3/29/2008
Entente amicale

"We will turn the 'entente cordial' into the 'entente amicale'," British prime minister Gordon Brown said, in light of the state visit of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

"All of you have fun," I said at the back of my head, at pretty much the same time. "All of you, but me."

For once, JP was right. Yes, him, the person in the conference that some (somehow) see as freaky, maybe stalker-ish even - he thought the conference walkout, and the threats to finally leave, was just because of stress. "Increased stress," he wrote, while wondering why I needed to be overly dramatic about the idea of, despite the accolades, letting everything go and walking away.

But finally feeling left behind is probably the worst thing you'd probably feel. Today I was watching a rerun of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and there it was. A family of three whose house seemed more of a construction area, with nothing literally left completed. It either was messy, or really messy. The mother slept in the couch, while her two boys slept in ther own rooms. The moment Ty Pennington said, "bus driver, move that bus!" you can only imagine the joy, especially of the mother, who finally had a room to call her own, after fifteen years of so sleeping on the couch.

No one left behind. It's a political promise, one that everybody had vowed to do, and spectacularly fail at. George W. Bush's education plan was called, succinctly, No Child Left Behind. Our own president wouldn't obviously use a term, because it's in English, and the majority wouldn't feel the sincerity behind it, but nevertheless the closest thing she uses is in English, or you could blame the newspapers for it. "She promises that the improvements in the economy will trickle down to the poor" has always been said so many times in her speeches.

In one way or another, all of us are guilty of leaving someone behind. It's in the words we say, the things we do, and also the other way around. It's in the words we fail to say, the things we fail to do, and the promises we fail to keep, expressed or otherwise.

I had a hard time telling that to Denise yesterday afternoon. It was the aftermath of the walkout, with people barely realizing that I'm serious about leaving for good, but eventually trying to persuade me - with ten minutes left in the show - that I shouldn't. That, or the subtler "whatever suits you" comments I got. It was happening all over again: you find a place to stay and eventually feel like, well, you're just staying there.

"It's always been that way for past many years or so," I said. Refusing to elaborate, I instead tried to put some literary flair to my response, and maybe a touch of forced wit, but I guess there wasn't any need for that. Seven years of really trying, and it's always been the same thing. "A few weeks of really, err, wonderful conversation," I continued, "and then it drops out all of a sudden. They become closer to others, and however much I try, nothing really happens. Hello, eavesdropping."

Being the sentimental fool myself, I can't help but think of the many times people grow tired and leave. That's what the content providers say: if you can't provide anything new, they'll get tired of you and leave. I'd love to blame those bitches in Alabang, or those bitches elsewhere, for that matter, but why bother, even? There's always what happened before, and of course, you can't deny that you were happy at some point with these people, back when everything was still new, and everything was still there to be discovered.

I mentioned that to Piyar last monday. Well, it's unavoidable. Time was when she'd just pop up beside me, we'd laugh for no reason, and then she'd go to class. There was the conversation about food, and the conversation about (inevitably) you-probably-know-who, but after that, people become busy, and that's the end for one who's never too busy to be talked to. And, because it has happened so many times, the wish for something (more?) permanent grows stronger.

Insert what Mon has told me way, way back, and has soon become something I always loved to mention. "Shifting priorities," she put it, way back when someone else made the rounds of the stories I kept on telling. It was a convenient excuse for change, back when I tried with no success, and yet seeing that it just happened without me trying. How selfish of me to think that only I can have shifting priorities, that I deserve far more from everybody else while failing to think that, at one point or another, I will be the least of their priorities, if I was even a priority.

Call me an attention-grabber, sure, but everybody else is like that anyway. Some people are just luckier than the others. I, for one, have always been left behind. Pretty much like me cutting the conversation when Piyar stopped waiting and started hinting at the end. Believe it or not, I didn't want to end it, but I had to, just to keep me stronger, or something.

"Call me cynical," I told Denise. "Call me the annoying cynical... but I've always felt that whatever happens to me there would merely be a token effort, and I'd still not feel that it's the same as it was before. It isn't the same, really."

Then again, you can't blame her for being achingly positive. Annoying at times, but achingly positive.

"Friends become friends for a reason," she started. At one point they found a connection, and that connection can never be lost... it might get static-y, or even lose signal at times... but its all up to us to find that connection again right... it might not be the exact same thing, but hints of it are there."

At that point, I couldn't go on reading the rest of the reply. They say that the truth hurts, and indeed, it does to an extent. Then again, there's this part of me that wants to dismiss this as mere rhetoric, as a way of cheering people up when the world is going to end in five seconds or so. Who could blame me, though? Let's see you try everything you could possibly do, maybe even poke yourself blind and just do what they do for you, just to finally feel the warmth that the heavens have long promised us. Let's see you find out that everything has virtually gone for naught, and everybody has left you behind, and everybody's got their earphones streaming all the conversation they prefer to hear, drowning out your calls for help.

Now, if you say I have been complaining about this for the longest time, and things would be better if I just move my tagged-as-stupid butt off this computer and started getting a life, then obviously you've not been paying attention. Complaining has been the best that I could do, because that gets your attention, and yes, admit it, you just want to stab me with a knife because this is not the conversation you want to hear. Good vibes, good vibes? I might leave instead.

And your responses...

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