2/21/2009
Alone, at least initially

After slipping to Los Angeles, I was surprised to see Jason chat with me over YM. And over the most random of things, too. While I prepare for my first articles at work, and taking advantage of my forced (and still undecided) isolation, we'd discuss things that we wouldn't usually discuss when he was still in Manila, and when we were just students in, err, film school. Or that's how it felt sometimes.

It is awards season, after all. The frustration of having to read and write about all these films is, you realize they're not going to be shown here, or at least, most of them. One month ago, the possibility of cinemas here showing Frost/Nixon or Doubt or The Wrestler or Vicky Cristina Barcelona is very small. (Since then, two have opened in cinemas, albeit in disappointingly limited runs, considering Makati isn't my cup of tea on lazy Saturdays.)

Inevitably, out first post-flight conversations would be about these films. Upon touchdown, Jason most definitely did his catching up, and then he'd tell me things online afterwards. I wasn't a stranger to these discussions, having been in the middle of them since we became thesis partners before we knew it. But it was refreshing in a funny way - he was gushing over Amy Adams, admitting that he has a little crush on her, and even going on about her underarms. Then he would gush over Doubt's cast and how effective the film was with them. We argued, we bluffed - or I bluffed, not having seen anything yet - and we laughed at each other. And then I'd figure out that he was right about Amy.

The funnier thing, though, was in the way he would chat with me: in straight English. I eventually got the gist, and in later chats - when we'd discuss utterly random stuff, from Iza not letting him announce him spotting Bono, to the American Idol premiere - I'd have fun pretending that I was talking to an American, only someone that I've known for the past three years. We even went to the point of deciding to write a full-length screenplay - imagine, two guys separated by nine time zones in a really wide ocean collaborating on a movie script? That's yet to begin, though, since the ball's on my park and I haven't had the time to kink out all the details.

What else can a newcomer to a pretty alien city do? Communicate with the base, that's what.

The conversations died down as the weeks passed by, and although honestly I'm not all that muffed, since I've also gotten busier as American Idol crawled to the air, I did think about what eventually happened. One of out last chats was about him looking for a car, something that he's bound to do since, as he contends, he can't be stuck at home looking for a job for long. He just passed the driver's test, and got himself a license; the next thing I know, he's picked up a Camry, and he's now able to drive to that coffee shop somewhere in Melrose Place and hang out with the crowd. I won't presume, but I guess we no longer need to talk that much anymore.

Which is why I've been bothering random people, or at least those who aren't busy with their own preoccupations, over the past months.

And your responses...

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