Tag Archives: non fiction

Stoichiometry

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Once, I thought it was enough to have one thing in common–music, books, movies, food. I believed it was enough to fill the void that exists between two people.

Opposites attract.

They complement each other.

But then you realize, it isn’t. There are silences that weigh you down, heavy enough to open your eyes to make you realize that no, it takes more than that. Chemistry, maybe? I don’t know.

***

I didn’t expect that a simple car ride would end up to mean a lot to me. When that song started playing and the first few verses reminded me of Patrick, I couldn’t help but ask, “Homesick at Space camp?” No, it wasn’t that song but seeing you smile so wide, surprised that someone other than you knew about that, made me realize that I made the right guess, the right answer, to a question I didn’t know I was asking that time.

And so we talked about Fall Out Boy. Believe me, I was as surprised as you are, when I found out you liked their old songs. I didn’t really know anyone else who did aside from my high school friends. That was the band that got me closer to them and now, it’s doing the same thing by getting us closer, providing topics for our late-night chats. Do you know this one? Were you shocked when they got back from hiatus? Name your top 5 favorite FOB songs. How about this other band, do you like them? We could talk about them for days.

They say one common similarity could only take you so far and I wondered how long we could keep this up. We did, though. It’s been a month since I gave you that link and watched their concert together, we’re still here. We still keep each other up at night, way up, that I wonder how much time you have to be doing this while keeping up with school. Or who else you’re talking to. I didn’t even think we would be talking to each other, that we would have something to talk about since you seemed quiet, the basketball player everyone likes (I was right about that, to some extent) so I was surprised–and still am–that we hit it off.

***

You like sports. I like literature.

Kobe was your God. I think LeBron can beat him anytime.

You said you didn’t like Lizzie McGuire. Hilary Duff was my role model when I was an awkward teenager.

Norah was good for Barney, you told me. I think she was overbearing.

You pointed out how we seemed to not like the same things. Of course, I began to worry. How couldn’t I? It could mean how we’re not compatible. It could be a big roadblock. Yet, I realized how it was more interesting that way.  I like reading the passion in your messages whenever you try to tell me why you’re into those things, convincing me to believe it as well. I almost did, especially after you gave me 5 supporting statements as to why Kobe Bryant is the greatest NBA player of all time.

***

In a balanced chemical reaction, the relations among quantities of reactants and products typically form a ratio of positive integers.

I guess that’s also the reason why two positives repel each other; a positive and a negative attract each other. There is no one without the other. You can’t always agree on everything; you need something to spur a discussion. Ironically, those differences are the ones building the bridges between us, our similarities providing the scaffolding. I hope that as we get to know each other, we learn to accept this even more. I can’t wait to hear more about you and I can’t wait to tell you more about me. I just hope you’ll let me.

Did I tell you how watching a movie together while being in different places is part of my bucket list? Isn’t it funny how we were watching Landon cross things off Jamie’s List in “A Walk to Remember” and, in the process, you checked something off mine?

 

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coffee (n.)

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Late-night conversations and spontaneous movie viewing with you always seem to be the highlight of my day. We can talk for endless hours non-stop that I begin to wonder if this is how it feels to have time stop for you, for our little secret, for us. Before we know it, it’s already 4 o’clock in the morning and it’s time to sleep. We don’t need to worry, though. We know that when night falls, the honesty of the late hour draping over us, we know we can find each other again. You keep me up at night and I don’t mind.

Press Rewind (An Excerpt)

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4. All You Need is Love – The Beatles

The thing about not being too affectionate as a family is that you learn to gauge things by feeling them, using your intuition of some sort. Receiving “God bless ingat” is probably an equivalent of “I love you” or “I care for you.” Likewise, my brother staying at my lolo’s house, which is just beside ours, must mean that my mom is angry and therefore should not be crossed, leaving us to behave in our best behavior as possible. We’re not the type to really prod about each other’s lives that much, so I have always wondered what my parents’ favorites and even peeves are. With my dad spending only a few months at home every year because of his work, I’ve always wondered what he was like the most.

Being the ate, I was tasked to at least clean some parts of our house, to wipe the dust off our cabinets every morning. Even though it seemed like a tedious task sometimes, it was how I discovered my dad’s collection of CD’s—AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and, oddly enough, Shania Twain. Except for the fact that those bands were metal bands from the 80’s, I didn’t know them that much. However, it was his Abbey Road CD that caught my attention the most. I knew who The Beatles was and so I felt that this was something I could relate to. I knew their songs, liked most of them, and it made me happy to know that my dad did, too.

As soon as I saw the trailer for Across the Universe, a movie musical which not only featured Jim Sturgess, an actor who I liked, but also featured Beatles songs, I knew I wanted to watch it and so I did, thanks to a copy I found off the dorm network back when I was in freshman year. Hearing all the Beatles songs, I couldn’t help but think of my dad. He would probably like this.

During that sem break, my dad was back at home, taking a break off work. It was one of those afternoons when the world just seemed so peaceful, the sun’s heat at just the right temperature, enough for us to rest for a while after having lunch. My mom and brother were sleeping while I, on the other hand, was on the bed, using my laptop, when suddenly my iTunes playlist played a random Beatles song off the movie’s soundtrack.

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy

As soon as the opening lines were sung, I tried to maximize the player’s volume and tried to sneak a look at my dad, who was sitting on the couch. Just as I guessed, he recognized the song. I saw him humming along the lines of the song, gently tapping his hand on the arm rest. I watched him and marveled at that moment when I felt like I had him figured out. Even if we didn’t really get to see each other 365 days a year, I felt like I knew him that well. He eventually looked at me and smiled. Then, I scanned my playlist for more songs I could play for him.

Happy father’s day to all the father’s out there, especially to my own! Thank you very much for introducing me to the wonderful world of technology and music, for teaching me that when the going gets tough, laugh, and for showing us what “unconditional love and sacrifice” really means. Please know that we all miss you and hope you to see you soon. I wish you can come home and see me receive my diploma during my college graduation. 🙂

Awkward hugs and reading subtexts

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The day I received the news that I would be graduating First Honorable Mention instead of Valedictorian, as most people expected me to be, the first thing that came to mind was, “How in the world am I going to tell my parents?” I know I may have been overthinking that time but I dreaded having to see my mom during lunch time. I expected her to get angry at me, scold me, and tell me how disappointed she was for what I had not achieved. So come lunch and with the egging of my friends (I had them come with me for support), I told her the news. I was already bracing for the worst when she calmly said, “Ingana gyud na. Maayo gihapon.” (That’s how it is. That’s still good.) I could not believe my ears. Then, we went out to eat.

You see, my mom’s not all that bad. In fact, she’s been everything but. All this time, she’s been supportive of me and the things I do and have achieved. She’s always been there for us, preparing our school stuff, and being that father figure my brother and I sometimes long for whenever our dad is away from home because of work. Then again, I sometimes wish our relationship would be more than just casual conversations. I imagined myself talking to her about that cute guy who happened to pass by the hallway or how there’s this girl who’s a total snob.

Then again, when I think about it, I think I’m okay with what I have. I guess there’s a certain and subtle understanding whenever we tell each other “okay” or “God bless” as you can see if you’ll check our SMS conversations. I guess I’ve learned that you don’t really have to show you care for someone in an obvious, the-whole-world-can-see-it kind of way. You show it through the things you do; you make them feel it.

 

Meh, thank you very much for everything. It’s funny crazy how we grew closer now that I’m living in the dorm. Thank you for always looking out for us, for putting Adrianne and me ahead of you and your happiness, for all the sacrifices that you made for us. I know for a fact you made a big one when you decided to have me and I hope you’re happy with that decision. Thank you for always filling in daddy’s shoes whenever he’s away and for being a good wife to him, making us understand why he’s where he is most of the time. I’m sorry for the times I failed and/or disappointed you, for the times when I thought you didn’t care. I was being rebellious, pretty stupid, really.

The way I see it, you’ve raised us well. Adrianne turned out to be a good guy, fun-loving yet still respectful and responsible. As for me, I’m going to graduate and show you and daddy how all your hardwork was all worth it. I’ll help you out once I get a job. We’ll go to different places–Hong Kong, Korea, Paris, you name it–and I’ll shower you with the love you deserve.

So there. Happy mother’s day! 🙂