You know how bright it becomes?

For a moment, out of sheer coincidence, I felt like walking alone at SM Southmall. Actually, I was with Les, and if to make things a bit more surprising Mae and Arlene were on the same bus where we were. And, in the spirit of good conversations, Mae suddenly wondered about my mere presence. Well, she has a point, for I usually go out of the bus at Moonwalk, with is about five to fifteen minutes back, depending on the traffic. Since today is my birthday, I'm going to ATC for the usual birthday fancy dinner, so that suddenly was my route.

They've constantly asked about my birthday. I mean, probably the fact that I'm just seventeen - or was just seventeen - got surprises from them, such as that the questions would go from my year of birth to the date itself. And really, I don't expect anyone to remember that date, unless in passing probably, or something.

Somewhere near the stairs to the front entrance, almost after the moment I felt out of place because of coincidence, Mae had this short tongue-in-cheek scream before giving me her greeting. Les didn't really need to give hers again - she's given me three in the past two days. But Arlene - now that was a surprise.

I've got nothing against it, but you know how it feels, right? I do know her somehow, with her being a classmate in research class last term, always seated to my top-right exchanging CDs with blockmates. If you'd push the envelope further she campaigned last year, and lost. We never really talked until today, because she sparked this little enthusiastic campaign to give me her greeting. Apparently, because she made a resolution this year out of not forgetting anyone's birthday, she went around asking people about their birthdays, this very day. And, since we don't really know each other, she can't possibly have any reason to ask me about it, but what she pointed out was quite true - after all the questions, someone indeed was celebrating a birthday and it passed you by. Quite ironic, right?

Enough of the perfume, then. Although I think I blushed at what happened because it turned out, for me at least, to be an orchestrated attempt from the heavens to make me, surprisingly, genuinely happy, something went right on my count - that today would be very, very unspectacular.

Out of past lessons I didn't want to constantly mention my birthday. After all, nobody wants to look very pushy, so I'd let things flow and see whether anybody would genuinely remember. As of last count, I think, a third of those who greeted me last year greeted me now.

But I've got nothing against it. Here's where my point comes in - you become too busy to not commit the same mistakes, you don't realize what's under you. It was quite nicely arranged - a quirky way to put it, if I'd use Arlene's anecdote before she decided to buy something and have me and Les go ahead. I'll recycle old concepts, although it seems to have come in too early: what we're up to now - responsibility, multiplied ad infinitum - makes us forget a few things, if not more. Maybe that's why I observe not a few old friends who meet up in, maybe, SJ Walk and make a big fuss out of that meet-up. It's supposed to be a bit impersonal, after all.

I expected it, so honestly I wasn't that rattled, but somehow I got sad because the people I secretly wanted to greet me didn't. But I wasn't that rattled, trust me. I think I had more fun fiddling with a camera and marvelling at how the shutter grows larger at each spin of the lens, complete with Dhi actually singing me a birthday song in a way only she could. And I was getting a lot of greetings since last night - from Sars, who jokingly wished that I get caught for jaywalking and consequently get thrown in prison, to Issa, who sent me one last night and sent me another one today before letting up with another mood swing, to Alyssa, who just gave me a special (surprise) mention, to (of course) Steph, on the basis of the last entry and quite everything else. And there were the text messages that I never got around to replying to, and the personal greetings that have already been forgotten as I waited for more, to no avail.

So, as it turns out, I got what I wanted after all. It's not that once you've forgotten it you cease to be a good friend, and this time I wouldn't throw in the "shifting priorities" towel I've been so used to throwing. For one like me who constantly wants a bit of affirmation, probably the accompaniment was more than enough, or maybe I'm just confused after a close bout with indigestion.

Eventually, I'd be left on the jeepney with Les. She asked Mae and Arlene where to go, and again I wondered why she didn't ask me, considering I was going with her. Well, I gave it to her instead, as she was getting a headache from the smell of gasoline and the extra passengers that made the battered bus an easier version of EDSA that's still stuck in reality. She seemed so glum afterwards, probably because she was tired and all that, but she was still the girl who almost convinced me to text back to someone I don't know, but still had the guts to call me a "sexy beast". If only that girl - or guy, as it might possibly be - knew it was my birthday.

And now I cement on the immortal halls of this blog, Arlene's little resolution. May it never be forgotten.

And your responses...

my first visit to your blogsite and i find myself in it!!! yay! harhar. you sound deep (as usual). wow, didn't know that a simple greeting could make someone's day. i'm genuinely, SINCERELY happy about it. weird 'coz i asked talaga about 100 people (no exag) today about birthdays. and as of now, i have about 400+ celebrants marked in my planner and counting! i ALMOST missed to add you up. you're the latest addition so far. unless i lose my planner anytime this year, i'm pretty sure i'd get to greet you next year, one way or the other. really hope you had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! you should come around the wonderful world of ATC more often. thanks for the good words.

Anonymous Anonymous1/09/2007     

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