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Saturday, February 03, 2007

It started with Faith.

No, not that kind of faith. THAT kind, I've given up a long time ago. This Faith is somewhere in Antipolo--in a secluded subdivision cum country club.

Yesterday, I woke up at 7 am, went straight to work to finish my notes for Crim recits while my former teammates travelled to Faith Academy to play two exhibition games. As I worked, and worked and worked, I kept recalling snapshots of the days we spent in Faith Academy almost five years ago.

We were excited. At the end of that school day, we waited at the MC basketball court for coach Eric to arrive. We travelled for an hour, listening to Beatles songs that we only learned to appreciate now that we are much, much, older. When we got there, we had a game. After that game, we went to the canteen to buy turon. We watched several other games, other teams, most of whom were strangers.

Snapshot 1: The curfew
Coach Eric called us in to tell us where we were going to sleep that night. Only a few of us were allowed to sleep over. We were ushered into a big room with pianos and drums. There were other players from other teams. On the floor were cushions and mats and blankets. With an air of superiority, coach told us that we had a curfew that night. The deal was this--we can do pretty much anything we liked but we had to be asleep at twelve. We laughed. We all knew that as players, we had to be asleep at 10. In fact, after a long day of excitedness, we were all too ready to retire. But not without entertainment. Bianca, from St. Benedict, who I met later on in my life, opened a piano and started playing. Her other teammates jammed with her. One of them took out a pair of brushes and used it as drumsticks. They played songs until we finally dozed off.

Snapshot 2: Game's on
We were waiting for our second game at the outdoor basketball court. On the other half of the court, Anna, Fatz, Eika, Gaby and the rest of the team were shooting around. It was a cold day in February and we had to do all that we can to keep warm. Mich and Sarah challenged me and Aj to a two-on-two ball game. I took a sip of the flavored water Tito Chito gave us. The game was on. No body really won that game. A few minutes later, Kris called us in for our pre-game huddle. Then, unlike now, we didn't have anything to talk about. No politics, no problems, no drama. We only had the ball and the court. We only had each other and somehow, that was all we really needed.

Snapshot 3: Watching out for the sunset
As we waited for the pre-game huddle, me and Eika sat at the back of the Faith gym, overlooking the soccer field. We already had our white MC jerseys on. For the first time in four years, our team donned sleeveless jerseys. Earlier that year, we haggled and struggled just to get the MC administration to allow as to wear sleeveless jerseys. The tough pricks finally gave in and allowed us. We talked about life, about where we were going. The world from our vantage point, was wide, and endless. Both of us were not ready to confront the decisions we had to make after that day. College, our future, our plans had to be put on hold. That moment, we decided to just keep quiet. "The world can wait," we thought. We'd rather watch out for the sunset.

It was the first time Faith lost their own invitational tournament. The referees were against us, we were playing against tall american girls and an aggressive audience, but at the end of that night, we were the victors.

Snapshot 4: The winning pass.

The ball bounced off the ring. It went to Aj's hands. She passed it to Sarah. Me, Eika and Corrinne started running towards the other end of the court. We had a chance to take the lead with over a minute left in the ball game and so we ran as though we haven't played two games in one day. The referees weren't giving us any breaks... hell, we weren't expecting any. In the middle of the court, Carol Tanchi, Cutts, and Davis were running down and playing defense. They didn't expect it. I didn't either. Anna was running wide, with her right hand up, signalling to Sarah. Sarah didn't even look up. It was a bounce pass, the likes of which you would never expect from anyone else but sarah--crisp, accurate, certain. The ball went past Tanchi, Cutts and Davis, with veteran precision (my guess is that the ball bounced at the exact three-fourths distance, a science that we learned as little kids). All they could do was stare in shock as Anna, our price three-point-shooter caught the ball, jumped, stopped, and released. Gesundtheit. My heart literally skipped a beat. For two seconds, the crowd was silent. Then the ball went straight in. As the net swooshed, a small crowd of less than twenty parents jumped up and down in sheer delight. On the bench, coach eric was on one knee. He punched the floor. The deal was sealed.

That shot, that win, that final highschool game, was only the cherry on top of a 52-wins-to-one-loss season. To the hundreds others who were there, that game was forgettable. To us (Clare, Gaby, Eika and Me), it was the last wave, that crashed, as all else does, into the shore. It was the blood compact that sealed our sisterhood and immortalized our ties.

The truth is, almost all of us eventually met again in College. Only a few of us, Aj and Mich in particular, went to a different school. But it was much, much different. We all became different when we started wearing scarlet jerseys. It wasn't innocence. God knows we weren't innocent then. It was our unbridled youth, and the simplicity of our lives, the time that seemed to slow when we spent it just laughing at almost anything and everything. It was our faith in a man who we worshipped like a God, a coach who at least, for that year, never really let us down.

At this moment, as I try to ignore the cases that are starting to pile up beside me, I remember all that in vivid detail. It has long since been replaced by sagacity and cynicism. But at this moment, I sit back, and relish in the fact that I had it once. Something, many of my classmates in Law School, never had.

(Note: A toast to Gaby, Clare, Eika, Mich and Sarah, for keeping the Faith alive. Our worlds now are very much different from that world of wanderlust and crazy-ass-stupid-trips. But we had it, and what makes it more important for me is that I had it with you. Ten years from now, we will be having lunch, arguing over who's gonna pay the bill. My guess is it would be Sarah, or Mich who would win. We will very briefly gloss over what happened in the last ten years--our careers, families (if any), travels, and paychecks-- and spend the rest of that day vividly recreating that world we kept tucked at the back of our minds.)

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 5:08 PM


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Earlier today, Pau was complaining about insomia which kept her awake last night (well, yesterday night but just to keep it simple... of course by explaining it, it isn't as simple as when I hadn't explained it but nevertheless..). So I laughed at her and told her insomia is good for law students. I on the otherhand spent the other night (or yesterday night which ever is your preference) watching a replay of LA vs. Mavs which I saw earlier that day. Thereafter, I fell asleep, and so I spent my 4-hour break today (or yesterday) making up for the time spent doing nothing useful.

Nagdilang anghel is what my lola would call it. I prefer to think that I am subconsciously mocking myself. You would think that because I cannot sleep, I would be on my bed, one pillow propped up so I can lean comfortably, while reading my Crim reviewer. Well, I'm obviously not doing that. Instead, I'm in front of my PC, telling you about yet another evening (morning) wasted idly.

What's funny is my Crim reviewer is actually what's keeping me up. Everytime I close my eyes to try and doze off, my mind wanders off and walks aimlessly along the blurry line between consciousness and dreams. SO half my mind is thinking about the elements of crimes, while the other is thinking, 'you go to sleep and dream about this?'

I half wish now that I was dreaming about decapitated bodies. I'm thinking about checking out the crimelibrary on my lap top (at the moment I'm on the PC). I do want to try and fall asleep again, but I only have about five hours until I would have to wake up and if I do fall asleep, I would be waking up in a horrible mood.

You would think that at 1:25 am, I have something, well, "wisdomous" (as JOEY of FRIENDS would put it) to say. I obviously don't. If I did, I would have said it earlier on. Or I probably wouldn't say this now. If there are indeed bed bugs on my bed, they probably went straight to my brain and got it all muddled (is there such a word?).

Its excusable if there is none. It's always okay to make up words for stupid or ugly things. It's never okay to call a flower tilksiktiskin. Or intelligent "wisdomous." But if say I am in a state of tarstification, you would think you understand because I sound stupid at the moment, at least stupid enough to warrant such a stupid word.

You know, this insomia thing can keep me writing until 5 am. But seeing as there are already enough people writing stupid things all over the world, I am going to stop. The digital age has brought us the power of information and here I am... in a state of tarstification.

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 9:07 AM


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Lying by the shore, just staring at the black canopy lit by thousands of stars was the perfect way to usher in Christmas which had already seemed hopelessly pitiful. Notwithstanding the sense of foreboding I felt as I spent time with my former teammates, the weekend was one for the books.

As I drained cans after cans of beer, looking heavenward, I could not help but feel a sense of foreboding. Something about the stars reminded me of how fleeting that moment was, not only relative to my lifetime but to the entire universe. It was a moment that can be disregarded or forgotten in the passing of time. It was a moment which, however sentimental, is unimportant in the eyes of the billion other people I share this planet with.

Stars, I realized, may be used as a metaphor for practically anything. Last night, it was a metaphor for my loneliness which had been brought on by my being in law school.

When you stare long enough at one star, it will soon fade from your view.A person staring at the sky perhaps 10 kilometers away, or thousands of kilometers away may see the same star even if you can no longer see it. Stars do not fade then, because they are dying in a super nova as they do, but because they no longer shine for you.

To the clueless readers, this sounds like nothing but a cliche couched in the language of stars. To me, and perhaps to those who know me, this is a truth that I have been denying for the past six months. My teammates and my friends, are still the same people. They are still there. In a bitter irony, most of the time, I am actually only 2 kilometers away from them and yet I don't see them. It is not because they left but because I can no longer see them from where I am standing. Like stars, they flicker until they are too far to see but it is me who is moving away and not the other way around.

My ranting is unjustified given that I have just been reminded that my problems mean nothing to the vast universe. Though I should ask for your indulgence and permit me to carry on with trying though vainly to explain why I feel lonely tonight.

I was there with them. Right there, at the beach. Yet when I watched them gather around the bonfire, I remained seated, forcing myself to be content to watch them instead. I am guessing it was a good trade because it was then when I began to realize exactly what I am going to write tonight.

Tonight, I imagined writing, I am back where I should be. I am in my rightful place. For the next four years this is how it will be. I get to share fleeting moments with the people who actually make me feel utterly comfortable only to return to a world of hard truths which is as cold as the frigid water at dawn. I am back to my tiny office, a small four by four space which does not even have a window through which I can see the world outside.

I am back watching only the stars that the universe would permit me. Back to taking control of my life but not really living it.

The stars are out tonight but I am in my room not even bothering to look out. I know, without even looking that outside are the same old stars and none of them are the ones I want to see.

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 7:01 AM


Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm not quite ready for christmas. With my mom away, it just doesn't feel right. Our house doesn't look as festive without the well lit Mango tree by the garden. For those who don't know, the mango tree was downed by typhoon Milenyo. It was a surprise to most of us because it had withstood many typhoons in its 30-year existence. Without it, our garden looks so empty and so open.

I haven't done any christmas shopping yet. I've given my gift to childy already, but that was only because I bought the same thing for myself.

Something's missing and I can't put a finger on it. It may just be my mom's being away. I miss her terribly but I pretend like I don't. I avoid conversations about her being away because I feel guilty that she has to leave to support our family. I'm 21 years old and I can't do anything about it. Most people my age are already working and I am still dependent on my mother who is in New Jersey, hopefully kept warm by layers and layers of sweater and socks.

Today, one of my closest friends told me that she already has a boy friend. This is a first for her and it feels strange watching her happy with just one person. It's strange because its something I can never quite understand. It worries me that I will be growing up alone as I watch my friends live their lives with their better halves. Makes me wonder if I'm feeling empty because of that. I'm probably only curious about what's on the other side of the fence. The fact that I may perpetually be alone makes me even more curious.

At the moment, I don't intend to go over the fence. I am perfectly happy just craning my neck and looking over. What worries me is when the time comes that I am the only onlooker left on the other side and everyone else have moved over. My reason for not wanting to be in any committed relationship has always been that I do not want to have responsibilities while I go after my dreams. The problem with that is when I do succeed, I would have to revel on it alone. Let's face it.... success is only half meaningful if you cannot get the approval of the people you love and respect.

On a different note, I finally got to play basketball again last week. I miss it horribly. Holding a basketball, dribbling it... I miss the feeling of competition and I can't wait until our team gets to compete. I'm probably going to get a lot of flak if I become overly competetive. I miss it so much that I really want to win so I'm going to do whatever it takes to win.

There are so many pressing issues to talk about but I guess whatever I say here will only be a rehash of ideas I picked up in school discussions regarding those issues.

This is as far as I can go. Wifi in my room might disappear suddenly.]

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 12:07 AM


Sunday, November 26, 2006

I like the stars. It's the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they're always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend.I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don't last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend. - Destruction, Brief Lives

(I stole this quote from Ben's email. I love it.)

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 5:09 PM


Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Trust" is a tricky word.

When used as a noun, it connotes reliance or confident expectation, as when you say: "I enTRUST you with my life."

When used in the context of relationships, it connotes not mere reliability but steadfastness. "I trust you," not only means "I know you will keep my secrets," but rather, "I know I can share my secrets in confidence."

The conjunctive phrase in fact, when broken down becomes, "I trust that you will be there when I need you," and "I trust that whatever I tell you remains between the two of us."

The use then, of the word trust, requires a considerable amount of nicety. It was, and is, meant to be used sparingly. We think when we say we trust someone, we gain an ally. In fact, we lose one, and the most important one at that.

"Trust," I say, is a tricky word.

When we say "I trust you," it not only connotes reliance or confidence. With trust comes a veritable amount of vulnerability in that you are thrust in the position of an expectant. When we trust someone, it means that what we trust that person with is something beyond our personal capability. Hence, we trust people with secrets because those secrets have the tendency to overwhelm us.

When we do share secrets, or in most cases, ourselves, with someone we think we "trust," we let go of inhibitions and thus expose ourselves to whomever we trust. This is the vulnerability of trust. We become reliant that once inhibitions are shed and we are exposed, someone will swoop in and cover us or shelter us.

When no one does, it is then that we realize that "trust" is but a word.

I'll say it again and never tire of it. "Trust" is a tricky word.

When A tells B he trusts B, and B is able to fulfill the expectations of A even in small degrees, B becomes seemingly heroic. To return the favor, wouldn't A want to be trusted too? So A goes out of his way to be trusted, if only to realize that B needs no saving, or B needs no hero.

A then is left in a ditch. Like a needy beggar who dreams of a world where there are no beggars, but cannot help but stretch out his arms and ask for alms.

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 5:10 PM


Sunday, November 19, 2006

I haven't updated this hole in... say a month. The entire sembreak, I signed in only to realize that I really have nothing to write about so I decide to just sign out and wait. That says a lot about how much fun I had during the break--or the sheer lack thereof. I couldn't (wouldn't) leave the house because I wanted to wait until my mom left for the states. That was the ice that capped my uneventful sem break. It wasn't exactly a cherry-on-top-of-the-ice cream.

I got to read about three books over the break. Two of them were good. The other was good enough to be worth my while.

On My Mom's Departure

First, I would like to take time to say that who ever created the traffic system in the airport is an insensitive git. You only get about five minutes to say good bye. What kind of airport is that? This is a country of migrant workers. They should have thought of that.

That stupid airport traffic characterizes much of my mom's departure. There was but a single wave as she carted her baggages into the unknown. It was a wave of excitement and that was all I had to look at so that I wouldn't see the hint of fear. I couldn't imagine how it must have felt when she was alone in the airplane. She has been to the States over five times in her life and yet there she was, headed to a place still unknown to her.

The repercussions Thereof

After two weeks in the States, my mom has finally settled in with tita Baby. She is comfortable there, despite the household chores she has to do. She does her share by cooking meals and I'm sure she feels at home the most in the kitchen.

A week ago my mom called to update us on her progress there. She's excited and very pleased with how much she has accomplished. Tita mila who was on the other line told me to try and look for a school in the States. They both want me to finish my studies there instead. The opportunity, I must say, is mouth watering. I can get rich there and come back and do whatever I like. The thing is, I don't really want to. Yeah... It's all about idealism. I always said that idealism is all I have. If not for idealism I wouldn't be here. I'm afraid that if I go to the states to study, all that idealism will go pfft... then there would be nothing left to set me apart from everyone else. My classmates dream of standing in front of a judge and litigating. I dream of sitting among farmers and talking about their rights. That makes me different from everyone else save from a few other idealistic dumb asses like me.

On sadness

I'm guessing you're still wondering why I signed in to write again. I have been idle for a month and I thought that my being uninspired will go on until I graduate. I don't really feel inspired now. I feel that I want the lonely joker to sign in again.

Last semester, I was so caught up with studying that I hardly felt anything. Now that I am more relaxed and at ease in law school, I have had more time to think. So, the lonely joker who stares too deeply and too much is back, and just as lonely as ever. I want to cut to the chase (cheese is more like it) and say it.

For a while I was happy to be surrounded by people I care about--classmates, friends, teammates-- until I realized that I am on a one way street. I haven't felt this lonely in so long, if truth be told. More often than not, I would probably just feel a little depressed or tired but never this lonely.

Alone is not lonely, I always say. I'd kill to be alone once in a while or alone and lonely. With all the staring deeply and too much I realized that I am lonely in spite of the people around me.

The feeling is no longer a stranger to me. The last four days I was actually feeling vulnerable. I was waiting for something to happen so that I would forget about this craphole I'm in. The four days dragged on until I finally settled in. This feeling will need a little getting used to again, I guess. But its better now because I figured it out instead of having it hit me smack in the face.

So there... The lonely joker has signed in. Until something changes, like I decide to go to the states or something, I won't be signing out.

The Lonely Joker who stares too deeply & too much at 5:59 PM


I am the lonely joker who stares too deeply and too much.