|An ode to a December night in college. |
U.P. Baguio c2009
There is always something that lingers on as we pass on to different phases in our lives. We rarely get to see these splatters of past in our new lab gowns, crisp white shirts, safety boots, silk handkerchiefs and so on. We dust them off, give them the flip or two to make them unknowingly go away since we never knew they were still there. But, they are still there.
For example, remember the way that in college, you know your batch mates’ good and bad habits? Remember that one classmate who never shows up for class on time, parties all the way to the finals, just barely dragging and hanging on to the last absence to kick him out of the class and then miraculously passes the finals? Well, he’s a rare breed but not exactly one to be emulated. Here’s another one, remember that girl who always wanted to get the highest scores in everything? In quizzes, projects, recitation, oral exams, performances and everything in between? Do you remember how she pouted and puffed her eyes when she got the 3rd highest score in one of your midterms during your graduating year? Yep, I bet you do. You still get irritated by that every once in a while.
Well, the fact is, we never got out of college, or high school, or our organizations, fraternities, sororities. We don’t know it yet but we’re still stuck in the same class, only, there’s money and for some, there’s still no money involved.
You always get buzzed thru Facebook that this friend is living the life travelling the world at the expense of his company, and this other college classmate now champions the ideals of peace and prosperity in the more troubled parts of the country. You never get really far from them not only because of the social media but the way you still interact with them. Yes, they don’t text you but that does not hold them back from still making you feel like you’re that dragging dude from college who only goes to class at the end of the year.
Sometimes, it still is a matter of bragging rights. Back in college, it was like “Oi, uno ako sa finals!” Now, it’s more like “How much money you’re making? Are you having fun in your job? Because I do. And, oh, almost forgot, I still got higher scores in the Civil Service Exam than you.” But sometimes there are funnier stories to remember. Like the memory of a classmate having a twang and slang in her speaking voice when it comes to speech classes and you are oh so happy when she mispronounced one word. You’re still in college; still making fun of the uptight do gooders and people who try so hard to impress the higher ups and then rub it hard on your face. And don’t mind if they have SWAGGGG. You better than dem bitcheezz.
But there are the exceptions. You still admire former classmates who made it on their own. Who kept quiet during your years in college and got out just fine or even better. Remember that brilliant classmate of yours who got pregnant during your sophomore year? She raised that daughter of hers in her own blood and sweat, moonshining and all. And that other guy who you thought can make it to the big-time periodicals? Well, he’s a correspondent now. They’re just quiet folks, enjoying the things that they have and take things as they go.
We never really get out of college. We still meet and surprisingly, greet these people on a not-so-regular basis than we’d want to. Still, no matter how much they fling their high-and-mighty lifestyles and cool perks up in your face, you never seem to envy them that much. Heck, not even one tiny bit of you wishes to be in their shoes. And that’s one sure sign that you’re still in college. You just quietly enjoy the things you have, taking things as they go, keeping stuff that you can use and leaving the shit on the floor where they’re intended to be. And besides, who’d want to have a phony twang and slang? Would you rather say “Taygaylohg” than straight up “Tagalog?”