I was nodding off to sleep while still using my phone. From my peripheral vision, I can see what I thought was my raised left pinky. But was it my left pinky? I couldn’t feel myself extending that finger. Have I lost some sensation in my hand?
The initial panic cleared my mind and helped me focus: It was my toes photobombing my brain. I thought my toes were my pinky. As absurd as it was, I could not stop myself feeling relieved that it was merely a moment of temporary brain-buffering.
Last night, I found myself playing familiar songs from years ago. One of them was Barenaked Ladies’s “Call and Answer“.
I once sang that song in a karaoke. It’s a relatively easy song to sing, even though it required a wide range. I told friends at that time that the song had a story for me, but I didn’t tell them what the story was.
I posted a summary of that story.
Naaalala ko 'yung time na habang nakikinig ako sa "Call and Answer" ng Barenaked Ladies, tapos bigla akong humagulgol ng iyak.
— Tech Support Monkey (@crazyangelblue) July 6, 2014
Two tweets about that song, then I went back to work and eventually fell asleep on my station. Several replies to those tweets followed, including some from my favorite guy-stalker.
It got me back into thinking why I was remembering that particular period of my life. And then I remembered it was around this date six years ago (I initially misremembered it as seven and on July 7th) when Daryl and I broke up, on our third anniversary.
I’ve long ago accepted the end of that relationship. Daryl and I remained friends. Looking at the things I wrote from that period, I realized how much I changed from 6 years ago; and how much I didn’t change.
A lot of things I wrote six years ago no longer hold true. But how I saw and regarded our relationship remained unchanged.
Let’s see. Six years from now, I might be doing this nostalgia trip again. And I will rediscover this post and, hopefully, have a good laugh at myself and the things I thought I was very sure of.
My mother, in her usual tone of absent-minded concern, asked if the frozen longganisa will be adequately cooked when placed in the microwave.
“Sure,” I said.
Of course, she didn’t believe me, commenting how it’s unsafe to eat undercooked meat. I told her how microwave cooks food from the inside out, so it doesn’t matter if the food was frozen.
I overcooked the sausage. My mother was amazed to see what was a fat tube of meat shriveled to half its size.
So in the end, it was no longer longganisa. The meat was dry and too deep-fried, it was a sausage-shaped chicharon that sprung out of my plate when I cut it with a spoon.
The building’s lift stopped at a certain floor, annoying me because I was running late for work (even in my dream!). When I went out, I discovered that, one floor down, the building’s pillars collapsed. One pillar smashed into the elevator shaft. Somehow the building was still standing, but only just.
Alerting my companions, we took the fire stairs, which somehow was placed outside a high-rise building. Judging that the entire building will collapse within half an hour, I urged my companions to quickly climb down from the 16th floor.
Not surprisingly, one of my companions would fall into a hysterical fit every so often: That stock character of a bumbling, helpless person that slows down a group yet somehow manages not to die ahead of the others.
Despite my real world fear of heights, I was a very competent person in my dream, leading my companions to safety. That was despite being in a world where safety regulations apparently do not exist. I already mentioned the outside fire stairs; the lift we were on apparently doesn’t have a closing door, and part of the platform floor dangerously slopes downwards. There were also the sparking open wires and some locked doors. The place felt like the aftermath of a small-scale disaster that was specifically made to happen.
One night, I met with a lesbian girl friend for a really late dinner. We were joined by a straight guy friend.
The evening traffic was horrible. After some indecision on where to eat, we decided to go to a fashionable restaurant owned by another guy friend. Girl friend drove us there. There was quite a crowd inside. I was enjoying my meal while talking with my friends when the restaurant owner called my attention from several tables away.
“How is it outside?” he asked. At first, I didn’t understand what was he about. After asking what he meant, I began answering about how bad the evening traffic was and how we decided to have dinner at his place.
Restaurant owner cut me off, talked to the crowd, and started shaming my girl friend. Apparently, he didn’t know she was gay until she dumped him; he was sharing that to the other diners, and how he felt being taken advantage of. Girl friend indignantly talked back and started arguing with the restaurant owner; straight guy friend who was with us tried reasoning with both of them.
I was only halfway done with my dinner but I curtly told the restaurant owner that we were leaving. I stood up from our table but girl friend stormed out of the place. Me and guy friend, calling her name which she ignored, ran after her to her car which was parked some distance away while it was raining.