Huggybear's October Diaries (Part 2)
December 14-20 Edition
Jonathan Aquino's Journals
October 15, 2013, Tuesday
I was shaken awake this morning. My first impression is that somebody next door is reaching climax.
"This is the worst hangover I had in my life," I thought as I noticed that my entire apartment is shaking.
I heard the screams below my balcony. It was then that I realized it was an earthquake. I would learn later that it was magnitude 7 on the Richter, with the epicenter in the neighboring island of Bohol.
"There's a personal reason why I have the absolute conviction that no harm will ever come to me," I told Chad and Harvey when we got together for lunch. "And I have proven that to myself many times."
I went down just in case the second floor where I was would collapse. No point in courting disaster. I saw people outside panicking and weeping, holding on to each other as if the world was ending.
"The worse the situation gets, the calmer I become," I said later. "That just goes to show that I'm not normal."
I remember a time in Manila when an exposed wire in my electric fan got wet and it blew up. The entire boardinghouse plunged into darkness as sparks flew. Everybody thought it was a fire and scrambled away. I just stayed in my room, amused.
"Bro, I want you to meet Harvey," I told Jeric as our class ended last night. Jeric has already met Chad. "I want to see my three closest friends together." They're my best buddies and I love them like brothers. I'd die for my friends. Jeric had to rush home to take care of his eleven-month old son. The boy will turn one two weeks from now. I'm happy and proud to be the godfather.
"I'm with genuine people and true friends," I happily told Chad and Harvey as we celebrated our long-overdue reunion last night. We were at the terrace of a bar with a cool view of the entire Mango Avenue. We watched the people on the square below. It's like being in Italy. There's a kiosk serving Greek food on the other side of the plaza. All my friends know that I don't drink because I have a real low tolerance of alcohol. It's my kryptonite. But on that special occasion, I had a couple of beers and some bolognese.
Our friendship has been tried and tested. The foundation is concrete and solid steel. We treasure meaningful conversations. Only superficial acquaintances need "fun" and "bonding."
Then the world began to spin. I felt my entire body drenched in cold sweat. Everything was spinning around me like a carousel. They had to help me cross the dancefloor to the men's room where I vomited twice.
"Guys, I'm really sorry, but I need to go home," I told them, almost on the verge of crying from embarassment. I can feel their concern radiating through the mists of stupor. I had to force them not to take me home so I wouldn't ruin the evening because Chad's newest girl and Harvey's friends Jeanno and Enzo just arrived.
"Where to, sir?" asked the cab driver.
"Ah," I replied, not knowing what to say. It's as if my brain froze. I just gestured. Then I realized that I've forgotten where I was living.
He started to drive.
"Arbee's," I managed to say.
"Arbee's where?" he asked.
It clicked a trivia. Arbee's is a popular bakeshop in Cebu. There are dozens of branches all across the city. I tried to remember which one is in the corner of my street.
October 17, 2013, Thursday
I'm a stranger in a strange land. It's not easy to be different from everyone else.
"I was born in a world you might not understand."
That's a line from Ultraviolet, one of the many movies I saw on cable in the last couple of days.
There's a large flatscreen TV on the office pantry. I would stay behind when everybody goes home to avoid the elevator crowd.
"Sooner or later the world finds out," says one of the characters in one episode of Serangoon Road.
I don't really have secrets of my own. I live in a way that I won't be ashamed even if everything I do or say will be revealed to the whole world.
I want a life where I won't have anything to hide. But I would never proactively reveal my heart and soul to people who don't even matter in my life.
"Labels won't you happy," says a zombie in the support group meeting scene in Wreck-It Ralph.
That's one of the things I also do my best to avoid: labels. There are those who would reduce you to one of their rigid cliches.
I stay away from superficial people. They label me though I don't see myself through their prejudices.
"I don't want to see you grow old and die," says the immortal Lin to Alex, the son of Ricochet.
I am also immortal because my true nature is my spirit and not my physical body.
But I don't want to live forever in my present lifetime. I seemed to have irreparably lost my faith in humanity.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
"I'm in the courtyard of the American Embassy in Istanbul in a smashed car, don't ask!" says Liam Neeson to a friend on the phone in Taken 2. "Can you make sure no one shoots us?"
I now see the priceless value of being able to call somebody for help knowing he wouldn't let you down. A true friend is a treasure not even venture capitalists can buy. In a world of plastic, finding one is a great blessing.
October 19, 2013, Saturday
Everything that happens to me is a part of my life. I've been a witness to history but that's for later. I'm still writing about the movies I saw on cable in the cafeteria in the past few days before going home after class.
"I aint pretending to be somebody I saw on TV," says a character, not Ice Cube.
Authenticity is important to me, bordering on the sacred. I'm true to others because I'm true to myself.
I don't even feel the need to create a public persona: what you see is what you get. Of course there's more than meets the eye. I may be like an iceberg where the public only see a part of the whole, and the rest is only for myself and the people I trust, but there is no deception in my chunk of ice.
I can spot a fake a mile away.
"Nothing defines me except you and your mother," says John Goodman's character as he decides to sell his van that he loves so much just to pay his daughter's credit card debts.
I like to believe that if my parents were still alive, they will be there for me whatever happens. Not knowing my parents made me idealize them. Perhaps they would have turned out differently, but so would I. I might be tempted to risk destroying the time-space continuum if I get the chance t travel back in time and change my own history.
But after all is said and done, I'd rather be me than be somebody else. And it gives me comfort to know that my parents are in a much better place.
Confessions of A Shopaholic
"A home of my own," says Andrew, the robot with a heart of gold, as he built his own house beside the sea.
I almost jumped out of my chair: the sight of that paradise with the waves crashing into the isolated shore galvanized my soul.
That's what I always wanted: my own corner under the sky in front of the infinite ocean.
"Do the people I care about always...leave?" he asks in one of the most memorable scenes in the movie that touched me deeper more than any other. I like to think that I'll see again the people I love who have...left.
I saw myself in Andrew's journey as he spent his life trying to find his own kind and a meaning for being different from the rest. It's just him and his knapsack in the long and winding and everchanging road. That is the story of my life. That is my life.