Contrary to what you might have heard, I still am very much alive and kicking. Well, maybe not kicking... but alive, certainly.
As it happens, I scraped my patella. God, how I wish I was talking about cheese or spaghetti or whatever italian food you might be imagining right now. But the patella, I recently learned, is a protective covering of your knee, helping the ligaments function friction-free. And I damaged mine. Congratulatory greetings for this supreme idiocy is in order. I probably busted it while pretending I can do muay thai or tae bo in the gym. The medicines I have to take makes me woozy... a lot. Sometimes, people just split into 2 images right before my eyes. The floor also has this quirk of slanting upwards; furnitures suddenly go all Beauty-and-the-Beast-animated as well.
The bright side is, I was advised to stay at home for 10 days. Count that, TEN whole days. I have the medical certificate and everything to prove it is official. And since I am undergoing physical therapy in a hospital near our old house in Monumento, I am staying at my aunt and uncle's house where I don't have to do housework. ;)
My only concern is how to occupy myself for the next 10 (well, technically, it's now just 8) days. And when was spare time ever a problem for me? Never.
Ergo, books and DvD abound. Also, it's less boring here because we're right smack in the middle of a bustling urban community. There's a store to manage. There's Gabe to babysit. Yeah, this isn't bad. Not bad at all.
The Dresden Files
I'm not sure how many people in the Phils. have read Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. I chanced upon a secondhand copy of Book One : Storm Front for only Php70. Heck, it's good. Thing is, the book costs Php 600 each in National Bookstore. So, although, I am technically in love with the books, I've read only one.
I didn't even know there was a TV series based on the book until I saw the DVD in infamous Quiapo. I bought it even if I don't have a DVD player at home. Y'know, just in case I'll chance upon the resources someday, and that someday turned out to be now.
For practical reasons, the story line of the TV series aren't the same as those of the books, but the premise is the same. In Chicago, there is a police consultant by the name of Harry Dresden. He's a wizard. And the Chicago police goes to him when something "weird" becomes an element in their investigations. Cool, actually. The actor, his name eludes me still, playing the wizard is charismatic alright. But he might be too good looking for the Dresden I met in the book. He's also way too charming for the supposedly socially inept Dresden, but well, that's marketing for ya.
I am not encouraging you to buy the pirated DVD. Instead, I encourage you to buy the books. And then ---- lend it to me, darling. We'll be best friends forever, promise!
Morning Breeze Subdivision, 4 years later
So odd. I grew up in this place, all my first 21 years. But I took so much to our home in Fairview that I easily, too easily, outgrew this place. Morning Breeze now feels cramped and hot and dirty to me. Too many people and too many smells. But now that I am forced to re-live it all again, I remember the good things about it, little by little. How, there's always people near enough to help you in times of emergencies. How convenient it is to be a walking distance from so many stores and restaurants. How easy it is to find a ride home to and fro anywhere.
A lot of things has changed. The streets all look alien to me, except maybe those which I frequented because classmates or friends lived there. I feel like an observer seeing the place for the first time, every time. I was surprised to find that there's a house that priests are renting nearby and they give free breakfast to kids from Bagong Barrio every Wednesday. The parish church was painted color Pink (for some reason). So many new faces now.
Somewhere here, there must still be echoes of an old Olivia. A more innocent, more carefree girl who only knew her close-knit family. I don't want to be her anymore, but I would like to see her again, if I can. Just for a second. Just enough to remind myself that I had been a happy kid who believed she will be someone great and famous someday.
Great or famous, I am not. But I like to think, I can tell her, this young Me, that she shouldn't be disappointed. Because at the very least, I'm learning oh so much about being strong.
In the Likeness of a Dreamer
Gabe, my 3-year-old cousin, was telling me about a bad dream he had the other night. Nothing particularly strange about it; it certainly sounded like something a 3-year-old would dream about. The odd thing was in the words Gabe used to describe it to me.
He's intelligent for someone so young. The words "startled" and "probably" are included in his vocabulary. But tonight I learned he could also use words to indicate clarity of his feelings.
He told me that he was lost in the dream. He was younger than he was now and he was looking for his Mom. He found a lady he thought was his Mom but when he approached her, he learned she wasn't anyone he knew at all.
"I felt it in my mind, Ate Olids, I was lost. And my throat hurt, and I couldn't speak. I was scared of how the colors weren't so sure after."
A 3 year old said that in English. Even I couldn't articulate my fears or confusion in such colorful fashion.
Oh, I love Gabe, so much that it hurts my throat too.
I told him there'll be no bad dreams tonight. Instead, there'll be castles, and candies, and ponies. And before closing his eyes, he told me: "My pony is white, Ate Lids, and yours is gold. I can see it now."
And he closed his eyes and slept.
Good night, little boy. Goodnight all.