11/09/2008
We've been naughty, all right

Somewhere in the depths of cyberspace, a stupid photo is lurking. It may seem harmless, but so many questions come to mind upon seeing it, and perhaps doing a little more research. What are two people doing in a convenience store, taking a photo of their reflections on a mirror? Why are these two people, who only met that night, taking such a photo?

And why is one of them seemingly fascinated by it? To be exact, "parang nasa loob tayo ng spaceship."

To make matters more complicated, Elaine was one of those people who collided on my path because of the seemingly small world I revolved in. There are the many common friends, mostly the folks from GMG who seem to stick to each other like magnets in a field. It was the opening night for last year's Cinemalaya film festival, and I was there to watch Foster Child (and perhaps do some celebrity spotting). There was this girl from the lower batch who came up to me - well, not exactly, since Clarence did the networking - who was asking for help for a reaction paper she was working on. Conveniently, she was taking the same Las Piñas bus that I took, so with a bunch of people sticking together like magnets in a field, we exchanged numbers and vowed to do business, not realizing that I already was smitten for her before.

The conversation in aid of reaction didn't really last long, and nothing else came after. The unique qualities of Miguel's second floor meant we'd bump into each other occasionally, especially when I later met some of her batchmates, but that was it. It'd be a cliché if I mention something along the lines of "we all went our separate ways," but the small world we were in would eventually get the better of us.

"Ay diyos ko po," I told Chelle. The breakthrough was the sign of the cross.

"Ako rin," Elaine later posted. The breakthrough was the sign of the cross.

Seven months later, our rare conversations have become quite risky, to say the least. The gesture that tried to quell Chelle's chocolate-powered angst became, quite unnecessarily, a little joke. She was the naughty girl and I was the unwitting authority absolving her sins. We'd have random conversations online and it'd descend towards badly-veiled innuendo, and we'd get a weird kick out of it. Maybe it is the risky nature of what we were doing - eventually we'd play on our being so "bad" people - and while I never really understood why it elicited such a reaction, at least from me, it eventually went on its way and defined everything.

In a way, Elaine has this complicated, indescribable sense of openness to her. And yet, she also has this shroud of mystery, and you're left to make out an idea of who she is through the handful of conversations, the many posts on Facebook, and the mean streak she always brings to her photos. The painfully curious person in me would try to figure out what exactly makes her tick, and why I am unfortunately drawn towards her. Just when I thought I figured it out, other things would show up and all my assumptions are suddenly thrown in disarray. She's not who I thought she was, I figured. I guess she's just one of those people I'll never really have a grasp of. And then we'll proceed to laugh about our misplaced sense of humor.

"So di na pwedeng maging naughty, iha," I said.

"I'm not naughty!" she replied. "Crazy ka, father."

"Iha, paalala lang iyon. Mabuti ka pa, puwedeng pumasok sa ganyan. Ako, hindi..."

"But it's cool to get into something like this. Sayang naman. Make a mistake!"

"Make a mistake with whom? Napaliligiran ako ng mga sakristan, pari at madre. At mga babaeng may asawa na."

"Hay, Niko, ang bastos na naman natin."

After laughing my wits off in front of the monitor, and being reminded of the things in life I'm not supposed to figure out, I entered into another cliché. I'm writing about all of it, and despite the risk of me setting myself up for disappointment, I'm still wondering why.

And your responses...

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