Monday, January 22


Going back home and hanging out with old friends meant, among other things, reminiscing about the old crushes. The girl we longed for in High School. The one worth risking the consequences of sneaking out my fathers car just to look cool. For me and as far as my friends were concerned there was one immutable name, Jaja. Although somehow i hadn't expected it (maybe excitement over going home overshadowed it) i knew at the first mention of her name a barrage of inquiries would follow. I suppose it's my fault because i was so openly nuts about her in my time there in the Philippines. I mean i wrote her name everywhere including myself (don't ask!)... The first to throw a blow was my old Pal Terry. I was gone for 12 long years and the first thing out of his mouth without so much a hello was if i ever hooked up with Jaja. He also mentioned during one of our drinking sessions how i exhibited so much bravado around my friends only to be tongue tied when i actually came face to face with Jaja. This guy, even after 12 years has not let up one bit. Now I'm really glad he's losing his hair... bastard!!

One of my best friends Chris asked if Jaja and i ever hooked up too, "Aren't you both in the States, why don't you hook up?". I didn't even bother explaining the Three Thousand Mile distance between L.A. and New Jersey (might be a little too hard to comprehend with the metric system and all (haha jk). I just simply responded with an Emphatic 'NO'. "How about those very telling Pictures on your Website? You hit that, right?" he inquisitively retorted. I didn't even know how to respond to that rather crass presumption. First of all if i did become intimate with her i wouldn't be confiding in him (or anyone for that matter) because those are private matters. Secondly, getting intimate with her was never the intention. It was more like tempting fate or opening doors ya know... I faced many of these inquiries (though, not like Chris's) repeatedly throughout my trip. It has become a part of life really. Our names are synonymous even though we never actually were a couple. Jaja and i are the most famous couple never to be a couple. It feels a bit like Anna Kournikova-- the greatest tennis player never to win a Singles Tournament... Perhaps most annoying is the suggestion that we should get together... For sake of being redundant-- the distance again is a tremendous hurdle. Not to mention that it takes more work than just turning on the switches, right? Furthermore, most if not all of the people who think they give me sound advice about how i should pursue or proceed on this Jaja thing are either in an infused Marriage or had kids out of Wedlock. What makes them think they know what they're doing? Being married? In my opinion that makes them as unqualified as my parents and aunts who think i wanna Find a Wife in the Philippines (or a Nurse). Ya know, it's the people who Married young without the benefit of any kind of exploring the many facets of relationships (gf's, marriage, dating, one-night stands etc etc...) that think they know what they're doing. Not that i have completely abandoned the Traditional Ways. I am traditional through and through. I just don't feel its incumbent upon me to seek a wife because age is becoming a factor. Yes if sound like i am sick of hearing family and friends slap me on the face with the Jaja thing, I am. Not that i will ever come to blows with anyone for profusely reminding me of her but it would probably be nice if people would cease doing so...

One of my Aunts blurted out 'Jaja' but meaning something completely different (like a different word) over dinner once while telling a story to another Aunt. Hard to imagine i know but i assure you she was talking about something NOT remotely related to Jaja or myself ( i swear this is true). I wondered if sitting there in front of her somehow subconsciously reminded her of my infatuation of Jaja decades ago although she wasn't addressing me directly. It was sort of amusing in a metaphysical kind of a way... She hasn't seen me in nearly 14 years and maybe Jaja in 18 years but yet she manged to be nostalgic. I would have been okay with this accidental occurrence except she droned on. I listened to her in disbelief referring to us in the third person. To cap things off she shared gossips of Jaja getting back together with her Ex BF during her Philippine vacation a few years ago... Unimportant if you ask me but referring to me in the third person was quite annoying.

I never know what to say anymore. Sometimes these inquiries feel like one of those post-game press conferences after a Ball Game. The questions are always unimaginatively the same so i feel like i should respond with the same dull answers athletes often give to reporters. You know, responses like, "We're taking it one game at a time" or "Just trying to stay aggressive"... For the most part however my responses are of the "No Comment" variety. They are the safest of answers. Another common and annoying thing about reporters and friends are the method in which questions are asked, so impersonally. People need to learn that quiet guys like me are more inclined to respond when asked in private. Blurting out such questions in front of other friends just feels a bit intrusive and insensitive although they never hear me complain about it. If you really want to know, why not ask in a serious manner? After all we are all grown ups now not teenagers like 12 years ago, right?? Maybe they aren't real questions, maybe they're just busting by balls right? Yea maybe. Maybe someday I'll just tell them to shut the Hell Up...

Or maybe someday I'll get even...


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