AUGUST 22, 2004 (SUNDAY)
You take me as I am, Mister
With a little red devil on my shoe
Always stay strong
You take the rough with the smooth
And I know that we forget what we mean to say
Too proud sometimes
Guess we’re only human.
-- “Indestructible,” Alisha’s Attic
Billiard Balls Like Balloons
When I used to hang out with Gandalf and Carl Joe and the rest of my older writer friends, we’d end up late in the evening at some small dive along Katipunan Avenue and they would – in between downing bottles of San Mig Lite – be playing a mean game of billiards. I’ve always wanted to learn, but I was always shy of appearing stupid and inept in front of these people. (I suppose I still have some semblance of pride left *gasp* since I really don’t like not being good at anything I’ve set my mind to.) So more often than not, I would sit in the corner, nursing my already bland iced tea, and contribute whatever semblance of inane wisdom I could come up with at 2 in the morning that could pierce the cloud of alcohol surrounding the men. Gandalf once challenged me to write a poem with the metaphor of balloons and billiard balls, but that ended up in a totally different poem; this one, which was published two years ago in the Sunday Inquirer Magazine:
For Joel Toledo
Older brothers are meant to be lost;
innocently misplaced, like that other black sock
or Dad’s car keys: tossed inside
the clothes hamper or on the sala table.
I only see shadows of him, hints
left in the refrigerator or the bathroom:
leftover coffee inside his Kermit the Frog mug,
cooling on the top shelf of the fridge,
or his boxer shorts pooling on the tiles of the bathroom.
Maybe it’s the temptation of growing up
that allowed him to slip out of my hands,
like the strings of the kite we once attempted
to fly out in the backyard, or birthday balloons
set aloft on a windy day. I didn’t mean
to let go, really, but the wind just managed
to snatch everything away.
But I wanted to learn for a long time now. And so last night, when a very excited Dell came round the house at around 9 PM, we got it into our heads to look for the nearest billiards hall so that he could teach me the rudiments of the game. With Al and Ruzela in tow – they came from Chrisel and OJ’s Nike post-production – we ended up along Tomas Morato and Gutson’s Billiards and Bar (ye gads, so expensive!) and spent an hour desperately trying to teach me how to play with balls and sticks. ^_^
Number one, the stick was heavy – especially for my small hands. And since I have tiny fingers, trying to steady the stick and maintain my balance and have enough force to crack the formation was difficult enough as it was. Apparently, your brain has to do a lot of reconfigurations in the span of a shot, and somehow I have a newfound respect for people who really love playing (whether professionally or just for fun). And just as I finally got the hang of all those minute adjustments that you have to make and I could finally hit the cue ball and shoot into the pockets, time was up and we didn’t have any more money for another hour. *sigh* Just give me practice, and patient friends, and I think I can do this. ^_^
At any rate, spent most of yesterday with Maia at Megamall. Had to do a couple of errands for my mom, as well as shop for a new bag and accessories. Happy clam that I am – got new pink rubber shoes last weekend because my old blue ones died in last week’s typhoon – also bought a pretty new backpack to match. ^_^ I feel like I’m turning into some sort of cartoon character with all the colors I’m wearing.
Strangely enough, ran into Charles in PowerBooks, while browsing the shelves for a suitable birthday gift for Peloy (who’s celebrating on September 12) and Maia (she’s on September 9) – when you have the money, you might as well get these things out of the way before you spend it on chocolate cake. Offered to buy me a Sandman volume on sale, and so now the GRAIL library is complete, although Hiyas will kill me (well, maim perhaps) because my copy of A Game of You is the latest edition, and not the edition we were collecting.
Digression: I would have wanted to write a story for Alianora, the strange sad woman that Dream had created the Land for, and gave her the pink dream-stone (I think it was amethyst, as the ruby one was in the hands of Doctor Dee in Preludes and Nocturnes) as part of the compact. Gaiman once mentioned that the love story between Alianora and Dream was beautiful and sad, and somehow I wish that that was the story included in Endless Nights instead of that inane tale about Killalla of the Glow because the only thing you got from that story was the fact that Desire and Dream were friends in the beginning, and Death was still experiencing angsty moments, and that Delirium was still Delight back then.
At any rate, we had good conversation in Sbarro’s and Starbucks, and wandered the mall trading stories while searching for *my* accessories because the orange-haired girl that was hanging on my cellphone got her head separated from her body – and the twisted Maia-girl wanted the bodiless orange-haired girl for herself, so now it’s hanging on her phone – and so I just had to find a replacement before my OC-ness took over. Found one: a little pig with swirly eyes reading a book, in the children’s accessories department. Also found new shoelaces, a coin purse, and chased Maia up and down the aisles with a pink fisherman’s hat that I wanted to jam on her head just to see if she’d melt.
*insert evil laughter here*
Honestly, that woman could do with some color in her wardrobe.
(Oh my god. I’m starting to sound like Ginny. o_O)