11/19/2008
Watching the stars isn't worth all the winter sweaters

I was trying to look at one of the menus laid out on the table. Kris' shoulder was blocking the one to right, which happens to be the one I was reading. I wasn't keen on the other one, because Neobie was flipping the pages around in such a high-speed manner, than I couldn't really follow anything. Then again, they took the menus because the one posted above the counter was up so high, and the text was in such a small type that nobody actually bothered to read it. Not me, though; I already had a choice and just wanted to make sure.

Kris did follow on her assurance yesterday. We were, after all, at Abondanza, which amounts to a small-ish nook behind one of the towering structures along San Miguel Avenue. I didn't really plan to have lunch with anybody today - although I was keeping the possibility on the back burner, only because Kris floated it yesterday - because I had a lot to do today. Finding newsworthy stuff is one; finding a way out of slow proxy servers is another. Luckily I managed to watch American Dad! in the past, or else I would be in overtime right now.

I ended up buying a pretty expensive dish. Heck, I figured, I'll splurge today, although the rest were a little economical in their mindset. Glenn and Kris shared the house specialty and even shared the pizza they bought with the Lasallian (former) newbies, partly because there were eight slices. Neobie, as usual, bought a small serving of lasagna, which was thankfully around to serve her. It was much like the lunch-out minus Valerie; the jibes were either aimed at Neobie's small appetite, or Glenn's large appetite. And, in many respects, I was still the most silent person in the group.

I am in disbelief, after all. These things should've happened five months ago, or at least earlier. Just when I reached my tipping point and resolved to walk out of this job at the earliest opportunity - "frozen wannabe relationships" is the way I told Joy about it - something pretty extraordinary happens. Yesterday was a surprise. Today, even more so, and only because it happened so quickly. If it keeps up, things might just change, but I'm actually thinking it will just be a last-minute effort to convince me to stay, in a time when everybody else seems bent on leaving.

With silence came the benefits. I wouldn't be able to know such mundane, useless facts. Kris was wearing a purple shirt, one of those rock festival things that you always see her wear, if it isn't obscured by her black and yellow jacket. Glenn has a brown shirt on, which felt funny to me because I was wearing green, and my reason for wearing green was my earthy feeling this morning. Neobie had a pink sweater on, and she never took it off until the middle of the meal, when she revealed a black top with a wider-than-usual neckline, if that is indeed the term for it. (No, not plunging. You know what I mean, right?)

Seems she's still battling the cold despite the lack of it. She's still sick, despite being rushed to the hospital. Throughout the sixty minutes I spent with the group, it smelt like ointment, or as Glenn joked, a church. I didn't bother figuring out where it came from, because it was obvious from the get-go. It's only funny that Neobie, who was seated beside me like last time, can't smell anything.

Then there's the fact that scallops aren't as chewy as they sound. I bought that large plate of pasta - I didn't know it was that large - because I thought scallops looked like shell macaroni, despite me having seen them on those cooking shows on cable. There's awkward music, and then there's Kris trying to talk to me, which I barely heard because the restaurant was full of chatter and piped-in trying-hards.

"Okay, update me," giddy fangirl Valerie later went. "What happened?"

"Four to Abondanza," I went. Hesitated. "Went surprisingly well, except perhaps for personal awkward moments with" I won't tell you guys, I'm sorry, although it's pretty obvious. "I don't know. I was still the most quiet among the four. Si Kris lang ata kumakausap sakin, eh."

"Okay," she went. "But progress, you think?"

"On one side. On one insy-winsy side."

Walking back to the office, I was a little too self-conscious. It was, again, like the lunch-out - two hands on my back pockets, weighing me down so that I can walk a little slower. Yet, past the corner, I was ahead of those three, holding an actual conversation. Flamboyance, faked naïvete, stern authority, and me realizing that, after all, I'll never relate because they're talking about television shows, again.

I was working on a personality quiz for American Dad!, which traditionally took three hours to finish. I was done in a little over one, partly because the characters are well defined, and partly because I can imagine myself in one, or all, positions. Other people pay little attention to you, I described one character, and this makes you feel quite depressed - until, of course, you start to daydream.

"I guess... she was trying, right?" Then Valerie laughed.

"She is, she is," I answered. "Kagulat eh. After five months!"

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