Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pack Rat

I'm allergic to dust. Whenever I get near the stuff, I tend to sneeze uncontrollably and break out in hives. It's a fact as much as it is a lame excuse to get out of cleaning my room. My mom recognizes that, which is why we were still forced to clean the room and wax the floors a couple of weeks ago (it was worth it though, for mother dear bribed us with 2 14" pizzas and enough soft drinks to satisfy my RDA of sugar for a week). 

Now, room cleaning is a rare event for me—second only to trips to the dentist in the list of necessary things which I religiously avoid doing. So it came as no surprise when I discovered an assortment of mementos stashed in the various nooks and crannies of my small room, some of which I haven't seen in years, literally. My initial reaction was—well aside from the uncontrollable sneezing—a pang of nostalgia, which led me to reminisce about the said items and their history.

Among the objects I found were loose beads from a bracelet given to me by a former friend. You'd think that I would know how to hold on to my few friends, but apparently she grew tired of our company, as well as of the numerous issues we managed to get ourselves into. I remember the Wednesday morning more than a year ago, when the bracelet snapped as I was getting off the train on my way to our class. It seemed ominous, since we were already starting to fall apart/drift away from each other at the time. To this day she refuses to talk to us and barely acknowledges our presence—a tough feat,considering that she usually ends up being group mates with our other friend.

I also found my extemporaneous speech plans, nestled between the yellowing pages of unused bluebooks which I hoarded during my first year in UP, for fear of having to take an exam without one. I put the bluebooks to good use during finals week and reread the speech plans. I was taking that class during my GE days, when I first decided to shift out of ComSci. I don't want to go into details, basically it was a time when my whole life was in a state of flux (which is a polite way of saying "totally freaking confusing and chaotic"). That speech class was a breather for me, almost the only place where I more or less knew what I was doing. Later on my prof became a panelist for my OrCom admission interview (where she got to scold me for my habitual tardiness) and by God's good grace, I got in, and my life regained its direction.

Another notable find was a ratty band-aid (yeah I know they're called medicated plastic strips or something, but that's too long and too lame) given to me by a dear friend back in my awkward high school days. It was a bit dramatic, actually, a symbol for her declaration that she would always be around to help me cope with my emo issues. She kept her word, and she was a great source of comfort for me throughout that year. She gave me a letter during graduation which totally warped my mind—to date I consider it as one of the very few real surprises I've had in my life. We haven't seen each other in about two years, and if you're reading this Jek, well, I think we need a reunion.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find a notepad with short letters from my grade five friends. I remember we got a little sentimental at the end of that school year and writing notes became the in thing during our last day. The notepad contained messages, some affectionate, but mostly jokes—it was only years later when I realized how much my classmates back then loved to bully me. They would hide my bag and lock me out of the room, call me weird names, and even go through the effort of building up a showbiz career for me—they made posters of my supposed "concert" and all that. But it wasn't so bad. We stayed friends, and besides, I'd like to think that I wasn't such a nerd back then. At least they were laughing at me, not behind my back. I sort of enjoyed that too, I guess.

At the back of that notepad was a short note from my crush at the time who decided to go for my friend, much to my ten year-old heart's dismay. It merely said "Ei Rizza o last day na. Have a happy summer vac[ation]", but I remember how I treasured it (pathetic, I know). Thanks to my social awkwardness, we never became close—I would call her to spend almost an hour of not talking—and she eventually migrated or something. I wonder where she is right now, and if she's changed as much as I have. Lame as it was, it was the first in the book of my (un)romantic history. That's another story—which perhaps should never be told in this blog, for my own sake. 

I realize how much I've babbled here, and I'd like to apologize for wasting your time. I have no lessons from this, except that awkward teens need not despair since awkwardness can be outgrown—not that I've managed that, but well.

Photo from here.
I now think of how much of a pack rat I am, both materially and emotionally. I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and sometimes I find myself wishing for things to be the way they were before. However, I've been around long enough to know that there's no going back. I'm just glad that my life's pretty good right now, I'm thankful the people who stuck around. As for the awful times and the people who left, in the words of Fall Out Boy: thnks fr th mmrs.


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