Sunday, January 31, 2010


On my way home, I happened to pass by my old high school.

I was surprised by the number of cars parked along the street that made the street narrower. It took some time before it registered to me that it is that time of the year when the school celebrates its foundation day celebrations. Part of the celebration has always been the alumni homecoming. Where other schools celebrate homecoming by batch, it has been a held tradition that all alumni, from 16 to 96, are invited to attend. Tables are reserved for each batch while the host batch have their pride of place front and center, with the biggest number of tables and the biggest number of beer crates at their disposal.

I have not attended the Alumni Homecoming for the past five years.

Coming from an exclusive school, it's inevitable that everyone puts their best foot forward whenever we gather. Such is one of the reasons why the streets outside have become the cesspool of traffic considering it was a Saturday: some people just can't show up without bringing their cars. And like male peacocks at the sight of a peahen in heat, everyone strives to be in their best form and colors: the best cars, the best jobs, the best positions, the best trophy wives, the best signature shirts money can afford. Everyone is out for the kill, striving to become the best version of themselves to show to the others.

But then, again, almost all reunions are like that; even family reunions. No one wants to be labelled as the least improved.

What turned me off from going to the reunions is the caste system still in place. If you think that after 12 long years, the divisions made during highschool have disappeared, then you are tragically mistaken. The popular ones are still the popular ones; the bullies are still bullies; the outcasts, still outcasts. It's as if nothing has changed, and you're back to your gangly 16 year-old self. And the taunts used on you then are still being employed now, regardless of whether they still hold weight or not.

I seem now to be painting my highschool life in a bad light, and that is not my intention. I didn't have it bad in highschool, I actually have fond memories of that time. But then, again, some memories are better left at that - memories. I don't need to be reminded of it every year when I see the same faces attending the reunion who are mostly there for the free beer.

I don't mind reconnecting with old schoolmates. It's just that I'd rather establish new connections with old names.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Great Place

Today marks my last day at the work I loved. I lasted 4 years and 8 months.

Indeeed, all good things come to an end.

But who would've thought I'd still be busy on my last day?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It took me the entire day to clean my room, and even then, it wasn't as thorough as I would have wished. I have too much stuff; I have too much trash. Fortunately, there are some treasures mixed in with the trash. I finally found my glasses; they weren't broken, as I originally thought.

I have become myopic during college ever since I acquired the urge to read and collect books. Doing an all-nighter with Stephen King at the helm could certainly wreak havoc on your eyes. But reading was such a pleasure then that I can go to class with less than three hours of sleep, and come nightfall, resume my nightly vigil with the novel of the week. Blurriness was just a minor inconvenience; the writings on the board after all, come to focus when I squint. And it does help that I am given a seat front and center, thanks to the alphabetical seating arrangement.

I only surrendered to the fact that I needed glasses during the review. Seats have been reserved, and I wasn't able to situate myself at the front. I have no plans of squinting for four straight hours every day just to see what the proctors are writing. Finally, I lowered my ego and decided to purchase my first glasses with 50:50 lenses. That one served me a good four years, until my habit of sleeping with glasses on finally broke it. It cost me an arm to purchase those glasses; and I replaced it with a pair one-fourth its value. It really is amazing, the things you can buy as a student, you can barely afford when you become gainfully employed.

I stopped wearing my glasses a couple of years ago, after I suffered from a torrent of daily headaches. My initial suspicion of course, was that the glasses were causing the headaches to erupt. I borrowed glasses with a higher grade, but still the headaches prevailed. In hindsight, I should have suspected work to have been the culprit, and not the glasses. But the damage was done, and my specs were buried with the rest of my trash, to collect dust with all the stuff that I didn't have the heart to throw.

And throw stuff, I did, with impunity. It's amazing how much nonchalance I felt over throwing stuff that just a year ago caused me pain to part with, if even just to hide. I have admitted, time and again, that I collect garbage: movie tickets, restaurant receipts, bus and plane tickets, credit card statements - they all pile up in my room to await verdict as to its seeming importance, or its utter worthlessness. Problem is, sometimes, I can't decide the matter, or would choose not to decide on it, claiming sentimentality over such trivial things, like the date, or the person, or the event, that was evidenced by that receipt, that ticket or that incurred debt.

Out of all that garbage and evidence of mundane existence, I found my glasses. And for the first time in years, I was able to enjoy the new year's fireworks as they should be: with clarity and in detail. It was like a revelation - the things in the past did not happen like a blur, as I felt it did; it was a blur because I chose to see it as such. I was hiding under my own myopic vision, confronting only those that are already in my limited point of view; afraid of those beyond my reach. I knew my road would diverge from the path I was currently traversing, I just didn't want to acknowledge it, afraid of the changes it would entail. It was a foolish, childish thing to do, but I didn't want the risk it involved. I know now that I have to face it, and I was merely delaying my decision.

The new year offers new beginings. This one resonates more truthfully for me now, more than ever. Change is the world's constant, and it will occur whether you want it to or not, all we can to do is prepare for it. My path is still not clear, but I know that I can face it.


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