There has been nothing remarkable in people’s faces lately. I ought to ask them questions or tell them stories to elicit some response, maybe a glint in the eye or a twitch of the lips.

I am coming home to the realization that I lost some friends by being myself. This I have always sugarcoated by using euphemistic terms like “drifting apart” or miscommunication. But now it’s here, the truth, sitting with me in an empty room full of dusty books. We lost each other, though, like tectonic plates that simply can’t shy away from their destiny of fulfilling some great continental drift. (I’m too much sometimes, or maybe most of the time, and I’m half sorry half not.)

I read a poem today by Luisa A. Igloria, a Filipina poet, professor, and Palanca awardee (the highest form of literary award in the Philippines), on the quarrelsome versus the stoic and how the former is more lovable than the latter. I sit in a cold classroom and contemplate this. Later that day, I wrote in my journal, words slurred: “…then why do I feel unloved?” I need and yearn to be around love.

This is how it has been. Tiptoeing around the fringes of my existence to ask questions, sometimes the right ones but mostly wrong. I am still a Daniel of my own making, except that the gods have all fallen asleep, drunk with ambrosia, and the lions cannot be tamed. So little by little, in my own sparks of hopefulness, I plot ways to walk through and survive the darkest of nights in the den.

Next month when all financial troubles cease to be troubles, I will buy myself the Rider-Waite tarot, to sharpen my intuition and to know what to look for, what to see, and to befriend the lions if I can’t tame them. ♦