Tuesday, 21 January 2014

To Miss Sentimental and Our Story of Friendship

A cliche states that old friends are like wine, they get better with age.

I think however that ours is more akin to the journey of  the grapes that are made into wine, in that we had to grow up and find our own soil, ferment our dreams, delusions, and realities first, so that in time, we could blend again seamlessly into a more potent, less acidic friendship.

You said  "lukso na yun ng dugo", and maybe it is.  We've known each other for 25 years! There is something to be said about a friendship that began from way way back running through high school, college, relationship schticks and our own individual search for validation.  Come to think of it, if there was a checklist for friendships I think we'd  ace it:

1. We've known each other long enough to know that Bamboo and Ely will be forever our music gods. I cringe to remember how in high school I was the stick thin one and you were the one with curves.  How now, thanks to your years of running and my years of couch potato-ing, the tides have turned. I am now the one with (unwanted) curves!

2.  We've lived together in college. We've shared de latas, baons, crushes, shampoos, failing grades and our families' stories.  You remember my brother as the fat kid we used to tease during our overnighters at home, and I think of A, as your cute baby pamangkin.  And now they've grown and it's surreal when we talk about them, they've grown, and yes, years have passed.

3.  We knew each other back from when we were still unformed preteens who had no idea what was in store for them.  And we stuck with each other years after college,  through lost loves, inadequate salaries,  kikay issues and family curveballs. I suppose that's why old friends, those that are really old and gold, find it so easy to get back into groove  despite not seeing each other for years.  You see an old friend who knows and loves you and you are stripped bare of all the shit you try to hide behind - your profession, your status, your facade.  And you are happy, because for once, here is someone who gets your craziness, who knows your history, understands that at the end of the day, all you want is some old school, from the gut laughter.  See, instead of blabbing our so-called trophies- achievements in work, places travelled, stuff bought and bragged about- we talk and laugh about the absurd things we don't share too easily with others.  How a judgmental taxi driver Singapore  upon hearing that you wanted to be dropped at the Hilton, remarks "Cleaning staff, lah?". Or how presumptious Pinays met on the train in Madrid, would ask, as a way of greeting, "Interna ka or Externa? (Are you a stay-in or stay-out househelp?)".  And we'd laugh about such foibles   because really, we don't care that much about our place in the sun when we're together. We just want to laugh and be happy.

4. We've gone through major friendship crises. Not one, but two. First was about that 'boy'. And we laugh about it now. Nakakatawa naman nga kasi. Kim and Maja? Not really.  And I do think, this was not the main reason why we kept silent and kept our distance for a few years.  There was the flash of new best friends whom we both thought "got" us better at that time.  

But here we are again, old friend, finally,  back to our comfort zone. Siguro, as your favorite author once wrote, the universe conspired.  And I say, though, I have other friends who are dear to me, there is no discounting our history and the realization that just like before, we are happiest doing the most banal things that would seem unspecial to others --- walking through more than a kilometer of our subdivision's main road looking for commercial spaces for rent, planning a trip to Divisoria by riding the commuter train, hindi MRT ha but the much maligned PNR train.  How even after years of not connecting, we  open up oh so easily about our  plans for the future.

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