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"Until." In early 2013 I learned the correct usage of the word "until." When you say "I won't be back until Tuesday," it means you will be back on Tuesday. See, I used to think "until" meant "up to that moment." Like, she is on vacation until June, it means she's resuming work in June, and not vacationing still when June comes around. I learned this from my former boss. I was 31 then. I was so amazed to be learning something new at that age. Now I'm that girl who can't help but clarify when people use the word.
Walking along a sidewalk and this little boy runs past her. Stops a few steps ahead of her as if he'd seen something interesting on the ground. She sees the boy bend down and examine something. Upon closer look she sees he is poking a makahiya. He seems amazed at what's happening, the plant is moving! It is 'closing' its leaves! Looks like this is something he has witnessed before. He prepares to run again, but not without looking back at her and flashing an adorable and smug smile that seems to say "Did you see that?! That was awesome."
This time last year I was in Guam, driving around with Kuya, Ate, Kaito, Hailey, and Brysen, on a Visita Iglesia. I remember in 2013 Kuya and I did the same thing around Manila, and we ended the 'tour' at a Shakey's near Lourdes Hospital, where we were born. This is the first year in three years that I'm not with Kuya going around the city hoping to complete seven churches in a day, and I kind of miss him again, and the kids, and Guam, and Fuji Ichiban, and the pink-orange sky outside while Ate was feeding Brysen.
I remember using a component in Kuya's bedroom so I could listen to this new Rivermaya album. I remember admiring the album cover for Trip and to this day I don't think another album cover mesmerized me that way. I was 14. Funny thing is, whenever I remember that first listen to the cassette tape (always a fun thing, the first play), curled up in Kuya's bed, the song that plays in my head is Elisi, which is actually on Atomic Bomb. Anyway, my point is, the real memory here is the solace that Kuya's room gave me that day.
So here's another dream I had: This rather attractive guy asks me what I plan to do with my life and my answer is (paraphrased)--"I always said I want to teach kids. I hope to influence them become good people. I want to be there when they think they're alone. This is how I can give back to the great teachers I had. My, my, I used to be so idealistic. But you know what? Now I just want to marry a rich handsome guy and do nothing forever." Not kidding I really said that with a straight face.
A kitchen with skylight, that ought to be nice. Dreamt today of being inside a massive truck with an exit three storeys high. My friend and I followed this guy we fancied who we saw carrying large backpacks onto the truck so we followed him. On the truck though we just saw him put down his bags in a corner then he jumped right off the side exit. When we stood by the exit we saw how high it was so we hesitated for five years then this guy pushed a button and then there were stairs. Then we showered.
The first time I heard about One Direction I assumed they were American, and sure, What Makes You Beautiful is catchy, but I mostly just expected the boyband to disappear after a few hit songs. Then they released a second album the following year and I remember hearing Kiss You for the first time, having my cousin tell me it's a 1D song, and I recall thinking "damn their songs are really nice." For the most part of 2013 Kiss You accompanied me on my bus rides to work. Long story short: Don't judge a boyband based on boyband history.
So "until" does mean "up to that moment." Just putting that on here so I could pacify my OC self. "It's true up to that moment," is a more exact definition. "I'm on vacation until Wednesday" means "I'll be back to work on Wednesday," not "I'll be back to work on Thursday." Anyway. I've been randomly taking word quizzes on the Merriam-Webster site and wow, so many words I thought had different meanings: laconic, pulchritude. Okay, those are the only two I can recall now. My point is, you really can spend your whole life believing wrong things, no?
Had early dinner with Chuckie today and by the end of our meal and after we've quite caught up with each other's lives I proceeded to give him an introductory course on One Direction. I whipped up my phone and showed him photos of Harry Styles' hair and smart fashion choices. I also gave Chuck a short lesson on why Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are perfect for each other (Because they're both so pretty, among other things.) Seriously, Chuck indulged me and asked questions and I was happy to explain. Hi, I'm 33 years old and I like 1D.
Five weeks at new job today! I remember in mid-2010 I embarked on an apple and crackers diet for about a month, and I lost weight and was able to keep that weight off for months, months! Even if I was scarfing down a lot of food I maintained that apple-cracker diet body for a considerably long time. It was not until maybe early 2012 when I started to put on weight. Anyway, I want to do that again because I liked the challenge of watching, but not really watching, what I eat and feeling good about myself.
Overheard today: "What makes a Barong Tagalog
a Barong Tagalog
, and if you take away that factor, can you still call it a Barong Tagalog?" I like public commute for a lot of reasons, overhearing conversations like this is one of those reasons. Anyway, during elementary I remember asking my teacher this very famous and often-used question: "Can I go out?" And she nodded. So I headed for the door, then she said "Yes you can, but you may not." Thus, I learned that it should be "May I go out?" I've been too polite ever since.
He measures time by how many songs he heard in the time it took him to do something. One time he was waiting at a Mini Stop for his friend and Cutterpillow was playing. He lost track of how many songs have already played because that's his favorite Eraserheads album. He was glad to hear it so he forgot that he was waiting for far too long for his friend. So when his friend got there and said, "Sorry, how long was I late for?" He shrugged: "It's okay, I love this album let's stay here for a bit more."
Hello, Monday, hey. I like my friends a lot. Hi, I like you a lot. Do you ever just laugh upon seeing a bottle of catsup or some random item that reminds you of a silly memory from yonder involving one of your friends? Do you feel an annoying kind of happiness? Annoying in the sense that you don't have that friend with you right at that moment to laugh and reminisce with? So you pick up the phone and call, and catch up, and forget altogether about why you called in the first place. I like when that happens.
I like telling random people that Tuesday is my favorite day. It used to be Mama's dayoff when she was working at the hotel. She'd take us to the mall and we would eat something nice, or we would just watch TV at home. I liked Tuesdays so much when I was a kid because it was so rare to get to spend time with Ma then. I like how Ma holds my hand when we cross a street. She seems to be memorizing my hand via touch and she has a certain caress that tells me of her love.
You know? Work is fine, almost everything else is okay, compared to 2014, this year is definitely shaping up to be a much better one, in the general sense. Anyway, what I really want right now is one whole box of cupcakes and burritos and shawarma and cheeseburgers and anything potato, plus Harry Styles showing up out of nowhere, that would be nice. I'd also like for people who need comfort, to feel comfort in whichever way it is possible for the universe to make them feel better, warmer, and just...not sad or confused. Prayer circle for happier hearts.
Be kind to the waitstaff. Do not interrupt your elders. Say hello when you arrive some place, say goodbye when you leave. Do not comment on a person's eating habits. Do not laugh at someone's misfortune. Hold the door open when someone's right behind you. Be polite to cashiers, janitors, guards, everyone servicing you, be polite to all people, period. Wait for your turn. Do not backstab. Say it upfront, and say it firmly, but kindly. My parents taught me this at a young age. I am appalled a lot of "mature" people do not know of these basic things.
Said goodbye to my friend, Honey, today. She's off to a new adventure and I am excited beyond words for her. She's one of those friends who I rarely see and talk with, but whenever we see each other it's like we were just together the day before. Don't you love this kind of friendship? I do, and I love my dear Honeypie. I'll miss her voice, laugh, humor; her charming and appropriate irreverence. I like how when I'm with her I feel safe. I like how she turns a shit situation into gold. Happy travels, my dear lovely Honey.
Listen, today I realized how angry and resentful I was in the past few years, and how I wasted a good chunk of my life nurturing those black things. Now I just feel...light. And it's a revelation how different this feels from the me of say, two years ago. Back then I was so sure that everything was already okay, but right now, looking back, I see that the Kat of 2013 was still quite held back by the Kat of 2009. Who knows, in 2017 I will look back at 2015 Kat and say she was still clueless.
"He likes kind people, is why" This is my friend's answer when I asked him why he's friends with a certain new person. That's it. He likes kind people. "I think it says a lot about someone when the first thing they notice, or seek for, in a person is whether he or she likes kind people. When someone appreciates a friendly smile or a gentle gesture, it draws me to that person. It's the little things." A hearty laughter comes in handy, too, he adds. When they tilt their head back when laughing. I like that in people, too.
"Don't be afraid, it's going to be okay," was what you told me that one night in bed after I told you I was scared. "Just tell me if you like her and want to be with her, so I'll know," I told you. I might have held on to what you said, but I knew then that it was the beginning of the end. Maybe it was The End already. Anyway, weeks later you left me for her. And I kept coming back to what you said in bed. I'm sorry I didn't ask if you were scared, too.
In the summer of 99 I was taking classes in Diliman, and I'd come home at around 2pm with all my energy sapped out. Maybe it was the heat and commute. I'd be able to make it until dinnertime, but after that I'm gone. Everyone was still living in the house then, and after dinner we'd gather in front of the TV. I'd lie down on the couch and watch the news and teleseryes with my family. By 10 though, Papa would be nudging me awake and I'd be informed I slept through TV time again. I miss those days.
I used to start my day with disappointment, usually when I can't recall a dream I had, I beat myself up until I recall a smidgen, then that's the only time I get up and start my day. This is an example of the unnecessary amount of expectation I burden myself and other people, which in the end only manages to burden me more. But I've lightened up now, I'm sure because I can let most things go and my friends actually stop and ask if I'm really letting it go. They got so used to uptight me. She's gone.
Dear future love, Today is Thursday. My excitement over meeting you has reached the calm point. It's like, I'm chill and just sitting here with my iced tea waiting for you. I want you to know that I'm still working on my ugly parts. The parts of me that resort to bad-mouthing people or getting angry when I feel cornered. I'm learning still, how to always, always turn to kindness, especially in the blackest of circumstances. You will know me and I will know you, and we will work through the different kinds of days life has to offer.
Dear you, Remember when we read The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams to each other? Today I heard someone read a story to his boyfriend and it reminded me of your steady voice, your calming presence, your slow hands as you turn the pages. My memories of us are now stained-glass blurred. I peek inside this room of you and I, and I can't anymore remember an exact smell or temperature, whereas in the past it was all that I knew, the exactness of you and I. This is to say, I like you, always will.
She wakes from her nap and hears voices downstairs. The voices belong to her father and two brothers, and from their tones she could tell that they're in front of the TV, watching basketball. The murmuring is punctuated by claps and excited shouting, and she'd know that their team either made a shot or did something to be cheered about. She likes laying in bed listening to these voices. She likes waking up to the late afternoon cool and knowing her boys are downstairs and dinner will be in a few. She gets up, hands clasped, and thanks the universe.
The clouds looked like hats today. Sundays like to boast about how relaxing they are, but not in an annoying way. They boast like this: by arranging the clouds like top hats, one in front of the other, like they're vying for your attention in the most polite manner. The rice fields below are so green and content, and birds keep diving into them then change course at the last minute and swoop up towards the blue, blue sky. One top-hat cloud was on this mountain and they both looked smug. Sundays boast like this. It's kind of nice.
Dear Brysen, This is your godmother writing to you from April 27, 2015. Today you are 21 months old. Just this morning your father sent me a video of you, dancing at a party, wearing a cute black vest. You were dancing unabashedly, little one. I wish that you don't lose this innocence, this trust in the world and the people in it, this confidence that the people around you love you and will be there for you when you need them. My dear baby nephew, I wish you wake up each morning with love bursting out of your heart.
This here is my heart, these here are my hands, this here is my life, and you're the only person who will ever get to know them the way that you will. We are in Manila, walking along a cobblestone path, and a brown heavy gate appears. We pour in and a courtyard with the pinkest bougainvilleas welcome us. There are speakers overhead emanating a scratchy sound, like a vinyl record that's about to play but couldn't. We walk around and look at each other every now and again, as if saying, "this is nice, I will not forget today."
He says yes sometimes when what he wants to say is no. Since he met her his defenses have disappeared and there are days when he imagines his life before her, and how it was simpler, more familiar. Now it seems every day is jarring and he is naked in front of people he does not know, this is how he feels about how she makes him weak sometimes. Weak in the good sense, if there is such a thing. She tells him he can still be himself, she won't mind. He wonders why it's so hard to believe that.
Hey, something I want to tell you. Yesterday I wanted so bad to explain to these guys how newspapers work, what time they have to finalize the first page, etc. They were bitching about the "wrong" banner heads. And sure, no one should've assumed anything. Those banners were a mistake, alright, but hear out the reasons first? I'm telling you this because something big stopped me from launching into an arrogant speech. And that something is you. I suddenly thought of your patience, your kind eyes, your warm hands. In that moment I realized I've fallen in love with you.
The Tip Jar