Matchbox Maladies

Catastrophic uncertainty of the self.

by Sine Qua Non

but, yeah, you love me too

you know your song rests in the pages of the books that i read too; and soon you’ll know better to see this love through and not be a slave to the fear you won’t have chance at forever

soon enough that night will come when you know you have to be with me and then i will be with you and all doubt will be over, all running away will be through


we should be talking

by Sine Qua Non

about how groove armada is just a wonderful cap to monday afternoons after a series of pink floyd albums. then we can talk about sunday and how wolf of wall street missed the mark by a very small margin – two displaced sequences and 4 unnecessary scenes to be exact. and then we’ll flirt a little and flourish in flattery and be sweet and sultry. we’ll plan where our next dinner will be. probably which drug to poke our noses into and how you plan to intoxicate me. and the hours will pass and suddenly it’s night time and you’re trying to put me to sleep with another new song. or keep me awake with your own troubles. all i know is that it would be better if i lay down with your rather than away from you on nights like this.


but on this night there is no you and i. no conversation, no plans. just another hopeless call for another chance,


i love you but

you dont love me


by Sine Qua Non

I was reading myself to sleep (an unfortunately pointless activity when one’s reading through a page-turner) when a turn of the song from my sister’s playlist prompted me to put the book down and proceed to write these thoughts down immediately

I am gripped with that feeling again, a feeling that hasn’t visited me lately – for quite a few months to already, alarmingly – that feeling that cannot be disregarded – the urge to just go ahead and write

it started three songs before the beginning of this entry. when i recalled how, a year and a half ago, i would leave my laptop on all night playing unfamiliar songs from foreign independent artists so that i could put myself to sleep or survive the night without succumbing to paralysis-inducing loneliness. those nights i stayed up talking to The Lawyer, and we would wait for sunrise and it was then when I got over my feelings of brokenheartedness caused by That Guy

tonight, the sensation is reincarnated in this quiet evening of music in moderate volume, filling up the dimly lit room. it was like just as it was before but now all the songs are familiar by virtue of Billboard-Hit-popularity. so there is a difference but still not quite.  the memory finds new life and the difference in this playlist’s dress is in the annoying reminder that listening to this kind of music actually falls starkly in line with the effort to keep buried a persistent sorrow shoved deep down beneath book chapters, to-do lists, and constantly rearranged activities of my everyday hours

the music that accompanied my waning nights and creeping dawns have faded, and now – the approach, though i did not intently try it – no longer works. it doesn’t. it won’t. maybe never. ever.

funny how we change constantly. and frequently.

am i sad? i guess. i miss him like shit. not as much as before, i guess. i am making progress, snail-pace peace with myself and with my issues, i guess. uncertain, definitely. but better than being in denial. at least now i don’t go into constant fits of breaking down in tears. without just relentlessly bawling out to the universe, whether in my howling screams of pain or silent breathless exclamations, truly understanding why why why. they are occasional bouts of crying instead. that occur to me in sudden pangs of memory and which i can now control relatively well

i guess i love him that much, yes, but i am learning to love myself more and live with the choice i made no matter how unfounded it could have been the moment that it crept up on me. and i will get into grips with the realities that i will face, now and tomorrow and in distant futures. more will be revealed and though i wish all will be out as soon as possible, there will inevitably be continuous weeks of drinking the self to sleep and wishing and hoping and praying that whatever is now is otherwise

it’s a new year and everybody, or most of everyone at least, aspire for new beginnings to make better continuations of their lives

a turn of the year could be both as profound and as meaningless as the next sunrise. so another minute passed, so the calendar changed dates. so maybe we are older by another planet’s revolution or maybe we didn’t

all i wish is that i could sleep better soon

that things will make sense. that these feelings and choices and deeds will matter more than the time that i seem to lose every other second

where does it go? why does it pass? why should it matter?

like another song played, forgotten too soon, echoed too late

tonight i realize i am learning to dance better in the silences that remind me how i am alone completely, that i am alone. and complete.

by Sine Qua Non

resistance is futile.


as if it’s something i don’t already know. and i don’t know what to do next. or i do  but then i’m so tempted to just continue this conversation with you. but there you go ignoring me again. and it hurts like an injury. i knew i shouldn’t have answered that call. it was just a link and i didn’t actually know what it meant.


but here i am now. on the waiting end. i should forget about you. or find a way to let all my feelings through.


i wish you’d just talk to me for real. tell me what you feel.

i wish you’d want to see me and let me know and take me out and close this gap and make everything all right.

i love you. but you make it so hard.

another letter to be sent

by Sine Qua Non

(well a lot of time has passed and the feelings have simmered down and made way for somewhere else. i’ve had dreams about marrying a classmate from grade school, and then there’s waking up in the morning and knowing — hey i’m not over it yet, shucks!)


I remember you like this: humming under dim yellow lights, your choice of poison in one hand, and all of your secrets on the other. So its your ayes that caress me and I feel you love me but refuse to take hold of.

This is what I know: that you are ever so tender and you hide it so unfortunately; see I remember the way you laughed with me, the way you held my hand, the way for moments we let pass and distilled only in memory, we slid ourselves into each other palms and lay rest there, believing we belonged nowhere else. But on the surface of your skin, speaking to me in pulses and beats.

I love you dearest. Remember you fondly. The way you held me, the way you held on, the way you held tight.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

As if the last one breathed of an embrace that would protect you until moonlight ceased to rise and fall.

I love you and it feels good to let It out. I chew the sound in the crevices where words lived under the tongue, in-between teeth. I love you. And I will let it all out!


Irish Coffee Letter Therapy

by Sine Qua Non

Moments ago I found myself reaching for the bottle of white rum and, almost with a kind of mindless manner, pouring an unadvisable amount in my morning coffee. Now, my mug sits a hand’s reach away and the scent stings my senses. It’s fascinating how the taste begins to grow on me. It reminds me of one the first few Christmases I’ve been afforded an alcoholic drink – when my mom thought Irish coffee was just that – coffee. The smell suits the morning formidably. And though I wouldn’t really prefer a toad to come with my morning drink, I do hope spiked coffee would be enough to make me last through the day.


I’ve become a tad bit reluctant to share my thoughts with anyone recently. I’ve begun anticipating a look of lassitude pass through their faces before being quickly replaced by a look of tolerant sympathy and, at times, pity; anticipating also the formulaic responses that I’ve already encountered repeatedly and in length through other friends, through literature, or the ever-reliable one-click therapist – the internet. I speak to no one here. My troubles mean nothing to anyone. My grief is probably trivial, my fatigue even more so. I would say so myself, I could stay awake all week and that would still not be enough to make up for all the birthdays I didn’t even bother visiting my grandmother. Luckily, my cousins just love talking about all those memories that I am not part of. I don’t know if I’m just praning but you know that feeling that tears at you when you realize that whatever you do now –kumatay ng manok, maglinis ng pigpen, pumulot ng kalat, mapaso sa kaluluto sa ulingan, magpatalo sa pustahan, matirang gising at mag-refuse matulog – none will be enough to eradicate that sense of exclusion. I will always be an ‘other’ no matter what I do. Pinsan ako, yes, but I don’t belong here because I didn’t grow up here. Bisita more than pamilya, I feel. Aaaand roll out the guilt trip.

Pause. Sip.

I find myself longing to speak to you instead, despite the commonplace warning that keeping in touch with your heartbreaker isn’t good for the heart at all. That’s an acceptable truth, yes, but it couldn’t be the only truth about relationships that exists. Just because it’s a plot we’re all familiar with, should I also anticipate that the one often labelled jerk in this equation would care not for a letter? That he is stereotypically incapable of being a friend? And that, as the one who allowed herself to fall, estrangement is the only option for moving on? HELLOOO. Somehow, a part of me believes we are not of the cookie-cutter mould. Ergo, this. I no longer find the need to wait for a reply in length anyway. Only that right now, I feel, gets mo ako. I cannot deny myself the pleasure of a conversation in the moment, could I? Or, in this case, permit myself to address someone in my thoughts. It’s really just like another journal entry, except that to ensure I actually make sense instead of doodling nonsense, (also for my own properly documented sanity) I’ll pretend that you will be reading this.

Recently, too, I’ve been finding difficulty engaging in casual chats with people. Conversing with visitors here takes more than a quick greeting and small talk. When you start talking about ties of blood and friendship, of extended family trees, of living and dying and loving and losing, with people you approach as strangers that approach you as kin – you realize how much time you’ve wasted editing yourself rather than just speaking your thoughts. The irony here is that after feeling so profoundly enlightened and pleased with these conversations, I feel so mentally and emotionally exhausted. I wish they would just permit me to be with my thoughts as I wash the dishes rather than push me out front to receive and mingle with people. Out there, I find myself wading through a kind of shared grief I am tasked not only to receive but also, to some degree, to process. Washing dishes is much easier. Soap, water, and a dry rag and you’re good. I could do it all day. With visitors coming in every hour there’s always something in the sink to wash. At least only my hands get roughed up. Lotion can cure that. Every other mask I put on and tear off when I face people, on the other hand, scars in ways that no formulated cure is still available for. I think. Otherwise, if you know anything, please enlighten me.


You remember that conversation we had when you were going through that rough patch, about time being short and how we ought to make more of our days? Nah, I do not feel the same way right now. Strangely so, I feel life more stagnant than it ever was. I feel no urgency, no waste. Only a sort of lethargy. It’s as if I’m frozen still unable to figure out which losses to internalize, which to appreciate. I move about the day mechanically, doing what I’m told, filling the lulls with whatever task I could find. Or invent. When I am not speaking to visitors, sorting out biscuits and mixed nuts, standing over cauldrons , or wiping glasses dry, I write verses again and again, listen to stories told by people related to me but feel so unattached to, read poetry, recount plots in stories I already know the ending to – but to no avail. I forget what day of the week it is. If there’s a timelessness that relates to eternity, well this isn’t it.

So, I’ve resolved to allowing myself to do what I think I need at the moment. No matter how fleeting. Or actually, exactly just what is fleeting. Like pour rum in my coffee. Or walk away to the treehouse when no one is looking so I could roll myself a joint. I’ve resolved to turn to such quick remedies since shutting out completely is not an option. But it scares me. That I feel that what I need is a quick escape from all things present before me. I feel so unlike myself. I actually want to veer away from myself or any remark that would remind me to be better than this. So I pretend to be in that better state to avoid hearing to be better. Jeez. Ang kumplikado naman nito. Isn’t it so sad how people always seem to talk you out of your current state of being just because they can imagine you to be otherwise? It makes me sick. If only people would just let me drink my spiked coffee at daybreak and smoke my joint at sunset. Then maybe I could actually be keen on living in the moment rather than just letting it pass through me. Now, I am in no state of here or now or wanting or becoming. I need to get a grip. And that’s a fucking hard toad to swallow, too.

Dear Ker

by Sine Qua Non

I think I ought to write to you directly now, here. In the hopes of finally gaining some peace of mind at least for me to be able to sleep this night away. If I have to do this every evening until I get so sick and tired of doing so, then I will.

Never mind that you’ll find this blog and find out all my thoughts. At the moment, no one else actually knows this blog exists. Maybe my best friend and my roommate but I don’t think they would care enough to remember. Plus in the digital universe, this blog exists as nothing but a dump of all the thoughts I don’t really want to share to mankind. But that I need to get off my chest.

First off, you’re quite a jerk.

The least you could do is man up and give me an answer. You owe me that courtesy to say the least. And, yrs, no matter what your too-cool-to-care mind would think, I don’t deserve to be treated the way you did.

Operating on anger here, yes. I wish I could scream this to your face right now and follow it up with a splash of vodka. But some other girl will spill that vodka on your shirt tonight.

And then in a few weeks time you’ll jerk up (oops, yeah, well Freudian quip, not slip, intended) on her. If she’s lucky, maybe even months.

Jerk. I hate you tonight. I’ll let the feeling simmer for now. It’ll help me deal.









But who am I to expect that from you, right? Damn right.


guilty pleasure wallowing torture

by Sine Qua Non

This is the sad part about it. Or rather the very honest part. That at the end of the day, literally, or actually at the beginning of a new one, I am nothing more than a sentimental human being enslaved by her own sappy feelings. And here I am, like any pathetic 25-year old, sitting in her pajamas with a Twilight theme song full-blast on repeat, typing away what’s left of my wakefulness.

And this won’t be the end of it. After this very sad, pitiful confession I’ll probably be scribbling in my notebook still. Or not. If I manage to purge all my feelings here now.

What else do I have to say? That I continuously subject myself to torture anyway. That I know for a fact that until something else comes my way, there will be no definite end to days like this, waiting for him to tell me that I’ll see him this weekend.

Or maybe that’s how it ought to end at this point, that until he picks that next weekend for when we could see each other again, there will be nothing else between us but a void of presence where all emotions crash and meld together. How have I brought this upon myself?

I keep saying I’ve laid out all my cards. I have not. I know the four aces are still with me, and those are my final cards. They are not on the table yet. They seem to be, but no not yet. Not concretely. And I will lay it out. But I’ve been dealing all the cards, maybe not all this time, but I’ve been dealing them certainly in the recent encounters. Enough tob make me think that it is indeed his turn to put down some cards of his own.

I’m not going to pull it out of his hand now. I couldn’t care less what his cards are. I just want to be able to lay down all of mine.

God, this song is so awfully soppy. But I keep listening to it. I think it is through this song that I hope to pin my upcoming fatigue of the things ensuing. I will tire of all of this eventually. And I can’t wait. But for the moment, here I am. Writing, writing, writing. Pining, weeping on mornings I wake alone, cringing at every other song, skipping a heartbeat at the mention of his city, frowning at a murdered chat conversation, trying ever so hard to purge him from every fiber of my being.

Oh wow. How hard could that be. How. Hard. Could. That. Be.

by Sine Qua Non

i feel as if i should keep writing and writing, one entry after another if need be, as long as one thought completes itself in one entry, until i’ve exhausted myself of all the feelings and emotions that spill from my fingertips onto the screen and the whole universe overflows with waterfalls of tears up to the tiniest pinpricks of pain, until i am empty and void as a children’s playground at 3am

truth be told, i don’t even know what i want to say anymore, there are no clear thoughts, clear stories in my head, only that it would do me good to keep typing out words like they were tears and i need to be dehydrated of them to get rid of all the fever that boils inside me

i am hiding behind the lie that i expect nothing of him, that i no longer wait for his name to pop up in my screen, asking about how i am or what i will be eating or what i’m working on this time. unfortunately, despite every other petty distraction i throw in front of me, all my thoughts still crawl back into his arms. and when i find myself in that empty embrace i begin to weep and my chest hurts again and again and it cripples me, every part of me. as if the love for him is not content with making me incapable of walking. that every part of me should be unable to move in his absence. from the sway of my arms to the flick of my fingers. it cripples even the peristalsis in hunger or the heaving of my diaphragm. i feel it strike at even the slightest trickle of blood making its way through my veins. it strikes at my already weakened heart.

and i understand,so  this is how one is able to surrender to death because of an overwhelming sense of love – that if one is unable to love freely, there would no longer be any point in living at all

could it be colder than it already is

by Sine Qua Non

the strange thing is that all the sentences have arranged and rearranged itself in my mind for weeks now but I never got to typing them up here. i manage to scribble in my notebooks every now and then, but then, no scraps of my broken heart have yet been scattered in this digital universe. quite a difference a day could make, too. i seem to be unable to conjure the same sense of sadness and longing that i’ve felt in the last few days. not now, when he’s at it again and talking to me.

There is a rollicking kindness that looks like malice, that’s what Nietzshe said, i think.

While it be good that I am not totally as frenzied about plunging into conversation with him again as I used to before, what I’m trying to figure out now is how i should now go about letting him know what i feel. for days, i’ve been so conclusive about the fact that we will never speak to each other again and that gave me an excuse to cook up the entire scenario of writing the letter and sending it. rehearsing in my head which way the words would dance on the paper and how the folded piece of paper should land on his hands.

the thing is, that i don’t actually know what the thing is.

truth be told i keep saying i could no longer play his game. that i could no longer permit myself to be taken for easy scum he could call up and disregard after he’s done with me. it’s so easy to say that on moments that i am not waking up alone to a dark sunrise with the coldness reaching itself into my chest. it is easy to say that when i know i won’t be alone on weekends, occupied enough to prevent my own thoughts from reeling itself back to him. the problem being even just a break to pee allows me the space to remember and long for him.

but, really, i refuse to chase. i want to be chosen.

and the strange thing is, and now i suppose this to be true since it comes to me so suddenly and so strongly — that i feel that i am not being truly selfless about my love for him if i do not chase him and fight for his attention. i have no clue if that sounds stupid, sadistic, or just honest and true. i just draw back from questioning my own motives when i recall the kind of torture i put myself through every time i park myself at the edge of hope’s cliff and watch myself pull out my heart and feed it to the vultures that circle the grey sky above me. he never comes to save me. i always jump off after my heart falling fast before me.


i love him, i do, but i could no longer stand the pain.

i guess nothing more needs to be said after that. only that the next time i walk to the edge of that cliff, i’m wishing somebody will be ready to fall with me — backs to the ground, eyes to the sky.