Cracked.

Advent is a season for reflection, the time one reviews one’s self, not simply as preparation for Christmas, but this time and age, when millennials race for their dreams and ambitions their techie/selfie way, this is the one moment they stop to think about their wish lists and their resolutions.

It’s a juvenile thing that I didn’t expect to find my self into. I have had my life and lived it, and I am grateful for the simple and yet stress-laden life. Whose life isn’t, any way?

My meditation though springs not from more desires but from the misgivings friendships has disillusioned me with. I have deleted friends from my life, friends I shared my secrets and my passion with, friends I went running and swimming with, friends I spent hours on the jurassic telephone with, trading tips on this and that, friends I sat on recitals with and shared moments of fun and laughter over dinner tables, pricey or otherwise.

Who would think that someone you trust your life with could be jealous or envious or sour with you, when all the time, you believe that love abounds in that friendship. Exactly how I felt when a friend told me she didn’t like my daughter. Wow. I didn’t know how to take that. Another told me that I must not narrate stories about my daughter not unless she is boarded a plane to jet set the world. I was shocked. Another friend estimated my daughter’s future pay, which she believes will be totally super in comparison to her own child’s pay. How we got fast forward into the future, I didn’t know, but I was fine with the today’s meals, no matter how humble.

And when someone calls me best friend for life but does not return my calls nor messages, comes to me only when she needs me, I think I have to redefine the acronym BFF. It doesn’t sound right.

I am cracked. Honestly, when I decided to end the friendships. there was a pain that pinched my heart. I allowed a few tears to roll down my cheeks. It was for the sadness over the loss of people I thought loved me back. Hu Hu

So, in my melancholic state, I have resolved to start friendships again, with fresh faces from the strangers I meet. There is the newspaper peddler who was surprised I sat beside him for a chat, the grocery cashiers and baggers, the disers. the guards, the mendicant children who got ecstatic over a loaf of bread or the value-pack meals I give them from 7-11.

For a time, I didn’t think of these lowly people as friends. They were just there at the moment. But when I see them again. they become ecstatic, delighted to see me and strike another quick chat about anything under the sun. I indulge them, of course, I realized that I have so much time to pour in a thought or two to people who genuinely listen. These ordinary people are so true, grateful for the little time I was with them, and wish me safe and all right when I say good-bye.

I don’t think I am cracked any more.

My 30th December food fiasco.

My vegetable viand burned and yet again. My daughters had long given up on the food I present them, not that I do not concoct foods well, it’s just that I have this bad habit of leaving my cooking when it is simmering. And when I get back, the pan is black as charcoal. Shucks. And my girls try to salvage whatever is edible. Talk about carcinogen. Sigh.

I am that, and I also don’t like it. I patiently prepared the papaya with shrimp, sauteed in garlic and onions, with a dash of pepper. Would have been a good meal with the marinated boneless bangus, or the danggit that Jean bought from the vendors of Talim Island.

But I turned to throw the peelings out there on my compost, under my now tall and leafy avocado tree. And my greens seemed beckoning, needing a little sprinkle, so I turned on the faucet and showered the droopy plants.

As usual, i got carried away, hopping from pots to flower box, enjoying the feel of the December air…., then I spotted the chopping board I used for the peelings, and remembered my cooking.

I did give it a dash, almost sliding, my flip flops are worn. I didn’t beat the nick of time. The shrimp is in a sorry state. So is the papaya. And the boneless bangus.

I will just wait for Jean to wake up and fry the danggit. That’s what we’re having for breakfast. It is good with vinegar with chili.

By the way, the real red labuyo is harvest from my garden. I still have plenty, if anyone needs some. It’s for free.

— feeling hungry.