The Sunbaked King

Popoy and Basha’s Breakup Formula

There are certain questions in life that we ought to have instruction manuals for. Not everyone has an innate ability to solve their problems without outside help. Even philosophers have stumbled; even great minds have succumbed to disheartening results. If only life were quantifiable, then we would have all the answers we need, sooner or later. If everything could be reduced to x‘s and y‘s, then the world would be a simpler place to live in. (Well… especially for those who love math.)

Take, for instance, this question: How long after a breakup should one person wait before entering into another relationship?

Note the important phrasing. The question specifically refers to “entering into another relationship,” and not necessarily “recovering from previous relationship.” (Kudos to my friend MakMak for spotting the difference.) Of course, it is unwise to enter into another relationship without recovering from your previous one, but those are issues of relationship ethics and do not fall under the scope of this discussion. What does fall in-scope is the fact that there’s a difference; the two aren’t necessarily equivalents of each other.

Given the Very Important Problem, we had to have a starting point. And this is where Popoy and Basha come in. Remember the movie, One More Chance? Most of the scenes in that movie were close-ups of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo***, but it did leave me with something to ponder on: the three-month rule.

Basha (Bea Alonzo) and Mark (Derek Ramsey) enter Bellini’s. Mark introduces himself, but Popoy goes berserk.

Popoy: Hindi mo ba alam ang 3-month rule, Basha? Bakit hindi mo sinunod? Bakit?

Popoy and Basha were together for 5 years before they decided to call it quits. So let us consider that as our starting point: when the Period Together is 60 months, the Considerate Required Period of Singlehood (CRPS) is 3 months.

Breakup_P&B_original

But one point is not enough to establish any trend. What do we do with it? Is 3 months a fixed CRPS? That doesn’t seem to be a fair length of time for couples who met and broke up within 3 months. Why be single for a period longer than the time you and your ex were together? In order for the formula to be equitable, the CRPS should move in some fashion with the months the ex-couple were together.

It could be linear…

Breakup_P&B_Linear

…but that would be boring. The formula should be both elegant and exciting. While the linear equation is elegant, it is not exciting. Relationships should be both. Or at least the formula for break-ups should be both.

You know what would be both elegant and exciting? Polynomials. Yes, polynomials. With the right formulation, the polynomial form is sexy and scientific at the same time. To avoid complications (and lest we appear too eager), let us settle with a second-degree polynomial equation. However, in order for us to create the perfect polynomial solution to our Very Important Problem, we need to establish another point. Two points are not enough to create a unique second-degree polynomial equation.

For the purposes of this discussion, let us call this point, Justifiable Point. Justifiable Point is located at 50 Months of Togetherness, and 2 Months CRPS:

Breakup_P&B_OtherPoints

And a simple trending line in Excel will lead to this fantastic formula:

Considerate Required Period of Singlehood (CRPS) = [Months Together * (Months Together – 10)]/1000

Breakup_Final

Let’s see how this formula works. Consider A and B, a couple that had been together for 10 years before they decided to go their own ways. This means that they were together for 10 x 12 = 120 months. The CRPS for both of them would be [120 * (120 – 10)]/1000, which, through some simple computations, equates to 13.2 months. In other words, they are free to date whomever they want after a little over a year. It’s that simple!

Here are some other important milestone figures:

Breakup_P&B_Table

Of course, the detail that immediately pops to the eye are the negative CRPS for couples who have been together for only 10 months or less. We wanted to have an elegant solution, and it seems that negative Periods of Singlehood are not that very elegant. But wait. If we analyze it further, the weird solution may actually have a point somewhere. Could it be science’s way of telling us that such relationships should have lasted longer than it did (say, beyond 10 months), because otherwise it would have reflected poorly on both parties? Or could it be science’s way of telling us that such relationships are a waste of time and you should actually just move on? I’m an optimist so I think the former explanation is better, but whatever rocks your boat.

Another important result is this: it would take around 10 years of being together in order to merit a CRPS of at least 1 year; around 3 years in order to merit a month. Easier said than done, especially for those grieving, but science dictates that we keep our feelings together and move on before understandable grief turns into exaggerated wallowing. It’s just not healthy anymore.

The solution is complete*. Quod erat demonstrandum.

* If you feel offended, please do not take this post seriously.
*** If you feel offended, it might comfort you to know that I cried several times while watching that movie.

Filed under: Eros, Geekery

I Am Not Who You Think I Am

I am human.

I am flawed.

You cannot impose an identity on me, because the boy that you think you know, you really don’t know very well. What you have in your mind is an Ideal. That Ideal is not me; I am Imperfection.

Cease to pin traits that I do not have. I am neither as intelligent, nor as responsible, nor as happy, nor as nurturing, nor as good-natured as the person you have envisioned me to be. First impressions, while characteristically positive, do not last and shouldn’t. Facades, while innately appealing, must be ignored.

This is for you who voted me vice-president back in second grade. This is for you who elected me group leader in the fourth. This is for you who persuaded me to join trivia contests. This is for you who coached me in math. This is for you who paid me for calculus tutorials. This is for you who fed me when I was hungry. This is for you who lent me money when I had none. This is for you who gave me gifts to show you care. This is for you who trusted. This is for you who loved.

Do not consider this a pity party. I am not fishing for compliments, I am not looking for sympathy. I am simply stating the truth. And the truth is this: I am not who you think I am. It is unwise to think otherwise.

Expectations can only lead to sadness.

Filed under: Ra, Them, Untamed, Utter Sadness

The Sunbaked King

The realm of fiction is vast, and the reach of fantasy is wide. When everything else has left us– our virginity, our sanity, our pride– only the imagination remains. Even our faith can waver in the face of compelling evidence, or in the aftermath of a tragic end. Even our love can turn to hate upon the sight of a tremendous betrayal; or worse, turn to indifference after the fiery waves of vengeance have died down. But imagination, yes, that construct of the human mind, remains resilient, indomitable, indestructible, no matter what.

It fills the spaces of a lonely heart. It keeps him awake at night, preoccupied with thoughts of a happy ending. In a world that is just and fair to all (and therefore just as fantastical), he sleeps beside a loving warmth, their fingers intertwined in matrimony. Sunshine enters the windows in steady ethereal lines, lightly kissing them both before they bestow the same blessing on each other. They smile and read each other’s minds: he’ll have coffee; the other’ll have toast. Today is going to be a good day, and everything is going to be all right.

He sees this vividly as he hugs his pillow and stares at the ceiling. The warmth of his blanket will do for now, but– a smile drifts across his face– there is hope.

Imagination feeds the seeking soul. The emptiness of an existence so bleak is filled with the desire to escape, to see a promised end that has been created, nurtured, and etched in his human mind. While the quest may seem futile, he will not falter. His thoughts shall guide him. In a world that is both merciful and forgiving (and therefore just as fictional), he reaches the end of his journey with bruises on his back and cuts in his hands, but this pain does not last. Across the godforsaken landscape, someone comes to him with water. When the water touches his lips, he is immediately refreshed.

In his dreams, he has reached his destination, and he has found his heart’s desire.

On June 16, 2008, this lonely heart saw that there was hope; this seeking soul found his heart’s desire. What was once known as The Dark-Skinned King found solace in a new heaven. On June 16, 2008, The Sunbaked King was born.

Baked under the sun:
Out of embers and ashes
Came the dark-skinned King.

Filed under: Helios, Mindlifting, Ra

A Return to Form

Hiatus over. I’m back. One note about the exam before we bury it in our memories until results day: never go back to your textbooks after a test to check if you got the answers right. You will always end up disappointed, because you will always find that you answered more questions incorrectly than correctly.

DUM DEE DAH.

Writing is true therapy. In the one month that I’ve gone AWOL on all virtual outlets (save for Twitter, but that barely counts as a conducive medium to write prose or poetry), writing is the one thing that I missed the most. There’s something liberating in the pit-pat of keys as my fingers move across the keyboard, something fascinating about watching the words form on the screen. While writing itself may not relieve me of this utter sadness, while blogging may not be the perfect solution to end a vicious cycle of doubt and regret, it does its freaking best to help. As thought flows from the mind to the spine to the arms to the fingers to the keyboard to the screen, a little bit more of my self is extracted, released, piece by piece. The process empties me. The process sets me free.

In two days’ time, my blog, The Sunbaked King, will celebrate its anniversary. Created out of a desire to impress, nurtured out of a need to write. In these bleak and dreary times, this is one outlet I’m glad to have regained.

This is a timely return to the blogging form. I’m happy to be back.

Filed under: Helios, Mindlifting, Ra, Utter Sadness