Close, But No Cigar

Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

Way back in the year 2000, I’ve been to a place where there were only fifty houses and all of the inhabitants family; either by blood or by marriage. One had to walk four kilometres just to buy bread, but it was always a pleasant walk because we were accompanied by constant sounds of the nearby streams and the divine smells of coffee flowers; it was like a dream. A dream that lasted three months.

The thing I remember the most about the place was the rain. It always rain. Not the rain we or I normally know of. It was like there was typhoon every day. The people there laughed at me because for them it was normal. The place was between two mountains, hauling wind and torrent were nothing but a part of their daily existence.

That was also the time I considered to settle down and get married. My dream was to own a nipa hut by the creek surrounded with flowers, keep some pigs and chickens, have a baby boy who smells good and a husband who comes home in the evening from working in the mountains bearing a whole banana bunch and carrying a big bolo tied around his middle. Then he will look at me with undisguised desire in his eyes and you can fill in the blank. I did, still do from time to time. Silly I know but…

There was the perfect place, together with the perfect someone who made me realized that “peaceful” was/is good enough reason to consider tying down with someone. Close, but unfortunately no cigar. Our worlds are too far apart. It was heaven at that moment but reality is different. I went home and he stays.

I was for a time devastated. So much so that I wrote a book about it and a sequel on how I dream or want the story, our story to develop. In book two, I let go of myself; I poured my heart out, my desire, my longing onto the pages. Those dreams reside now in a shoe box inside the closet. Never seen by any other pair of eyes but mine.

Would I like the chance to try again? The answer is no. I have other priorities now, other goals, different desire.

Am I happy with how things eventually worked out? Yes and no. Yes because what I have now is quite similar but upgraded minus the pigs and chickens. It’s also peaceful. In fact, too much of it sometimes it drives me crazy. No, because the passion that was there in my previous life is missing and I’m a very passionate person; but I know in life we can impossibly have everything…



I always think there is too much stress placed on possessions.  They don’t bring happiness, not even comfort. Some of the most contended people I know live in  cottages no bigger than rich people’s garages, but they keep a good table and a glowing hearth; they have a good quantity of bedding and crockery, a patch of vegetables garden and a few hens, and it is as if they owned the earth; they seem to want for nothing more.  Once you start acquiring, the impulse becomes a habit. I should know…