Sunday, July 16, 2006


I have a problem with throwing stuff away. My closet is full of clothes and paper I’ve had since Grade 1. Buried under my bed (which I’ve slept on ever since I was born) is more clutter I’ve hoarded over the years. Well, I don’t know. I’m proud of the fact that I have a poor memory, but I can remember where all my stuff came from. Memories are not material; they fly away from me, chained, but out of sight. Letters, clothes, books, myriad bric-a-bracs…they are concrete and real.

It was Arcie’s despedida yesterday. A lot of our batch mates turned up for it, even the so-called ‘rare ones’ who are picky about what get-togethers to attend. Especially Ivan, who didn’t attend the fourth year retreat at Tagaytay, and after graduation (if he did attend it) have not been sighted but occasionally (like a long-haired, glossy-maned Lochness monster). Ivan is Arcie’s good friend. The first contact I’ve had with him would be a debate on the ethics of genetic modification when we were in third year. Even I picked that fight up.

I will miss Arcie. Everyone called him aso because he owns these askals who eventually die early. I think his current dog is also dying. From anemia. Large fleas have taken too much blood from it, so Arcie says. I remember asking him once how he can think up so many names for so many dogs so fast, them dying early. He said that ‘pag itim, Blackie. Pag puti, Whitie. Pag brown, Brownie’. I raised my eyebrows, ‘what if the dog is not monochromatic?’ He quipped: the dominant color would be the name.

Oo nga naman.

I remember this Saturday, the day before the prom. His Unrequited Love’s birthday is on Sunday, prom day, and he wanted to buy a gift for her. I called him up, to ask about the video for the Class Prophecy, and we ended up agreeing to meet up at the mall to get The Gift. Ivan was with us. I suggested a nice funny shirt. Ivan said it wasn’t romantic. Snort. Let’s talk about romantic, Ivan, some day. So we went to the second floor and we saw a stall selling ceramic figurines. Arcie didn’t want to be too cheap, so he snubbed the small stuff. We spotted a large hulk with mermaids on it, Arcie asked me if it was nice, I was sulking (I wanted to get a nice funny shirt) but I said yes. The ‘figurine’ was actually very pretty. We left the stall with an ugly carton box the size of two size-ten shoeboxes.

I ended wrapping the thing up with a Cinderella-motif wrapping paper. The guy didn’t even have the gall to have scissors in the house so I suffered biting the tape and tearing the paper. On prom day, Unrequited Love was espied carrying a big, pink box the size of two size-ten shoeboxes. Arcie was happy.

I will miss him. I can say that he’s one of my closest friends, that he’s a great listener and gives good advice…but no description can ever tell you what he’s like. Blah. This is getting mooshy. I can tell you all the funniest anecdotes, his life story, his love-life. We’ve been busmates and classmates since forever. He is a part of my life.
I’m contradicting myself. I said I have a poor memory.

But…people can either be a part of your life or just pass you by after a momentary eclipse of circles. The ones who pass by, they become memories. They may fade away, eventually. Sometimes though, there will be remarkable people and you will share your life with them. By those two qualifications, I think, they become something concrete and real. They become material. Everything you’ve shared with them becomes something solid. They become clutter, perhaps, in the closet inside your head, but you can never throw them away. Not for years, not for decades, not for a century.


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