7/19/2008
Complicatedly simple

"Actually it's just a simple gesture," Asia said. "But you know, simple gestures are the things people remember best."

On the other hand, I call it an accident. In between profiles and news articles, I was browsing through everybody's ramblings when I chanced upon hers. She claimed yesterday was her worst day ever, and I since I don't have the space to give my two cents like I always do, I decided to do it privately. (Well, it's no longer private now, but let's just say it was.)

I just asked her, out of wide-eyed curiosity. So, what is your best day ever?

I logged in tonight without any recollection of whatever I said. I was caught up, perhaps, with trying to finish the stuff they asked me to redo out of double-sided miscues, or counting down my progress with Sam, or avoiding the distraction that missing people does. Then, there was Asia's answer, which I'll not divulge here, because I'll be honest - it's pretty irrelevant to what I'm trying to say.

"I guess," I responded hours later. "It still amazes me, though. Sometimes I just get surprised na, 'whoa, that meant a lot?'"

I don't really know why, but perhaps I wasn't made to do the smaller things. I tend to gravitate towards big plans, never mind that I don't finish them, but it's something exhilarating for me. From giving Kizia the perfect birthday gift, to pulling off an impromptu anorak-favorable radio game, I have a penchant for the complicated, and eventually, for what affects the most.

That means two things. One, it would take me a while to figure out a way to make someone happy. Two, and perhaps most importantly, I get very surprised when I do make someone happy despite not having a big plan - when all it takes is impulse and the means to do it. The downside is, despite having instant gratification upon knowing that you've somehow changed someone's life - and given yourself opportunities for what eventually evolved as "ego bleeping" - you're still floating around for that one chance to do it intentionally. In other words, do things that romantics call sweet.

"How I hope I could do that to the people I want to do them to," I said.

"Really?" Asia replied. "Bakit naman hindi?"

"Ewan," I bluntly answered. "You know the people you genuinely want to make happy, pero nahihiya ka for some reason?"

"Yep," she went. "Of course."

"It always happens to me," I continued. "Okay, bluntly, I like some people. And I've always wanted to do that. But, well, I couldn't. Nahihiya perhaps. Or, worse, natotorete."

For some reason, I feel guilty when I feel happy about making someone happy. I guess it comes with what I've always thought of people - of my inherent cynicism that Kelly couldn't scrub off - and how it always works out. I actually feel selfish when I realize that the person on the other end of the line is thanking me profusely for what I apparently have just done. Say, I said something that made a lot of sense, and while I soak myself in the idea that I was of help, I feel that I shouldn't because it seems like what politicians always do: application of perfume.

"Gawin mo," Asia said. "I dare you. Let's set a deadline, daliii."

We haven't set a deadline yet, but maybe I should, because there have been so many chances that I let slip, especially when I think about how happy it will make me. They say being concerned about others is inherent in humans, and with the way people put a premium on it now - corporate social responsibility, anyone? - it's also being portrayed as something that does wonders to you. I still inherently see it as campaign fodder, but if you want something, then you might as well work hard for it, right? Big plans or, as she put it, simple gestures, regardless of whether you've lost the other end, or have yet to.

And your responses...

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