Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Comfort in a Stranger's Smile

Blinking cursors waiting for attention. Nodding heads fighting sleep. Restless feet seeking adventure. Aimless wandering to not really anywhere.

Another day ended; a new one will soon begin. Yet the day's tiresome, mundane routine has exhausted the life out of the girl. She walked to nowhere, wanted nothing, and had no one. So she went home.

The crowd was packed. Apparently, there was a celebrity. She didn't care. What happened to me? she wondered. In a time long past, she would have been the first to have waited, the first to have showed up to that gathering. Now she walked alone to the authorized and designated PUV stop.

Seriously, this jeep can fit five more people? Her musings might have deafened her if the driver's voice was only a bit softer. She scooted to the side and let someone else sit properly on the jeep's too-narrow seat.

"You can make yourself comfortable. I'll be getting off soon," she told the girl who had to walk with careful dexterity around the feet of other passengers in the crowded hull of the jeep.

"Thank you," the new passenger said, making sure to still leave space for the girl to sit.

She smiled. They both smiled.

The girl's musings turned soft. She could feel the italics slowly lean back and revert to roman. The smile told of something other than random thankfulness. Somehow it said, "We both had a long day. We deserve to smile about surviving it."

The girl got home.


Sometimes in life, a smile is all we need to get through the day. As tiresome as the day may have been, a smile, even from a random stranger can change things. They say that you're never fully dressed without a smile. They say that the best accessory you can wear is a smile. I think there's some truth to it.

Once upon a time, a thought occurred to this thinking processor we shall call my brain. What if we just randomly smile at people we pass by the street? What if we walk around smiling at people? Sure, the first thing that went through your mind is that people will think we're crazy. People will think there's something wrong with us. People will think that we're not all there, if you know what I mean. People will think. Well, we are not the people. We are the ones smiling. Besides, when we've passed the people by, we don't need to see their reaction.

On a certain trip to a certain place one certain time ago, we were in a convoy. There were a couple of cars with my relatives inside as we made our way to that certain someplace. It was a long trip, and children, like me, will get bored eventually. Someone had the great idea of waving to random people we passed by on the road. Like celebrities. Or politicians. So what's there to lose? We waved around. We waved at kids. We waved at strangers going about their daily lives. We waved and some even waved back. But the experiment (rather the boredom buster) has given us an even better result. The cars behind us saw it. They saw the smile on the people's faces. They saw the confusion then the amusement in their reactions. Of course they knew we weren't really celebrities traveling by random cars in a near-middle-of-nowhere road, but they enjoyed the idea of people waving at them. A social experiment, we might call it. I don't know.

Maybe as humans we enjoy smiles. We enjoy random events that don't really make sense but somehow lifts us up from the muck of daily life. Humans probably enjoy the thought that other humans are smiling at them as if they knew one another. Or maybe they enjoy contemplating on what's wrong with the smiling person. Did they just win the lottery? Get a promotion? Got a wife? Got diagnosed with excessive happiness?

The point is, as simple as a smile really is, it can make a difference to the people around. Try it. Smile while you're on your morning commute. You don't have to smile at anyone in particular, but smile while staring out the window. Smile while you pass your fare to the driver. Smile while you wait for the other passengers to get seated. Smile when you're walking. Sometimes you don't even need a reason to smile. When you find that you don't have a reason to smile, smile, and by some bizarre phenomenon, you'll find yourself thinking, There must be something wrong with me. I'm going crazy. Et voila! A reason to smile, because you know there's nothing wrong with you. You're not going crazy. You know it, but the people around you don't. Now what better reason to smile about than knowing something that no one else knows about?

Finally, to end this random smiling post, I'd also like to point out that smiling at people can also comfort them. "I'm here for you. I'm human too." I don't know how that works, but smiles tend to show vulnerability and ultimately the humanness of all of us. An existence based on weakness is nothing really to be proud of, but knowing that another mortal, another person who may have a more difficult life than the one you have, takes an extra effort to use those facial muscles for the better might actually spark hope for the human race. Humanity is not that doomed after all.

So yeah, I'll stop here.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Someday, You, and Me

Elusive. That's what you are. Cunning. Clever. Downright hard to catch. You are there when I want you, but you are never there when I can have you. I desire you, but you are just too elusive.

They told mE to pursue you. "It's not enough," I said. "It's never really enough." They shook their heads but smiled, knowing someday I will break my resolve. "Why don't you?" they asked again. I looked down and pretended not to hear. It was eXasperating.

I was alone today. The throngs of people walked by, immersed in their own worlds. They looked happy. I smiled. I was happy, but I wanTed you. I shifted my bag on my shoulder. "I shouldn't," I told myself. "I should just go home." I followed my feet. My steps took me where I should not have gone. My steps took me to you.

"Just once. Just tonight." That was it. I couldn't take it anymoRe. I couldn't wait, but they made me wait. I had no choice. You were probably smirking. You were probably snickering. You are elusive.

The jeep couldn't run fast enough. I wouldn't have wanted it faster but still. Then I was home. Home where it's just you and me. Home where I cAn finally be with you without feeling that people are judging me because of you. Home where no one else matters. Just you and me.

But you weren't there. You weRen't here. You were not with me. You are not with me.

What happened between getting from your place to mIne? What happened while I waited for a jeep, while I held on for dear life as the jeep sped like a fighter plane across the busy streets of this city? What happened when I opened my room and you weren't there? Nothing happened. You were not there.

Sometimes I wonder why you are so hard to get. Sometimes I wonder why I can't always have you. There are people out there who get more than they need. And though there are also people who will never know how it feels to have you, at least they will never know how it feels to lose you. Sometimes I wonder if you're just doing this on purpose. Then again, I know you wouldn't. You Couldn't. It's still my fault.

I rest tonight thinking of what might have been. I rest tonight wishing I made sure you'd be here. I rest tonight still longing for you.

But I will have you. Someday, when the time is right, when, as they say, the stars have aligned, you will be mine. That glorious day will be wonderful. Maybe less for you than it is for me, but it will be magnificent in every way imaginable. You will be mine. Someday, we will finally be togEther. Someday, you, and me.


*So you probably skipped to this part hoping to find who this letter is really for. I'm afraid I won't be writing it down this time. But if you really want to know, there are random mistakes in the letter above that spell out just for whom this letter is for.

**Why I wrote it? Let's just say I didn't get what I ordered.

***And one more thing, check your items before leaving the counter. =)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Year Ago

One year ago, I woke up and got ready to fly to Cebu. We went to the airport, and I got on a plane. I arrived and got to my first boarding house. First in both senses: It was my first boarding house in Cebu. It was my first time to live in a boarding house. Since it was a Good Friday, most shops were closed. There weren't a lot of cars. I had to explore. I walked around. I crossed the street to Jollibee, which is always a reliable store. I walked around some more. Then I went back to my room. I didn't have any beddings, so yeah, I slept on a wooden bed with only the bedsheet to soften my bed. I didn't have my own fan. I had my laptop to keep me company though. I wrote a song. Then that was basically it. That was a year ago.

A year later, that is, today, I woke up and rolled around on my very comfortable bed. I stared at the ceiling, the one that always seemed to surprise me with indoor rain, and wondered what I should do today. I finally got up and cleaned the bathroom. Yeah, it was a very productive decision. Then I turned the aircon on because it was hot. I got ready to go to Ayala. I rode a taxi to Ayala because I spent about thirty minutes waiting for a jeep. And it was burning hot (figuratively of course). I ate lunch. Then I went to SM. I bought some water filters. I rearranged the books at Booksale (hihi). I bought three books (at Php110, yey). I had dinner. I went home and decided to record my first public cover of a song. I decided to let you guys hear it. Don't judge me.

So what am I trying to say here? I'm saying that there really is no telling what and where we will be throughout the years. (See what I did there? Those who know me will get it.) We can plan all we want, but it will always be God's plan that will work out. You see, I never planned on staying here this long. Actually, by my timeline, I was supposed to be pursuing further studies right now. I didn't get the scholarship. That's why I'm still here. But I think it's also because God is still preparing me. Sure, I'm not sure what it is yet, but I'm sure it's going to be awesome. Really. So while I'm still here, might as well make the best of it, right?

For the past year, I've made a lot of adventures. I met a lot of friends and did a lot of death-defying stunts (like crossing the street on my own). I also had crazy moments at several places that involved strength of body and will (Skywalk Adventure and the safari thing *oh no I forgot the name* at Mabolo *is that right?*), tests of control (numerous sales at several tempting stores like Converse, NBS, Fully Booked, Booksale, etc.), and freedom of expression (costume parties!). There was also an opportunity for me to relive my music-geeking days for free (Bloomfields, Spongecola, The Company, Rachel Ann Go, etc.) and for a fee (Phantom of the Opera and a1 Live in Cebu). The past year was exciting, disappointing, and sometimes boring and heartbreaking, but it was last year. It was last year that the journey started.

The journey continues.

So yeah, this year (well, for calculation's sake) will be another unknown year. Who really knows what will happen? Google thinks it nose [sic]. But really, you know what I'm going to say about that. The next couple of months will be something of an epic battle. Let's see who wins this time. Let's see if the war is finally over. Let's see if this little bird can finally fly.

Yeah, everything in the hands of God.

So about that song. I was supposed to record (haha such a professional term to use) the song I wrote last year, but I don't know, I got scared or something. I decided to let you hear this instead. Please don't make fun of me. Yes, I cheated with the audio settings. Bleh. Because I can. But you can also just skip it and move to another post or something. Go save yourself from the terror of my voice hehe. Yeah.

Anyway, another year, another destiny. Go, go, go!