26 February 2009

To Say Goodbye


Mr. B. learned today that his friend Daniel succumbed to cancer. He is in his 30's. This is his open letter to him:

"I was saddened by the news today - saddened and wondering why you left your family and friends at such a young age. I will always remember you and San Francisco. That Halloween Night 10 years ago when I arrived in that crazy city and was overwhelmed by the festivities in Market Street. You were there to show me around, to make sure I was fine. I remember the bean burrito lunch in Union Square and coffee in Virgin (or was it HMV?). Those were some of the happiest days of my life, and I thank you for being there for me. Last night I lit a candle in your honor, praying that you may somehow get through these hard times. But I learned today that you were gone forever.

I will always treasure the memories of your friendship, your generosity, your quirkiness. Thank you for walking this way. And to D. and B., I understand how hard it must be to lose a life partner and a great buddy. Be strong.

Goodbye, my friend. "

24 February 2009

All You Have To Do Is Dream


So Mr. B. came home a caught the last 30 minutes of Dreamgirls on HBO and was all teary-eyed in the last scene. I realized he was melancholic for some other reasons.

When he was a little boy, Mr. B. excelled in most things artistic - before he was even 10 years of age, he won grand prizes in various singing, declamation and art competitions. He enjoyed being on stage blinded by the bright lights performing and not being able to see the audience. Before 12, he guested in local TV shows and almost got a part in a major stage play (but he backed out last minute). As he got older, he wanted to be a musician, an evangelist or an architect. He chose the latter one for practical reason. Then he started dreaming of becoming a screenwriter, a filmmaker, or perhaps an author.

Life took him to a totally different road. Now, Mr. B. is none of the above. He is a suit and tie guy working in an ultra-conservative company having to endure the pain of facing people he does not really care about. Sometimes he does wonder what would have happened if he took a different path. Would he be happier? Would his life be more fulfilling?

The cruel truth in life is that one will never ever know. Old dreams die or get killed. New dreams take place. They stay there until new ones come along.

And if you care to know, we bears don't dream of ever becoming something else. We just ARE. And we shall always BE.

22 February 2009

Tea For Two

Mr. B.'s dear friend K. from Bangkok is visiting for a few days. They met 7 years ago when K. was then living and working in Taipei. Now that K. has already moved to Bangkok and started a fashion accessories business, they see each other about twice a year.

Mr. B. told me that what he enjoyed most during K.'s visit is when they are just chilling at home, smoking, eating junk food and having tea. That's when they catch up on the latest things about their lives, gossip about other people and bitch about life in general (oooppps, did a nice bear just say "bitch"?). They would talk and talk for hours until one of them drops (usually Mr. B. because he has to work the next day).

As they were coming home from their once favorite bar tonight, Mr. B. wondered out loud if they would continue doing so when they both get old. I am sure they will. Things will definitely change as time goes on but I am very sure there will always be tea, there will always be stories and gossips, there will always be friendship shared.

It's been a good day today.

19 February 2009

Tatiana's Dream


So there she was, standing for the whole of America to judge. Will she be able to pursue her dream? Will she be able to do what she likes to do best in life? America said NO.

I find this a bit strange about humans (well, about reality shows in particular). Humans like to see other people being judged, to be told what you can or cannot do. People are casted aside, voted off, fired, laid off - the good ones stay, the bad ones go. And it is fellow humans who do the decision. Then there are those who actually MAKE the decisions, those who have the power, those who impose what they believe to be good or bad or mediocre.

In a lot of ways, it reminds me of this person Mr. B. works with - a person of adequate power yet questionable ability. You think you are right and everyone else is wrong, that you are intellectually far more superior than the one next to you. That you have the right to call other people "the little ones" or "those little girls". Mr. B. finds that derogatory but he chose to stay silent. Maybe because he doesn't want to be voted off...

So Tatiana Nicole Del Toro was voted off the first batch of 12 in American Idol. Perhaps we will never see more of her. Perhaps she will take her dreams somewhere else - where people will be less judgmental.

Photo Source : www.americanidol.com

16 February 2009

Snooze It!

Bears hibernate. Humans sleep. Unfortunately for Mr. B., both don't come easy to him. He hardly had any personal holidays to really relax and have fun due to work schedules. And he doesn't seem to be getting the kind of rest he needs as well.

It was at that time of his life during his failed relationship with L. (whom I met) when he developed insomnia. For a few years, he depended on sleeping aids just to get him a proper rest. He even developed an intense phobia on his bed.
The thing is that his sleeps are oftened troubled with dreams - vivid and involving all the 5 senses. He has heard music, tasted food, seen colors, flew, ran, killed, loved, anything you can imagine. He tried keeping a dream log one time but grew tired of it when he couldn't recall much of his encounters when he awakens.
.
Another thing is that Mr. B. thinks / worries too much, and it is very often right when he totally unwinds and lie in bed that images of unfinished jobs and unresolved matters would one by one flicker in his mind. In his solitude he wonders about his future, his family, about D., about his job, about his friends, people around him, people he work with...
Sometimes, when things become unbearable, he would take me to his bed and cuddle me to sleep.
.
.

15 February 2009

One World, One Song

video
Today the world is in chaos
And we all are confused.
To love our fellow humans
Is something we must teach the world.
If only each heart knows how to love
Peace and joy would be attained.

We are all equal
Under the grace of God.
Hope we stand shoulder to shoulder
Ready to help anyone in need.
If only each person knows how to love
Whichever race or language
Would all come together.

Je'taime, Te Amo, I Love You
Watashiwa Anata o Aishite Imasu
Ich Liebe Dich, Iniibig Kita
Gua Ay Di
Whichever way you say it
Let us teach the whole world
The only remedy is Love.

One World, One Song, One Exclamation
Love!

Thanks to akocomyk for developing and posting this video on YouTube.

14 February 2009

Friday the 13th - Part 1

Don't be scared. That's Bentley in the photo. He's actually very nice and quiet. He lives in Manila with Mr. B.'s parents and occupies his room for most of the year.

So I learned that today is the first of the 3 Friday the 13th's for 2009. How cool can that be? I also learned that humans are kinda wary about this day. Bad things are supposed to happen.

Well, what do you know? Bad news indeed for Mr. B. when he was informed first thing in the very early morning that his anticipated trip to Los Angeles has been cancelled. So is his trip to Chicago in May (but that bad thing is reserved for the next Friday the 13th because you don't want too many bad things happening).

Los Angeles brings some sort of nostalgia for Mr. B. He visited that place for the first time in 1999 as a side trip of his big San Francisco adventure. That was his first trip to the US with his first US Visa, his first taste of the American Dream so to speak. He has photos of Gloria Swanson's footprint in Graumann's Chinese Theater, walked along Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard (thinking of Norma Desmond probably), visited Univeral Studios, Long Beach and Disneyland. He was excited to see the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Bowl, homes of the stars in Beverly Hills and all things fancy and superficial.

This time, he was supposed to make time to meet and catch up with a very good friend. One he fancied for a long time but nothing ever came out of it as friendship and mating do not work together well for humans. He feels very disappointed to miss the chance to smell the air of Bel-Air again.

Too bad.... I understand travelling is about the only thing that keeps him sane these days. Perhaps he is not yet ready for his close up, Mr. DeMille?

12 February 2009

I Do Not See The Point

One of the most fascinating things about humans is the way they go out of their ways to find a partner in life. They dream about it, aspire for it, fight for it, even die for it. For us bears, it is just mating. Mating, according to Charles Merriam and Noah Webster (not the owner of The Source), is the act of joining together or fitting together, but nothing is said about the duration of time. So my little bear mind presumes that one would hold on to the joining or the fitting until the elements won't join or fit anymore.

I have witnessed Mr. B. going through a lot when one of those "joinings and fittings" didn't work out the way he wanted it to. It brought out the worst in him, the very worst a person can ever be, in fact. Then I see some of his friends and people around him, those who seems to me like finding a mate is the sole purpose of life and living.

I do not see the point.

I do not see the point of having a mate and see each other only once a week.
I do not see the point of having a mate and not stand sleeping in the same bed.
I do not see the point of having a mate and not have anything in common to share.
I do not see the point of having a mate and having to beg for a little intimacy.
I do not see the point of having to go through all the trouble to ultimately find one that you will eventually part with in the future.

I do not see the point. And I would rather eat snow.

08 February 2009

Let Me Entertain You

The once quiet lane where I live will forever be changed! Today, Mr. B. decided to test the birthday gift he received from his mom and dad - a videoke microphone (see picture)! For about 6 hours (feels much, much longer than that!) he and D. took turn singing their hearts out. Some were good. Some bad. But most of them scored 100 points complete with fanfare and title that says "What an excellent singer!" I say, send that machine back! It's defective!

Truth be told, Mr. B. was an excellent singer during his days (as he himself said in a previous post - Idol Eyes), but years of cigarette smoking has badly affected the way he can reach or hold a high note. D., on the other hand, has a great singing voice, but limited experience in singing in English language affected the performances.

By 12 midnight, they decided to stop singing before the neighbors call the police, but made a pact to practice more often in the coming weekends.

As they called it a night and parted ways, I think I heard "Love Is In The Air". It's been a great day today.

07 February 2009

Glamorous At 50

"I promise myself to look and feel fabulous when I reach 50!" Mr. B. excitedly proclaimed.

All his life, Mr. B. had been troubled with the way his age doesn't fit his looks (or should it be the other way around?). At 12, people thought his mother was his sister. 4 years ago, people thought they were husband and wife. He goes out with his partner D. and being mistaken as the father or uncle is a normal reaction he gets from people.

Life certainly plays a cruel joke on him. He must have spent a fortune fixing all there is to be fixed - teeth, skin, weight... but somehow he almost always ends up where he started. So frustrated that he doesn't look in the mirror much or enjoy having his picture taken. So sad...

"Becker," he told me tonight. "In 10 years time you will still look the same. So would Russell. So would Bonbon and Jonjon. So would the rest of the bear population. Why can't I be that way too?"

D. gave him a very strange look, like Mr. B. is going insane.

Vanity. A strange nature of humans.

He vows to start going back to the gym and lose weight. Then undergo some tanning process. Religiously do his facial rituals. Would he be in his most glamorous self when he reach 50? Who knows? Who cares? I don't. What I see is a man with a child's heart. One who finds joy in very simple things like a song he hasn't heard for a long time, a good movie, or a cuddly bear like me.

I don't think he would look any younger than he is now. But I know his heart will never grow old.

05 February 2009

Nothingness

There are days when nothing happens inside your person, just simply nothing. Nothing to be excited about, happy about, sad about. Sure a lot of things may be happening all around you but somehow they don't evoke any kind of emotion from you at all. Maybe you just don't allow them to surface, or perhaps they were never there in the first place. You feel like there is a big hole in the very core of your being and emotions just flow through it without affecting you one bit.

That is how Mr. B. said he feels today.

But surely, I said, you must feel blessed to be able to take a break from your usual emotional rollercoaster, no? But then again perhaps not because that would have been an emotion, a feeling, and he said there's nothing.

I thought about that song in A Chorus Line "Nothing". I know in a funny way it brings tears to Mr. B.'s eyes that song. Maybe at some point in his life he imagined riding a bobsled, be an ice cream cone, a sportscar or a table, and still feels nothing.

I see humans around me as tired souls, trying to "feel" and trying to "be". As if "feeling" and "being" are the only ways to remind oneself that one is indeed "living". Or is it?

02 February 2009

C'est Si Bon and Jon



Bonbon and Jonjon came back from their Manila trip very happy wearing matching summer shirts and shorts courtesy of Mr. B.'s sister (see photo and also check out more in my album). For them, it was 9 days of going around, meeting new friends (Horton the Round Lumpy even wanted to come back with them!), checking out all the nice places around Manila celebrating the Lunar New Year. Understandably, they were the center of attention in every family gathering. In their young minds, life is but an endless adventure and fun.

On the other hand, Mr. B. came back a little distressed. Nothing in particular, I learned, but just bits and pieces of events around him. Needless to say, he was very happy to be able to spend time with his family, relatives and friends, but being so far away for such a long time and seeing things not being what they used to be always upset him. He told me about his visit to his grandmother's columbarium, his aunt's tiny grocery store, his dad's collage of his recent visit, the tiny and grimy fire exit in their apartment where he shared a cigarette with his brother, his mischievous little nephew, his other growing nephews and nieces, his almost 50 year old lady friend who didn't look a day older than when he left 21 years ago, his other friend who got into deep trouble after a failed business- bits and pieces of real life. He thought of his childhood a lot - when people were younger, the city cleaner, the people nicer and life was indeed an endless adventure and fun.

And he finds consolation in his mother's home cooking - about the only unchanging thing in a world gone older.

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