Only the girl getting a boy

Tracy, who Mirielle described as their block's Jaja Samaniego, had her own milestone today, alongside what essentially was our college's anniversary: her first taste of cotton candy.

I knew it. Free food was the only thing that could let those people out of their classrooms and into what they are all supposed to do. There were a lot of talks today, but no concert, because, as Agnes pointed out, it was Lent already and they weren't allowed - but the lines at both the Marian Quadrangle and the Miguel Walk were so long, I got tired just looking at them.

Being a Student Council member myself, I basically stood there doing "are you from the CLA?" duties, weeding out those sneaky (or otherwise) COE students who wanted free cotton candy as well. I know, though, that for the first time, our new trend of prioritizing money for studies led to the long lines for what apparently was actually free lunch. I ate (and bought my own) lunch earlier, thinking that the free food giveaway was like last year's, when all we had was for our fingers to pop. I had my own free dessert, though, and only after standing and walking around for the next hour or so, seeing EJ replace Nadia and Sarah replace EJ, and COE students sneak in and out, and me feeling so good with the shirt we all had to buy.

I wore that shirt this morning for the first time, and I thought it felt like I was wearing a PE shirt, only softer. It was, as I also realized, the first time since I wore a white top to school, probably because I meant to demonstrate my apparent loneliness, or we were asked most of the time to wear black, or as was the case two days ago, blue. In between studying statistics (and before answering a surprisingly easy test without having to put too much effort on studying) I was modelling the shirt I was also supposed to sell; indeed, I sat at the booth at the Miguel Walk as Agnes tended to something and Sarah was watching over the cotton candy stall. The popcorn had all run out by then. It was merely caramelized, and I gave mine away to a starving Tracy because I can't get to open the pack.

Two weeks ago, Maita imagined up cotton popcorn. Most of us wanted both, while all I wanted is to finish the information that'd be written on the tarpaulines I was partly in charge of. Color blue, I retorted, and obviously Maita was being too witty again; nobody noticed me. I actually wondered why I was there in the first place. I was asked to go there; I was too obedient, I stayed even if Mae already left and my partner Maui has started to work on her half of the job.

Monday, the tarpaulines were being hanged, and I realized that my half of the job was misspelled. And they edited it, even, just to make a featurette easier to read - bullet points. Well, sort of. They missed out on a sentence and misspelled the crucial dean's name.

I knew I had to brace myself for today. Eventually, I expected everything correctly; I did model my shirt thrice while asking people to either buy shirts, get food, or tell me about their statistics tests. I stood under the heat of the sun thinking of those Mang Jack shirts, in between seeing affections being exchanged, and then forgetting to write everything down. At least today, I thought, I had my entire day to myself. Except probably for history class, where I sat in obedience and saw Tracy explain why she was sleepless for three days straight (and yet, according to Sir Bascara, not look like it - even I was clueless), the long break I had wasn't much for paying attention. I got over statistics and I wanted to go home, but I knew I had to go around and show off my shirt for solidarity's sake.

And indeed, glitter got on our eyes - and on our cheeks, and on the acne-filled gap that marks my nose, as Mae pointed out. Arlene's star was stepped on countlessly, and most of the twenty-five have lost an arm, never to grow it back. Sarah's star was pushed under the shirt-selling booth, and she kept on kicking herself out, if you know what I mean. Mae's course was even marked wrong, probably in a confusion as to where she really is. We've seen people carry video cameras, nevertheless. And my mind was off things.

I think it was around a week back when I told Alyssa about my situation. It's been quite weird; none of those hangovers, none of those people who want to make me drunk out of love and lead me to think of crazy things. Eventually I caved in to the pressure, especially because I never had so little time in my life. I felt that I needed an explanation.

"Nothing much," I answered. "Only the girl getting a boy."

And I have learned to live with it, actually, as if it never happened at all. Surprisingly, to think that I'm the type of guy to wallow in every fact I uncover and wish it was me in that position. In fact, i crazily considered to do just that, for all the wrong reasons, until eventually I decided to instead be very friendly to the point of harassing. I was watching the television on the bus and felt like the stars were telling me something. The only difference is, the starts are kept at night, and are shown in the light of the sun, stepped on, sitting on the pebbled ground, showing off people's achievements.

"Dapat siguro hawakan mo iyan ng parang ganito," I told Sarah, after she failed again to keep her star in the right position. My hands were like that of a puppy's, only without the tongue out, asking something from their master. And so people should sell themselves. "Prostitute yourself," as Love Radio's Sexy Terry would even say. At least for a moment.

Today I wasn't given enough time to think about where I sit in today's world. Of course, I'm still the potential actor, the obvious choice for a recitation, the unexpected math prodigy and the ever-so-obedient committee head, even if it was all out of place. As for others, maybe I'm just stuck there thinking of what else will come. I was very confident I'll eventually buckle; instead I stood up and did nothing. Surprisingly enough, I had the courage to stand there as affections were being exchanged. Only thing I noticed, though, is that everyone was too busy to reciprocate. Even my hug to Tracy didn't matter, as they waited in line at the cotton candy stall, powdered milk in a sprinkler, shirts in plastic bags, and nothing left to chance.

But eventually today was one of the best days I ever had, and not because I was hyperactive. Sure, I felt very much accomplished. I worked at the booth without any previous knowledge, even striking up a conversation with Mara and confirming that she didn't comment on my blog; it was all a case of mistaken identity on that girl's part. I buckled there, I admit. I still speak too fast. Of course nobody understood; the line at the cotton candy booth was still long.

As for the apologies, I can't get to place some meaning to it. Come half past two and I was to climb up the Miguel building, waiting to listen to more stories about Japanese atrocities and imagine how Maybelline feels when she learns about what was done to us; besides, her father is Japanese, or maybe American, as it was already in a concentration camp when her life was etched in the stars. Tracy and Lyriz have climbed up, trying their best to wipe out what amounted to a room that smelled like sweaty men. Confusingly I thought I'd accomopany Sarah to the corner where Miguel meets Joseph; Nadia had to come, though, so after a flurry of arranged stuff and a last-ditch effort to do nothing, I went up the stairs. The goodbyes came with a sorry, first, and when I went up I was irritated at the smell of the sweat.

Eventually I won't get anything else out of this, really. But glitter populated the day, and it got on our eyes, and if that was all that I wanted, then maybe it's time to slip away and not hold on to it any longer. Besides, I've nothing to hold on to in the first place. I'm just harassing myself, that's all. As for the hot flushes, and the thought of me blushing - Mae understood why, but I refused to.

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