I can still remember you. Many of you, to be more precise about it. I’ve met you on a number of occasions, so many in fact I can’t recall the exact events when, once upon a time, we’ve rubbed shoulders with each other. Some of you, I first got to know in school starting from elementary straight to college. Until now, I still cross paths with a good number of you in the most expected places and vehicles: malls, sidewalks, FXs. During those times, we try to grapple with whatever is left of our impressions of each other. Even if seemingly uncomfortable, we ask each other how’s life (though we may not be Facebook friends anymore or to begin with, or if some of you have social media accounts), or haggle as to have we paid our fare already. Ah, the rituals of good company in our isles. Then, dead air weighs heavily again, as we go about with our daily grind, when no conversation can string us together for more than a minute longer.
I still remember though, the far more jovial days.
There were times when after learning about the uniqueness of the syllables of your identities, or the length and breadth of your hometown, pet peeves or favorite past times, we (or rather, I) thought that we can somehow dream the same dream, break the same bread, walk the same path, and fight the same war. Smiles are exchanged, glances knowingly given when we come across each other. The connexion is there, looks like it. However, the moment fleetingly stays, as brief as a sudden shower in April.
Somehow, there were too many bridges to be crossed or burned, too many crosses to be borne, and too many other peers to keep tabs with. And one by one, slowly, gradually, our ties loosen, unwinding like thread from a spool.
Eventually, only the faint echoes of the syllables of your names linger on. As faint as starlight on a dark evening in the province.
Now, once again I encounter your faces. Facebook announces your latest fates. I learn: some of you may have married and got kids. A few may have changed lovers and partners. A number have since moved on to other jobs, other continents, or even to the other life. I am not sure how will I react to those news, aside from the seemingly mandatory “Oh” and “What.” Clicking emoticons are not enough either. Although, from time to time, I “like” some of what you are posting.
I think you still remember me. Probably, you do not know me any longer.
Your former acquaintance.