Today in random Americana:
The city where the office I report to is located is a nice, laid-back Arizona city, Gilbert. The place is clean, the people friendly, and the area looks as harmless as a sleeping puppy. Except for the hotel right across the street.
After the department director spoke to the training class, there was a mild distraction when one of the employees excitedly mentioned that there was a shout-out at the hotel.
“Now you know why we didn’t put you there,” the trainer told my colleague and me. Apparently, that hotel occasionally has these violent incidents every couple of months.
“You’d see SWAT there sometimes,” another employee gleefully joined in. “The rest of the city is nice, but that place is so ghetto.”
Rodj pointed out how some people can fill out a photo album (with selfies) in a week. (Or a day, even.) But while we were still dating before, we never had many photos.
We had very few photos together. If we compile all our photos, we won’t even fill three pages. We did a mental inventory: One or two in Baguio, some from Bataan. (He said photos with big groups do not count.)
So, no, we don’t even seem to have photos of us when we were still boyfriends.
That we were talking about these things while watching Deadpool (something in the movie triggered the conversation) on the eve of Valentine’s, our hands held, weirds me out a little because it’s several layers of surreal.
But surreal is nice, too.
In my dream, I was probably ten years old and was walking home. I was only about 100 meters away, and about to enter the street where my house was.
A large military plane was flying overhead in circles. An unseen but nearby radio was broadcasting of engine failure. Something horrible was happening. Ahead of me, a fire suddenly broke out and quickly spread to block the nearer end of our street. I won’t be able to enter.
I ran to the next street, hoping to run along it towards the other end of our street and go around to reach our house. But when I reached the next street, the fire has already spread there.
I ran to the next street. And the next one, and the next. But the spreading fire beat me every time.
At that point, I woke up, distraught. I remembered the horrible atom bombing sequence in Barefoot Gen.
The other night’s dream: I was walking with Heidi Klum towards a jeepney stop. We were BFF and all.
We saw Claudia Schiffer walking ahead of us towards the stop, but then she took a turn and went someplace else further.
We got in a jeep and I told Heidi it’s awesome to see a known celebrity taking public transport. She laughed and said it wasn’t a big deal. She said usually takes the jeep late at night and people don’t recognize her.
I was about to pay when Heidi said she already paid for herself.
When she said that, I thought, “Huh, hindi man lang nang-libre.” I didn’t notice when she paid the driver; I thought that was rather sneaky of her.
So basically, in my dream, I was a little insulted that Heidi Klum paid her jeepney fare without telling me and didn’t even consider offering to pay for me. Some BFF she was.
It seems very appropriate that the last spread I will be doing in 2015 starts with Death.
Death is a signal for transformations. The old self, the old model, the old year is dead. It has ended and it’s time to replace it with something new.
Death is both a time of mourning and celebration: We mourn as we remember the memories of times gone past. We celebrate the coming year and the new experience they will bring to us.
Knight of Wands
Among the court cards, the Knights are symbols of action and activity. They are not merely messengers, they are agents of change.
The Knight of Wands represent the act of the spirit, of creativity: The Knight gallops forward to meet its challenges without hesitation.
We may fear changes. We may fear the unknown. But the Knight of Wands urges us to go beyond that fear, take a new step, and welcome the changes that came after the Death of the old year.
Two of Cups
Two of Cups, according to the Book of Thoth, represents Love. It is the meeting of two souls into understanding. It is the sharing of affections.
As the last card in this spread, Two of Cups is the attitude we should bring as we move forward with the Knight of Wands: An attitude of openess and welcome.
We may not know what the year will be like, but we can welcome it with kindness and warmth. More importantly, we should be kinder and warmer to ourselves this New Year.
In a time when things are changing, when rules are changing, and when we are starting over, we should allow more love and forgiveness for ourselves.