Here and There

I went to the Philippines—where I was born and spent seven years of my childhood. I abandoned my life in New York. It was like leaving a lover behind and not knowing whether we’d meet again. Torn between two places. Philippines. You’re my escape. My safe zone—one I know I'd always come back to. You'd welcome me with a suffocating embrace. New York. You challenge me. You frighten me. You excite me. You’re home. Who would I be if I lived elsewhere? No matter where I am, nostalgia consumes me because of you two. To fall asleep above Central Park, enamored by the twinkling lights. To wake up on the white sand, beneath the coconut palm trees. If only I could be here and there simultaneously. Imagine that magic, that catastrophe. What is it about the unattainable that I (or, I suppose, we) find immensely alluring? In places and people. Especially people. I longed for one in New York, but what a traveler he was—chasing after every tender peaks he sees. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." My day-to-day since I arrived back in New York. But, oh! I'm desperate for newness: touch, taste, hear, see and feel. And soon I'll be acquainted with another. London. What will you be to me?

Note: The Fitzgerald line is from The Great Gatsby. It has become one of the most haunting closing lines in literature. That said, check out some of the best classic literature lines below.

"History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake." — Ulysses, James Joyce. 1992.

"It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason." — The Mysterious Island, Joyce Verne. 1874.

"And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit." — London Fields, Martin Amis. 1989.

"She stared at her reflection in the glossed shop windows as if to make sure, moment by moment, that she continued to exist." — The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath. 1963. 

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." — Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. 1818.

"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life." — The Sound And The Fury, William Faulkner. 1929.