28 October 2003

After The Hours

What separates us is not distance, but time. Yes there is a time for everything: Meeting and parting; hurting and healing. A time for forgetting and remembering. A time for discovering and rediscovering. (No time but now.)

I watched "The Hours" on DVD this afternoon. Before it came out on theaters and when it finally ran in theaters, a lot of my friends were talking and raving about it. I didn't get to watch it then. And so a while ago, I was excited in viewing it. I even expected it to be a 3-hour film. Somehow I was waiting for the rising action and then the climax and then a resolution. As it progressed, I was thinking and hoping that it would not end yet so I would have much more to enjoy. But then, it ended. Just that, it was done. As I pushed the off button of the DVD player, I murmured, hype.

I went to my bedroom and napped myself through twilight. Slowly, images of the film emerged and played in my mind--how Virginia Woolf, the woman who reads her novel and another woman will meet at one point. At one time. Coincidence might be the name, but fate? Oh what's the difference.

Alane Rollings dreams and waits for this one bit of good news: A certain person with charms and hesitations... someone who would have bothered about her.
Me, I dream and wait for this one interruption: A certain person with charms and hesitations... someone who would have bothered about me.

We live with expectations. They say the best things are for free. For me, the sweetest thing is possibility. But then I do not just want to keep on expecting. To expect is to be in a two-way road, you'll only end up with one thing. I do not wish to settle for that. Instead, I want my life to be guided with wonder--that well bountiful with mystery. Wonder gives us a sense of appreciation for what we see and have, that distinct contentment, and yet a silent knowing that there is more--a silent provocation, we want more.

I've been waiting for great twists and action in The Hours, but life is not built on that. Often our lives are not just that action-packed. Our lives are built on small moments and if we're lucky, we thrive on epiphany. We change and move through quiet and swift transitions that we didn't plan. That is our bit of action. We look back and ask ourselves, What happened? Where did my smooth skin go? Where did he go? Where did the hours go? Slowly, veins raise themselves in relief in our hands, wrinkles announce their presence and permanence. You are old. Suddenly. You are here. What do you face and how do you face it?

We have met, loved, lost and recovered; and all it took us was a matter of time.

23 October 2003

Where Friends Have Been

I received a phone call from my high school batchmate inviting me to a reunion party. I do not intend to go. Number one, the people who organized the event are the people whom I was not very comfortable being with during high school. Number two, I have nothing yet to brag about. Reunions are all about looking back, and I am not ready to go there yet. In fact I am going as far as I can from memories of my pre-teen years. But that's not the point.

Phone calls are not part of my daily habits. I am never really the one who likes calling people just to chat. I'd rather invite them out, or in my place so we could have a real sense of communion together. I'd like to see people and friends upfront. So when I receive phone calls, it's usually a big deal for me and there will always be somewhat an excitement as to finding out who it is and what it is for.

Some of the most surprising phone calls I have had are from old high school friends inviting me to a party--their debut, graduation and the likes. I feel warmth (and relief) being remembered.

These phone calls and reunions revive to me the many friends I used to have.

When I was in kindergarten and in my early elementary years, I had no problems making friends. It was in those times when every class would have a seating arrangement and whoever was seating beside me, or near me, instantly became my friend. We would talk and the next thing you know, we'd go out together at recess, lunchtime and playtime. How easy it was then to make friends. I still remember some of their names and how I wish I'd meet them again--April, Doreen, Emily, Christopher, Diane, Yvette, Melody, Rhea... suddenly I'm remembering faces and feelings that it pains me not to remember their names. It pains me not knowing where they live and not even knowing ways on how to get in touch with them.

When I transferred to an exclusive school in my fourth grade, the friendship game shifted. --Or that it became a game. I was lost. The campus was bigger, the rules were a bit harder to follow and adjust to, and the people were more elusive. It was in that school where the first lesson I learned was insecurity. It was then I got to wish, if only I look more like this, or if only I'm smarter than her... But like any normal kid, I adjusted well.

High school life is the best. I'm one of those who disagrees with that statement. College was the place where the system and environment was free and open enough for me to spread my wings. It had the tools that I was able to use to properly nurture myself. Most of all, I met marvelous people and found a family where the so-called "sense of belonging" was felt by every fiber of my body. There were many digressions in college and one of them was meeting with your highschool batchmates. Sometimes you meet with them while commuting. If you do not like who you're with, you're unlucky since you will be stuck with them for the next few minutes and you have no choice but to talk to them. But most of the time, it's a moment to see how things have been, how they have changed and most of all, how you have changed compared to them.

This time I trust maturity to get the better of us, and I find comfort in the thought that all of us will fall in our proper places in time. Meeting with them after four years--sure there will be some awkwardness, but in the end you become human again--there is a consensual thought that things have changed, and perhaps some things haven't, but then that's life--glad to see you, how are you?...

...friends we leave for other friends... In passing, this thought from David St. John gives me a tender sore. I have proven that in many ways, relationships (not just with friends and lovers, but even with work, religion and society) require exclusivity and I just hate that. I just hate that.

People change, behaviors change, why do we have to part? Why is it so hard to return, or meet at a common point?

Until now I am trying to remember the names of those people I felt so much comfort with and adoration in the public school where I studied. Where have they gone? Sure they are around and technology makes it so much easier for us to track each other down, but what I am in truth looking for is the actual warmth--that innocence of just sharing 15 minutes together during recess, laughing and playing--with no thought of who's prettier, richer and smarter--that moment when even a wide stretch of silence is comfortable.

20 October 2003

Sexing the Jersey

It was a Saturday morning. I was walking with my friend, Teta, in the campus. We just came from lunch and we're heading to our Saturday class. We passed by the school's basketball court and in it, some guys were playing.

If it was a question between did they make the jersey look good, or the other way around, it would be the other way around.

I watched them strut their stuff and saw no face. I just saw two teams moving.

The jersey is its own aesthetic and glory. It is its own self. It is its own sex.

I told Teta, Ang ganda nila tingnan, ang ganda nung jersey, bagay sa kahit sinong lalaki. From that moment up to now, I have fallen in love with the jersey: the uniform one earns and others contend with.

And so there goes my fantasy. How I'd love to be with a man who is a part of, and serves for, an institute and a cause. It is the turn-on, really. Someone who would let himself dissolve in order to blend with others to be able to operate in unison. Someone with a killer instinct.

And so there goes my fantasy, do I want to do it with 5, better yet 10 players (talk about being a ball coveted by 2 troupes)? Do I want to do it in the middle of the big dome? In the field while it’s raining, or early before dawn? How about in a stadium filled with spectators (add to that a commentor?) In the instance where I’d be with that one valuable player--once he gets undressed, do I want to fuck him, or the jersey?

There goes my fantasy.

16 October 2003

Philippine Daily vs. Anvil

"PETSA lang talaga ang totoo sa dyaryo." I regret that I won't be able to name the person who said these words.

When I realized the relationship between fact and fiction, I thought I had the world in my hands (or in my head.) Everyday and everything is really a matter of perspective, especially truth. We are all narrators in this planet.

And so if I were to choose between the newspaper and literature, then I would go for literature. The newspaper offers bad fiction and incidental happenings, so why not read good, well-thought-out fiction instead?

04 October 2003

Alternative Reality

Dreams are gifts, really, especially if I remember them afterwards. They are god's fairy tales for me. They are moviehouses, museums and labyrinths I am brought to for free.

I never try to interpret any of my dreams, but most of the time, they give me a good scare. I often dream of being late in a very important event, like flag ceremonies. I also dream of being humiliated, like being naked, most of the time.

Usually, my dreams present to me an alternative. If one reality have not happened, it is often the job of my dream to show the could have been.

I love dreaming; being in a story I am not supposed to be in.

Sometimes I dream so beautifully that I wake up with pain in the head thinking: back to reality. I will try to sleep again and realize, there are no maps leading back to my dreams. It is there and gone when it wants to. Frustrating.

Perhaps dreams are supposed to be trash bins; the place where your memories, desires and forgotten realms blend together in a manner they want to present themselves again for us to notice--that even the forgotten and not will happen have always been a part of us and will always be--to recycle perhaps.

The machinations of dreams is one of nature's best.

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