Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank you

Even if what happened this morning was nothing more than a lying dream. Thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Gift of Tongues

On days like this I wish I could drown myself in beer. It's another weekend and there is still far too much to do, three places too many in which to be. And like a dedicated soldier of the old Soviet Union, I'll throw myself at the tasks anyway.

I don't relish the idea of knocking back a few super drys with my old friends. Beer tends to loosen tongues. More often than not, loose tongues let slip sentiments buried in the name of keeping the peer group from splintering. Addled friends then use their unsheathed, sharpened tongues to skewer each other. 

It would be great though, if those loose tongues would stay soft and just lightly touch. The arms would follow, then the torsos. The night would pass and all those buried sentiments would rise up safely, usefully, out of our souls and into the great hereafter... where all the hangups, the recriminations, the fouled expectations go after we've come to terms with them.    
But we all know that's not gonna happen. 

I waste my gift on people who don't appreciate it. I think that's my superpower-- the ability to find and pledge myself to lost causes with pretty words.  

Anyway, tomorrow (meaning later today), I will use the old silver tongue again. To explain the intricacies of teaching TOEFL. To ultimately give another batch of dreaming Koreans another shot at a life unfettered by the limits of their native language. 

It's the job, I know, and I'm not really complaining much. It's just that there are far better uses for my gift, far better places for my lips, my breath, my tongue to be, now that I've put another work week behind me.

I hhhhhhhaaate weekends.   

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Travel Light

A man shouldn't have too many possessions. If he's going to be attached to his things--as men invariably are-- then they'd better be few. Enough, ideally, to fill a tote bag.

When I get back to Cainta I'm throwing out my old clothes-- I've actually begun that already, turning the old rags into, well, rags. But I'm a long way from finishing. I'm doing that with my Quezon City stuff too. When I'm done, everything I can conceivably wear--shoes, suits, ties, shirts, socks-- should fit in a container that I can carry and stuff in a bus at a moment's notice.

There is of course the problem of the rest of my stuff. I am a hopeless pack rat. Everything else I own will not fit in a gunny sack, will not be ...portable.

I'm not going anywhere, not yet anyway. I just want that option to be open to me quickly in case I have a need to exercise it. I honestly don't quite know why I'm obsessing about "traveling light"-- wait, I think I do: another irritatingly human urge.

It probably explains my attachment to the Hotel Sogo.

Part of me does not feel moored to anything, and considering that this condition is likely to persist, I'm subconsciously, metaphorically preparing for life on the road.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Well It's Finally Happened

I remember telling my Nagusame this once: "When a man leaves, he creates a vacuum and something else almost always rushes in to fill it."    

I've come to care about my colleagues at the workplace. Not that that was ever a bad thing. I only felt that it would be a betrayal of sorts to care for them this much so soon when I had other colleagues who I wanted to be there for. But circumstances have almost conspired to keep me away and all my attempts at reconnecting have been comparable to swimming in molasses against a powerful current. I miss them so.

But a man's place in any social group is defined exactly by how useful he can be.

Stray thoughts, but they walk with me every day.

Friday, October 03, 2008

October, November, December

‘Ber Months

My sister celebrates her birthday today. My father will celebrate his about 10 days later. I know exactly what to get them.

Meanwhile, my former student Jenny is now in Japan, furthering her studies. Contact has been intermittent, but welcome. I’m grateful for Skype—Jen’s is a voice that is welcome as a desert oasis.

My friend Grace is back from her dalliances in Germany and Chile. Her arrival will no doubt be cause for another set of reunions among my friends. I’d love to see them again.

Comic con is coming, and with any luck, I’ll have something to peddle, finally.

The Clavier Music School will soon host its December recital. I’m looking forward to hearing what Minette’s students will be playing. The December recitals don’t have as much pomp as the summer recitals, but this one will be special.

Brr Months

It’s getting cold. I’ve always disliked the cold. Before 2005 it always brought back memories of waking up feeling debilitated and being unable to move. Because someone in his or her most considerate had turned on the electric fan and pointed it at my back. It also brought back good memories: my father would often sleep on his side to shield me from the cold when I was six or seven.

Post-2005, the memories pretty much got worse. December of ‘05: shivering in bed because everything in me missed my Nagusame. February of ’07: shivering at a gas station coffee table as I assembled a special box for a rose I was to give my Shrinemaiden on the following day: the 14th. September through December of ’07: nights spent sleepless and shivering while my back burned, hating Christmas, shivering because I was envious of the happiness my friends were finding , constantly wondering just what the hell I did wrong, why nothing I did would ever be right in the eyes of the woman I loved and wanted to be with.

It’s getting cold again. People are walking the streets with an arm around another person’s waist. I’m sick of the sight. I’m not eager to have more of these memories.

I am sicker of having to repeat myself. Every year I harp on the same themes the way some women nag the universe in the mistaken notion that it will move for them. Only, in their case, it often isn't a mistaken notion. The universe does move for naggers of the female persuasion. I just wonder if my being male is what prevents the universe from moving in the direction I wish.


The brr months bring with them some opportunities for things like self-improvement, self-indulgence and some gratuitous charity-- which has the added blessing of going both ways: giver to receiver to giver. They are also the heralds of the new year, and all the potential it portends. Good stuff for Ewic, Minette, Dex B and Anne, and if I'm lucky, good stuff for Dex El and his complicated friends too.