Here, there are times when even the most ordinary of days offers up a surprise. Case in point: I had a minor dalliance at the PX store today. I was standing in line along the candy aisle, waiting my turn at the cash register. A trooper walks in front of me, wanting to cut across the line so he could go to the next aisle. I step to one side, he does the same, I step back, and he steps back too. We do this two-step routine a couple of times, until finally, I stand still and motion for him to pass through.
He looks at me, smiles, and then says, “What? Oh, I thought we were dancing.”
“I went to the Milan. It is the city that is a stylish and fun. My friends say I change, you know? They say is the lifestyle that is changing in me… it become hard to talk about the same things, you know, because there is less in common with us. I think it is not me that is changing, it is like the different life.”
Ah, me. I really should stop watching World Fashion TV with the volume on.
I took this picture at a Chinese temple in Cebu. It’s a snapshot of a pile of wishing papers on a bench. The way it works: you take a piece of paper, make a wish, and then roll the paper into a tube, tucking in the ends while leaving the gold paint visible on the outside. Then you take your rolled wishes (make as many wishes as you want, why not), and burn them on the altar along with some incense, petitioning the docile buddhas to grant your heart’s desires. It sounds so easy.
No wonder I didn’t trust it. No paper wishes for me, I remembered thinking. Better to talk directly to the powers that be. I just knelt on the red satin cushions and bowed three times, waving the smoke of the incense around my head. When I finished, I felt light, even calm, as though my worldly cares were lifted. Even when I turned and walked away, I could still see the benign smile of the buddhas. The rotund little gods kept smiling the entire time, smiling with the careless abandon of those that promise nothing, but accept all.
I should have known, then. I should have.
And so even with my dread of numbers, I find that the ruminations of the day need to be addressed numerically, if only to shore up with logic that which does not abide by it. Today I am finished with work duties, and my mind meanders to thoughts that I have been avoiding all the long weekend. Numbered for convenience but never sequentially, here’s the state of my being.
3 – glances from strangers last week, as though they know me, and then 3 glances away.
1 – whom I wish were dead remains all too near, and by all appearances, not dying anytime soon.
787 – the number of times I think friends have taken advantage of my kindness/graciousness.
2 – my kid’s teeth that have come out ahead of time while baby teeth are still hanging steady.
2 – cellphones lost and two new ones bought as replacements. One given to me by the universe.
4 – unread books on the shelf, mocking me and my pretense of not having time to read.
2 – men I love/have loved are now oceans away from me, and I do not know if any of this at all matters.
3 – redesigns made on this blog, before I arrived at this one. All excuses to avoid actual posting.
12 – episodes watched of Bones, season 4, all in one sitting.
22 – mini meatballs I made over the weekend and forgot to photograph for the food blog that I do not update.
What does all this add up to, I wonder? Randomness that boings back and forth into the universe? I maintain that I couldn’t care less whether or not I make an audible ping out there. It’s just that lately, the universe seems to be applying a vastly different equation to me.