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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

entry arrow3:18 AM | Unlike

One of the most awkward things one does, in a struggle for sheer survival after breaking-up with someone, is the unliking of the many things he has taught you to, well, like. These are things beyond your usual orbits of interests, which suddenly take on some paramount importance simply because they are things -- songs, films, books, quirks -- that your Beloved loves. You figure, how else to show one's love for this Beloved, except in learning to love the things he loves? Because when the heart is at stake, it is too easy to develop an interest. You feign when you have to, and it is all too easy to fool oneself. Gardening, for example. I have no green thumb. All the potted plants I've bought died within days of purchase. But there I was, trying to learn about the design of leaves, the cultivation of herbs, the intricacies of flowers, the many kinds of begonias. My first boyfriend taught me all these. I was a sponge, and for two years, all I thought about were plants. I knew how to make him happy. On special days, I'd go to a special shop, and buy him packets of seeds. I lived for the delight on his face every time he would get those seeds. It was uncanny, and I was in love. Everyday, after school, we would walk all the way to the makeshift "greenhouse" near City Hall, where we would spend hours upon hours looking at plants, trying to decide what to buy. And then, all that was gone. And I went back to knowing nothing about botany. Pageants and plastic surgery, my second boyfriend taught me these. (Pets, too. Fish, hamsters, mice.) I had to learn all the names of the states of Venezuela -- and their capitals -- simply because Venezuela churned out Miss Universe winners like a beauty factory. What is the capital of Carabobo? Valencia. Not everybody knows who Osmel Sousa is. I do. I know this pageant magician's life story like the back of my hand. Almost six years later, when it all ended, I couldn't bring myself to watch another Bb. Pilipinas telecast. I simply didn't care. Then there's Keane and BritRock and the intricacies of biology, which the third person I loved taught me. The fourth person I loved taught me genealogy. I began to read about the intricacies of family trees.

And then when the love went away, or when the heart has been blasted to pieces once and again, I learned that the first bars of an India Arie song chilled me like a hateful tune. I learned I couldn't care less with the trivia that the first Miss Universe married a Filipino. I learned I couldn't care less about the proper ways of planting a begonia. And was life any better because I knew how one family connected with another through marriage? No, life remained the same: a chronicle of hurt and hurting. I still loved Keane. But to listen to Hopes & Fears was to invite demons and remembered pain. So I don't.

So you learn to unlike.

You force yourself to.

And it breaks you nonetheless. Makes you question who you are. Were you simply an empty vessel that took in the passions of someone else? Was that life you led with each one of them even an authentic one, or was it a mask you felt you had to wear, simply because you loved? Does love eradicate who you truly are? I don't know.

Then you tell yourself they learned from you, too. They learned to like certain things, too. And perhaps those same things also give them pause and pain.

But no matter. Nothing matters. You learn that nothing matters at all. And perhaps, of all things in the world, this is a shattering truth you like the most.

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