childhood friends (a repost from 2004)

Growing up, we always talked about being in each other’s weddings, and time has a way of making things happen before the reality of now sets in – just like Christmas, graduation days, and the wedding of our oldest brat from the original Surigao-Bataan-Pampanga-hopping kids. It isn’t the first, mind you, but four weddings and a baptism later, I’m still amazed at how far we’ve each gone since we last spent a full summer together.

Apart from the very very occassional text messages, there’s hardly any communication between any of us now. In fact, we’re really practically strangers, except — how can you be a stranger to the people who you encountered death with right before your very eyes; people who let you drag them out of their houses at the most ungodly hours and pull them into the pool; people who taught you about curly tops, shatum, helicopter leaves, swings and seesaws, climbing trees and making pink lemonade out of bouganville flowers; people you watched clouds with during wonderful lazy summer sunsets and guessed the shapes it formed; people who christened you “bakulaw“ to be part of an imagined family whose every member’s name must start with a “b“; people you danced “mambobola“, “shake body body dancer“ and the cha-cha with to entertain the old folks? Sure, all these were in the past and every get together’s conversation inevitably revolves around what was to hide the lack of connection in the now, but with some people, a memory is enough to sustain sincere love for each other for years and years. The lack of shared moments in the present does nothing to lessen the truth of each hoping and looking out for the best for each person.

So there we were, quite content to just witness an old friend move onto another adventure. Perhaps this adventure might widen the gap between us even more but never mind, maybe somewhere along, life will let us have a new cycle of beautiful pictures to have together again — maybe when we’ve all got grey streaks and nothing to do on a summer day.

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