Friday, September 19, 2008

Perfect stranger


how is thee?

I had noticed her return to YM recently, & I suppose I needed the reassurance that things aren't so bad for other people.

Hey Marts!

I'm good.

How are you?

I remember those who call me 'Marts' & in no other variation of my name. She's 1 of them. The others are a high school friend who has gone on to star in films w/ Pacquiao, as well as another close high school friend who taught me that it was OK to have a unpopular passion -- for him it was film, before it was cool in a very popular & democratic way; he's now teaching in film school, I hear.


you working na?

What's steady?

Nope, just part-time.

Break before studying again.

She was always 1 of the smarter 1s, though it's easy for people to underestimate her. I've always said she's the sweetest girl I'll ever meet, heartbreakingly sweet. And not in a weak, pushover way. She can hold her own, but she's not 1 for situations where she has to prove this. She's 1 of the few people I've met who genuinely believes in the best in people.

not so high, not so low.

part-time doing what?

law school after, right?

I see.



What have you been up to?

She was a blockmate of mine, 1 of the few Theater Arts majors before she shifted out. Our conversations, always pleasant, often skimming the deep end, were always a result of chance encounters -- a bench outside De La Costa before a test,  a walk to the footbridge, sharing the front passenger seat of another blockmate's car, the rest of them filling the back. 

working. head of writing and concepts for a new design company. 

and teaching cw sa 'teneo.

writing, really?

saan lumalabas ang works mo?


You're teaching!

That's great!

SO proud of you!

It's for NGOs, so it's really internal.

I was asked to speak at her debut a few years ago, & I couldn't say much. Didn't know her thru thick & thin. Never really confided in each other our worries outside generalizations of them. At most, at times of worry, she would just be someone who was concerned but reasonable enough not to intrude. So we would chat, completely skirting the issue/s -- & there was sincerity in that.

All I said during her debut was that I wished her the best. It was short. It was honest. The most honest I can ever be.

ah ok cool.

so what's the timeline on law school.

june 09?

More like September, cos I'm not gonna be studying here.



I can try for January, but I'd rather settle in Canada first and find work before studying.


Her mother's in Canada; wasn't able to attend graduation. I don't remember asking if she was OK w/ it when she mentioned it in passing; she's close to her mother. I was concerned, though -- just didn't say so, cuz we never do.

I do remember this news coming when I was musing something existential -- a means to hide problems more trivial. She listened as usual. But didn't say anything. We parted, wishing each other the best again.


leaving our shores.

Yeah, it's fine.

I'm beginning to embrace it.

It's not like I'm not going back.

It's nice to try something different di ba? Expand your territory.

But hey, enough about that.

Look at you teaching and all that!

havent seen you in awhile but you still sound like yourself.

Is that good or bad?

that's good.

in a weird way it's reassuring.

i've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of change...

how when sincere, it's simply moving with the currents within...

and with that can come, i suppose, good or bad, a kind of pretentious experimenting.

but persons like you...

self as irrevocable, set, future and change as a reaching out...

and as expansion...

not a turning away

but a moving forward

and a growing

there's 'truth' in that.

in short, ya, good.

i don't know.

I get you. But I would've placed it in simpler terms.


i'm weird like that.

I have a close group of friends w/ whom I would say I have an intense relationship w/. Then there are many friendly acquaintances w/ whom pleasantries & small talk are the extent of it. Then there are the strangers -- those I know due to circumstances w/c have allowed for glimmers of proximity but have also hindered further cultivation. 

But it's in these kinds of relationships where cultivation would almost defeat the purpose, for their significance is precisely in those moments of chance, moments of meaningful & short-lived but sincere, symbiotic gratification. It somehow reaffirms things that often those closest to you -- say, your family -- fail to express ... like the desire for your well-being.

That's fine.

That's you.

SO how's teaching?

i generally like it.

it's tough.

but it's good.

there's something about saying something and having people hang on to your words.

kinda scary.

but in a good way. makes me mindful.

That's true.

Wow, you get to inspire and mold minds!

i wouldnt say that.

corrupt them maybe.


my boss called for a meeting...

gotta go.

just wanted to see how you were doing...

dont be a stranger, ok?


i won't be if you won't.

We won't speak in months, won't know each other's progress. I won't even think of her. And that's OK. Because there's something to be said about the perfect kind of stranger.

* * *

Ito, ang aking The Chiaroscuro Variations, birthday joke ko kay Pancho (September 17).


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