Friday, May 25, 2012

The Substitute.

[...]Sit down tonight
And write him about the life you can talk about
With a claim to authority, the life you've witnessed,
Which for all you know is the life you've chosen.

- from Carl Dennis' The God who Loves You

Thea, Oz, and I agreed to meet up at a cafe just across Oz and my college alma mater. For Thea, it was an adventure; she studies at a rival school and would have little reason to head west of the city if we hadn't prodded her. For Oz and I, it was a chance to see up close how much things had changed since we graduated ten years ago.

Has it really been a decade? Some of our old haunts were still there, true, but most sported new faces. The small University Mall, dimly-lit and almost seedy-looking in my memory now looked very different. The Korean-inspired cafe we went to was one of the hipper (hipster?) additions to a neighborhood that was once littered with computer rental shops and shawarma places. As we picked our poisons, green tea and caramel in tall glasses, we reminisced about almost-hads and might-have-beens, in between moments of quiet which I'm sure took us in the opposite direction of the paths we had picked for ourselves back then.

I told them the cafe reminded me of the ones in Korea, the ones I wish I could visit again. What I really wanted to say was this: I wonder who I'd be if I had been born a decade later, if I were a student now, sipping coffee and doodling on a Polaroid in between classes. How much of myself would be reinvented, improved, discarded? Oh, the possibilities.


Alex Lapa said...

Nakakaloka no? The UM is a shiny happy place now, so weird. I've seen a lot of changes during my 5 years in college (HAH), too, but there are still so many new things to see. I'm really sad about the football field, though. :( I used to watch wafu, topless soccer players there while waiting for our very early morning class in Velasco building.

dementedchris said...

So surprised at the changes! Haha. Same here, I used to watch the soccer guys haha. May mga holdover crushes pa nga from Zobel days LOL. Sayang talaga yung soccer field. I guess sa Rizal Stadium na lang sila.