Miyerkules, Hunyo 8, 2011

Bar Talk

No matter how frequently things change, even if those changes seem like a complete overhaul of what you're used to, I think the key is recognizing constants. The past two weeks, I've been put in new situations that all seem familiar, in places that have contributed more than a lot to the general state of my current life.

After my latest relationship fizzled out, I have chosen to avoid including people without any recognizable or legitimate baggage in my circle. The rationale behind this is that by surrounding myself with people who are fighting equally taxing or even greater battles than what I am going through, then the feeling of isolation would not be as present as it usually is. So far, it seems to have been working. As I have also stated in my last post, I was going to retrace my steps a bit, and yeah, I've done quite a bit of that as well.

Prudence? I locked down a job that would guarantee a level of financial stability for me, while still allowing me to pursue certain passions, over the foreseeable future. However, with my condition escalating to a point that my attacks occur at random times, I had to forego such a security. So, I'll be staying in the Think Tank, which isn't a bad thing, I guess. At least the scheduling allows me to take it easy when necessary. Of course, this'll make certain aspects of my life far more difficult in the coming months, but I guess the easy way out has never been an option that was available to me.

The Big Man's Method of Therapy. What I've come to appreciate lately is how the Big Man (whether intentional or not) has pretty much stepped up in supporting me throughout these really trying times in perhaps the best way he could: by abandoning his diet and risking other potential hassles with certain parties by taking me to a bunch of bars. There were singing, there blackouts, and basically it's all been a great fucking time. It's reminiscent of the days wherein things were deadly serious but we didn't have much to save our respective sanities save our nights out. We've had a bunch of adventures the past couple of weeks, I just couldn't remember all of it.

Some Things Never Change… a Selfish Reminder from the Past. I had another attack, and this time it occurred on a Friday afternoon… when all I wanted to do was see Kung Fu Panda 2. I needed someone to bare my soul to, so I go and send that familiar text message, my trademark Call to Arms. I had three replies. One was from the Salesman, who was with his girl and I didn't want to step on that. One was from one of the Part-Timers, people who I partied with during my last phone monkey stint. She sounded interested in getting drunk and stupid, but then the final reply came in. It was from someone I used to be really close with, and she was asking for help. So, despite my condition, I found it hard to refuse someone who was asking for help, even though I haven't had a second of sleep from the previous night thanks to my condition. So I accompanied her to Makati, a place she's not very familiar with. She promised that after this errand she had to run, we'd hang out somewhere and talk and basically help me deal with the attack.

So I take her to where she needed to be, and I had no problem waiting for her to finish her tasks. However, after an hour or so of sitting there in a shitty coffee shop as she was doing her thing, I receive a text from her asking me to accompany her home (which was a billion kilometers away) and to just hang out at her place. That really pissed me off, considering we agreed upon hanging out at my bar afterwards. Add to the fact that she had been complaining non-stop the entire night. I didn't even get a real fucking thank you. I don't know if I'm overreacting, but come on, man. It was quite an uncool thing to do, especially to someone who a couple of months ago she called and said she had changed and wanted to make up for pretty much treating me badly three or so years back. So I left. I knew she could find her way home at that point.

Lucky for me, the Friendly Almost-Neighbor was nearby and she accompanied me back South, even providing me with the necessary friendly conversation that I needed to get through the night. We parted ways at the mall, where she went straight home and I went back to my original plan of watching some computer generated martial arts action.

I told the Friendly Almost-Neighbor that she was the only pleasant thing to come out of my night, and if it wasn't for her, I might have spent another sleepless night. As for that friend of mine that basically treated me like I was her personal assistant, her, and by association, her boyfriend, are no longer considered as people I could rely on. I don't want to sound like a whiny bitch about all of it, but I'd like to think I've done more than enough for her and her boy. If it was one of those one way things, well… I'm not really in any shape to deal with shit like that. While most of my relationships have been like that, now is not the time.

Fifteen Minutes. The night of my comedic TV debut, the Big Man and I were at one of these bars that have contributed much to our history. That Saturday night is nothing less but another milestone, as we brought his long lost brother with us and allowed him to experience new and exciting things (with our trustworthy adult supervision guiding him, of course). The huge amount of texts I received from people who were glued to the tube that night was perhaps the only annoying thing I had to deal with that night, so in my assessment, we all had a pretty nice night.

The fallout of that performance is that now, a bunch of people who I don't know feel that it's okay to randomly approach me and ask stupid shit. It's not cool when you've spent the majority of your life ignoring the majority of people around. I can't wait until my fifteen minutes are up. Seriously, strangers, leave me the fuck alone.

Weddings and Other Family Matters. The night after that particular adventure, I had to fulfill my duty to my relatives by attending my cousin's wedding in Manila. In all honesty, unless I had a specific function to perform, I hate going to weddings. I think it's way too focused on the bride and groom, which is alright, but if you're going to be inviting people afterwards to party, you should at least, you know, make it worth their while. So I was there, in Manila, a place that I've had tons of history in, dressed inappropriately for a formal affair, and as expected, I was bored out of my freaking' mind. But I promised to show up, and I did.

Highlight of the night would have to be when my mother insisted that she and her "friend" drive me home just so she'd know where I actually hang my hat these days. During the drive, the guy, sober as a person could possibly be, starts giving me advice about how to live and tells me stories about how he was younger he was a lot like me and all that shit. It was… well, it was hilarious. What does one say in such a situation? Normally I'd be my usual flippant self, but this is the guy my mother hangs out with, and they were nice enough to spare me from commuting from crime central to addict haven. Plus, he offered to hit the town with me one of these days so we could have a surrogate father-son talk. Yikes. But, if he wants to attempt to bond as he drinks me under the table, why the fuck not? I'm a firm believer of potential.

Acting Like an Asshole. Despite my shenanigans, I've always considered myself as someone who's more controlled and disciplined than my peers, bit on one Tuesday night the Big Man and I once again embarked on another one of those nights (no homo) that leave a nice smile on my face but a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I've broken character for a few weeks now, I think since the night when I shot that TV thing, and while I thoroughly have a good time with what I do, I've been breaking the rules that I have strictly followed. Of course, I didn't do things that were worse than some of the things I've seen and heard recently and not quite recently, but I have been having trouble when it comes to personal definition.

And then, in the middle of all the alcohol and singing and other stuff, I remembered the Salesman's words to me that night my apartment got flooded. We were talking about my recent relationship and how I decided to not pursue any new romantic connections anymore, cause 13 failed ones, I said, were more than enough. He said something like, "don't stop at the 13th. You deserve to be happy. You'll be alright. Go after the 14th, or the 15th… or even go back to your first, or second… though of course I'm hoping the 14th gets the job done."

Recalling those words, spoken to me in a bar, while I was, once again, in a bar, got me thinking. And yeah, I'm ready. I'm wanna go through that shit again. And I believe all it takes is one good night to change things.

Of course, that particular night wasn't the night. It was far from romantic. For me, at least.

Comedy Reboot and a Ringside View of Shitty Relationships. From the first time since I started doing it, I've lost the fire to do comedy.Don't get me wrong, it's still the one ting that I want to do, but I've been missing gigs, and whenever I hit the stage, I don't even give a fuck anymore. I decided to restart everything. Write entirely new jokes, and rediscover why I liked it in the first place.

The Salesman, who set up the new venue for the weekly comedy night, was equally frustrated. More so when we hit San Mig and he and his girl started digging into old issues. It was an interesting night… and the contrast between this and how I've been spending my nights lately, but it was enlightening.

A Turning Point, for Better or for Worse. A couple of nights later, it was the Big Man's turn to show me another downside of relationships. The Think Tank kinda screwed with my paycheck, and he kinda walked out of the house without grabbing cash. Of course, that wouldn't stop us, so it's off to the local gas station for drinks and the usual recount of a really bad situation.

The stormy night provided a proper setting for our conversation. I always used to say that their relationship symbolized hope on my part, cause as long as they were doing well I knew there was a slim chance for someone like me to find something similar. That doesn't exist now, so all bets are off.

Roots. As part of my campaign to retrace my steps, I attended one of those high school reunions that they've been throwing with frequency ever since our beloved adviser passed away last year. There I was, drinking with people that I mostly didn't bother getting to know during a point in my life wherein I got to see them on a daily basis. I can't believe I was spawned from this place, where men are strong and silent, women are tough and beautiful, and then there's me.

I have to say, that night gave me a whole new perspective and who I was and who I am right now. I'm not completely as concerned about who I will be anymore. All I know is that that my life has always been the same… long nights, and laughter. It reminded me why loved comedy, why choosing the right girl has always been a big deal, why i prided myself in being different, and why I'm glad I made the decisions I've made. I love who I am, and I'm happy that the people I've encountered through the years see me in different lights, but all similarly special. I'm glad to say that while I may have decided to remove two people from circle, I seem to have added at least a dozen more.

Peace. I'd like to end this post with the Sunday I spent continuing my retracing. I somehow ended up in Tahanan Village with The Therapist and Jo F'n Regis. I was broke, I was sober, but I was happy. I thought about it, and I realized that the last time I was truly happy was the days I spent here in 2004. I was young, had just graduated, had a budding relationship and the real world hadn't reared its ugly head towards my direction yet. I had potential. We all did.

I'm feeling that same potential now. Times are dark though, not just for me, but for everyone around me. I look around me, and I see that they can make it. Not sure about me, but i never really cared. It's going to be fun, kids. More or less.

"This time I finally see
The reason why, I can't do this alone,
It took some time and concentration,
To believe it, this I know

I need to build my faith sometimes,
But I am so comfortable in line,
I'm up, there's no more time,
To try to mess with this design" - FM Static, "Take Me As I Am"

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/f/fm_static/#share

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