Monday, May 19, 2003

A Johnnie Walk In Life

At the finely-prepared lunch held after the baptism (hosted by baby Vaughn's parents, Leo and Beck), I sat with my former co-workers to share what's been going on in our lives, at least career-wise. Sometimes, just sometimes, one needs to take that journey back in order to validate whatever past choices were made. Otherwise, seeing these people after over a year becomes more than just hellos and how-are-yous. It's reconnecting with them in the present, and caring for each others' welfare even if we had crossed our intersection into our own destiny roads.

Leo served a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label, and I couldn't say no the moment I was given a serving. With a glass of Coke as a chaser, I sipped the alcohol, let it slide it over my tongue down my throat. It's more potent than Fundador, which I'm more accustomed to and, given a choice, would rather have. (Not that I drink the stuff in barrels, mind you.) And we were drinking despite humor-laced advisories not to do so in hot weather. I only had two shots of the acid, as I intended to get home safely.

Compared to the folks I encounter of late, these people live relatively simple lives. They have no dreams of flight or fame, and even if they did, never found themselves caught in them, because the day-to-day is that aspect of import. Going to work, paying bills, raising a family, getting by. When they'd share the stories of their lives to me, some of which are of television material, I could readily see how effect, that FIlipino fatalism, influences their lives. These people are prepared to fight dirty if need be, diplomacy ignored, because principles rule and dignity counts, as opposed to other civilized folks who'd worm their way out of a situation with the most elegant or subtle strategies. And sometimes, I wonder why I couldn't be as fearless as them.

Maybe that's one reason I'm in this creative sphere, to say what I really feel and quell my 'doxophobia.' Weaving stories can be seen as the bridge between my fears and my voice. Maybe the chasm will close, maybe it won't, or maybe it will narrow out in increments and allow me to counter my fears more readily, turn them to matters of choice. But for now I choose to hold back a bit and let some fears take hold of me, like Fundador over Johnnie Walker.

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