9/12/2008
Planned community headjam

I had a benign realization during one of those idle moments on the shuttle home: I'm fond of creating settings.

My childhood, in a way, is pretty weird. Some might already know that I had a notoriety for creating newspapers from scratch, writing everything by hand - "photos" and "news articles" and "advertisements" - and making up stories along the way. The time will soon come when I'd actually write about my classmates and my crushes, but back in the innocent days, I'd write about swearing mayors and Pokémon being raised in captivity. (Come to think of it, the former's come close to new Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and his "let's fix the biggest god damn crisis in the history of this country" line.)

I think it was my desire to be actually out and about. My childhood was pretty sheltered, which can probably be the reason for my social anxiety. I remember being envious of my aunts and uncles because they were able to eat lunch at 7-11, while my only choice whenever we're out is Jollibee. Perhaps it was me and my fascination with urban settings, more specifically with the way they looked. Do you know anybody else who drew gas stations on scratch paper during their childhood?

Today, on another of my solo lunches, I decided to not walk towards Pearl Drive, which I've always done for the past ten weeks. This afternoon, I walked the other way, and bought lunch at the Ministop (that's how it's apparently spelled) branch nearby. Instead of walking through a somewhat manicured side road, with the sight of students either smooching or with their headphones clamped, I instead walked along a busy street, with a construction site nearby. It never felt so good.

I don't really know why, though. Perhaps it's the Ministop's half-basement location, or the knowledge that you're surrounded by call centers agents who just finished their shifts and anxious to grab a quick lunch so they can call home. Perhaps it's the change in perspective - a respite from the old, a reintroduction to the familiar, a something else for someone who's lost his sense of fascination over the years. I had the usual frozen lunch, though, only I had to microwave it myself, unlike in the Ministop along Pearl Drive. And the iced coffee tasted different.

My mind hopped back to my film writing days, when finally, I had the chance to make something out of my life story. Anybody remembered Our Lady of the Abandoned? it was this screenplay about a guy who can't tell his feelings toward his female best friend. I had fun with the way the dialogue slipped and slided between Anton and Mitchie, but I had similar fun with the way I made the most out of a Metro Manila map and my ability for directions. It's as if I was the one inside the jeepney, poking fun at the exact social anxiety I was fleshing out of me.

I guess it's my love of cityscapes, or whatever they call it now. Skylines, skyscrapers, sky's the limit, whatever. Now that I'm living the life I hoped to live as a naïvely imaginative kid, I realize that it's all the same, and you can't really do much to make it as amazing as it seemed to be. Not even the screenplays I wrote would perhaps give justice to it. In the end, I'll just keep what I saw today in mind as I walk back to where I should be, and stretch my neck out, and say goodbye, and realize that the scent of perfume has lingered on my nose... and I realize I haven't any. Not all details have been kinked out, obviously. My imagination can only do so much.

And your responses...

Post a Comment