about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Friday, February 22, 2002

As it turns out, the second half of my ACCOM1A midterm wasn't as hard nor as nerve-wracking as the first. At least I can rest a bit. After all, it's the math subject I expect to use to boost my GPA (even for just a little bit). Felt great.

Looks like a long Saturday ahead of me. I'm going back to Fort Bonifacio tomorrow morning, for ROTC and our Navigator/Model Battalion units' training. That's going to last me until noon. Then I have to go to DLSU and watch this play at neighboring St. Scholastica's College at 3:30 pm. I wonder if I'm going to drift off to sleep inside the St. Scho auditorium --- not because of the lethargic atmosphere, but because of exhaustion.

Have to guide my mom to the North Conservatory at DLSU, too. She's attending this talk while I'm sweating away at Fort Bonifacio. Goodness.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

My sister's gone for three days starting yesterday. She's on her class retreat somewhere in mountainous Batulao, near Tagaytay City. Hope the whole thing's worth it, because Zobel overcharges for everything. Moreover, this is going to be her last retreat for a long while. College doesn't allow such extravagance.

Had a "date" yesterday with my favorite aunt, Tita Vik, sort of a late birthday present. We met at the Shangri-la mall in Mandaluyong. Had some pasta, pizza and a panini, then went shopping. Nothing much really, although I wish we could've done a little more. Later on I was surprised that I got her old PlayStation when my dad got home from Grandma's.

Thanks for everything, Tita!

I am seriously not happy. I botched my crucial tests --- a first-part midterm for ACCOM1A (Accounting 1) and a quiz in ALGE101 (Algebra 101). Worse, I have the second part of the ACCOM1A midterm tomorrow. Fuck. I doubt I'll be able to retain my Dean's List status. Not that it really matters to me, though, but it's something for my resume. Then again, my resume would look better if I joined an org or two while I'm here...

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Oh, yeah, I found out from The Spark's purity test that I'm actually 75% pure. Is that good or bad? You try it.

Me? I just think it means I'm too innocent.
What a week it's been.

For some reason I've been my very melancholy self this week. In a week full of significant reasons to be happy --- my turning nineteen, my blockmates' birthdays, Valentine's Day, College of Liberal Arts Week --- I've felt really lonely and detached from other people. I've felt very distracted and out of focus, wondering why sudden mood swings grip me on the very week they shouldn't.

Last Monday I turned nineteen. I was plainly surprised to see how much people went out of their way to greet me or treat me, because I've gotten so used to too many people forgetting. I even received a couple of gifts from blockmates (something I really did not expect). Denise's gift was particularly interesting: she gave me a copy of 365 Days with the Lord. She told me in her letter that God was the only one who kept her together. Well, the book was great for reminding me how much of a heretic/skeptic I've been...and it's not that I resent what my current religious alignment is.

I then get so disturbed by my age. I am goddamned old yet I have no proper lovelife to speak of. I haven't gone out on a date, much less courted a girl. I get tons of friends with whom I am not close with, even after spending the better part of most days with them. I am fiercely jealous of other people who, after only a few weeks, are better off with my own friends than I am with them.

I'm sick of living my life in a freaking bubble cage, restrained by the fear of being hated and rejected. Yet I know I am powerless against my own prison. People simply know me as an endless supply of things they need as of the moment, be it Mentos, yellow pad paper, or the explanation of "mutual assured destruction" in International Studies.

It's a sickening realization. It makes me want to kill myself. The only thing that stops me is my own fear of death.

Last Tuesday, Leslie and I treated the entire Zen barkada out to lunch at Jekyll and Hyde's, since we shared the same birthdate (I'm exactly a year older). Without my Chinese friend, I don't think I would have been able to pay for the lunch of 14 people single-handedly.

I look back at my entire stay in DLSU and I then realize that I haven't spent my time with my friends well enough. Just one look at Leslie provokes this stab of melancholic thought. Way back in first term I actually thought we got to know each other as friends. Somehow I got so distracted. Now, two terms later, I feel I am nothing more than someone who helps her foot the lunch bill; just that funny dark guy who gave her a bag for her birthday for the heck of it; who happens to share her birthday.

On Valentine's Day morning, I fumed with anger and fear.

The expressway had a fork up ahead: the left side going to Manila; the right ramp going to Makati and Quezon CIty. This old man in a champagne-gold 1991 Pajero wanted to squeeze into my left lane apparently at the last possible moment. I closed him off, since last-minute swervers like him were usually taken care of by the police. He kept flashing his headlights and honking his weird horn at me. Already annoyed at this man's stupidity, I flashed an angry middle finger.

Oops. He must have seen my angry gesture, since he angrily drove up alongside me and lowered his window. I kept my eyes on the road, avoiding his mean look, revving the engine, looking for a fast breakout in bad traffic. I tried accelerating away but too many slower cars blocked me. He turned on his red siren inside the SUV, doggedly following my every move.

At first I got scared out of my wits, fearing that he might be some old fart higher-up in some government agency. But I slowly composed myself; I remembered acquiring sirens here in the Philippines costs just PhP16,000 without regulations. Why are you so angry when what you did was so goddamned wrong in the first place? I muttered inside my glass cockpit. I dug around my glovebox to find and wear my mom's old tortoiseshell shades. I couldn't shake him off until I was well past the OsmeƱa-Buendia intersection. Apparently the old fart lost me as I quickly dove into Filmore St.

It's people like that old fart that I really hate. Then again, what I did wasn't exactly correct either. But can someone really arrest me for simply flashing him a FUCK YOU finger? I better not do that again. I might just get shot from behind while driving.

Later on that day, I played basketball in PEFORTS and sunk a freak long jumpshot/three-pointer. Fucking lucky fluke. No matter, I felt great afterwards.

This week I rediscovered Otakuboard after registering last July and forgetting my own password for the longest time. It's a pretty small board compared to the gargantuan PinoyExchange, whose Electronic Gaming members I'm really getting annoyed with. They oppose everything I say without thinking about what I write.

Otakuboard's been pretty okay actually. Still I have to spend more time posting and reading others' posts in order to truly appreciate their members.

Perhaps that's what I need to do. I need to get away from Zen and PEX, and meet new people. But how many times have I said that without thinking of the many people I've met who simply used me? It's not to say that I hate my Zen friends and PEX as a whole...but I feel so stifled. All my life I've always lived in a small world, involuntarily or voluntarily composed of only so many friends. I've never really understood why.

Do my online friends count? All I have to say is, all online acquaintances/friends MUST re-introduce themselves upon meeting in real life. It's essential. So online friends sadly don't count. Words sent through e-mail, text messaging or chat can only go so far.

I miss my friend Mitzi.

I want to join an org. Something really rewarding, please. I'm thinking of joining the DLSU Chorale since I had my LEAP class with them (and I sang pretty good bass). My block is only going to go so far, and my intense attachment to LC24 and Zen is only going to estrange me from other people after we inevitably get de-blocked in two terms' time. I want to feel what it was to be part of Counterpoint back in Zobel: one big, happy family of us editors, my staff and my friends. Sigh.

Now that I think about Zobel, I really really miss Mitzi. I want to visit her in Ateneo. But I don't have the goddamned time. Might not have the patience to make it through the "hellish" traffic of Katipunan Avenue either. But I really miss my senior year classmates. (an even bigger sigh)

Friday, February 08, 2002

Been sick for five days since Saturday. After my six-month struggle and cure with TB, kuya JM got something worse. I got asthma.

Apparently I got it from all the dusty books and magazines I kept in my room all this time. What's a guy to use to entertain himself at home when his room's got no TV, an old boombox with a defective tape player, no CD player and no computer? Sigh...sometimes I wonder if I should just go out on gimmicks in place of reading the February 1980 edition of Reader's Digest or Popular Photography.

Erik's turning nineteen today. I gave him volume 3 of Lone Wolf and Cub, an old manga that's probably Rurouni Kenshin's grandpa. Bloodier and more visceral without that morality crap. He loved it.

To my honest surprise, PEFORTS (PE 4: Team Sports) is making a basketball fan out of me. I used to regard it only as something I should watch and not play. Looks like my lay-up shot's getting better, too.

I feel a surge of Filipinized blood coming into me...

Turning nineteen myself in three days' time. A lot of things have happened since my last birthday: graduation, college, the World Trade Center snafu, the Zen barkada...but all that takes a back seat to what I think is the best thing I've done while eighteen. I actually became a better brother to Bianca.

Lately we've been doing things I never thought we'd ever do. Just last night I skipped studying for an Accounting quiz to help her with her class' movie promotional materials --- leaflets and posters. (Yes, my sister and I had to shoot movies for Filipino class in De La Salle Zobel. Call us the school of the infamous "new rich" and the children of stage parents. My HS teachers don't fucking care.) Before all that we bought flowers, crepe paper and had her photos developed. We were together all the while. And after that, we watched the PBL finals.

Must be getting better at this brother thing.