Thursday, September 23, 2004

SEPTEMBER 23, 2004 (THURSDAY)

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

- traditional English rhyme

Apparently, I don’t break that easily.

Been having good days lately. Busy and panicky, yes, but incredibly fulfilling and self-satisfying. I told Meia on the jeepney ride home, “I finally realized that I don’t need a man to validate my existence in this universe.”

Whereupon she turned to me and said, “Gabs, we’ve been telling you that all along.”

Right. Sorry. I wasn’t listening.

Yesterday

Fiction class is always the best class I have this semester (and Sir Luis, if you’re reading this, yes I am telling the truth!) and it’s because I genuinely like my teacher, no matter if he’s always an hour and a half late, and because I have this incredible rapport with my classmates. Our Creative Writing batch has this great rapport, apparently, and it’s just incredibly fun to see everyone bounce off everyone else. Of course, we do have cliques within the group – for example, I trust Kurt and Arvin and Marvi the most in our little band of motley individuals – but overall, we work well together. This is why I’m incredibly thankful that my yearbook editorial board is dependable and hardworking and I can trust them to do a great job with what I’ve assigned to them. And while they will often question my choices and decisions (which means they’re incredible thinkers, and I like that as well), it’s nice to be respected. Even just a little bit.

We’re actually going to Baguio at the end of October, our little group of wannabe writers. Renting a place and cooking and checking out the little bars and cafes and going through all the ukay-ukay shops – this should be exciting. Of course, we’re not putting Cris in with the rest of the boys: he gets the driver’s quarters and we’re going to lock him up to ensure the safety of our men. ^_^ But then, Cris already has this thing for an orgmate of mine (thank goodness he’s not reading my blog!) so maybe he’ll just keep his hands to himself. Kelly is another story altogether.

Found myself waiting for Maia yesterday afternoon at Katipunan. Apparently, National Bookstore – at the far end of the street, along that “red light district” where all the shop signs glow a vibrant shade of scarlet – has a pretty good collection of books. The last one I was reading was at the Young Adult section, entitled Speak and though I can’t remember the author (Laurie something-or-the-other) it was a good read: about this quiet misfit girl named Melinda who was a social outcast at her high school because she called on the cops at the biggest summer party. But what people didn’t know was that she was raped by one of the guys there – the coolest jock on campus, apparently – and she never spoke up about the abuse. (-_-) I never finished it because I was interrupted by the arrival of friends the last time I was there, and this time I couldn’t find an open copy and the store’s security guard was watching me surreptitiously – as if I couldn’t tell that he didn’t care one bit about Meg Cabot and Jane Yolen and Lloyd Alexander. So I took myself and my floppy hat – to avoid eye contact while I sat on the floor – and moved to the Phil. Lit. section, where a whole bunch of Cosmo books were bursting open and obviously mangled by readers (like myself).

Settled on the floor with Maya O. Calica’s The Breakup Diaries, which I read pretty quickly and realized that hey, maybe I can do this, too. (Note to self: one of my goals in life is to write a Cosmo book.) While I might not agree with Lille Bose’s proclamation of the “savior of Philippine literature,” there’s definitely a reading niche here that caters to many book buyers – and at a Php150 a pop, that’s not a bad price. Maybe I’ll go back and actually buy the damn thing – I can’t say it didn’t contribute a lot to my feelings of contentment. (When depressed, I lose myself in a book – it’s nowhere near as dangerous as recreational drugs or smoking or drinking but you achieve the same effect…if not better.)

Was found by mentor Gandalf and his little boy, Red. (See previous entry.) Thankfully, Red remembered me, and we had a lot of fun running around the store looking for books – his tatay bought him a couple of books for his birthday, October 10 (tama ba, Gandalf?) where he’s turning six. This is the same little boy that I took care of during Gandalf and April’s wedding last year, where we held hands and spun around in the reception area’s entrance until we got dizzy. And then he took my glasses and made me chase him around – in heels, no less! But the boy is adorable, and he can be very well-behaved when he wants to be. And of course, he knows he’s adorable, and takes advantage of it whenever he can. (Unfortunately, the charm works on me, too: especially when he crawls on my lap and naps for five minutes before jumping up again and making me run after him.)

With Maia nowhere in sight and Gandalf had a class to go to at Miriam, where he teaches general English to sophomores, I volunteered to take care of Red while his tatay goes off to his students. Went from Seattle’s Best – where we had milkshakes – and then to MC to pick up his tatay, and then to KFC to finally meet up with Maia, and then to Gandalf’s house where I finally managed to play a bit with my goddaughter Moira (Gandalf’s baby) – she can sit up now, and gurgle and grin whenever she sees me – and wash up and put on make-up in time for Carl’s arrival. We were going to the Ateneo Lit Night, entitled “Arete,” which is a v. pretty name though I couldn’t quite remember what it meant. (Lin explained it to me, but I can’t remember as of the moment.)

Was invited by (in this order) Peachy, Lin, and Jilly. Realized that I missed the Grey Table, particularly when we were just milling around and saying hello to people. Jilly was, of course, beautiful and beaming – I suppose being the EIC of Heights does that to her, or perhaps it was the presence of her new boyfriend, Rap. Lin was, as usual, ultra-cool and calm and collected during the evening, albeit sneaking in bites of pizza and burritos while we weren’t looking. Polly had to leave early on *sigh* and Rita came in later with friend David in tow. Acquaintances came and went, and I can’t remember who introduced me to Javie and so inwardly I was surprised that he knew me, but oh well. (Jilly, nagkita ba kami sa pubroom before?) Anyway, as the night wore on, I found myself sharing a little tête-à-tête with Rita on one of the stone benches that were scattered around the Dela Costa gardens and looking at the dragon’s eye of the moon. The band was playing Jeff Buckley in the distance while people were slowly drifting away. I got to read a poem.

The evening was topped off with a trip to the Meat Shop to get some dinner and another round of drinks – Carl had finished off the rum while the night was still young – but found the place too full, so we relocated to the hole-in-the-wall across it. They had fluorescent lighting, and my pale blue shirt glowed eerily underneath it. Gandalf and Mikael took turns telling Boy Bastos jokes, while we all had a round of barbeque and isaw (which I don’t eat). Had Del Monte juice, and the smokers performed a David Blaine at me, but I caught the trick while Naya said that it was because they were all puffing smoke on our closed fists. Had to go home just as Peachy and Javie and the others came, but that was because of class. Sadness.

Today

Didn’t go in poetry class because I knew I wouldn’t be able to say anything nice to the poet. Spent the morning reading Menchu Aquino Sarmiento’s Daisy Nueve at McDonald’s Philcoa while having coffee. Hung out at the yearbook booth at the FC hallway – today was the first day we were giving our primers, and this goes on all the way until next week, where we’d also be releasing the final copies of the graduation pictures. There was a French bread-eating contest during noon, and Kurt and Kelly joined for a thousand pesos prize money. They didn’t win, but at least Kurt had a free lunch.

Went to afternoon class, and then visited the tambayan where Moki was struggling with an exam that Sir Paolo left for their class – he called in sick (as usual) today. Helped the struggling artiste for a bit, and gave him a tarot reading. He’s paying me with a haiku. Meia and Zena made paper boats while an afternoon storm surrounded us, and they made it float down the little streams that ran down the tambayan catwalk. Talked about a possible seniors’ folio for the English majors this year – maybe we’ll discuss it in Baguio.

Meia was squishing and glomping Don the whole afternoon; rather disturbing scene. Sang Broadway and Disney songs with Moki, but refused to join when they started with the Spice Girls. Had a meal at Katag and Don finished my Oishi potato chips, but he bought me a new one. Repeated all the Boy Bastos jokes from the evening before, but severely disturbed Moki with the “death by bunda” joke. (Sorry!) Had a nice evening stroll with Meia, and noticed that the guy sitting in front of me at the jeepney going home was kind of cute. Read Meg Cabot’s Teen Idol in the span of two hours, enjoyed it immensely, and identified with the main character, Jenny Gardner. Realized that I still had homework and the Nautilus sales kit to write. Took a bath, and sat in front of the computer and decided it was a lot nicer to talk about myself. ^_^

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