Sunday, March 19, 2006

Over The Week

Some Slight Constancy

What is lovely about this week is the fact that Norman was around for most of the time, and there was actually an opportunity for us to see each other from Tuesday until Friday, starting with me dropping by the National Trade Fair Tuesday lunchtime to give him some stuff that he asked me to buy for him the day before, and then starting Wednesday evening I'd drop by the Fair after work to help out with a few other sundries that he'd left at the house. ^_^ While we were both maxed out from our daily tasks, it was still nice to spend some time together, even though it was just dinner, and then he'd take me home before going to San Juan, where he was staying with his aunt and uncle. Surprisingly enough, he even joined my family for dinner Friday night, when we celebrated Bea's graduation at Dulcinea in Megamall.

We agreed not to meet anymore during the weekend: he had classes today at the UP ISSI, and tomorrow, he'll probably be helping with the egress in the evening, which means that they'll be able to leave Manila for Laguna after 9 PM. He'll most probably be simply tumbling on his feet from exhaustion. And then I'm sure for the entire week, he's going to be recovering from the excitement and buzz from the Trade Fair (and I'm hoping they got some good subcontractors from this, to at least make up for the loss that was incurred in setting up for the fair) and he'll most probably be unreachable during evenings – boys and their video games, indeed. O_o That's de-stressing for you.

Going Back to My Roots

Friday morning was my younger sister Bea's graduation from Miriam College Grade School, which started promptly at 9 in the morning. I haven't been to Miriam in quite some time – I think the last was around third year college, when I was handling a creative writing class once a week for a group of high school girls. A lot of things have changed: there's the new Media Center up, and the high school covered court, where the ceremony was held (the Marian Auditorium was too small for the almost-400 graduates and their parents and guests, not to mention the faculty and administration) was extensively renovated. Bea was in the Top 10 of her graduating batch (7th honorable mention), which again reinforced the fact that I was the underachiever of the family – the day before, my younger brother Louie was named third year batch representative at the College of Business Administration in UP Diliman, winning with 60% of the student votes.

Anyway, the ceremony was quite lovely, with everything moving like clockwork, the children – I'm sorry, young ladies – moving in smooth coordination with each other. If there's one thing I remember from my own graduation, it's that we do practice everything for weeks on end, just so that everything becomes clockwork. Even the bows onstage were carefully coordinated. And then I remember, during our high school graduation, one section refused to bow properly and instead did everything from curtseying to waving their diplomas in the air, to giving the thumbs up. It was brilliant, and we were all nudging each other and giggling on our seats. (Of course, it was also our batch that managed, in seventh grade, to get the annual Batch Night banned forever because someone had snuck in alcohol that evening, and an entire class got roaring drunk.)

I even remembered the words to our school song, even the voicing that was taught to us in Music class. And yes, I did get teary-eyed. I was standing in the same place where so many important things were held: ceremonies and contests, the annual intramurals (where as juniors, we all cheered from the sides as we won, for the first time, against the seniors during the championship basketball games) and the Junior-Senior turnover ceremonies, where, during one late afternoon, a bunch of us ended up singing onstage Eraserheads songs while doing an impossibly silly choreography, where a good friend of mine broke her ankle while dancing sexily on one of the poles, where the real grey table used to be, with our names all carved on the surface…good times. Good memories. Things I will never want to change, even if given a chance, and times I will go back to in an instant. High school was a place where every day seemed magical, where the universe was condensed to a single afternoon lying on the grass, watching the clouds float across a bright blue sky.

Summer is Coming

And speaking of home, I just received an email from my good friend and fellow Dumaguete sister Ginny calling us back to the place where we all spent three weeks of insanity. Mom Edith is sick, and her children are being called back to the island we called home, at least for a while. I can't leave - the office can't afford two people gone during the summer months, and I wish I was back there more than anything in world.

It feels like more and more things are slipping away from me, things I once thought were forever: summer months, the abandon of youth, a sense of freedom. Things are becoming stable now, and while I am thankful, there is also the sense of loss. Growing up is always harder than we thought - after all, we never thought it would arrive in a manner not of our choosing.

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