Green and Black, and Black and Green


Frederik de Wilde, Hostage (2010)

I’ve written a lot about love in the past here but mostly in a tongue-in-cheeky way that only aims to confirm the little interest I have in it–or claim to have in it–as if to acknowledge how it only leads to inventions and institutions that, for the most part, aren’t even working.

Last night was a little different. After the premiere of our friend Bia’s documentary, Letters to the Future, I had a few drinks with my best friends, Marla and Jaton. Together, the three of us used to run New Slang, an online magazine that also functioned as a platform for fleshing out our issues (because it was a magazine, get it?). It was a short lived project, but four years later, we’ve remained near and dear to each other. Most of Jaton’s energy has gone to after school programs teaching English, while Marla was recently certified as a Reiki healer and can now see auras.

“What color is mine?” I asked her. She said it was green, “the heart chakra”, and that I wanted to be loved. Being quick to contradict as well, I remember thinking it didn’t make sense because “I’m Alice and I don’t care what people think and I’m fine on my own”. This is a trait that took years to cultivate, and I have come to be stupidly proud of it. At the same time, it’s a defense mechanism, a way to survive, and has thus gotten in the way of reaching out when it matters. Friends can tell when you’re bluffing though, and what Marla was seeing had everything to do with love, while I was only capable of talking about approval. And while there is some truth to not needing anyone’s approval above my own, I can’t say the same for loving and being loved back.

Again, I’ve written about it in the past, but I always favoured talking about how much I valued my independence and the flexible terms I’m able to define by remaining untethered, but it’s not just about that. Food still tastes better on dates. I chew slowly. I want to prolong the company. Yet I’ve also become good at ignoring my grief once it’s gone.

If the last thing I want to do at 28 is cry over a boy, I can’t even imagine how this will look in five or ten years. As if to confirm this, I just woke up from a dream, where I received a call from a boy I liked, asking “What do you want most in the world?” (obviously residue from Bia’s work, because no one calls just to ask that, unless they’re right outside your door with a boom box blasting Peter Gabriel). And I couldn’t answer coherently, instead I stammered out a list of things that escape me now, among which was “A PONY!” A pony covered in glitter, more than anything in the world.

When we said our goodbyes and hung up, I snapped out of it on cue, waking up to check my phone but of course it wasn’t real. Of course it never happened. That was it, though: that phone call that never happened. That was the green part of my aura that only my closest friends can see.

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Author: alicesarmiento

San Juan, Metro Manila

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