Stories shared with strangers

So this is how it feels when you're without classes on a Monday. I'm usually away from this computer at midday, but now I'm blogging, suddenly not used to staying at home at this time. I should be on a bus listening to the radio, or maybe eating a chocolate chip cookie while watching the young ones work on their minute of fame. Instead, I'm here, thanks to a free cut on my only class.

I was supposed to go to school today, however. Last night I was trying to call another prospect for our thesis - the one prospect all of us aim to get - and the phone, it seemed, has been turned off. Since I was already told a Monday screening is impossible with daylight around - in other words, she's available from seven in the evening onwards - I had to negotiate something new. But that meant I get a normal weekend, only shifted forward by a day.

Boredom meant I worked on the things you never really have to do, but feel like doing anyway. If you're reading this, then you've most probably noticed that I've moved a few things around the blog, and if you're paying even closer attention, you would've seen that there are two new faces on the links area.

I "met" Raisa on one of Zet's blog entries about photography. Before the blog owner could get back, we've already discussed and argued about camwhoring and digital photo editing. What follows is, well, my usual fit of tracking one person down, and only to do one pretty mundane thing: link to her blog.

Today, though, it's more plausible, especially since I haven't really got anything to do. We've been chatting about the weather in Nevada, the idiosyncrasies of American universities, and before she logged out, guys crying. I think I've gotten used to the idea of talking to people I'd probably never know, since I've been doing it for quite a while, so this never really became anything exciting. You know, the exciting that goes, oooh, it's something I've never done before, so forgive me if I botch this!

"Don't talk to strangers," they always say. We can never trust them. They might take us away from the comfortable life, or maybe steal our identities. I check my YM contacts list and find out I already have thirteen of them, most of which have accumulated themselves over a series of misadventures with my opinions and admirations, or in some cases, we have a common friend. Thus, when I started chatting with Katia, we started talking about my own stories, and at the back of my head, I was thinking, wow, it's so much better if people I'd never meet know about my stories.

Twelve more instances later, most of these people just sit there, going along their lives. Actually, some have become close friends of mine - close in the sense that something else has come out of a few typed lines on the computer screen. Sometimes it occurs to me that, after I find another one, that's the end of the previous one - in the harsh sense of the word, I've been pretty much using them to get over my social shortcoming, to give myself a sense of comfort. But of course that never really was the case.

As for Raisa, well, I haven't got any more expectations. I was just there, jumping from Photoshop to Yahoo! Messenger, struggling to find a plausible excuse to not make her freak out the moment I tell her I'm looking for a photo of her. If she did feel that way, then she perfectly hid it, because I merely pushed on, desaturated the file, cropped it, and uploaded it. And maybe it's only me who saw it, but I felt a sense of deepness on that little exchange about guys crying. If one breaks down in front of you - maybe that was putting it harshly, but hey, it happens - we end up unable to say anything. Probably because we never could really understand, or because the breaking down hurts more than the reason why, but there's only so much you could do.

That's probably the appeal of finding solace - some sort of it - on people that you'd never really get to know in a deeper level than the people that are actually around you. It's one thing, or the other, and that's what makes it idiosyncratic too. But it's still a weird sense of comfortable nevertheless. "If ever they do," Raise typed in, "they'll know I'll be there."

And indeed, it hopefully stays that way. She somehow greeted me a good night before she logged off, although I just complained about the sun being bright in Manila as opposed to the chilly rain in Las Vegas.

Or, I'm just not used to not learning more about the need for gender sensitivity at this time. I am still bored, yes, yes.

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