1) I had been told I had the steadiness of a storm, the kind that travels from Manila to Fairview on a bus–restless at 10PM, carrying the weight of a heartache or a lump in my throat.
For a while, perhaps, I was a storm. My heartaches travelled all over the place and smashed plates in a lover’s kitchen, misplaced a shoe in Kamuning, found my fist in someone’s face. I had the steadiness of a storm. Except, I had been told, something has changed the past few months.
A year or so go, when asked what I want to be when I grow up, I had unsure answers. I knew what I want to be, except it was unclear how to get there.
God Damn it babies
In one of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, the protagonist wrote a speech for his neighbor’s twins:
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
This piece of advice is simple and it pretty much sums up every thing we need to know about how it is to live on Earth. How is it that we forget to be kind when it is a very basic thing?
I am not saying I am kind all the time. I am ridiculously mean and unforgiving I shouldn’t be preaching this to people. But we have got to be kind, we have to remind ourselves that we need to be kind.
The past year had been emotionally heavy. I started it jobless, three jobs in between and here I am. In bullet points, in no particular order:
- Left a job in a wonderful non-profit organization, partly because I was scared.
- Started work in the Peace Process.
- Suffered a depression.
- Broke-up with Noel.
- Lost a good friend.
- Fell out of love.
- Fell in love.
- Went to Death Cab for Cutie.
- Drank too many beers.
- Got too drunk too many times.
- Got scared of fish in Camiguin.
- Slept under the stars on top of a mountain.
- Drank red wine by the side of the sea.
- Got really, really sick.
This is it for now. Hello, 2013. Be kind, be kind.
(1) I guess I am too young to be worrying about love. Not the kind of love that holds your hands when you cross the street, but the kind that will pick-up the falling hair on the bathroom floor because you’re too old and grey to do it yourself. But I worry, I worry a lot.
I worry about the future. It’s not that I am saying I have too much time on my hands to be worrying about these things but it’s not beyond me to worry. I will not bore you about this story.
(2) I have been getting these terrible migraines the past few weeks. Terrible enough I get nauseous and my nose bleeds. I make jokes to my friends that I am dying soon. But aren’t we all dying? 30 years? 40 years? Isn’t that too soon anyway?
(3) The other day, when confronted with my mortality my first reaction was to shiver in the bathroom and panic. I wish it was something more graceful like lying down in prayer. But I guess that rarely happens in real life. We don’t always get that moment of clarity.
(3) My life is unexciting. I wish I can tell you things about the parties I go to, the places I travel to, the new and exciting cuisine I stuff my face with. But I don’t really do much of those. The most exciting part of my week is the mount of laundry I have to do or the pictures of cookies I look at. I am as exciting as an airplane’s aisle seat.
(4) My entire year was spent staring at a computer screen. Sure, there were good days. I have been to Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, General Santos and Maguindanao this year. I promise to write about that, hoping it does not bore you.
(5) The other day, I decided to roll on the floor right outside our office’s Kapayapaan conference room. I was mortified to see one of my bosses staring at me while I was rolling on the floor. I wish for days like that for everybody.
I do not get drunk often. I try my best not to let people see the very drunk version of myself, because I can be a mess. I try my best not to be crazy-drunk in front of people.
It was my sister, Alex, who said that pretending to be drunk, impossible and difficult to love is her talent. I guess it is my talent, too.
There are several people who have seen me drunk. The difficult to love, impossible to deal with, crazy type of drunkenness you associate with criminals and alcoholics. I have had my share of passing out in national highways and rolling around city streets, because yes I am a difficult drunk and I try my best to avoid it.