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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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Thursday, January 20, 2011

entry arrow1:41 PM | The Discreet Charms of People We Love

I easily fall for charm. But then again, so do most of us. There's something about charm that waylays our natural impulse to protect ourselves: it makes us let go, it makes us vulnerable. But charm is a mask, something that can be cultivated given the right training and time. And when it falls away to reveal the regular monster within, we are flabbergasted by how much we have been taken in, by how much we have allowed ourselves to be fooled, by how much we have fallen in love. Once I was in love with someone whose charm was boyish and calculated to let anyone -- anyone -- fall in love with him. It also helped that he was talented in so many ways, and so it was easy for him to lend credence to that edifice of charm. But I knew there was a heavy darkness behind it. Behind closed doors and far away from other people, he would regularly recite to me a litany of hatred for the rest of the world. I was there for him because I was in love with him once. And I never thought his darkness could touch me. But it did. Once I also fell for a man who made me feel different, or at least he treated me differently. I was used to being the nurturer to people I love, but here's this gentle, soft-spoken man from Manila who treated me in that strange cariƱoso way. He would ask me, "Have you eaten? Are you warm enough? Are you comfortable? Can you snuggle closer to me?" I fell for that. And then it turned out it was a farce, a big city man's experiment on a provincial soul. But here's this other one, this boy I love, even until today. He is beautiful in that careless way, and he is the most charming soul to everybody he knows -- except perhaps those who love him. In that respect, he can be cruel and demanding. And I've hung on for the longest time because he knew how to push the right buttons. A few days ago, I finally said enough. Now I go through the withdrawal pains of loving someone hard, but at least I said "Enough."

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