the problem with my inability to photograph conversations. I only remember the feeling.
It felt warm, comfortable, but taunt.
It felt like we were the only ones awake in the world.
I love it, the feeling that you are alone together. It's so self-indulgent, so selfish, the kind of dirty thought that every group of friends privately nurses. "How great to be the only ones like this. No one is as complex as us!" Aren't we special. Aren't we. Aren't we?
Maybe. Who knows. Maybe not.
People think none of us eat. This is untrue. We just eat secretly.
Regina is planning a pasta night. It will be held here, at Alice's. We asked her what we could bring- she said anything except "that sweet spaghetti from Jollibee" and I am learning to love unconditionally.
Some movie says love is an open door. I say it's a closed room, filled with people.
Preferrably, people who smoke many, many cigarettes.
Preferrably, people who drink very nice drinks. San Miguel is nice. But Laphroaig is better.
The point is that you do it together. I think the only thing you should do alone is- nothing. Maybe get a brazilian wax. Everything else is better with someone.
David had to go out for a phone call. And since I have the memory of a goldfish, I figured, why not intrude on a private conversation, because all I'll be left with is photos!
There are no flaws to this logic.
I literally remember nothing.
If you think ignorance is bliss, try forgetfulness.
And stay awake at night.
Let me try to be as un-poetic as possible. When the sun is out, it shines on everything. But at night, you have to see for yourself.
She looks so hard, so dark, so angry. She isn't. But she tries, and I understand why.
Back inside, they were talking.
We had to fetch some friends.
I love driving, so I always offer.
Hello, Anna. David S.
David L! I never thought we'd end up here, having people with the same name, using their initials, like the Americans do. It warms my colonial minded heart. Hi Anna.
Then, we were back at Alice's. Metro Manila had a density of 19,137 persons per square kilometer in 2010. Its average household was 4.6 persons. That night we were 8, because it's 2015.
Bruce and Anna are twins, by the way. I thought you should know.
They actually aren't, but you believed me. I love having that power.
Believe me too when I say that we lost track of time, that some of us love each other, and that none of us were instantly friends when we met. At least I wasn't, with any of them. It's why I believe in those things that slowly become, instead of those things that suddenly are.
This year I lost friends. But I made new ones. And I kept strong ones. It's not an exchange, or a way life rebalances you. That cheapens what the purpose of what having friends means. Fuck your fucking squad goals. I don't have a squad. We are all holding onto each other to survive.
Some of us survived til daylight. I thought we would burn, but there is a God after all and he is merciful.
Mornings breathe. And I said little, hardly anything. And they let me.
I love people who let me stay the night, stay myself, or just stay. I love driving people home. I love the sunrise, because it's when I close my eyes, and wait.