Hazey Jackie (I and II)

(Apologies to Nick Drake.)

Finally! After weeks of intense work, I now have time to rest. (Insert big smile here.)

Instead of days defined by attending consultations and meetings, listening to group presentations and oral exams, checking papers and journal articles, and finishing household chores and responsibilities, my days are now defined by, well, “nothing”: staying in bed on slow and quiet mornings, doing the laundry and refilling the pantry (so therapeutic), going on food and shopping trips with Plep, enjoying Community marathon sessions (thanks to Roy), spending afternoons reading or napping, staying over my parents’ house on weekends, and watching NatGeo documentaries on TV ’til I get sleepy.

Of course, every now and then, the workaholic part of me asks and says, “Why don’t you exercise, Jackie? You’re getting so fat and squishy! Or why don’t you practice French? And what about playing the guitar and sketching again? Now’s the perfect time to work on your other skills and interests—like tennis! And maybe you should clean your flat too!” But then the lazy part of me, with a goofy and spacey smile, simply replies, “Meh.”

Don’t get me wrong—or, rather, don’t get my current laziness wrong. I haven’t lost my zest for life; I’m just channeling it in a different way for now, is all. Soon enough, there’ll be loads of work to do again. Soon enough, I’ll have reason to distract myself with exercise, French, music, art, tennis, and housekeeping. But right now, it’s time for nothing.

Oh, nothing. Useless, fattening, unproductive, and happy nothing. (Insert another big smile here.)

I must confess, though, that there’s a bit of a downside to all this nothing: I now have the time to think about an old ex-boyfriend of mine (the second to the last one).

I can’t trace exactly how it happened, thinking about my ex. I have a feeling it may have been caused by reading The Hunger Games, or perhaps by watching those episodes of Community that were about Jeff Winger’s issues with openness. I could even trace it back to that tipsy evening when I uncovered messages from the Universe while listening to The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. Who knows what started it? All I know is that, every now and then, I find myself thinking about my ex.

He’s turning thirty this year, if I remember correctly—could he already be married? Is he still in the Philippines? Could he have already moved to the US, which, if I remember correctly, was what he wanted to do? It’s been five or six years since I last saw him or communicated with him. Wow. A lot can happen in five or six years; a lot can change. I have no doubt that he’s successful in his work, though, because he was always a driven person—at least from what I remember of him.

And I guess that’s what bothers me the most about my ex: my memories of him are so weak. My god, I can’t even remember what he looks like! I can’t remember his smile, his voice, his birthday, his friends’ names—not even his family members’ names.

I just remember some of the things he liked: he liked it whenever I gently rubbed his back while we studied, so much so that he asked me to do it often; he got gigil whenever I said “uh-huh” or “no more” or “okay”; and he found me adorable whenever I made tampo, which was why he always teased me. I also remember our break-up—the fights, the tears, the harsh words, the threats—but only as a skeletal timeline of events. The particulars of why we broke up, what we said, and what we did—they’re all quite lost to me.

And strangely, even with all the things I can’t remember about my ex, I remember how he found it amusing that I used the word “vex” in a text message I sent him back when we were still getting to know each other. That was about eight years ago, I think. So strange that I remember that, of all things.

Oh, and I remember how we met. I won’t expound on that, sorry, because that bit of memory is still dear to me, tee hee.

Ah well. That’s the extent of my thoughts about my ex. Like I said, my memories of him are so weak. In fact, most of what I think about him or remember of him—save for bits of what he liked, the timeline of our break-up, the “vex” incident, and how we met—are speculative at best.

Anyway, it’s time to go back to doing nothing. I need to pack for a (food) trip to Pampanga with my family. (Insert yet another big smile here.)

Have a nice day, folks!

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