Distant yet unbelievably near. This defines the current status we share, me and my beau. I’ve always thought that long distance relationship is a pain in the arse. Turns out there are times that it isn’t really that bad. Well, only if both try to shorten the distance. The constant exchange of calls and messages somehow meet both ends in a bearable distance.
Yesterday marked the first year of such relationship with my man. I spent the entire day teaching, juggling all four classes in one period so as to catch up with lessons. However, there were moments which allows me to recall what transpired on that fateful day a year ago. When I get out of one classroom and enter another – those moments which I was alone to myself for six short footsteps before I suddenly find myself laughing with 25 student companions – I become a cartoon with thought clouds fogging the top of my head. I was bombarded with thoughts of him. Somehow I felt like I was celebrating such a wonderful day in moments, each with a time span of six footsteps.
I was also able to recall why I adore him. It wasn’t a difficult recollection for he is a man of perfection. His assets neutralizes his liabilities. It’s amazing how one’s imperfections perfectly complement his awesomeness. This is why he is perfect. Maybe this fact mocks the cliche that no one is perfect. Well I really think every individual has a person they deem to be perfect.
Before you drift off in thought of your perfect person, let me share the reasons why I love my Russel:
1. He is a bully. He makes a jest out of everybody. When it comes to this, there’s simply no exemption. I get my share too. He laughs his ass off about a friend’s stupidity, failed pursuit for love, inability to comprehend sarcasm or some nasty joke, and just about anything. But he is the bully who bullies to stir up laughter without hurting anybody’s ego. No casualty. Everybody’s a vic. Everybody gets his share. Even the bully gets bullied too. At the end, the air is filled with reverberating laughter of drunk people.
2. He is quick-witted. I hate it when he doesn’t make me tease him for even a couple of minutes. He will be able to think of something to throw back at me which leaves me dumbfounded. I suddenly become the one teased. He can pick up thoughts even in the most impossible and least expected moments. When you think he already is in a deep pit unable to climb back up, one blink of an eye and you end up helpless in the same pit. He’ll stare down at you, laugh at you, then bury you alive. Hahaha. But with me, he’ll jump back to the pit and join me there. We’ll be both stuck but will be laughing endlessly.
3. He reads and speaks Filipino. I have nothing against our national language. It’s just that all my life I’ve been surrounded by people who would rather speak Waray or English for the purposes of expression and impression. Not that they are incompetent in Filipino but they have the natural inclination for the languages. My Russel is different. I was surprised that he reads comics written in Filipino and that he blogs in it too. He got me into reading the same comics. In amazement, I agreed that the collection he owns is indeed good literature. I burst out laughing over the lines and the reality they hold about being a student, a teacher, or just a weird intelligent and funny person. Those thin little comic books and his love for them made me appreciate life being a Filipino and being a carefree teen.
4. He loves his siblings. He has two sets. The first set is his legit and biological siblings. He adores them. He desires to make their lives comfortable and happy. He has a special fancy for his youngest brother who resembles him. I think he would even give up his king-size bed for his little brother. He would give up his comfort for theirs. The other set is his two good pals he met in college. I am fond of his stories of them, of their hangouts, of their bloopers, and of everything they share. His regard for his siblings, blood-related or not, just awes me.
5. He doesn’t withhold his laughter. He laughs unceasingly. In fact, I can’t imagine him crying. He laughs at almost everything. He laughs at how others laugh. He has two kinds of laughter: the one that insults and teases, and the one that signifies recognition of what others say, as if responding with “Yeah, I hear you, man. Now shut it.” or any of that sort. His laughter is contagious and infectious at the same time.
6. He is a storyteller. He tells me stories that either make me love life more or dislike him for making me actually believe his imaginary characters and situations. Maybe I just am too gullible when it comes to stories. Somehow fiction and real stories all look the same to me. He would narrate a long story with interesting tone and sparkly eyes. I would silently and intently listen like a child struck in amazement of the world imprinted in picture-filled story books. This is the instance that makes me love life. On the other hand, there are narrations which he makes up for the purpose of making me laugh but dislike him for almost making me believe him.
7. He is fluent in sarcasm, pun, euphemism, dysphemism, and wordplay. I would like to say this is so because he learned them in class from his language teacher. But of course he would say otherwise. Words are both my strength and weakness. When you’re good at them both in black and white and oral, I would bow down before you. If you’re a sucker, I’d hate you for the disrespect but at the end respect and like you. My Russel knows his language. He knows his words. He knows his timing.
8. He lets me rant. He says it’s his job to listen to me. I think it’s odd for a job. Listening to somebody rant and actually giving a damn are two of the oddities one will embrace once he finds his perfect partner. When it comes to me listening to him, he’d tell me that I can put my phone down and respond every after 15 minutes. He just needs to tell his stories. He doesn’t require me to listen and that’s just plain funny.
9. He does not insist. He is stubborn and actually good at being one. But he does not insist on things that I want to do on my own. As long as I can carry out tasks, I do not ask for assistance. When he offers to carry my stuff and I refuse, he knows I mean it so he leaves me to it. When I excuse myself from our talks because I have to do something else, he knows it’s important that I get it done so he allows me to take my time. When he knows my choices suck and he knows something else that less sucks, he knows it’s my call so he let’s me decide but joins me in carrying out the consequences.
10. He can be really mean. And I can be really stupid. At the end of the day, even if I am to blame, he takes the blame and apologizes. He can be so mean to the world that he won’t let me pay the toll of my stupidity alone.
11. He believes that life is good and simple while I believe that life’s a bitch. He always says that when one falls seven times one should learn to stand up eight. He may have a tête-à-tête with satan in hell but he will always choose to believe in the goodness of life. He turns blue at times or cry when caught in deep shit, but he can never be stripped of his hope. I may not be able to understand him on this yet but this is the best reason why I love him. This is why I know he would not let me go again.
We may have our worlds we carry individually but we have one we carry together. We are both Atlas in our own ways. Before, I thought I am an Atlas on my own. Then I met him, another Atlas. He made me believe that it’s okay to put my world down because he did so with his and it didn’t harm him. He made me believe and understand that it’s okay to rest and to cast my worries to the wind. He made me believe that we can both put down our individual worlds and take time to relax. For a year, he’s been instrumental in giving back my humanity. I am no working machine. I ought to live.
Today, we find time to put down our worlds so that we may be comforted in each other’s arms.
Happy anniversary, babe! I terribly miss you. I love you!