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To my dear friend,
     Maybe you never heard, since we weren't that great of friends back then, not until after graduation. Had we known each other better before you left for college, you'd know that almost every teacher, instructor, and friend, as well as nearly everyone I grew up with, up till and even through high school, has at one time or another told me that I was going to do great things. Friends, family, acquaintances, parent's coworkers. Now that I myself have gone off to university, I still hear it, from professors, graduates, even the folks I work with in the research lab. It's like a sempiternal memory.
     For a long time I just thought everyone said that to one another.
     "You are going to be a star."
     "You'll change the world one day."
     Senior year it was clear that wasn't the case, and it became lucid just how much belief so many had in me.
     It was, and still is, one of the most genuinely sickening feelings I experience; like vertigo, it causes my stomach to flip and demands that I run. I know that sounds ungrateful. I love all the people who have such faith in me. Letting down so many people scares me to near death though. I never made the ivy league, I didn't graduate valedictorian, I gave up on the career I wanted as a child, I haven't received a single scholarship, despite my "over-qualifications," and I honestly no longer wish to be here at school.
     When I look back on it all, all I see is a two decade long timeline in which I have yet to do something worthy of note; worthy of saying hey, that young man has left his mark. I never made the news, I didn't win a trophy for an athletic team or club. I can't play music and my youthful creativity has drained out of my mind.
     I have done nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary in my life.
     The only thing I can lay claim to in this life is being the kindest, most loving person I can be, working towards a greater capacity for compassion and understanding on the daily - and in this world, those things are hardly ever appreciated or recognized.

     My point, and I promise there is one, is that it doesn't matter that anyone remembers me in history books, or that I have some theory or technology or technique named after me, or a monument or museum in my honor. Helping other people stick it out on this planet is the most valuable asset I can have. I don't say this because I see slivers of it in me - I don't, despite what so many might say. I say it because that's what makes someone different than every other person in this world who is focusing on the progress of themselves and those which they selectively choose to assist in moving forward.
     And let me tell you - I have NEVER known of a more concentrated group of individuals who has these invaluable and critical characteristics. These qualities are what make us so great with one another. It is precisely why even though we feel lost more often than others we know, this core group of friends has become a family, loving and supporting one another, demanding that we stand and fight, shoulder to shoulder, so that we all might have a brighter tomorrow.

     A last thought : that uncertainty? Not knowing what it is you want to do, where you want to be, how you can possibly get to your goals - it's always there, and there is a reason for that! It means you are thinking about things. It's terrifying and nerve racking, not knowing where you are headed, but its probably one of the best positions you can be in. I wouldn't trade it for picking and sticking with the wrong tracks of life. When the right choice presents itself, you might not be ready, but I guarantee you'll know its happening,  you just need to observe, and when you recognize, you need action. You're a stargazer, and you see the important stuff you need to, when you need to.

With Love Eternal,
     The Hipster
This started as a note for a friend, but grew afterwards into to a work of prose I wanted to share. While it lost some accuracy, it's still a strong piece I think. Let me know what you think or if you have any thoughts about these values!
As such, this poem is dedicated to the incredible people I have in my life. <3
The sea is resting now
after a long day
gnawing at the edge
churning in deep hollows
ever so slowly eroding
this peaceful coast

Sand is the issue
of this marriage
sea and sky
combining to
make the land large
in its retreat

A handful of sand
to the winds
my life
to these tides
I think it’s important to make peace with your long line of perpetually confused and self-indulgent ancestry once grasping at and fumbling through a life at which they, preceding you, assumed they occupied the centre of and sought to prove this to mostly anyone, with rapacious might and puerile visions of their own success story, which no matter how successful would always only occupy the dark corners of their blood-successors’ historical records of themselves, which is to say you, adding them up with other people who were once important to them and stuffing them into some numerical equation on which they occupy the left, and you the right side of the equal-sign, but all of which exists in the vast and endless vicissitude of spinning void, of which you both (and us all) occupy some cosmic equivalence (and importance) of the universes stray skin-cell, somewhere on the foot perhaps, unconsidered and left alone until we all disappear into the casket of an unrecorded history.
What do you want, then?

Do you want marvels?
     Do you want comets,
do you want the entire night sky
     pooled in the bow of your collar bones?
Do you want love?
     Do you want heartache,
do you want spring blossoms
     flourishing between the lattice of your entwined fingers?
Do you want hope?
     Do you want burning smiles,
do you want the crushing weight
     of space, plummeting inside your chest?
Do you want pain?
     Do you want the broken places,
do you want the earth falling from its axis
     so you can find your place?
In the story of Patroclus
no one survives, not even Achilles
who was nearly a god.
Patroclus resembled him; they wore
the same armor.

Always in these friendships
one serves the other, one is less than the other:
the hierarchy
is always apparant, though the legends
cannot be trusted--
their source is the survivor,
the one who has been abandoned.

What were the Greek ships on fire
compared to this loss?

In his tent, Achilles
grieved with his whole being
and the gods saw
he was a man already dead, a victim
of the part that loved,
the part that was mortal.
I didn't get to tell you that I loved you before you died.
I stood right next to you, and I didn't say it.
By the deepest sleep, we were seperated.
You were just too far away.

You had a gorgeous mind.
I'd bombard you with questions all the time.
"How far does space go on for?'
You'd say it's endless.
"How many stars are there?"
You'd say they're infinite.

You also told me nothing lasts forever.
I still think you're wrong about that one.
I go back to that day every year and wish I had said something.
How thankful I was for everything you taught me.

Scientists agree with you by the way.
They say space is endless.
That stars number infinite.
If this holds true, then you were wrong about forever.
Totally wrong.
If this holds true, then if I look far enough into space odds are certain I will find a world just like ours.
And there you are alive and well
And I'm with you
And I won't stop with my questions
Over and over
Across the universe forever.

If this holds true, then I can tell you this knowing you are never too far away.
Who am I but another statistic
Destined to be the next trending tag on Twitter
More martyrdom made for the minority
Hated for who I am and as they think I chose to be
Who am I but another snowflake
Bashed and beaten for my identity
Invalidated for who I know myself to be
Fearing each day that comes to pass
Who am I but a name that doesn't feel my own
Confusion rattles my brain
As I stare at the name I've known my whole life
So close to me yet so unfamiliar
Who am I but myself
As no one else chooses to see
 Apr 2018 Bram Dela Cruz
monarch butterflies and drunken teenagers
dancing around the burning, heavenly, crackling flame of the bonfire releasing their inner wild animal
teenage lovers so deep in affection, lust or whatever, skin to skin, kissing and falling off the mossy logs giggling for they had too much to drink
my oblivious self sat alone, head in the clouds, listening to a guy in glasses talk about astrology and point up towards the constellations
Who knew the laughs would soon be interrupted by violent screaming escaping through people's throats
Who knew the aroma of *****, **** and alcohol would be replaced with the aroma of burnt rubber
i pull up my sunflower crop top up, heartbeat seizing in my throat
Who knew that sunflower crop top would be drenched in blood
as his shallow breathing overpowered any other noise to me
that the tears dripping down his cheeks and blood from his mouth as the only thing he were able to do was blink up at me would be the result of reoccurring nightmares, years of counseling and 5 different types of medication
Who knew I'd ever have to hold my brothers head up in my lap
my fingers through his hair
I saw the fear in his eyes, so I told him to close them.
telling him that I'm here, telling him that I love him and not to be scared
repeating "I'm here." over and over and over
as he lays there helpless and dying because someone thought they were sober enough to drive
Who knew?
Only God.
Only God, right?
In my eyes, that makes him the Devil.
Death stops by to remind us
how beautifully fragile life is
and with her
you have gone away
and yet you are still here
in the quite moments
between my heart beat
and the silent space
between the tears falling
and I can still feel the warmth
of your laughter
and still hear the comfort
of your voice
I know not where you have gone
or if we will meet again
so what luck it was
what a privilege it has been
to have had you in it
my beautiful friend
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