Written 19 May 16

I don’t know where to begin because our beginning was perfect, absolutely perfect.

Maybe I could start with myself. Before we met, I was in the crushing process of repairing myself. My hands still had fresh wounds from picking up the pieces of a shattered heart. Sometimes, those wounds would bleed, causing me to drop the heart, and I would have to start all over again and get myself wounded even more. There were days when I wanted to leave it broken because it hurt to piece it back together. It felt useless, too… But on the route to giving up, I was standing in front of Van Gogh’s Starry Night on a cloudy day in New York City when you said hello. That meant something.

I was very careful in structuring our conversations. I didn’t think you’d give me a chance because based purely on looks, I’m not on your level. Also, I’ve been rejected by so many for the smallest things.

But you saw past those small things and let me feel comfortable around you.

Flash forward, clutching my favourite coffee in hand, I’m waiting in the middle of Manhattan to meet you for the first time. I arrived early, and being the over-thinker that I am, I gave myself a panic attack. What if you don’t like my date ideas? Do I even have date ideas? Yes… Fuck! I forgot to put perfume on… I have to finish this coffee faster, so I can take a mint and not have coffee breath… What if that’s a serious turn-off and you ditch me in the middle of lunch? Are you even showing u—

And there you were. You look better in person. You’re taller than I imagined you would be, and your sweet smile made my heart melt. You let me hug you. I could smell you for the first time, and my senses went nuts. I got so excited for the rest of our time together because never in 20 years did I think that someone like you would give me a chance.

The rest of our day seemed surreal. I’ve convinced myself before that life isn’t like what it is in the movies because in real life, my crushes do not show up for lunch dates; they don’t laugh at my jokes when they’re corny; they don’t let me grab their hand before crossing the street; they don’t let me steal kisses on their cheeks when we’re walking around a furniture store while discussing our alter egos; most of all, they don’t make time stop when they’re making out with me for the first time in a crowded bus terminal when we’re about to say goodbye. But you did all that for me and with me, and I am so grateful.

You’d think it was funny that a single day and a single person could change the way I believe in something, but it’s not. It feels right, so right.

by Royce


One More Thing

I’ve been struggling to write an essay for a scholarship I’m applying for. I took a look at my old college essays to find inspiration because I’ve been told by more than one professor that I’ve been blessed with a knack for writing essays that hit a home run. That has always been a resounding thought that I keep when I’m crafting anything literary because it made me believe that I could amount to something with my words.

The following is a reflective essay on a short story called One More Thing by Raymond Carver. Its opening sentence casts a tinge of light on what the story is about, but it’s not a necessity to understand what I’m trying to convey in the essay.

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One of my professors once told the class that at most, 10% of the things that happen in our lives are beyond are control. It was a lesson both in acceptance and in taking control of the direction where we want to put our lives into. I couldn’t disagree with that way of thinking. At the time I heard it, I felt that I was creeping back into depression because of a recent failure that forced me to shift the possible outcomes I had for myself, so I found it helpful to be able to say, “that’s just 10%” when things don’t really go my way.

Continue reading “Ten”

Everything then Nothing

I was raised to be an auxiliary. My time is not mine; I owe it to those who keep me alive and running. Except for joy, all of my feelings are invalid. I’m not allowed to feel tired is someone else is being celebrated, and I am selfish and ungrateful for wanting anything for myself if it’s not what someone else wants for me. You would think that after two decades of feeling this way, I would be used to it, and that there’s not point in being dramatic. You’re not entirely wrong. Whenever I do something self-indulgent, it may seem that I am enjoying myself. I do for a while, but after that the memory of doing whatever that was makes me feel guilty. Today was just an exception. I want to stop existing.

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Dear Future Royce,

Hello, I’m Royce. Since my 20th Birthday is just around the corner, I decided to give blogging another shot. I used to write about my life behind a fictional character, whose world was more or less free of the flaws that were present in mine. He thrived on school adventures, with quirky friends and unattainable crushes, but since I’ve already graduated, it felt right to let him graduate as well. While it was fun being someone else, it wasn’t sustainable, and more importantly, it wasn’t me.

Continue reading “Dear Future Royce,”