I was going through my wallet this morning to throw away receipts and unnecessary papers (like grocery lists of long ago, bus fare tickets, atm receipts) that take up the bulk of my wallet. How I wish cash actually makes my wallet bulky, but all I have are receipts, cards, and pictures which I’m not about to discard anytime. I know that it’s very, very risky to store pictures inside a wallet in case it gets stolen. I’ve been in that situation many times before and it was not fun. After all, some pictures can never be replaced (thank God we have online albums now). But I keep them there to show them off to people when they want to ask about, say, Keren and me. “Magkamukha ba kayo ng kambal mo?” Or when I want to tell people about my friends, at least I’m armed with the right (and pretty) pictures. Today, I disposed of these unnecessary papers, checking carefully not to throw away the important ones, and when I came across my set of pictures, I was appalled that I still have a couple of pictures I intended to burn two weeks ago.
“Anong ginagawa ng pictures na to dito?”
You know, I’ve never burned pictures in my whole life, because that’s like imitating a scene from a Filipino teleserye –it’s way too dramatic. Like I said, pictures can never be replaced. So the only reason I’m actually moved to burn a picture is when I have no reason whatsoever to keep it. You might wonder, why not just crumple it, or tear it, and throw it away? Why burn? Simple: The person in that picture told me to burn it instead.
“Anong gagawin ko dyan?” he asked.
“Sayo yan eh. Kunin mo na.”
“Eh diba binigay ko nga sayo yan?”
“Hindi ko naman kaylangan yan eh. Anong gagawin ko dyan?”
He looked at me, a little hurt. And then he said, “Alam mo, kung ganun din lang, sunugin mo nalang.” (mega serious tone)
And I will.
But that was two weeks ago, and I still haven’t burned those pictures. It got me thinking: oo nga, why all this waiting?
For one, I have yet to show the picture to my best friend, so she has a visual memory of the perpetrator. Two, it’s like passing on a “Most wanted” poster to warn people of the dangers of coming across this person. “O, pagnakita niyo to, tandaan: delikado!” Three, and this I’ve only just thought of a few minutes ago, so I can study every facet of his face and make sure that when I meet somebody who resembles even just .01% of his features, I must take caution. Criminal alert! Haha. Bitter?!
Before you assume I’ve suddenly morphed into this crazed woman, let me assure you that I carry no grudge whatsoever towards this person. But the idea of burning the picture did not come from me, and he might have joked about it which I don’t know, but luckily I’m comfortable with the idea. It’s not like I’m burning him alive, people. He will still live after this, I assure you that. And I’m ready to assume he could care less what I do with those pictures because he also had the gall to erase my pictures! I wouldn’t even have found out if I never asked him. So I would think I’m more respectful in that I tried to return it to him.
But seriously, in this business of moving on and trying to pick up pieces of your used-to-be-carefree life, I feel that burning pictures actually does very little. True, once burned, those pictures are no more. But it’s not only his pictures that I’m trying to forget. The mere memory of him is like an indelible mark; it just doesn’t get erased over time. I wish I could discard memories the way I do with useless pieces of papers and burning of pictures. That once they no longer mean anything to me, I can just thrown them away.
It doesn’t happen like that. But at least I can do something tangible and with less drama. And may I say, with practical reason. I don’t need those pictures: they’re a waste of space in my wallet. I don’t need to be reminded of the face that had me crying for months: Too much waterworks distorts the face long term. And I don’t need a visual recollection of what he looks like: baka dumami lang ang nightmares ko.
My advice to those who want to burn pictures: do it for practicality. Moving on is never more this practical.