I just got back from sickbay where I missed a lot of workdays that only leads to a lot of bills to pay. It’s the flu season here my friends and this is the first time in years that I have been KO’d by the bug. Yeah, I had a flu of the very virulent kind that had my body reeling from its onslaught for more than a week now.
Times like these could make you stop and ponder for it only mean one thing----
that my days of invincibility are over.
And I am still human after all…
I am writing this stuff while in the comforts of my bedroom (where else?) while lying down on my bed with my head propped up by two giant pillows to guard against straining my neck while the beautiful arias of Andrea Bocelli soaring in the background that are lulling me to sleep- talk err in this case sleep- type every now and then, a sacrifice on my part so that I could update my often neglected blog. I promised myself though that I will try to keep this blog current. If I can help it, that is.
Today is January 26, 2006 and if I remember my medical history right it is also the birthday of Herr Hans Hugo Bruno Selye, the Austrian- born Canadian endocrinologist who pioneered the study of stress on the human body. Surely, I have been in a lot of stress during the past weeks that probably contributed to the fragility of my immune system that eventually led to my going down with the flu. Anyway, thank you Herr Selye for reminding me of my mortality as I will try my best to not develop the so- called “diseases of adaptation” so that I could live a little bit longer.
Speaking of birthdays, I have two very good friends whose birthday fall on this day:
One is very much alive and kicking while the other one is now in heaven.
I remember B, my best friend in college eons ago. She was of the shy and demure kind who would blush every time I tease her about anything but mostly about her secret “crush” who was named after that Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar whom we nicknamed as “Ghost” to conceal his identity from our peers. I am a real “Alaskador” and a very good one at that, I remember she would always give me a knowing but threatening look complete with a secret kick on the shin every time I would try to sing or hum the soundtrack of that Patrick Swayze- Demi Moore movie (entitled what else but Ghost?) every time Casper’s relative would pass by our “tambayan” and I would be in stitches as she blushed and blushed and blushed. But she could do nothing about it lest our secret will be out, so to speak.
This is just one of the many things and moments that I remember about B, who graduated Cum Laude in our pre-medicine class who could have had a very good future ahead of her but just a month and a half after graduation she died tragically in Sorsogon in Bicol. The circumstances of her death were sketchy but I don’t want to divulge them in here nor dwell in the past and open some old wounds. I just want to remember her as B, my down-to-earth happy-go-lucky best friend and as we used to say before-
We don’t remember days, we always remember moments…
So, I will offer a moment of silence for you my best friend.
Happy Birthday and May You Rest in Peace.
In the Land of Milk and Honey, you seldom find people that you can really relate to especially if you’re a transplant from another place with a very different culture half- a world away.
And if you find one then I can tell you that you’re quite lucky. Although I have been here long enough to know the ins and outs of the environment that I belong to; the intricacies and the idiosyncrasies of my co- workers and a million other peculiarities of the American people and its culture, I could only count on my fingers the people whom I could really consider not as just mere acquaintances but friends.
And J is one of them.
J, the lady in lavender or violet or whatever you may call it, is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. This is just an understatement for she is one person who could literally take your breath away; witty and intelligent with always a ready smile to greet you and lift your spirits up.
And today is her birthday too.
But I was not able to greet her for she flew to the Netherlands to have herself a Dutch Treat and be with Van Gogh and probably a bicycle ride in the Dutch countryside or who knows she could be just sitting there on a roadside café watching strangers smoke pot in liberal Holland. Or maybe plainly admiring the canal houses of Amsterdam.
She told me she’d like to go and see Anne Frank’s house and understand why the courage of a young girl in a not so ideal time could be an inspiration for everyone. She’d probably drop by the Rijksmuseum and see why it is Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn's home among other things or appreciate Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring up close in The Mauritshuis in The Hague.
She could be feeling and walking like a giant, like Gulliver in Madurodam in The Hague or just laughing the night away with her friend swimming in green Heineken and golden Amstel while having a ball in that country of windmills, klompen and of course the color, orange.
and you can’t fault her for that--for it’s her birthday and she’s entitled to that.
So, J even if the tulips are not in bloom and the irises have yet to be in full splendor, Amsterdam will be in a way different simply because you’re there.
Happy Birthday and have a good one.
Madurodam - (the Netherlands on a scale of 1:25)