The window

"I'm here if you want to talk" is something I've heard a bunch of times before.

More often that not, though, it feels like I can't. It feels like, when I do, nobody will make the time for me. Well, perhaps they would, but half-heartedly. Oh, here he is again, whining about his problems. And I get that. Nobody wants to hear about other people's problems, not if you have your own to think about, and especially not if you have none to think about. You'll try your best to appease him and then, maybe after five minutes, you'll just leave the conversation, and hope he assumes you're busy, and understand.

Yeah, I do. That's why I write these things. The consequence is, I still look like a guy who just whines about his problems rather than get to work on them. But then, what really is my problem? I'm awake at half past one in the morning, uncomfortable, and in this quiet I realize that I feel alone. But you're in a relationship. And it's not a loveless one, no. But even if people insist you are loved, you will feel alone. It's not something I can explain. It's not something I think of all the time. But it's half past one, and I am awake when I shouldn't be, and I feel alone.

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It's not exactly my curiosity about how the Americans - no, wait, sorry, how mankind - managed to bring one of their, our, own to the surface of the Moon, but rather, my curiosity about how television covered it all. Thankfully there are many nerds like me out there, who managed to be alive at the time, and more importantly, record the whole thing, or most of it, on tape. Certainly they recorded the most important moments - the moment Neil Armstrong, after having to take control of the lunar module when he realized their designated landing spot was too rocky, finally announced that they have touched the surface; the moment Walter Cronkite broke his usual composure, shed a tear, and said, "oh, boy!"

And you felt that, not just because the moon landing - and, first off, I've no space for your flat-earth Hollywood-studio theories - is, and remains, the most important human achievement ever, but because it really is a win considering all the chaos that the decade brought.

Okay, I'm seeing this from the American perspective, because that's what I've been watching for the past few months, without realizing that fifty years since the event is just around the corner. I've seen clips of Walter Cronkite talk about tensions with the Soviet Union, about the slow burn that was the Vietnam War, about the assassinations of Kennedy, King and Kennedy. If you're an American who lived through the time, you would have thought, man, it is a bad time, huh?

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"Shit happens," neophyte senator Bato dela Rosa said, defending policemen - who he used to lead - who conducting an anti-drug operation that killed a three-year-old girl alongside her father.

For days this has been the subject of new outrage amongst the critical crowd, leading, of course, to his remarks being amplified further and further.

"Shit happens," you are constantly reminded.

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Keep it to yourself

To be frank, I never thought I'd still have to write one of these entries, the sort where I just write because I have to hit that self-imposed four-entries-a-month quota. Certainly since I closed the other blog writing here just felt a bit more natural, so that's one goal achieved, at least. But, well, things have a funny way of turning up, or, perhaps, a non-funny (but not the complete opposite) way of reminding you that, hey, the world isn't going back to the way it used to be when you had all the time in the world.

But of course I've had a lot of thoughts I've been trying to pull together into a coherent essay. There's one about the weather, which is typical; there's another about Mandarin in restaurant menus, which is tricky, considering the climate these days. Sometimes it feels like I'm just trying to live up to my former reputation as a guy who writes really long things online - and I emphasize on online because it can be much longer in print. I've done that too, so I'd know. And, again, I mention all of this because lately it just doesn't come together. It still doesn't come together.

I don't know. Perhaps it's because I am also getting weary of the culture of hot takes that I have certainly taken part in when I still wrote frequently over here. As the supposedly wise ones say, you shouldn't waste all your time on overthinking these things. That, and the society I am apparently part of frowns upon analysis, even casual analysis. Just accept what you're given and don't question anything. Do otherwise and you're either paranoid or a paid agent of the enemy.

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New York daydream

In a not-entirely-implausible alternate timeline, I would finally have a different answer to Jeany's occasional pleas. "Sure, I can fly to New York."

Normally this is when I'd talk about how going to the United States is something you'd really have to save up for. It's not easy, despite my home country having been an American colony for five decades. It costs a lot. Then there's the visa application to think about. Buying a one-way ticket never crossed my mind, but I can't help but think immigration authorities would think otherwise, if only because other Filipinos have done the same. And then there's the general anti-anybody-else air you get from that side of the world these past couple of years.

But, no, I'm daydreaming. I have a visa, and I have the money to fly to New York. I'll be there two weeks. I don't know if it will be enough time. There's this mindset that, if you fly to the US, you might as well do pretty much everything, because you don't know when you'll be back. I might need a month, but that would also mean other stops. My cousin lives in one coast; my aunt lives in another. My father's aunt lives elsewhere in that coast. And then there's Jeany in New York. Jeany's been begging me to go visit her, and my answer has always been along the lines of "money" and "visa". But, no, I'm daydreaming. I have a visa, and I have the money to fly to New York, and somehow two weeks will be enough because I can always fly back.

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