30 July 2014

5J 806

I'd meant for my first post to be about the things I've seen and done in these last few weeks of bumming around while waiting for classes to start. Things don't always go according to plan.

I'm back in the hall now with a mug of hot chocolate. It was a rainy, gloomy day. There was fog over the forest and the yellow street lamps outside as I walked back from the canteen. I was alone.

This afternoon, I saw Cris off at the airport. At this moment, he is now somewhere over the ocean, flying back to the Philippines. I won't see him again till my birthday, which is not too far off, really. But, it's still different from seeing him every day. We'd planned for over a year to be able to do that here in Singapore together, but things don't always go according to plan.

To study here, besides passing the admission requirements and maybe receiving a scholarship, as Cris did, you have to pass a medical exam. Most people treat it as just another item on the pre-registration checklist. Nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately for us, the medical center here saw something in Cris's tests. He had to go to a hospital downtown for more tests. Now, he's going home for even more tests, because his own doctor is there, and it's easier to pay PHP instead of SGD.

The doctors all share suspicions, and if those are founded, then what he might have is treatable. But, he won't be able to enroll this semester. He might lose his scholarship and not be back for the next semester, because scholars aren't ordinarily allowed to defer. We're keeping our fingers crossed, but until we know things for sure -- well, we don't know what else.

We both want him to be alive and healthy, so it's for the best that he goes home for now. But, it still hurts that our little dream has to give way to a new one that involves us finding our way back to each other across indefinite time and seas, instead of being together already and strolling confidently into the future.

We've had plenty of time since that jarring phone call to cry and be rational and then cry some more. We spent what time we had together watching TV shows we liked, walking around the city, and, on one really wonderful day, going to the zoo to see the otters.

Then, today came. We watched some cartoons after breakfast. He left me a hoodie and a blanket. We loaded his things into a cab and rode it across the country (it's a very small country) to the airport. We walked around the airport and looked at the Kinetic Rain sculpture. He told me that I was carrying the dream now. We hugged and kissed and cried and said we'd see each other soon. I took the train back across the country by myself, while he boarded the plane now taking him across the sea. I should hear from him again in an hour or so.

I'm going to kick ass this year for both our sakes. But I miss him so much.

24 July 2014

Where's the wind?

While sitting in the lecture theater for registration this morning and waiting for my name to be called, I felt my heart rate rising along with an unmistakable panic. I chalked it up to new kid jitters, "f*ck, this officially makes me a graduate student" jitters, and the anxiety that comes with bracing yourself for heartbreak.

I filled up the forms, lugged out my Ateneo diploma canister (it was a little lonely, having the only one in the room) when asked to unroll the scroll, dropped the forms in the appropriate boxes, and then walked out the door. That was that. It should have been just that. But, the panic remained.

I took the bus down to my school building for the first time and walked around the empty first floor, already wondering if I truly belonged there, and then took the bus back to my hall (dorm). The ride went along that stretch of forbidden forest, and I felt like running for the sake of running, to spend my panic on that little track they'd made for joggers along the canal, the trees, and the red DANGER signs.

As I walked from my stop to the hall, I saw the sunlight flowing with the water in the canal, and I found myself wishing something I hadn't wished since I was a teenager, full of fantasies about superpowers and no longer having to be where I was. I wished I could fly.

I wanted the wind that played with my skirt to just pick the rest of me up and take me over the canal, over the trees, above the danger zone — above everything. I just didn't want to be earthbound, heavy, while waiting for the final word on how this year will begin.

I've been wanting to write since I got here, but something happened and is still happening, and I'm just waiting for it to complete before I go into detail. Suffice it to say, for now, that things are not going according to the plans we planned for over a year, and I can't do anything but be on the ground and prepare for impact.