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I’ve had this image open in a tab for a couple of days and I don’t even know why it’s important, but it feels that way (the church, everything else I could care less about). Mostly because it looks like it could have been taken anywhere – this completely mundane representation of sanctuary. There’s a William F. Buckley quote about “Querencia” which is a word that doesn’t directly translate, but in Spanish means that little area of the bullring where the bull feels he can’t be hurt.

There’s an ATM near Cubao Expo, in what used to be the old Rustan’s. I remember parking my car there once out of what could have been sheer laziness because there were probably other slots closer to Expo, around back, but I just didn’t feel like looking (that or I needed money, I don’t remember). What I do remember is that I was with my boyfriend, and I remember a conversation that was pretty much the beginning of the end for us, where you say one thing, and he says another, and then you just know that you will never communicate the same way ever again. And that was it. It didn’t even take anything drastic for us to hit that point, just the realization that we were headed in separate directions.

We were going somewhere that night, and when we got there it was just a haze of faces and noise and not really being there. That’s what contact was, and I remember it feeling like a switch that went on only when people were talking at you, and the lights go on but it doesn’t mean anyone’s home? (Sorry, that was really bad.) Sometimes I still go back to this and think about how no one’s really opened my heart since then. And I hate that fucking ATM, and I hate seeing it, because as silly as it seems, it carries that sense of an ending, of watching an investment crumble because of a few botched plans or a few wrong words. But when you commit to something, all you have are those plans, and those theories that this could work, and it’s up to you to add effort. But it’s not an experiment nor is it a rehearsal, no matter how much it feels like one, because sometimes, no matter how forgiving you are, you say things that you can’t take back.

I just realized this poster says “You Are Your Own” and that’s why I had it open for a while, maybe. There comes a time when you stop wanting to share, and I think that was it. I think I came to the completely heartbreaking realization that I would rather be alone in this moment, no matter how wonderful it is, than share it with the wrong person. I feel that way about all the other moments I’ve committed myself to for the rest of the year, whether that commitment is sealed with words or plane tickets. I can’t imagine being with anyone for the ride. I can’t bring myself to trust someone enough to share these things with. Call it selfish, call it tragic, it is what it is: An honest assessment of a current state.

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