It must be you

Yes, not everything happens the way they do on television. There is no grand moment towards the end of the story arc where everybody comes together and unknowingly rallies for the same cause. People from near and far coming together to bring the show home, to push the ending towards happy territory for one last time, tie this plot nicely into a bow? That never happens. We all know that.

And yet, well, wouldn't it be nice if that happens?

Wouldn't it be nice if, in your lowest point, and just when you're feeling at your worst, people see and start rallying to your cause? Everybody you've met at some point - and, ideally, have forged relatively strong bonds with - recognizes you're at your lowest point, comes to you, and does every little bit, or any little bit, to pull you back.

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Present tense

I was one of those people who went straight to their bookshelves - although mine isn't really one - as soon as we learned of the death of Anthony Bourdain. I have one of his books, although it's not the one others are likely to have. I made a conscious decision years ago to buy his compilation of essays for magazines (with, at the end, some fiction thrown in), thinking it would be more helpful to me.

I haven't finished the book. It coincided with the time when I decided to drop everything - well, not everything, but I put a hold on my book queue and my television shows, a hiatus that is somehow still in place two and a half years later. I did not have a ready quote to cite in tribute, so I spent some time riffling through the pages, hoping for something, anything, to pop out. In hindsight, I shouldn't have put that much effort into making a meaningful part of the conversation. I mean, nobody would notice. There was a lot going on.

I am six seasons behind on Parts Unknown. That also fell victim to the hiatus. I'm perhaps the only person in this urban agglomeration to not have seen that episode on the Philippines, the episode where Tony (can I call him that, too?) ate at a Jollibee. After his death, I still haven't. There are other, more pressing things to be done.

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I liked this sort of photo at the time. Flash plus lots of action. It's a point-and-shoot; nothing was in my control. I use this today, ten years later.

I remember nothing about my graduation day, exactly ten years ago today.

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No pressure

I got my first wedding invitation today.

Well, I have been to many weddings before, of course. I was, at one point, the ring bearer, for the wedding of my aunt to an American. It wasn't for a Catholic wedding, but that does not matter one bit.

Still, all those weddings, I was a hanger-on, for lack of a better term. It's a relative getting married - an aunt, and later, cousins - and it's impossible to beg off. There were also two instances when it's a work colleague getting married, but even then I wasn't invited because I was a respected colleague, but because I also happen to be the son of their boss. I'm not sure if that does not matter one bit.

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But not for long

The past week saw two relatively high-profile suicides. I say "relatively" because, face it, not everybody cares about a handbag designer or a food writer; not everybody can claim to have a pulse about the worlds of fashion or artfully-shot and masterfully-written social documentaries with a touch of punk spirit in them. Still, high-profile enough to warrant an outpouring of grief inescapable enough to be noticed.

These being suicides - we know little about them, but the word itself just screams something visceral, "suicide" - there was that degree of urgency, the sort of thing you get, without really understanding what it is, when the reality of the situation hit home. Kate Spade lent her name to a fashion empire. Anthony Bourdain was known the world over for his essays and documentaries. Together they managed to link people together, whether it be through shared tastes, worldviews or aesthetic. All this success, and all this time they were battling demons?

Just goes to say depression can hit any one at any time.

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