“Don’t fall in love with a superhero.” So goes my friend’s text to me as I was idly watching the waves of Panglao from outside our resort. This was a friendship defined by incoherent text messages very early in the morning, midnight phone calls and intense arguments via email, so I guess it was something I was used to. I fired off a quick response (“tama ka”) and brushed off the mental cobwebs that marred my view of the ocean.
But then, now that I’m back in Manila, I started really thinking about it, and i realized that that could well be my problem. I have a weird penchant for superheroes. Not of the variety that scales walls and wears tights (and briefs over them), but, well, those who still passionately dream of and work for a world that is fairer and more just. The past few guys I’ve dated have all been in the movement, and though I could ascribe it to pure laziness (work with them in the daytime, date them at night…simple ang buhay), there’s something more, of course. Like I always say, I need to be with someone who views the world in a way I can respect.
But of course, recent experiences (by recent, I mean the past couple of years or so) make me now question the wisdom of such a criterion. On the one hand, pwede kayo magpakalasing sa passion and intensity, pero on the other, I’m creeping into my thirties and hankering for some stability. Sometimes I look at the neat and cozy lives of my friends and wonder if maybe I have my equations all wrong. Jane articulated that too in her blog entry about her friend “Holden”. It’s hard enough to explain my life choice to people (one of my classmates in college actually asked me, “so bakit ka nga nag-agriculture? ano ba ginagawa ng agricultural lawyer”), it’s harder to explain why I haven’t “gotten my act together” (actual phrase used) and start looking for a lawyer or doctor or engineer to hang out with and eventually marry.
Kasi nga gusto ko ng superhero. Truth, justice and the American AKBAYAN way.
But then, I’ve found that superheroes are often very complicated men. Mala-dark knight. And for those who know me best, I’m really just a simple girl. Hindi ako kumplikado. I don’t play games, I don’t tacticize, I say what I mean and mean what I say. One thing that’s strange about me is that no matter how exposed I am to injustice in this world (my job description is trying to end it by taking teeny-tiny steps) and despite being a victim of pure evil a whole lifetime ago, I still trust that the universe is a kind and gentle place. Kaya siguro, unexplained meanness shocks me so much. I just never see it coming, and when it does, it sends me reeling. A month and a half ago, I was just trying to be kind to someone, and when it was met with such sharp hostility, wala akong handles with which to respond. My friend says it might not be a big deal, but then, who’s to say what’s a big deal and what’s not? Nagmaganda ako, pretended it didn’t hurt me so much, but it did. And that’s because I didn’t understand it. It was completely incoherent to me. And I don’t know what to learn from it — except perhaps not to be kind? To keep on second-guessing myself, lest I be misunderstood or overread? To calibrate affection, as though life is some chess game or Abba song (all together now: “the winner takes it aaaaaaaaaall…”)?
Weird. Di ako ganun.
In the end, I’m still hoping that there is someone out there who can be the superhero I am looking for, but who can also be my bedrock and safe haven. And who won’t be so complicated and would accept me for who I am, warts and weirdness and weaknesses.
And while I’m at it, Lord, sana din po, HOT. At lalaking lalaki. Ayoko po kasi sana ng metrosexual.