12/01/2007
Incoherence (with Lizette singing in the background)

As word of a curfew started to go around, I was at McDonald's buying fries. It is a long line, as it has always been every weekday, and in my case, weeknight. I'm also running out of money since I've spent a particular lot that day, basically on a shirt I'm not willing to buy, but am required to.

Three large fries to get us through the journey. I attended someone's debut - someone I don't even know, nor my parents. Her father is a high school friend of theirs, though, and when the family came back from the States to hold a characteristically-Filipino debut, I was volunteered to be one of the eighteen treasures. As if I had something to say about the girl they call KD. We're obviously not very close, despite the host's insistence.

Back to McDonald's, though, and my phone, which has all of a sudden refused to make a sound whenever a text message comes in, has received a phone call from my mom. I'm to cross the road, bringing three large fries to get us through the journey, from Manila to Quezon City. As I left the counter, clumsily holding six books, a portfolio and take-out, there was this girl surrounded by around three or four guys. Her face, I remember very well - sort-of Chinese features, glasses, and to be honest, as tall as me. And then it hit me.

She happens to be Chex.

"I think I saw you at [McDonald's]," I texted her from the car, while thinking about what to say about what supposedly makes me and KD close.

"Yeah, am at McD," she replied. "Oh, I didn't notice," she later replied, after I replied. "You [could've] said hi."

A disclaimer is in place. To be able to fulfill her aspirations of working for Pixar, she's taking up multimedia arts at CSB, after finishing her studies in math from somewhere in California. If anyone remembers MJ from two years ago - yes, he who insists on calling himself Mari after we graduated - well, he's also an MMA student. I vividly remember his complaints when we still had contact - there aren't many women in his course. And I'm saying this because you might think I'm getting timid again.

But my point lies in the fact that, as of late, my online friends - if they should still be called as such, because I've met three of them, and saw around three more - have become bookmarks more than contacts. Time was when I'd double-click on the words Chex Li and chat with her until her connection drops, which always happen. It's much like when I'd double-click on the words Ella Ferrer and chat with her about radio, or Issa Marcelang about Sarah, or Katrina Naval on Kizia. And before you think that I'm sulking about not moving forward - either they're studying, coming home at eleven in the evening, or serving passengers (rather than snakes) on a plane - I'm not. Rather, it's about me having people in real life to talk to.

Don't think I'm desperate. I've always had them. Maybe I was forced to reconsider after everyone became busy, or seemed angry at me. Another good thing is, I don't spend on electricity when I talk with them, although I similarly waste energy talking, knowing they will eventually forget. At least you see their reactions and can hold back, but eventually you feel uncomfortable and you'd wish it never happened.

Oh, but when you're too free you'd never know what the other side feels. How many times have I said something and things went awry so quickly? It happened with Issa, it happened with Ella, and yes, it feels twice as uncomfortable, particularly because you can't say sorry elsewhere but online. You'd wish they forgot about it instead - besides, everything done online is immediately forgotten - but, yes, I am paranoid too.

Sometimes it is good to aspire for balance. You can share some things in reality, and hold back on others, reserved for sharing (surprisingly) with the people who are supposed to know you less, and not care much. There are the positive things - Issa, I'd insist, is still the best friend I've never gotten around to meeting, well, maybe until she entered a relationship. But let's not sulk about it, Instead, wonder about why I didn't say hi to Chex that night. You've got a lot to speculate about. To fan it, I did stare at her for three seconds wondering whether it is her I'm looking at. I looked stupid for three seconds at McDonald's!

Oh, wait. Lizette wants me to hear her sing. Yes, she sings, and it wasn't really evident during the meet-up. So maybe that's how it all ends. Better that, than me guessing that the debutante likes tween songs and sounds so, well, American.

And your responses...

yeah, e-friends are great. actually, i think i'm a fan of them. because i suppose it's so hard to find a setting in the real world wherein you could sit down and talk for hours (without losing interest) like you can with an e-friend.

though yeah, despite all the hours of talking, it sometimes feels that you can't feel close to them as you would with a real life friend (or is it just me?). after all, at the end of the day, it's just the monitor you're talking to.

but still, here's to more e-friends. they are great. =)

Anonymous ~12/04/2007     

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