We ‘re all asked to dress semi-formal that night. It was a mere request actually for it turned out that some are really stubborn in acceding to the magnanimity of the one who requests. So that in the ballroom, fully-carpeted, chandeliered, and plush with royal curtains, you can see someone parading her backless gown. . .and there’s another one doing it on the ramp with her seductive, strapless suit. The latter caught all the guys’ attention because of her obtrusive pinning-down-the-aisle-along-the-red-carpet motion. “Och, you can do that more gracefully!,” said one. The people on the table at our back were hushing around. “Is she one of the honorees?” asked one. She answered herself: “Think she’s not. She has no flower brooch; think she’s just an usherette.”
The Bar passers, and apparently along with Bar flunkers were being honored that night.
The nobility behind such event is beyond reproach, the college head expresses his compassion to those who tried their best but unfortunately failed, : “We’re still here for you!” However, the wisdom behind it has its own cracks. Oh well, this explains why, as I later on realize while lying on bed after that gruesome four hours and a close-to-being esculent dinner, why someone from the corridor was overheard saying that one of the testimony-giver that night was undeserving. That was mean. Never mind him retelling incorrectly, what the school head previously told about self-transformation being the mission of the school. He proudly said: “We should always remember what Sir told us; that beyond all these achievements of our great school, what matters is our self-confirmation!”. . .what aggravated the fact is that he repeated this over and over again.
The Sir was unabashed, maybe. . .just maybe, the two concepts correlate each other or that he was not just listening previously. I said: “Forgive him for his grammatical errors but not for keeping the dinner waiting because of his one-hour long-standing speech which circled around self-confirmation.” hehehe
Over dinner, a svelte lady and a guitarist climbed up the stage to soothe everybody’s indigestion, apparently because of the lousy menu: creamed chicken with vegetables, tendered beef with gravy sauce, sweet and sour fish fillet [am not really sure about the real name of the dish; just judged it by the way it looked and tasted] , rice, and a supposedly bottomless serving of iced tea which will never be true in a place where waiters taste and drink what they serve at the back kitchen. (I must confess: I saw three of them gulping down from the pitchers!)
While the people were busy devouring what is there to devour on their plates, the singer was also busy (what else?) singing and trying to get helplessly the attention of the deprived attendees of this grandiose occasion. She even used her eyes and hands. . .her graceful hands reaching and swaying and luring the people to look at her and listen. . .in vain. (Except me miss. . .If you’d only look at this direction. . . .pssst, here, here.) She sang smoothly in my ears. . .in that classy jazz style. . .
The host called the man of the night. He was apologetic upon standing at the podium because according to him, he did not prepare a speech. [But, judging by the way he delivered, this man’s a certified orator]. He started by relating how the past few days, weeks and months has been perceptively too long for him. Too long because in that past few days, weeks and months, the aftereffect of meeting the high authorities of the land still lingered in him. Imagine, he was able to meet the “bantam” president and the Supreme Court en banc. He shared a piece of him: when he was a kid he wanted to be an astronaut; to live up to his dream he entered college and pursued a degree in engineering; when he got bored he took up accountancy. . .passed the licensure thereafter; got bored again, entered the college of law and passed the Bar besting all examinees all through out the land. [look at what boredom worked for this guy; how I wish my boredom worked that way] He continued: “It’s a matter of reinventing yourself.” “My classmates before probably didn’t know about this; that I am continuously reinventing myself.” [He was not at the top of his class. The Dean just after the bar exam results were released was caught pointblank when asked by a reporter to comment about the guy.]
How to hurdle and slay the dragon? He reached for the microphone and emphasized his tip to all of us. . . [all ears]. . . “Do you remember the movie Gattaca?” “Well, in that movie there are two brothers competing with each other. . .” Gattaca is a futuristic film. The story’s centered on two brothers. . .the one’s strong while the other one’s a weakling . In one of the scenes, the two brothers agreed to prove themselves in a swim-fight to test their respective strengths. They ran from ashore to the ocean. The weakling eventually won the fight because he was able to surpass his brother. The weakling was then asked how he did that. He answered: “Because I’ve put all my energy in my swim to the ocean and did not mind the swim back.”
The chandeliers above us were strikingly beautiful with the dynamic steel formations it possessed. They breathed life. Took a deep breath and told myself: “This night is enduringly painful.” Painful in two aspects. One: the food and the waiting. Two: wisdom imparted that’s starkly true and real creates a big balloon in my head. . .not that it’s overwhelming but because it is parsimonious yet relatively elusive.
I was bombarded by cold air on my way outside the hotel. It’s half past midnight, the crescent moon illuminates in the sky. While on my way to the coffee shop to warm myself, I passed along a peddler holding festooned ylang-ylang. I asked: “Do you still sell that?” “No, I’m about to throw them.” “No, let me have it. How much?” “They don’t have the smell anymore.” “It doesn’t matter. I’m not after their fragrance anyway.” “Okay, you can have them.” . . . . Saw him pass by the shop. He looked at me and bore a smile, which spoke to me intuitively: “A lonely man, you are.”