Gin and ironic.

14 June 2008

The girl I met in NSO last week would be halfway to Guam right about now. She was also getting her birth certificate because she was going to migrate to live with her fiance. She’s never been to Guam, and she has barely seen her fiance for more than two weeks at a time since they got together two years ago. I asked her how she knew this was the one, and she said that he’s kind, unlike all the others, and he didn’t just love her, he loved her whole family. I met the girl in the morning when we were lining up and we waited in the sweltering heat together for about five hours. When our numbers were being called I went first because I was ahead by about ten people, and when I looked back I had lost her in the crowd. I didn’t get to hear the rest of the story.

Jo and I have been messaging since last week, and I miss her. I have very few really good friends as it is, and they end up being scattered all over the globe. In a way it makes the world seem smaller, although with very large neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that can be extremely difficult to cross. There is, after all, nothing like being able to just call up a friend and go out, just because. There are certain kinds of friends that one can do that with, no questions asked, where you don’t feel compelled to explain every life and career update, and don’t have to face the awkward silence that ensues after all the updates are exhausted. Instead the silences are natural, comfortable, a lounge chair on a breezy day. I’m lucky to have people like this. I need this, this warmth of friends who know me well, because I can be too self-sufficient sometimes. I’ve thought on my own, and walked on my own, and developed my own quirks that never became a cause for apology. I want a life that changes the world, but I’ve prepared myself to live a solitary one, so I need to get jarred out of it as often as it takes.


from xkcd


I’ve been finding that a lot of the writing I enjoy reading, and sometimes those which I enjoy making, involve this personism. It’s where the piece is essentially a conversation between the writer and its reader, and thus intimate, familiar. See Personism: A Manifesto by Frank O’Hara in 1959, who declares that everything is in the poems, and “as for measure and other technical apparatus, that’s just common sense: if you’re going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with you. There’s nothing metaphysical about it.”  

“I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.” -Frank O’Hara


So here is what I want right now: a joyride through the night on Manila streets with an old friend. Sparse conversation, a few laughs, comfortable-ness. And the rest of the time would be filled with driving. Fuck gas prices. I need a ride where I don’t have to think. One of the things about bar review is that it shifts your mind away from registering change. Instead, you are lulled into routine, the monotony of one sitting airconditioned day slipping unnoticeably into the next identical day, words words words, articles, sections, cases, enumerations, definitions. Your sense of wonder dissipates. This whole law business starts to feel more and more like make-believe. Some are logical rules, yes, even intuitive. But most are like.. I don’t know, little castles made of popsicle sticks which you painstakingly glue against each other. Turns and corners and trapdoors galore. My brother and I made one of those once, when I was around ten, a small house with a balcony constructed entirely out of wooden chopsticks (we had hundreds) and gluestick, about the size of an architect’s model. We displayed it for a good number of years but then eventually I think it got thrown out or lost in a bodega when things were being moved around at home. I think the study of the law can be a grand thing, but how real can it be when you get to a new place and all the rules are different? It’s the same reason why there can be doctors without borders but never lawyers. I want a job, an occupation, a vocation that seeks, develops, establishes universal truths, and does not obscure them.


Currently reading: “Slowly, I began to understand why the cultivation of the philosophical mind needs quiet surroundings. The world of thought is uncompromisingly a silent and solitary one. In the prolonged hours of solo reading, I discovered the pleasures of the self, more precisely of being reintroduced to oneself over and over … Everything we do should be life-promoting, Nietzsche wrote, as if to mock the constant pessimism that most intellectuals wear like a badge. When he says that we must create our lives the way a poet crafts a poem, and invent out own virtues as our personal defense and necessity, he challenges us to fashion our lives in freedom. He forces us to look inward and to ask of ourselves whether our lives thus far have been lived with sufficient nobility and beauty so that we may merit a chance at rebirth.” –Randy David, Public Lives, 1998


Tonight I want a ride under street lights, pretty neon signs, empty skyscrapers. I want to stop at a place with people I didn’t know and see them living and drinking and talking, and rediscover why I am doing what I do. I want new stories. I need to see new things, hear new, feel new, and maybe by taking me away from what I am supposed to be doing and cutting away the precious time left, a sense of urgency would finally descend upon me. (B, if you’re reading this, get off your ass and let’s go.)

Ah well. It is Friday night. Why am I not out getting piss-drunk somewhere?


8 Responses to “Gin and ironic.”

  1. annabanana said

    You know how it is when you jump into the pool, hold your breath under the water, and examine the things around you with your chlorine-splashed eyes? And then you try to eavesdrop on conversations people have on dry land, but you never seem to understand these faint murmurs.

    That is how I feel about the Bar Review. Real life’s suspended, and every thing true seems so distant.

    (But at this specific point in time and space, you know very well I’m ecstatic hehehe)

  2. happycamper said

    Ohh yeah! that is exactly how it feels. you’re underwater and you know things are happening someplace else, but all you hear are these gurgling sounds and everything’s blurry.. and all you can do is JUST KEEP SWIMMING FOR DEAR LIFE. hehe.

  3. b. said

    See bunny, I wasn’t able to read this before but we did get up and leave today, albeit for a very few cautious hours… Balut sisig is so worth it.

    Keep swimming, everything’s bound to get clearer pretty soon. Even the law.

  4. happycamper said

    Even the law? let’s hope so. =p

    Let us spread the word on the oh-so-goodness of sizzling balut sisig! I want some more.

  5. b. said

    I ate the pasalubong I brought for anya. Because she wasn’t home when I got back, and not for a very long time (2 hours, that’s the waiting time) Ha. Ha. Yeah, low EQ. And daym, that stuff is gooooood.

  6. kouji said

    reminds me that it’s been way too long since my last long drive. you’ve got your manila streets. me, i long for highways and smaller provincial roads.

    nice stream of consciousness writing here.

  7. happycamper said

    thanks haiku master. :)

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