It's lunchtime and I can't seem to eat anything, considering I'm already hungry and I only ate for breakfast a tiny slice of leftover calzone from last night. I tried watching Heroes episode 7 to help ease my mind (weird, noh?), but I couldn't even follow the very basic storyline. I've been staring at the same TRIEFs page (don't even ask me what that means...argh!) in Excel but I can't seem to move past line 2...so I guess that's a goner.
So, here. I decided to write you a "love letter". You know how we'd laugh about that? Err...how YOU'd laugh about how I love writing letters that can't seem to end--with my 2-, 3-pager printouts? Haha...Lagot ka...this is going to be one of those letters you dreaded.
Pat, my Pat...how long had it been since we first met? 2001, right? I was a few weeks from leaving Manila to fly to Marianas and never come back again, leaving everything behind. For some trick of fate, our paths crossed and we've never been the same again. Two matapobre, mataray, siraulo, clubber, gastador, social-butterfly (...o climber? hahaha), bigo sa pag-ibig, jetsetter, sawa-na-sa-'Merika, balahura, sarcastic, techy souls finding each other in this otherwise--as you'd pompously call it--poor, third-world, commoner country. You have unknowingly stolen a huge chunk of my heart, attention and regard...and summarily claimed the title "Best Friend for Life"...way before the term BFF was ever uttered in South Park.
I remember all those phone cards I've heedlessly used up just to call you from the US to either make chismis, ask for advice (which was mostly the reason for my calls), whine (second most important reason for my calls!), share a funny/boring/exciting/sad moment at the exact time it was happening or just happened. If I could've just made rebates out of those calls, I know I would've mad a fortune! ;-) You were the only one who cold talk sense into my utterly stubborn, overly-sensitive, hinde-na-nagtanda self. The well-known statement "hinde pa ipinapanganak ang makakapagtaray kay Ben"almost always gets disputed when you're the one in question already. Only you can get through to me...in the same way that you've claimed that I'm the only one who could also talk that much sense into your--and I'm just repeating my just-used adjectives--utterly stubborn, overly-sensitive, hinde-na-nagtanda self. After all, you and me are kindred souls...two identical peas in one cramped, campy pod.
Remember that day I got "deported" from the US? Any other Pinoy would've gone ballistic or hysterical...but not me. Soonest I touched down the airport in Manila, I gave you a call to tell you that I was on my way to your condo to drop my luggage--because I had to come home from the US on an "emergency"--and for you to get ready because we were going clubbing right away?! That was crazy. And I remembered having missed you so much--our kalandian with our conquests, our hysterical laughter, our endless banters. I also always remember how I'd always crash at your place and sleep on the folding bed, because we found it so repulsive to wake up on the same bed with our skin touching or inadvertently cuddling up as if we were boyfriends sleeping with each other? That last time that it happened, we screamed so loud and pushed each other so hard we both fell on our asses on the hardwood floor? That was one good chortle I got there, and we learned our lessons well: never sleep on the same bed, lest wake up with sore asses (HAHAHAHAHA...this private joke always get me).
Remember how you'd always have little thingamajigs and knicknacks for me whenever you go on a trip? The Castro Street baller ID, the Human Rights messenger bag that Julius has always begged of you to give to him, the surprise Banana Rep office shirt inside the Jack Spade bag for my birthday, the big bottle of ID4 (hehehehe), and a whole lot of other things? And how I couldn't seem to find the perfect gift for you because you have everything?? I was so grateful when Koko--your simpangit-ng-paniki-but-supahdoopah-adorable Chihuahua--came into your life; at least I could shower him with loads of gifts and not even bother racking my brains for any gifts for you...to which you'd dramatically say, "Hinde mo na ako mahal, mas love mo na si Koko"...and to which I'd say, "Oo naman noh!" Ah, Patrick Manuel...Maarte ka.
Pat...why did you have to leave? You are my rock. Paano na ako ngayon that I'm weak because you left without saying goodbye? Who will be my rock now? Who's going to tell me that I'm just being praning and that everything will be ok...that "celebrities" like us need to go through these bumps in the road, but will see the light of day in no time?
Pat, I'm so sorry. You have no idea how guilt-stricken I am right now. Words cannot even begin to describe how regretful I am. I should have been there for you. I should have been by your side when you were in pain, when you were having a hard time breathing, when you couldn't eat, when you just needed someone beside you. I shouldn't have been too preoccupied with my life--my own avalanche of problems were nothing compared to what you went through. I am so, so sorry, my Patrick. If there's anything I could say or do or unsay or undo just so you could forgive me, I would take that moment or instance any second.
I should have come earlier. Not just last night. Not when the hospital priest was administering final rites to you. Not when you were only breathing because of the respirator. Not when the tubes and wires and cables were all over your body. Not when you were already pale and grey and lifeless. Not when you were already gone.
Patrick...I can't seem to get that picture of you in anguish and pain out of my mind. I didn't want that picture to be the last image of you in my head. I've always known you as the exact clone of me--maingay, effervescent, boisterous, and colorful.
The hourlong time I spent holding your slowly getting cold and stiff hand in your room will never be enough time for me to tell you all of the things that I wanted to tell you. Last night, all I could say was I'm sorry, and that I hope you could forgive me for not being a good friend, and not being there to see you through like you've always had for me. I wanted to tell you how much you mean to me, how much you're loved, how I would give a limb or a heartbeat just to save your life. I wanted to tell you that you just couldn't die on me and everyone else who loves you. I wanted to tell you that the world--my world, and everyone else's--will never be the same without you in it. I wanted to tell you that if I could just go back in time and tell you all of these things, and hell, even forewarn you of what's about to happen, I would do that in a heartbeat.
I wanted to tell you that you will always be in my heart, in my prayers, and in my every single thought. And our little secret, which I whispered to you as I kissed your face for the last time last night before they covered you with that cold, white sheet, will stay with me.
I love you, Pat. My best friend. My brother. My partner in crime. Be good where you are. And no. I am NOT saying goodbye...we don't do that kind of thing. I will see you again, right?