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My nephew is 18 months old now. The last time he was here in August he still couldn't walk. Later last year he started taking tentative steps. And right now he's an almost-runner. His movements are more deliberate, naughtier, his eyes more mischievous, and my, my, what a smart little boy. Hi has his own language, as do other children his age, and this is the part of a small person's life where we wish he wouldn't grow up. Just please, stay this way, gibberish talk and all, twinkly eyes and smiley mornings. All innocent and sweet, pure sunshine.
Was scrubbing bathroom floor when I realized that a lot of words associated with sadness start with 'M'. Melancholic. Mopey. Mardy. Mournful. Maudlin. To a certain extent, mushy, mawkish. Well, okay, that's all I can come up for now. What's your favorite word for sadness? Do you associate sadness with negativity? Me, not so much, I regard most sad days as necessary sadness. Moments in time from where I can learn something, take a positive piece of memory. You know what's therapeutic? Vacuuming them cobwebs and dirt. During high school my favorite word was "profound." Nowadays it's confection. Or vacuum.
Just sitting around humming Get Ur Freak On in my head. Included in my To Buy list is a) big bowl especially for two/three bags of potato chips on movie/Friends nights b) airtight food/bread keeper to stack in my room c) loads of safety pins in different sizes because you never know when you might need a safety pin. Anyway. Worcestershire is a funny word to pronounce. Also, Edinburgh. Which do you find more compelling? Pyramids? Ziggurats? Sometimes just a simple herb garden is compelling and overwhelming, like, how do people start something and keep building, nurturing?
I think it was last week that I dreamt of a pangolin. Well, not a pangolin-pangolin, in the dream I wanted to pretend to be a mammal, or someone was telling me I had to pretend as if I were a mammal. Maybe I was an amphibian in that dream? I don't know. Anyway, I chose to be a pangolin. So there I was, a giant upright pangolin, with a human head and the body of a pangolin. When I woke up I was perplexed and scrambled for my phone to verify if a pangolin is an actual animal.
I'm one of those people who loses their cell phone in their own house. There would be days I would forget I have a phone, and then once I chance upon it and see there are days-old messages, most times I don't bother replying. Figures, if it was urgent, the sender would have called the land line. It's the same with online messages, it seems I reply to them in my head, then it would be days before I realize I hadn't actually replied. Closest outside communication I have these days is Tiki randomly knocking on our front door.
"I deem a movie to be worthwhile if I need time to recover after seeing it. Million Dollar Baby is such a film. It does not easily release the viewer, and it demands a time of reflection and contemplation afterwards. It is a rich and challenging motion picture that both affirms life and emphasizes its fragility." -- James Berardinelli. I've only ever seen the movie thrice. I think? Once in 2005 and a little afterwards. It just...hit hard. I needed time to recuperate from something that powerful. Saw it again just now. I might need another 10 years to recover.
She met him at a milkshake place. She was studying a sign language book when he approached her with the sign for "hello." "I was watching you for a few minutes now, I saw your book, why are you studying sign language?" He seemed genuinely curious. "It's for my students, I want to teach them a few basic signs. Are you...do you...know a lot?" "Yeah, I have a couple of mute friends, I like communicating with them, it's peaceful." She laughs then, she know what's coming up. Names. It is such a significant moment when strangers exchange names.
My favorite part in That Thing Called Tadhana is when they /finally/ lost (forgot) their baggage. Tadhana's metaphor game is strong and it's a breath of fresh air that it all didn't feel forced. Also, no kissing scene! Not even an almost-kissing scene. There are movies where you just want the actors to kiss already, but here I really wanted them to take their time knowing each other. It would be nitpicking if I point out an error somewhere among the Sagada scenes, so I won't. Baguio is always a welcome ingredient in any movie. I like Baguio always.
A white cake with pink doves is all the food she wants on her wedding day. Her husband-to-be requires a cheese pizza. They will do away with guests, gifts and other wedding staples. If it were possible to wed themselves they'd do it. They will elope on a mountain, be joined together among pine trees, the sunset, birds. Salve. That's what he likes calling her. His salve, his balm. They want two children. A house, a garden, fluffy clouds overhead. She believes people are born for this, togetherness, a simple life, the knowledge that someone's got your back.
She sat on the grass and considered laying down altogether. Grass smells nice, sun's not too harsh, and there isn't a lot of people walking by. She frowns at how it's taking her more time than necessary to decide whether or not she would lie on the grass. She puts a hand on her chest to calm herself, why is she so angry all the time? Why can't she let 95% of things to slide? Why, when both her hands are occupied and she needs to free one to do something, she can't? She relents. Deep breath. Eyes closed. Plop.
It used to be that she would wait for people to do something /worthy/ of a photo. Her hand would be ever ready to point and shoot just in case something interesting happens. She believed that through capturing these moments, she would have a better chance at remembering them. She was afraid of forgetting, see, too afraid that she clutched her camera every where she went. Too afraid that instead of laughing at a joke, she would take a photo of her loved ones laughing instead. Over the years she realized, it was this fear that made her lose them.
She was 17 when they met. He was 19. It was during a morning class, and she remembers wearing a pajama bottom and a sweater. He poked his head through the door and said "hi." He was handsome even then and she knew that a lot of girls fancied him. It was maybe his height, or his fair skin, or his cute smile. For three years she harbored feelings for him, even when they became close friends she kept a certain hope close to her heart. Fifteen years later she would understand why some hopes are meant to be quashed.
As a parent, she deems it the most important lesson: Humility. It's something that can be taught, yes. Some kids, you know, you just know, that they weren't taught about the value of humility, respect, manners. Someone can grow old and not know that you are supposed to treat people with kindness, all the time if possible, and especially at times when it's the most difficult thing to do. She wants to have three kids, she hopes for them to be good people, this is on top of her hopes and dreams, to have good people come out of her.
She loves the smell of rain. Also, the smell of his pillow in the morning, the warmth, the earthy aroma, the slight depression on the left side, always on the left side. The way that his side of the blanket is bunched up under her legs, the way that he lets her have the whole blanket most times, the way the drapes are drawn, so as not to let a sliver of light creep in. She loves when he gets up first, the smell of bacon, toast and coffee. The smell of rain. It was raining when they first met.
Anger is such a useless emotion sometimes. It's tiring and oftentimes it leaves you empty and regretful. Like, you could've used the time you used being angry on some other stuff. Anyway, sure, we need to express anger from time to time. It's just, when you can walk it off instead, why not do that? It's so much easier to shout and frown most times, is why. It's become the norm, the more acceptable reaction. My brother gets annoyed at me sometimes, when I react with calmness. Funny no? That even calmness can evoke anger. What has become of us.
Saw Tadhana again yesterday with Aych. Chuck said something in the vein of "the fact that we're talking about a Pinoy movie like /this/ (analytically? fondly?) means it did something /right/." I loved that it hit some familiar spots, and I guess what affected me most is that I can reminisce with gladness now, frame the past with gratitude. That's such a nice feeling. Anyway. Had dinner and catch-up with Chuck and Norly tonight and we got to talking about watchmakers and how there are so few now. And that the real good watches are the old-fashioned ones.
Dreamt of Papa, Mama, Kuya, Tiki, Harry Styles. In the dream I was worried about Ma because she wasn't home for the day yet. Tiki booked a flight to some province and we were supposed to fly 4am, but I hadn't packed by midnight, then it was already 8am so he got mad and said he couldn't help me to look for Ma because he had to take care of his goat in Pampanga. Then Pa and Kuya got home with their friends, and they looked like they were in a fight. Harry Styles was taking photos with big cameras.
Writing this on my phone. Been meaning to write this entry for six hours now? Tab's been open on the laptop for ages but I'm a procrastinator so I did other things first. Filled up forms, looked for important papers, found old photos, posted said photos on FB, ate bread, listened to new music, etc. Then my back hurt so I couldn't concentrate on the desk then I laid down and here I am finally typing this. I wish we can achieve most sensible tasks while lying down. I'm being extra careful not to drop the phone on my face.
She's trying to find it in her, the way she used to feel for certain people and places. But most of it seems to have gone now, there isn't even a memory of what was once. And is this why people hold on too tight sometimes? Because there is a lot of details that doesn't have the capacity to stay? She thought, 12 years ago, that she would know specific feelings all her life, that contentment, that peace, that confused calm. She was sure. She's looking at the past. It's a beautiful blur. She readies herself to wipe it off.
If I could pocket a moment from today, it would be those few seconds at Mister Donut when a little girl in a yellow dress walked by the store with her father. She saw the word "donut," stopped in front of the door, then shouted "donut!" while pointing at the word. She looked so happy. Her father, smiling, had to walk back a few steps to take her hand and go on walking. Also, that moment at Cubao when a girl I met for the first time hugged me tight and I hugged her without hesitation, too. There. Pocketed. Bottled.
We celebrated Tita Tita's 60th birthday today at McDonald's. This family is my salve. I like the anticipation of seeing and being with them. The laughter, the inside jokes, the awkward dances, the coffee conversations, the sudden bursts of tears then another round of laughter. I love how my aunts and uncles are keeping this family together through the example of selflessness and sheer love. At McDo we played games and laughed a lot. Tita Tita had fun and it was a day well spent over all. We missed a lot of people but who's here right now is enough.
Papa cooked stellar pork sinigang today. Just the soup with some rice was enough to sustain me for the day. Met Irene for early dinner and a Chinese movie. I love Shangri-La Plaza and how it doesn't get crowded. The decor, the general ambiance. And I certainly love that it's a manageable walking distance from our house. I like hugs. I like people who spread out their arms in welcome, who hug tight and long, I like hearing people laugh. Highlights of my daily life include my brother's laughter downstairs whenever Jose and Wally of Eat Bulaga are on.
Met with old friends over a festive dinner spread today. Walked along a too familiar road and listened to The Edralins sing about love. Isn't it nice to be with people who you've known for years, sit and be quiet and just...relax. Long walks and comfortable silences, the assurance of lasting friendship in spite of years apart, the odd comfort of saying goodbye without the usual sting of sadness, do these things come with age? These...learnings of the right balance of letting go and holding on. I quite like how you just know over time what really matters.
Another day of catching up with old friends. Had pizza, pasta, coffee and nachos, and sensible conversations about gender identity, problematic mindsets, childhood, parentage, jobs, coping, manners, life in Baguio -- basically anything we could think to talk about, even the spacious restroom at Café Sapore and how we could transfer with our tables and chairs and hang out there instead. This was a good day. I like this day. Kind of getting hotter lately, but I'm not dreading summer, it's an odd mix of anticipation and apathy, a general upbeat and shrug-gy "it's going to be over soon anyway."
If you Google "Harry Styles Osaka Japan February 24, 2015" you will see images of him wherein he's wearing a sheer black shirt with red flowers, his tattoos and nipples are visible, and well, if you're at all into hot British young curly boys who can sing and who have decent abs, those images are goddamn beautiful. I find this boy so beautiful, in fact, that I wish every day for my firstborn to look just like him, add to that the yearning that my little boy will be funny, quirky and fascinating and nice just like him. Complete package.
Detached yet engaging, cold yet warm. He is now on Day 935 of Trying to Figure Her Out. There's an infograph on his wall. It charts the nuances of her actions, her most mentioned words, the way she touches her hair and how each specific manner translates into different levels of anxiety. He can spend his whole life doing this, watching her from afar, until he can crack the code of how to win her love and make her stay. His favorite time of day is when she gets her morning coffee because it is the only time she smiles.
Got myself an Instagram account at long last. Threw in random photos from the past, enough to just be able to activate that screensaver-y collage header thingy. It pacifies me, that header thing (when viewed on a desktop/laptop). I used the word "pacify" because yes, I am always in a state of panic. Anyway, today was a long day and you know what? Nothing, almost nothing can anger me now. It's a bit disconcerting to be a certain level of calm at times when flailing seems to be the wiser, and more acceptable, reaction. But that is life.
Do you ever think it's possible that human touch will be obsolete a number of years from now? That maybe human beings can find a way to substitute something for an actual hug, kiss, or backrub? This thing will simulate the resulting feeling a person gets while engaging in human interaction and well, it's kind of happening now to some extent with all these gadgets and apps. It's just, I saw a little boy running towards his father at a McDonald's today. And I thanked the universe I got to live at a time when people still touched each other.
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