October 15, 2006

Dance the "Hi-Hello" Song

Before going back to Greenbelt to watch the Chilean film Machuca (P50) as part of the Spanish Film Festival, T and I first ate dinner the G4 foodcourt. As usual, I ordered at Cucina because for just over P114, you can already enjoy a cup of java rice, calamares, chorizo bilbao, soup and diet coke. It was cheap but satisfying. T on the other hand, bought this corn-lettuce-chicken-italian salad for the same price. She wasn't too happy.

But apart from grabbing a bite, T and her ubiquitous radar spotted one of our high school classmates, C. Her radar is fool-proof. She can spot anyone a mile away whereas I only can recognize someone in front of me like a horse with blinders on each eye.

She told me, "Hey, there's C!"

I craned my neck to look, not believing her at first. What looked like an exhumed vegetable was in fact my long lost classmate. I was surprised as to how small the world can be. So if one thinks one can make hanky-panky inside the mall, better think again for if one will base one's probability on Murphy's laws, then that dreaded possibility can and will happen.

C did not see me but it would be rude not to say the obligatory niceties. I recalled back memories during the cusp of my Elementary school years where I still hanged out with their barkada, a motley group of underdeveloped Parokya Ni Edgar wannabes. Unfortunately, I diverged from them during High School and settled with people who could finally understand the definition of sarcasm. But I had fun times with them and I had good memories, albeit impermanent. Most of the barkada back then I could relate with- many were and probably still are down to earth and friendly, but when C is concerned, there was something in him that was unnerving. We avoid talking to each other because there was nothing to talk about, and there were times when we nearly fought against one another because of some childish contentions like sitting on an already occupied seat. If we do talk, it was like hitting the Great Wall of China. And perhaps because he reminded me of a Martian from a 1981 movie, that's why I have misgivings about him. That was very unfair for him, but hey, we were kids then and kids are supposed to be cruel.

Our table still has plates of its previous connoisseur, so I had no choice but to alert the garbage guy who was milling around near C's table. I went to the garbage trolley with imaginary eye blinders hoping for the Ostrich effect. But suddenly I heard my name being called. I looked around and feigned recognition on C. Ha-ha-ha. We exchanged opening remarks, followed by the perfunctory occupational updates and a brief rundown of future plans- all well under a minute. I was surprised he knew mine for I didn't have a horse's ass as to which company he is working now. Oh well. T also went there to dance the "hi-hello" song and she was even faster than I. I was tempted to point it out to her but I decided to keep quiet.

This got me thinking, why is it that after we graduate High School, our perceptions of the people we left behind still resonates to the present day? It is as if their characters cannot be changed, their personalities cannot be made better. It is as if your picture of them got stuck during the time you received your diplomas and it has stagnated at that way ever since. The farther is the distance of your friendship, the more pronounced is your prejudice towards the person. Your mind is forced to dig up his/her dossier inside the deep recesses of your brain in order to paint a mental picture of how he/she looks like, his/her mannerisms, his/her stupidities and virtues. Even if your mental "file" is already a decade old, you still base your assumptions on it. Or initial assumptions, rather.

The cruel thing is that the stereotypes I have about my high school classmate stays with me until now. I know it's bad, but it's true. There was one classmate of ours whom God gave large breasts, and until now, each time we talk about her, it's the fucking same topic. There was one who was humiliated to death during his freshman year because he was suspected to be very "excessively touchy" during basketball matches that even though today he has already two kids, we still have an animated discussion about the past. We had a classmate who steals stuff from the CAT room that until now, we still have a kick talking about her kleptomanic episodes. Unfortunately for her, she had a hypoglycemic attack along the corridor and was publicly disrobed before being brought to the hospital. There was this coño rich yet academically deficient friend who has an eccentric family and spends each night drinking with friends and we were taken aback that he became a freaking chef. How do you like your eggs? I like them very much, thank you. We really wondered if he was able to boil an egg. He has a friend also who during the course of High School was an uncontrollable storehouse of methane and hydrogen sulfide that until now, he's the prime suspect for every fart we find. There was one who because of his small structure and Gollum-like expressions, people call him the Leprechaun and in his yearbook, there was the line dedicated in his space: "where is my pot of gold?" I couldn't believe how cruel we were during those years but it's good to note that once you get to know that person, your perceptions do change, your prejudices are erased. In this case, that person has become a trustworthy friend. That's true for my friend, Lepr... I mean R. As for C, I guess another encounter is needed to establish rapport between us. Or maybe not.

5 comments:

Gypsy said...

Ha! Ha! High School can really make or break you. Great memories pero minsan di mag work out ang mga friendships since everyone seemed not to know their identities (thus adopting Madonna's or a Martian's!) Thank God we do move on and grow up. :)

cel said...

haha u made me recall hiskul memories jules! december's getting near...hiskul reunions...here they come. funny how we would laugh on the same topics over the years!

Jules said...

gypsy: we move on and take with us all the funniest memories of HS.

cel: that's true! the jokes never gets stale!

lee said...

cruel.... but true

guile said...

induces fond memories :)..