Hazel has a taser

Here are some things I am not supposed to know about Hazel.

One, she was a student DJ but she isn't talkative.

Two, she has a messy backpack. Or so she claims.

Three, she has a taser.

"You have a taser?" I asked her, faking my incredulity a bit.

"It's cute," she answered back.

Her boyfriend gave it to her. Her current one, I must add. Remember the story when her ex-boyfriend got hold of my number (because I told her on Twitter, in private, and the guy had access to it) and started texting me disinterested one-liners thinking I was wooing his ex-girlfriend? Turns out she is attractive to such creeps. That leads us to the taser.

"It's weird," I said. I get her when she thought it's cute, but it's a taser. It's a big bunch of volts, I'm not sure how much exactly, in your hand. It's big. She showed it to me. We were in a coffee shop, although we weren't having coffee. The thing's as big as those really old, brick-like mobile phones. (Cellular phones. That's why they're called that, right? Because they're brick-like?) I wonder if someone saw us inspect the taser and got a bit concerned. What's that thing? Are they taking over the world?

Also, my other thought was, can't he just give her some pepper spray? If you want her to be able to defend herself, pepper spray works. And it's portable. Of course there's the possibility of spraying it on yourself, which renders you defenseless to some creepy guy who sat beside you on the jeepney.

"The good kind of weird?" she countered.

Fine. Maybe the taser is a good idea.

I could've handled that situation better. Here I am, presented with an interesting fact, and I act as if I'm denying that fact. Why can't I just act very interested and go, "oooh, can I try?"

Actually, I did say something to that extent. Earlier our conversation went to hairstyles, and me telling her that she should hide her forehead. I know. This isn't helping me out. She seemed fine with it, but if it was another woman I'd be slapped and not given a chance to proceed further. Also, I'm touchy. "You should do your hair like this," I said, slightly changing how her hair curved on her forehead, all while resisting suggesting to her to look a bit like Emily the Strange, only more colorful.. You know, connotations. And because I know I was being ridiculous, I asked her if she could tase me. Now I wonder what the other people in the coffee shop would've thought. No, she's taking over the world!

Yep, there I was again, being sooo conscious, too conscious, of myself in the middle of a conversation with a friend. Right after writing that blog entry about my lunch with Ning a few years back, Ariane adviced me not to get too caught up in these technicalities. But I still do. Am I making the right impression? Am I making a fool of myself? The meeting came about because of a bunch of unfortunate events. "Friend duties," as she put it. She was there to listen, and I was there to rant, and while ranting about a two-week-old event that is slowly losing its bearing on me is great, awkward silences aren't.

"Ikaw naman magkuwento," I said far too often that night.

"Ano naman ikukuwento ko?" she asked.

"Bahala ka!"

I still can't believe she isn't talkative. She was a student radio DJ, for heaven's sakes. Or maybe it's because my cynicism leads me to think that DJs have to love the sound of their voice to be successful.

I think I've told this story before, but I'll tell it again. We met almost four years ago - technically it hits four years on Monday - during auditions for Campus 99.5. I was still madly in love with radio then. I was also graduating in a few months, which probably made my efforts futile. I met her and her friends (unfortunately, I never cannot remember their names) and we had a group photo, alongside some Magic 89.9 DJs. I told you. Still madly in love with radio then.

I obviously didn't make it, but I know she did. I remember that Saturday afternoon when I was flicking through stations and hearing a female voice on that frequency going "this is DJ Hazel". The station closed down five months later, though. I won't tell the story of why it happened here, for it's far too complicated, and knowing a fair bit about that will turn people off.

That experience also led me to rub elbows, sort of, with the guy they call Jimmy Jam. I should call him Manny here instead. (Sir Manny? I never got to that point.) We became Multiply friends for some reason. On a boring day at work I browsed through his albums, and saw one of Hazel's replies, which led me to that photo we had together, which led me to reconnect with her.

"We're not supposed to be friends," I told her. Of course, I didn't mean it that way, but feigned bitterness aside, these situations don't usually end with exchanged phone numbers and meet-ups at coffee shops. We were supposed to - and forgive me for sounding romantic here - we were supposed to forget about each other, and there we were, in a coffee shop, me ranting about a girl, she listening, or at least trying to.

"It's weird how we got together, eh," I explained further.

"The good kind of weird?" she asked.


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