And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

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"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tama Na Yan, Inuman Na!

translation: That's enough, let's go drinking!

Once again, I’ve been doing a bit too much thinking by myself. That’s no surprise, of course. People who know me know I tend to do that.

It really does start to get to me that the more problem-laden a girl’s life is, the closer I am to her as her friend. One of them, at one point, suggested that I was cursed or jinxed to be the one that acts as a sort of omen to those problems, that knowing me somehow causes them to start cropping up. A jest on her part, to be sure. Still, it does tend to make me think. I can’t wrap my head around the reason why I feel so much more comfortable, so much more open around people I know have problems in their personal life that are in no way connected to me. I find it at best odd, at worst highly disturbing. Maybe it turns me on in some way, the problems that loom over their heads that I can only hear about and attempt to console them? I certainly won’t put it past myself since I have rather twisted tastes at times. But I rarely see them as more than just my closest friends at the time. Sure, moments of weakness are there where I entertain thoughts of becoming, to a degree, romantically involved with them but those rarely ever go into any form of action. Although, in a way, there’s all much the same – not in the strictest sense though, as they’re all different – when it all comes down to the most basic aspects of it.

So with that, the latest in the list – Marie Grace Medina – is really no different from the ones that came ahead of her in the line. Well, to be honest she is different. Well, to be completely honest, she’s quite different from them. She’s got a very rough, calloused aura about her, for one thing. She’s definitely the most capable among them when it comes to handling her problems. She’s dealing with them quite well, considering what I know of them and how I’ve seen her react sensibly. Okay, maybe drinking them away isn’t really that sensible, but at least she’s not wallowing in self-pity for excessively long periods of time – at least, not that I’ve seen so far and I’ve been observing her for a while now. She’s certainly the most emotionally stable among the problematic girls I’ve been so fortunate to become close to before. I like her quite a bit and enjoy hanging out with her more than most of my other work buddies, even though I think both of us know that we have hardly anything in common. Still, as she put it once – and the exact degree of seriousness and accuracy of this is in doubt as she was likely drunk at the time – I’m one of the few people at work that she knows cares about her enough to really worry for her well-being. If it is worth nothing else, it is worth my time to see her through and see what happens to her, for better or worse,

Now, moving on.

I can’t recall the exact date but I certainly had a lot of fun when some of my work buddies came over and hang out at my house. It all started exactly seven days prior when I somehow let it slip that I’d be left alone for two days in the house. Grace, at the time at the lowest point I’ve seen her so far emotionally, had the idea of getting a few people together – probably the people she considers I’m most comfortable with among the whole ABU 3 unit – and getting piss-drunk. The idea stuck in my head and hers and in time, it actually looked like it was going to work. Naturally, it did but since nothing was ever really planned and a lack of any concrete thought put into the details of it, it had a few hitches. Now, the ones that actually came were as follows: myself, Lei, Pao, Mikki and Mariska. Later on, Grace arrived (about an hour later, I guess) and then, much, much later (at a time when sleep was the common activity) Che. I managed to convince Mariska to come along despite Rich being too busy to go; she managed to get Pao, Mikki and Lei to tag along as well – something I wasn’t expecting, except maybe for Lei.

We had some odd moments along the route to my place, naturally. A mild comedic moment formed when Mariska, who had the money to buy tickets for the MRT, forgot to purchase one since it somehow passed out of her mind that there were four of them. It must have been the lack of sleep that caused us to have a few good laughs out of that. We had cheap food on our menu, bought from a 7-11 along the way – aside from my buying a small bottle of vodka and a Pepsi. A little closer to my place and a taxi ride afterwards, we found a place to get their beer from. I’m still actually trying to wrap my head around whatever silly little notion got into Lei’s head that made him buy five massive bottles of Red Horse beer. I still don’t have any idea what made him do that and I don’t even want to know what he’s planning on doing with that last bottle that he went home with. After Grace talked us into it, we ended up having a Yellow Cab pizza being delivered and, for some odd reason, I wasn’t in the mood to eat any but I certainly didn’t stop them from taking it all in. She went home with leftover pizza slices – what few there were.

Ah, what fun. We all had a lot of laughs at everyone’s expense. There’s the now stuck in my head line “Get a room!” which I must have heard almost thirty times from different people (mostly Grace, myself included) directed at Pao and Mikki who really looked like they wanted to be alone badly. I must have pointed out that the room next door was empty, quiet and had a nice, comfy bed but they insisted on us staying. Lei let us all have a poke of fun at him with a self-started ‘Vilmanian’ joke (foreigners and Filipinos younger than 21 or who have never listened to older people talk about movies and actresses of the past won’t get the joke) as Mikki was surfing through the channels. This continued on sporadically until they fell asleep. We had a lot of laughs at poking fun at Grace’s serious but, frankly, very poorly worded – especially with Lei around – questions. Thankfully, she was cool with the joke too and, aside from the occasional quip, we managed to get around to letting her vent out her feelings on her current problems without interruption. Then we got back to making fun of each other – a particular favorite of mine is the constant pointing out that the guy Mariska likes in the office is gay. That was fun for me in a poetically just way since she had a couple of laughs at my expense at one time insisting I was gay because of my tastes. I don’t think anyone else found it funny but I did find the fact that Pao seemed intent on putting Mikki to sleep something worth a laugh or two. Lei was just funny all around, walking about in his boxer shorts and drinking the largest quantity of beer among the whole lot. And in the background was the loud blaring of the TV but later replaced by the sounds of my laptop’s speakers blaring out my entire music collection – aside from instrumental, J-pop and anime tracks. At some point, one of us (I don’t recall) got a message from Che asking where we were. Naturally, we began to wonder if she was planning on coming over since we all knew she was somewhere important prior to that. I called her, asked a few questions and handed the phone to Grace to give her directions mainly because we could barely understand each other. After we all burned ourselves out (we just got off from work and it was getting late. For us.) they all fell asleep one by one. First were Pao and Mikki, Mariska followed suit and then Grace didn’t need any sheep any more. For a few minutes, Lei and I talked about the old days of Magic: The Gathering but then, he drifted off to la-la land too. Then, I got a text from Che saying that she was nearby and needed someone to pick her up. I went out, left the lot of them sleeping and then helped Che to my house before I let her sleep too. She eventually woke up later on and confided in us the problems with her boyfriend and what went on earlier between them. I couldn’t catch all of it since I had to help out Mariska (who wanted to leave early but got lost) and Grace (who took a shower) but I got the gist of it. A few more laughs, some time spent relaxing and a very angry Mariska (who managed to find her way back to the house) later, they all agreed to just get together and go home since we all needed some level of sleep. Me more than them since I hadn’t slept while they got a few hours worth. As I said, Lei left with the last of the beer and Grace left with the rest of the pizza. Ah, what fun.

I seriously needed sleep, rest and some time to restore my sanity after that but it was well worth it. It was good bonding time with the gang and I hadn’t had that kind of bonding with my friends – from anywhere – in a long, long time.

Oh, and I’ve finished the Soviet campaigns of both Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge, re-finished Halo: Combat Evolved (this time under the Heroic difficulty) and I’m actually starting to enjoy watching Justice League Unlimited and The Batman, as odd as that may be for me since I dislike Superman, The Flash and most of the JLU members I’ve seen so far. And I’ve decided to play Dino Crisis 2 again, for no good reason. Not to mention continuing random research on Wikipedia.

That’ll be all for today, folks.

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