I have been able to look at anime from a somewhat distant and consequently rational manner because I have never experienced quite a number of the phenomena it evidences. I would only understand the idea of romantic love empirically, through the eyes of others: I had never fallen in love before, but I knew what love was, and I knew it was the reason why I survived until this day. I had known love, but only of the familial kind.
I’m, of course, not love’s cynic. Otherwise, Honey and Clover wouldn’t be one of my all-time favorites, and Maison Ikkoku wouldn’t even garner any mentions from me. I long realized that I was a romantic at heart, but I was simply never moved by another before. I think I’m not afraid of commitment: my entire life has been my commitment to family. I could have pursued literature, after all. I could have excelled in physics or chemistry. Instead, I chose medicine, and I chose it because I love my family. I am also not afraid of love, but I have never been moved by it in reality.
That was the case until now.
A few days ago, while conducting some preliminary scouting for our research, our group traipsed through the night in Bacolod: it was, after all, a celebratory time. It was Masskara, the festival of masks. There was a street party going on (it was my first time experiencing it), and so there were a lot of people around. During that time I saw the most beautiful woman in the world in my opinion, and it was cathartic, because I never thought I would see anyone as beautiful in reality. Her skin was exquisite china, and her eyes were as colorful as cats’. I would like to say that it was a fairy tale, but being my first time experiencing it, all I could blurt out to her was that I thought she was very beautiful.
Then I was gone. Then she too.
I realize that while I didn’t blush, the romance anime that I like, from the romantic comedies to dramatic tragedies, really reflected the feeling of falling in love. It doesn’t emulate the reality of this existence like well-made movies, perhaps, but it really does reflect it: I had a lump in my throat and I was weak at the knees. It was both an exhilarating and despairing experience: I saw the only girl who ever made me weak at the knees and yet I wasn’t equipped enough to even ask her number, or her name. God both gave me an immense hope and a broken heart, and while I’m grateful for both (it’s been time), it hurts. I want to see her again.
Maybe even if I make mistakes this time I can ask for her name … or her number … or even if I’ll never be able to, just seeing her will probably more than brighten my day.
To the Korean or Chinese mestiza … if you read this … please contact me.