Friday, November 27, 2009

The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg

(In which I learn by asking.)
***
One of my telephone students is using a book from the new program under the category SENIOR. However, my class with him makes me think as to whether he lacks confidence or he’s just plain lazy which brings in ineffectiveness since he doesn’t respond like a senior in our class. Now we’re on another story by Chris Van Allsburg. We have taken up The Garden of Abdul Gazasi in the previous book (which is another post worthy story) and now we’re on The Stranger.

The moment I saw the cover page I noticed that mystery is the dominant flavor of this story. Not only because the book says so but because of the natural dark aura that its totality brings. However, the darkness that emanates from it is not something you’ll be scared of but rather something that will make you think.

I asked my student, “What’s the season described in this story?”

“Uhmm…”

“Yes? What season is it?”

“Fall?”

“Oh. Is it already fall?”

“No. but it will be.”

So I went on asking what fall looks like and how he finds it, which resulted to more hmm’s and ahmm’s than sensible sentences. Then I asked what Farmer Bailey felt and what happened next.

“He felt a cool breeze?”

“Good. And then?”

“He heard a thump.”

“What does he think it was?”

“A deer.”

“So there was an accident and he thought he hit a deer. Let’s move on.”

“What did Mr. Bailey found on the road?”

“A man.”

“What do you think was his reaction?”

“He must be surprised?”

“What did he do next?”

“He went closer to the man.”

When I asked him what Farmer Bailey feared the most and after being subdued in dead air, I said, “He was afraid that he might have killed him, don’t you think so?”

He agreed like he has always done.

“Okay. What did the man do afterwards?”

He answered by reading the text and I asked him to answer in his own way. He refused so I have to provide a “scaffold” for him.

“He opened his eyes and got terrified. Then he got up.”

As I saw that the text was longer, I had to make sure he really understood it and asked literal questions.

“Where did the farmer take him?”

“What do they think of the stranger?”

“What is the doctor’s diagnosis?” In this point I had to define diagnosis. Then I asked about the thermometer.

“What is the use of a thermometer?”

“To get the temperature? If it’s hot or cold?”

“How do you know if it’s hot or cold?”

“The mercury. If it’s low, it’s cold. If it’s high, it’s hot?”

“Okay. Why did the doctor tell them to throw the thermometer away?”

“Because it’s broken.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“The mercury was stuck at the bottom.”

After asking the obvious literal questions, I then asked about the strange things that he noticed in this part.

“The stranger is strange.”

“Why?”

“Maybe he doesn’t know the soup?”

“He seemed to be ignorant about the soup. But then he lost his memory according to the doctor, right? What about the temperature?”

Silence.

“Mrs. Bailey shivered, right? It must be cold then.”

“Aaahhh.”

Then we talked about the rabbits. He seemed to understand that part so we moved on.

This time I asked him what kind of person the stranger was, aside from him being strange.

“He’s a good worker.”

“Why do you think so?”

“He can use the pitchfork well.”

“Okay. What else?”

“He works hard and well.”

I was supposed to hiss or sigh at these exhausting moments of bringing out his interest to talk more.

“Good. Is there anything strange in this part?”

Silence.

“Do you think he gets tired?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“He didn’t even sweat.”

Again, he used the text in verbatim but I didn’t care.

“What in this scene is he fascinated about?”

“The geese?”

“What about these geese?”

“They are in V formation.”

So I went on asking when geese do the fascinating V formation and after some encouragement, we arrived at the answer that it happens in autumn.

So now we have talked about how long the stranger had been there as well as the changes that took place, or were supposed to take place but didn’t.

“The trees in their farm were still green.”

“How about the other trees?”

“They were red and orange.”

“What does the stranger prefer?”

“Red and orange.”


So it was obvious something was wrong. And of course we have to understand it.

“How does the stranger feel as each day pass?”

“He feels sad?”

I grew tired of this exchange of interrogations when he’s supposed to answer with a declarative sentence. “Are you asking me?”

He gave out his little laugh with the light touch of the k sound and said “No. he feels sad.”

“Why does he feel sad?”

“There is something wrong, he thinks. Maybe.”

“What did he do as he becomes more upset?”

“He pulled a leaf and blew on it.”

“Did he intend to do it?”

Silence.

“He did it without thinking. It was as if it was second nature to him.”

“Aaahh..”

As we took a look at the picture, I asked, “What happened to the leaf?”

“It becomes red.”

We talked about the departure and what happened after it.

“The trees were not green anymore.”


“Did the strange things stop happening when the stranger left?”

“No.”

Right. In fact, it becomes nothing less than strange. I asked him why and we talked about the trees in the farm and the words etched in frost.

What makes this story worth reading is that you have to activate your senses to understand it. It could be like any other story since descriptive images were created by writers to make the scenes vivid. But since this is a mystery, there is at least one core question to answer at the end of the story and you have to cite reasons to give justice to your deductions. As I ask questions, I try to look even for the simplest clue that is there and link it with the other ones I’ve found and see if they make sense. It makes our class exciting since you try to help the student forebode and to increase his interest and excitement. I just hope I was able to do that with the kind of student as cold and unfeeling as this one.

Now the question is, who’s the stranger?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dreadful December is Coming!

(In which blasphemy is the last thing I mean.)
***
People would usually avoid being in or ending a relationship on special events; i.e., birthdays, Valentine’s Days, Christmases and New Years to prevent the suffocating feeling of being reminded of how sweet those days used to be until we got dumped. However, we often forget that the first and the last days are not the ones that really count. It’s all the days within the relationship that you’ll be reminded of.

I was actually tempted to have a three-month older version of Green Day’s song as the title of this post. But I realized that waking after December isn’t really a good idea since January is another month to hate and the months that follow are hurtful and desperate. I can’t sleep all year long. Right. The happiest days of my life so far ends in January and begins on I-don’t-know-when. But it was the approaching of December which brings me to another half-burned, half-elated state of being.
You just know when it’s December by the mere picture of everything. You can even feel it and smell it. I don’t know how to describe its odor. I just know when the air smells like Christmas.

And Christmas used to be a happy moment. We didn’t start then nor end. That’s the point. It’s one of those times within the bonding moments I just can’t let go. As for me, I can give away the first meeting for anything. Especially when I think of what mess I had made of myself since then. And who wants to remember the parting of the ways? But when all is over, all that remains is the memories. And happy were those memories. When I saw the pretty Christmas tree being put up by our lovely officemate, it seems like time is moving backwards, though only internally. I seem to be the only one who goes back in time and all was looking forward.

I don’t think there is any point of avoiding any memorable day before making and breaking somebody’s heart aside from saving the sanctity or anything of that day. It’s not just about the lovely Christmas tree. Not about the expensive one-hour long distance call which was shortened by fifty percent to save the other half for New Year’s Eve. It’s not the Christmas card with the lovely message though grammatically incorrect. It’s not those days – not even the best day – that really break me into droplets at the slightest thought of it. For the daily calvary is indeed more painful than a single day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Losing and Mourning

(In which I got someone who somehow understands in the form of printed text.)

***

After finishing The Four Temperaments, which is about the complex love affair of a ballerina with a violinist and his son as well as with her dream of becoming a star, I started reading the novel I bought together with it on a secondhand books store.

The Nightingale’s Nest is about Pamela Griffe, a girl who lost his husband three days after their marriage when the man was sent to fight in The Great War. She then works for a couple who owns a gallery years after. Their home and the people they know will eventually add another life-changing chapter to Pamela Griffe’s life.

Here are two paragraphs relating to how she felt when her beloved husband was taken because of his duty to defend his nation.

We only had those few days, but they changed my life forever. It wasn’t only grief that separated me from other single girls of my age; it was that I joined the ranks of the widows. We were no rarity value; there were tens of thousands of us, each dragging her individual tragedy like an untidy packed suitcase, a disobliging memento mori for the as-yet unbereaved. Even my parents managed to give the impression that for me to miss Matthew too much, or to show that I did, would be something like bad form, when so many others out there were in the same position. And many of them, their tone gently implied, almost as if comforted by the fact, had been married for years, and had children. It was as if my fledging marriage to Matthew did not, could not, count for so much as all those longstanding ones, exemplary or otherwise.

. . . In telling me that I was in some in some way fortunate to have lost Matthew before things went any further, before we had built a life together or got to know each other better, or had a family. . . they were driving the very aspect of my loss which I found more agonising.

I always hear people – whether celebrities or common people – console a brokenhearted person after a breakup by saying that it is better that it had ended rather earlier before too many times were spent together and too many memories were made. They would even give the example of a couple being together for ten years, got married and later found out that they were not really meant for each other and have to separate.

“See? At least you were saved from that fate!” they will say.

But, regardless of the consolation the early parting might give you for saving you of more sweet days to be recalled painfully and be forced to extinguish from your mind forever so as not to incur any more pain, the fact that you have lost never changed. You don’t need ten years, or children or a marriage to know that you loved and were loved in the same manner that you don’t need any of those to know that you have just lost someone. True. Telling anyone who just had their hearts broken by whatever or whoever, that they somehow do not have the right to mourn the way they are mourning since the relationship hasn’t even lasted for how long it should have based on whoever’s standards, doesn’t give any cure to the wound. So what if it lasted for only two months and the relationship was a goner ever since it started?

I too had my own share of this tragedy, only not about death of a physical body but death of a dream. But as far as I know mourning I also know that life doesn’t end with a parting and my life needs to continue. When I think of him deserting me, I thought of Maria Clara and Ibarra. Though they love each other, Maria Clara was forced to marry Linares to spare his father, Kapitan Tyago (not that he has any reason close to Maria Clara’s). But when she heard of Ibarra’s death, she’d rather die.

“While he lived, I could have married–I thought of running away afterwards–my father wants only the relationship! But now that he is dead, no other man shall call me wife! While he was alive I could debase myself, for there would have remained the consolation that he lived and perhaps thought of me, but now that he is dead– the nunnery or the tomb!”


- Maria Clara, Noli Me Tangere, CHAPTER LXII, "Padre Damaso Explains"

Perhaps, that’s the only consolation I have from everything that happened – that he was alive and might probably be thinking of me.






Currently reading:

The Nightingale’s Nest by Sarah Harrison





Music playing on my mind:

Think of Me (from The Phantom of the Opera)



Monday, November 16, 2009

Manny Gives Cotto his First Defeat

(In which seven is the number of the day.)

***

The Preparation


After watching HBO’s 24/7 Pacquiao – Cotto, I had a strong wish for Manny’s victory I even prayed for it before I slept. Was it overconfidence oozing out of Cotto or I just misunderstood him? Honestly, when he said that Puerto Rico will be rejoicing on November 14 and he will bring home his belt on his shoulder, I felt vexed. Not that I’ve never heard that statement from a defending champion but it’s just that Manny never sounded that sure about winning not even when victory seems to be as certain as he’s a six-time world champion – at least as far as I know. I don’t mind Freddie Roach saying Joe Santiago lacks experience and Joe Santiago saying Freddie Roach has a habit of trash talking the opponent’s trainer. It’s Pacquiao and Cotto who’ll be in the ring anyway.

When I saw Pacquiao training and Cotto refusing to have some of his sparring filmed, I felt the same way as when I watched 24/7 De la Hoya – Pacquiao. It feels like victory.

The Hours before the Fight

Since I was the most nocturnal member of the family, I had the burden of relating what the other people missed on 24/7. I tried my best to recall what happened in a disinterested manner. But the image of Cotto walking like a gangster with his prominent lips which give you the message “Don’t mess with me” was so tattooed on my mind I was quick in saying “He seems arrogant. I hope Pacquiao wins.”

We Filipinos were sometimes known for going for underdogs. Some say it’s the reason why we cry over Cinderella-inspired dramas where the bullied and abused maid will someday turn into a wealthy and beautiful princess. I am sometimes guilty of this. After knowing that Pacquiao is more favored in terms of bets, it gave me the feeling as if Cotto is the underdog now considering that many think it will be an easy win for Manny regardless of Cotto’s rank. But I don’t think I’ll be going for the underdog now. Not because I’m Filipino but because Cotto isn’t fit for the term. He even has the certainty that he will win. Underdogs have hope; champions, confidence. But whether Pacquiao saying “I’ll try to win” and “I’ll do my best “ is a manifestation of hope, or humility, I am not certain.

But I do pray he wins.

During the Fight

We were still stuck clueless when the world must have finished sighing and rejoicing. But when you’re waiting for a late telecast, you have no other choice but to settle to hearsays people give you in passing. It’s a good thing that we hear positive hearsays. Thank you, technology.

My mom’s friend messaged:

“Cotto went down twice before the twelfth round.”

BF messaged:

“Vesh, it’s over. Cotto can’t take it anymore. Hahaha.”

A neighbor said:

“We watched it at the big screen put up in town. Pacquiao won at the twelfth round. No they didn’t even finish it!”

“It’s a TKO, then,” my father responded.

Now that we know what the ending is, the only thing left to do is to know how it ended. Watching it on a late telecast only gives us the real account of what happened for the sake of feeding our curiosity.

As the Philippine national anthem was sung by La Diva, (I never knew a trio can sing in a boxing match!) I brushed away the thoughts of hearing Lupang Hinirang in a tempo di marcha. I’ll take Kyla anytime.

After the significant scenes like the entrance and introduction of boxers and the different rounds which are aired in a matter of two or three minutes (or less) there will be five-minute commercials in between – which are not at all bad since I can always go back to washing the dishes after each round.


Firepower

We all agreed that round first goes to Cotto. But the rest goes to the Filipino. Every time Cotto hits Pacquiao, (though it seems that Pacquiao intentionally lets himself be hit at times) the crowd goes wild. But when it’s Pacquiao turn to hit the Puerto Rica, the crowd goes wilder.

Now to give a better account of the action, I will be in need of Chino Trinidad and Bryan Villoria. But, in my non-sports analyst way of looking at it, it was a great fight. With De la Hoya and Hatton not even able to last until round 9, Cotto sure made himself look better. As the fight becomes bloodier, I started to cringe.

“I wouldn’t be able to give him another punch if I were his opponent,” my mother said sympathetically.

“That’s why you are not a boxer,” my father laughingly responded, not taking his eyes off the TV.”Besides, Manny doesn’t seem like he’s going for the kill.”

Cotto seems to be more of an underdog now. He gives out punches for the sake of punching and executes his choreographic footwork I saw on 24/7 which seems like an escape scheme. Villoria describes him as “being on his bicycle” when he (Cotto) does this and believes it’s just a way of “surviving another round”. He cannot go any further, I thought. Pacquiao is even motioning his gloved fist toward his own face as if telling Cotto to go get it somewhere in the 9th round. But it was no use. Cotto kept cycling away from Manny. And when the referee motioned Pacquiao to his corner and ended the fight, the obvious verdict was made official.

The Impressions

No one in his sanity will say it is an easy victory. Manny has given so much but he also received a lot. Cotto is indeed unordinary.

What impresses me most was when I saw Cotto’s tattooed arm on Manny’s shoulder while he knelt on his corner to pray. When Manny stood up, Cotto embraced him and patted his head with his gloved left fist.

“He’s the only one I saw who did that,” I said. “I mean the one who went to Manny’s corner and embraced him after he prays.”

“His overconfidence must have subsided now,” my father responded. “Look. He’s undefeated. Margarito’s victory over him is invalid. This is his first real defeat. And he must have developed a strong respect for Pacquiao.”

So defeat makes on humble?

“I would be expecting a rematch if I were you,” he continued. “If Manny’s not going up for another weight division, it’s possible. Besides, a defeat like this is never easy to accept.”

So defeat makes one more determined?


The Historical Present and The Awaiting Future

The name of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. as the next to face Pacquiao echoes at the MGM Grand. But when asked about it, Pacquiao said this will be his last weight division. So a rematch is possible?

"Right now, I just want to take a vacation," he said in an interview after the fight to which my sister commented, "He's having epistaxis. I bet he'd rather be in another fight than be in an interview."

And besides, why would he be thinking of Mayweather now when he has an upcoming concert just days after the fight and a hero's welcome at the other side of the world upon his return?


***
A great Puerto Rican boxer and the Pound for Pond King. A world record of seven championships won in seven weight divisions and a cheering nation. That’s how a historical match is made.

Friday, November 13, 2009

To Make a Child Secure

(In which I wish – whether in or out of context – to quote Pythagoras.)
***

Friday. It was both the most loved and hated day of the week by the two main characters in our academy – the teachers and students. The students hate it for being a test day. The teachers hate it for being a test day. But both love it for being the last day of the week.

I gave a four-part test to Sandy, my lovely solace who exists side by side me and my duty to educate in an academy where almost everything – good or bad – is possible. The first is made up of two columns of five fragments which are supposed to be matched to make up a sentence. The second consists of five sentences. The duty of the examinee is to underline the complete subject and encircle the complete predicate. The third, the culprit, is about pluralization of regular and irregular nouns. The last, the one most likely for ten-year-olds, is a word puzzle box of important vocabulary.

So my ever confident and jovial little angel is at her jolliest today. She was so excited to see me more than before. The reason for her unusual glow was made clear when she said, “Teacher, let’s play after the test with Charlotte!” I looked at the door across from ours. “But they’re not there.” “They will be!” she answered positively.

So she answered the test with more confidence than ever. Then she handed it to me and smiled.

“Are you sure it’s done?”

“Yes!”

Of course I know that there are mistakes but I didn’t tell her. And we all know that that is the point of giving a test.

I finished checking the paper, pausing every time to explain her mistakes. She was receptive at first. Then she remembered her deal with her mother.

“Mother said I should have 90 more,” she said in their distinct rising and falling East Asian accent.

“You mean you should get a score not lower than 90 percent?” I asked in clarification.

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“If not, she will kill me,” she responded with a shy and knowing smile. The kind that tells you it’s a given.

I counted her score which was mercifully upped because of some minor considerations. 39 over 50. By the mere look of it I bet my entire art set it wouldn’t even reach 85%.

“What’s the over 100?”

“You mean what’s your score? In percentage?”

“Yes. “

“Hmmm. We need a calculator.”

We went to my room and pulled up a calculator. 39 / 50 x 100 = …

When we saw it, I saved my art set. But not her. Not that saving her is a part of my noble duty. But when I saw her face as blank and as flat as a bond paper, I wished I have just lost my art set.

“One more,” she pleaded.

I recalculated it and got the same results. Her flat and blank face seemed to get worse. Who would want, having the same smartness as she has, to see a solid 78 percent as a test score anyway? I held her shoulder and had her face me.

“You Mom won’t get angry. Really.”

“No,” she said certainly. And pouted as if saying “No one understands. Even you.”

“Look. You did well.”

Silence.

I looked at her paper again. How come that she wrote heroes as the plural of hero but wrote tomatos, mosquitos and potatos? And she was right when she pluralized life into lives, leaf into leaves but wrote knifes, scarfs and loafs!

“How to do? Mother will kill me!” she said desperately.

“Of course she won’t. I’ll talk to her. She’ll understand. Do you want that?”

She nodded. Just when I thought it’s over, she told me this: “Teacher, one more test!”

So the next several minutes were spent on an informal emergency meeting with co-teachers. And the final decision is to talk to the manager.

“Ok. Review the test to her and have her repeat the exam. Then give me both the original and the retake. I’ll tell her Mother what happened.”

So that was what’s done. She impressed me for knowing the grammar rules in verbatim. After the retake, she was elated. 46 over 50. She urged me to go to my room to calculate her score. When she saw that it was 92, she jumped. I then remembered that she called the computer crazy for giving her 78.

The rest is up to the manager. What I’m more concerned of is the kind of kids that would be raised in a society which is overly concerned with results of tests. Numbers, how powerful indeed you are!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Full House: Another Pinoy Version

(In which there’s really another one.)
***

So as what I’ve heard from the commercial, GMA 7 is up for another Filipino adaptation of a high-rating Korean drama in 2004, “Full House”. Oh this was a very nice series. We were so engrossed to it that we forced ourselves to stay up late since it was aired at almost 11 PM. And when it was replayed for the nth time, we still find ourselves humming the Korean theme songs and singing the Tagalog version of “The Three Little Bears”.

Now going back to the Filipino version, I just found out that the counterparts of Rain and Song Hye Kyo are Richard Gutierrez and Heart Evangelista.

Is it just me or they really don’t look good together?

Anyway, so that was a nice series. But since this post has gotten a space in this so-so blog means that I either have a positive or a negative say to it. And I’m sorry to say that it is the latter.

I haven’t had enough bonding time with our TV set recently so I cannot really give a sound dscription of what the first two versions of other Korean dramas were but they should be good. Doesn’t Regine Velazquez give justice to Kim Sam Soon? And Dingdong and Rhian look charming in Stairway to Heaven, don’t they? Yet to have Full house really – as in physically and not just audibly – Tagalized, is, I guess, a little over the top. Although ideas may come everywhere and it’s the development of an idea that really counts, repeatedly developing ideas that are not yours is just sad.

I have to admit that I really took my hat off to programs which are adaptations of authentic Filipino stories and comics. I believe it’s good since it revives the awareness of the youth regarding the works of Filipino artists. At least they know Mars Ravelo and Carlo J. Caparas as well as their Marvel.

Well right now, I don’t understand why they keep on remaking Korean dramas when coming up with an original is much more rewarding. And I thought we’ve had enough of Wonder Girls and 2NE1 all over the radio stations, Korean dramas all over television and Koreans themselves all over the archipelago. Please do not brand me ungrateful or whatever; they are the reason why I’m not unemployed now. And I like them too. But what’s happening now is just a little too much. And as the adage say, too much of anything is never good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Love and Pride

(In which Mike Enriquez had me thinking.)
***

The countdown – to seeing the streets with less jeepneys and cars, multi-purpose halls filled with people, houses teeming of spectators and the criminal reports for the day minimal – has started. For Sunday, November 15 in Manila, was another moment where Filipinos from all places around the globe wait – with the world – and shout two uniform battle cries – Manny Pacquiao and Philippines.

Last Saturday, in Imbestigador, Mike Enriquez mentioned what their next week episode will be about love and pride for the Philippines. And his question was:

Do we just express our love and pride for our country when there is a calamity and Pacquiao has a match? Do we really love the Philippines in thoughts, in words and in deeds?

Not that it’s negative. It’s really nice to see your people lending hands to those in need in times of tragic calamities. It is also such an unusual sight – and a funny one too - to see that places are unusually peaceful and quiet as if all of the people were summoned (much to the disappointment of priests as my sister has told me) by their TV sets to watch Pacquiao fight.

Yet when the period of elation – which starts on a victory and ends days after the hero’s welcome - died down, everything goes back to normal. It would be interesting to know how much love and pride Filipinos give their country.

Do we really love the Philippines in thoughts, in words and in deeds?

It reminds me of the Patriotic Oath that we recite every day during flag ceremony way back my elementary school days. Not that my opinion counts, but I will take the original oath over the revised one anytime. Anyway, so how much do we really our Motherland? I am not sure if making the students recite the oath daily will suffice especially when they are living with adults in a country that can not even conduct a decent election.

I hope a boxing match would not be the yardstick of our pride and love for the Philippines. There are still small and individual things we could do than marvel that we have the largest shoe in the world and that the world’s best fighter to date is here.

Now I have another reason to stay up late next Saturday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On Choices and Preferences

(In which I look for a piece of me.)

***

I haven’t gotten over the unfinished reading of Coelho’s last book. Once, I was communicating (through SMS) with the friend who gave me the book as a present.

“How’s your reading?”

“Honestly, I stopped reading it.”

“Why? Isn’t it beautiful?”

To get rid of explaining how I view his work which resulted to an undesirable conversation the first time I did with another person, I just said “Fashion’s not my thing. And so is showbiz.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Oh! The book is actually good. But in a reader’s life, there should be at least one instance when he/she won’t like the book. It happens. It was such a pity that it happened between me and an expensive book.”

“So that book’s not your thing?”

“Yes.”

“Then what do you like in books?

“Hmmm… it’s in the subject, the characters. And sometimes, the setting. Why don’t you guess?”

“Look. I guessed you would like that book and you didn’t. I’m not good at guessing.”

“I am asking you to guess now.”

“I can’t.”

“You can.”

I knew he would give in. After a few minutes, he replied. “I guess you would like a story about a girl with multiple personalities falling in love with different guys.”

I was surprised with the answer. He likes multiple, doesn’t he? It took me a while to type my response on the phone.

“That’s a very imaginative guess. Interesting enough but not even close to the real thing.”

“That’s what you get for making me guess.”

He’s right. I forced him to guess and got a very surprising answer. And its element of being surprising is almost insulting.

“Okay.”

“So what is it?”

“I like things that concern human beings - real human beings. Well, I like Harry Potter. But I enjoy books that reflect the reality of human life – no matter how hokum or dark it is. I like the story about artists – painters, musicians, writers, photographers, dancers and okay, theater actors – the arts I’m connected to. But not the showbiz and fashion industry.”

“Got it.”

I have always had this thing for artists. Have I told you X is a poet? I remembered him writing a poem in a crude handwriting that I have to learn another alphabet to decode it. Right, I like artists.

I continued reading the next paragraphs of the book I just bought in a bookstore where they sell cheap secondhand books. It’s a story about a married violinist who fell in love with a ballerina. And the ballerina fell in love with his married son. Interesting.

I was about to sit comfortably when I remembered something. I grabbed my phone and typed. I should know why he thinks a story about a philandering girl with a complex psychological makeup fits me.


Currently reading:
The Four Temperaments by Yona Zeldis McDonough