Sunday, April 28, 2013

the first three meetings

the weirdest thing is that i hardly remember my husband's face during our first few meetings. i realized this the first time he directly informed me that he was dropping by my high school during school hours. he was from a different school, and i usually know that he was coming to visit from our common friend. but that time he sent an sms to me saying he will be in front of the school gate in a few minutes and that he was with a couple of his classmates. i told him that i'm sorry that i forgot how he looked like and asked him to just please say hi to me first. he thought it was impossible for me not to remember and told me that i should say hi first. and so i had to rely on my guts to know which one to say hi to. but when i reached the gate, i just felt which one was him. he smiled and then he made me take a good look at him and promise not to ever forget again, haha.

thinking about it now, i guess we really had that profound connection from the start. i should have known from the first time we met that he is my soulmate. and if i ever forget his face again, i want to remember at least the first three times that we met in hope that i will feel the same way i did then and remember his face and everything about him again.

the first meeting: it was the second weekend of high school--a saturday, if i am not mistaken. a boy was introduced to me while i was busy listening with my walkman. it was a brief encounter. i actually can't remember anything about him but as would be apparent in our second meeting, his presence sort of rubbed on me, haha. we did not have any communication between the first and second meeting. i did hear that he might have developed a slight crush on my "walkmaning skills" and kept asking about me but that was just about it.

the second meeting: it was during the fiesta at fernando air base. i spotted this unfamiliar face amid my boy classmates. he caught my eye and i just felt that it was him and i don't know why but i kind of hate him. a girl classmate of mine would later confirm that it was him. i played basketball with my boy classmates that  day and i was irritated when he joined us. later, i endured the most awkward walk with him to the subdivision's gate because we had the same curfew. i tried to maintain an arm's length distance from him while walking but somehow we ended walking closely next to each other at some points that i had to move away for more space. i quickly said goodbye to him when we reached the gate. this was why he said on his wedding vow that i had him at goodbye.

the third meeting: it was new year's eve, eight days after we officially became textmates, haha. we were set to meet again at a friend's house. i always remember this scene in slow motion. it was a sunny day but the wind still felt a lot like christmas. the trees were swaying and the sun was shining through their leaves. i was walking to the east, and he to the west. he was looking at his feet while walking. i didn't recognize his face but i felt that it was him. too shy to say hi, i just continued walking. after a couple more steps i turned to look back and saw that he has just reached our friend's front door. and our friend was waving at me to go back and so i did. facing him at the front door, he asked why i didn't say hi. he said he didn't see me. i just said that i didn't see him as well.

the rest is history--some bits of which i may write about in future posts.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the smell of freshly mowed grass

the title and tagline of this blog may sound familiar to those who have seen the film "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind." the movie was about a couple, joel and clementine, who had each other erased from their memories. clementine went through the procedure first, and then joel decided to do it too when he found out that she did. during the process of erasing the memories, joel realized how happy the two of them were and wanted to stop the procedure but it was too late. he tried to hold on to the memories but they kept fading away. he held on to one particular memory most: he was repeatedly telling clementine that she is pretty because she thinks she is ugly. "please let me keep this memory. just this one," he said. that scene made me think about the one memory that i would like to keep and at that moment i thought of the smell of freshly mowed grass.

i have always noticed how my sense of smell triggers memories, especially those from my childhood. and i just thought that my love for the smell of freshly mowed grass would help me remember many things.

i was born and raised in the province. i did not grow up in a farm, but my family owns one. i loved going to the farm to climb trees and harvest fruits. i also enjoyed hunting spiders and flying kites with my brother. i also loved sitting on the grass to draw. sometimes, i would lie on my back, make out figures in the sky and get lost in my daydreams. at times, i would run after grasshoppers. i enjoyed these activities most when the grass has just been mowed because the smell comforted me. like home.

when i moved into the city for college, i longed for home. and, unconsciously, for that smell. some kids get attached to the smell of their favorite blanket, pillow or stuffed toy, but i got attached to the smell of freshly mowed grass. luckily, i got into a university with a wide field. i enjoyed hanging out with my friends there. even after graduation, we would often find ourselves sitting side by side on the grass, reminiscing the days that were.

but aside from the memories we had there, i never mentioned that my love for the smell of grass endeared that field to me. i thought it would just add up to the long list of things they find weird about me. i found it weird myself. so i kept this love to myself too long.

the first person i shared my love for the smell of freshly mowed grass to was my husband. it was during the early years of our boyfriend-girlfriend relationship and we were sitting on the grass of my university's field. coincidentally, the grass was freshly mowed then. i asked if he liked the smell and he said he loves it because it reminds him of when he used to play soccer in grade school. he asked me why i asked and i told him it was because i love the smell too. i remember feeling sad that day but when i learned that we share this profound love for the smell of freshly mowed grass, i felt light and happy again.