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Girlfriend? Not just friend?

‘… What would you say are the main differences?’
‘You’re funny, Marcus.’
‘I know. People keep telling me. I don’t care. I just want you to answer the question.’
‘OK. Do you want to touch her? That’s got to be the first thing.’

Marcus carried on blasting away at the monster on the screen, apparently oblivious to Will’s profundities.

‘Well?’
‘I don’t know. I’m thinking about it. Go on.’
‘That’s it.’
‘That’s it? There’s only one difference?’
‘Yeah. Marcus. You have heard of sex, haven’t you? It’s kind of a big deal.’
‘I know, I’m not stupid. But I can’t believe there’s nothing more to it. Oh, piss.’

Marcus has lost another life.

”Cos I’m not sure if I want to touch Ellie or not. But I still know I want her to be my girlfriend.’
‘OK, so what things do you want to be different?’
‘I want to be with her more. I want to be with her all the time, instead of when I bump into her. And I want to get rid of (her friend) Zoe, even though I like Zoe, because I want Ellie to myself. And I want to tell her things first, before I tell anyone, even you or Mum. And I don’t want her to have another boyfriend. If I could have all those things, I wouldn’t mind if I touched her or not.’

— from the novel About A Boy by Nick Hornby

I Like Watching People

One little quirk I noticed and can admit about myself is that ‘people watching’ amidst the buzz of daily life interests me. But much more interesting is that I am more interested in watching people in my country, the Philippines, more so than watching people here in Australia. In fact, I don’t watch people in Australia.
Even if they are Filipinos.

What is it about watching my people I find captivating? I have asked myself that question before and tried to be honest towards myself. I tend to give more of my attention to people near my age: students scattered about the streets during lunch, brief glances from inside the jeepney at other boys and girls in the other jeepney, them loitering at plazas, malls and public spaces, them playing at basketball courts, arcades and parks, a group of them huddled around a table by a restaurant, and I got an eye for them when they are working in the shops.

I’m still looking for a clear answer. Because I lived most of my life outside my country, only spending my first 6 years in the Philippines, I thought maybe I was just piecing up together a life of could-or-would-have-been. You know, sometimes I picture myself walking among those group of students in their uniforms, laughing and talking fluently in a language I’m still trying to pick up again. Or maybe it is just a mere fascination of a different lifestyle and culture, one I was born from but since forgotten. Or was it the feeling of fitting in with a group of people who share the same blood, skin colour and facial features? Or was it a desire to feel that I can fit back in, after what feels like being pulled out or deprived of that place? Was it an appreciation for the privilege of being pulled out from their poverty because of my parents’ efforts? But they look happy and content, despite being poor. I’m yearning for something that they have that I don’t have. Acceptance? Connection? Identity?

Images are from facebook.com/IliganStolenShots

Once someone asked me what kind of girlfriend I’ll want to have as a dare question. So I said that she has to be humble, passionate, et cetera… That sort of thing.
She said, “No, no! I mean, would you like to have a Filipina or an Australian girlfriend.”
“Any, really. Depends. I don’t mind.”
“But between the two, which one do you think…”
She trails off.

“The Filipina.”