I haven't done this in a long time. Not since the blackhole called “work” swallowed me whole. And since I know I'll be entering another blackhole soon, I might as well take this chance to relish my freedom. I went out on a date with my self. Don't get me wrong. Hindi ako nagti-T.I.I.S. (Tang Ina, I'm Single). Earthling is very much alive and kicking, thank you. I just wanted to go, uhm, for lack of a better word, soul-searching.
First stop: Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina. We're a bit literal, huh? Halloween was over a month ago and unless I possess an extraordinary ability to attract souls, I wouldn't stand a chance of finding one. Not in the heat of the nine o'clock sun.
I sat on one of the benches and read a Butch Dalisay story (from earthling's book) titled The First of our Dead. The story echoed the questions I've been asking since time immemorial – what happens after we die? One character argued that dead is dead is dead, period. Everything will just be black. Another character claimed there is an afterlife.
The notion of an afterlife is far more attractive. The question then becomes – what part of the beings under those marble markers are roasting in the burrows of hell? And how many are having, as Professor McGonagall puts it, “mild-mannered frivolities” in heaven? A dog passed by and sniffed one of the markers incessantly. The scene made me wonder if transmigration is true. What if the dog-soul wants to get back into the body six feet under? Before you think I've gone bonkers, I'm happy to say that I left after an hour, bored with the company of dead people.
My next stop fully negates whatever image of abnormality I have cast upon myself and re-establishes the once-clear fact that I am mentally healthy. Sure, the Greenhills tiangge is the last place you'll go to if you want soul-searching. But sole-searching just might work.
There are shoes of all kinds and sizes but I wasn't in the mood to choose any. Besides, I wasn't with my sister-slash-fashion consultant so I was quite sure I'd pick the wrong pair. After rambling for an hour, I felt the vendors casting suspicious glances at me. It was a bad case of paranoia. It drove me to spend P180 for two blouses I'm not sure if I'd have the courage to wear. Only to find the same being sold at two for P150 at the stall a few meters from where I bought mine. I realized it was stupid of me not to try haggling in a tiangge. Treinta din 'yon a.
What's a date without a movie? I'm not a fan of mainstream movies and I make it a point to watch only the worthy ones so I consider myself lucky that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was still being shown two weeks after its release.
There were only twenty people in the theatre and I was the only one to come alone, all the others were in pairs. I'm not being bitter but I really think I'd appreciate a film better without distractions. You know how some guys are when you're in the K.K.K. (Kataas-taasan Kadilim-diliman Kasulok-sulukang bahagi ng sinehan, hehehe!). Besides, I'd never get to sigh and simper about Viktor Krum when I'm with my significant other.
After the movie, I spent the next two hours trying to finish a whopper meal. Burger King has this promo that had me eating like a pig – Buy a Whopper Jr. Value Meal, get another Whopper Jr. burger for free! Just present your Laking National Card from National Bookstore. Promo is valid in all BK branches until Dec. 31, 2005. (Nag-plug?!). Stupid me haven't thought of take-out. I walked away some three inches fatter by the waist.
Riding the rush-hour MRT on my way home brought me back to my senses. I was tired and broke and for a while I chided myself for coming up with the soul-searching shit. But a few seconds later, I was relieved, thankful to get in touch with myself once more, the self that was snatched from me when I entered the corporate world four months ago.
I just wish I won't be lobotomized again in my next job...