Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blue Jeans

“Why are you dressed like that?”

A question that very often precedes an exaggerated rolling of eyes, and a flippant “’s fashion!”. Ever since body hugging tank tops, low cut tops, short skirts and sheer material decided to make my closet their home, I failed to get the approval of one man….my dad.

Growing up, my father was very protective of me. At times I found his over-protectiveness suffocating but as I grew older especially now when I travel around the big city alone, I realize I miss having a strong hand to hold on to. I know now that it must have been hard for him. To see the little girl dolled up in dresses with bow sashes and Mary Janes the size of his palm doing playful little pirouettes grow up into a young girl pirouetting in little black dresses and stilettos.

They say that in order to measure a man’s undying love, the ultimate test begins with an S and ends with a G. S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G. Whilst most men go weak at the knees at the mere whisper of the S word, one of the memories I have of my father is that of him taking me shopping for a new pair of jeans. It was the first I ever picked out on my own. And I remember my father waiting patiently for me whilst I tried on pair after pair after pair. You see, at 15, you just had to get the perfect pair of jeans and although time trickled away, my father’s patience never wavered. As I type this, I look up, and the pair of blue jeans hanging behind the door catches my eye, the one that still fits after all these years, is the greatest evidence of my father’s patience and dedication.

A memory nags at the back of my mind. It is one of him passing me a birthday present and if I had not been so eager to find out if my wish had been gift wrapped with a big bow on top, his words, “Don’t grow up too fast alright?” would have sunk in. Now, even as I approach one of those major milestones in my life, I know a part of me will always remain as …. daddy’s little girl.

Happy Father's Day Daddy !

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eye opener

Love is not blind, it simply enables one to see things others fail to see - Anon

They were sitting across from me. If one would warrant a guess, this would be their first time on the LRT. So there they were, two very impressionable young girls accompanied by an elder sister and her boyfriend. Giggles and laughs punctuating fresh enthusiasm, innocence and simple awe at grandeur of the big city. It was a scene to be had in every nook and corner of the city if one looked hard enough, but the difference here was that both girls were visually impaired.

As much as I know how rude it was to stare, I couldn’t stop stealing glances at them. The way they had so much to laugh at. The way they found light and goodness and joy in darkness. It was hard describing what I felt the entire journey back home after that. I’ll be turning 21 really soon and as each day passes I find myself feeling weary and tired. Jaded and old. I’ve forgotten what it felt like to be touched. And in that 30 minute ride, I found myself remembering.

It wasn’t lewd the way the guy couldn’t keep his hands off his girlfriend. The way he just had to reach out and tuck in that stray lock of hair. The protective nature that becomes instinctive. And in that one moment when he reached out and ran a finger down the youngest girl’s cheek, when she looked up and bestowed the most brilliant smile ever upon a loved one whose face would forever remain a stranger’s, I was touched. Could it be that in our quest to see more, experience more, gain more, reach more, we’ve forgotten to stop and live in the moment?

It made me feel ungrateful, the way they seem to have nothing and feel as if they have everything, but I have everything in comparison but feel as if I have nothing. Ironic, how it took a person who could not see to make me see.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Actress

To err, is human

She epitomizes wit and intelligence. She dazzles all who know her and awe those who observe from afar. She exudes charisma and charm. She's confident, never cocky. Reticent, never distant. 

She keeps up the act. After all, years of experience has finessed her skills, enhanced her talents, a master in her trade of illusion and disillusionment. As long as there are others around, an eye, the lens of a camera, she smiles, that brilliant flash of white teeth. 

Her world a mirage and dream for envious outsiders, morphs into living nightmares the moment the curtain closes. Shadows haunt her days, lurking around corners, creeping out unbidden. Her friends, her foes, all meld into a jumbled unidentifiable blur of strangers. The world at her feet, the risk of trust misplaced remains unaffordable. 

The mirror her only confidante, she sees perspective in the world weary eyes that gaze steadily back at her. An accomplished actress never fractures under stress. She lives up to self imposed expectations too high to imagine. But the eyes in the mirror are feeble barriers to the reservoir of incipient tears. Tired of all the back-biting, backstabbing and polished trickery of others in her trade the dam threatens to break. White knuckles hover over nails biting into tender flesh as she keeps a tight restraint on emotions. Breaking down is unthinkable. Not now. Not when the end is near. 

But it gets unbearable with each passing second. A tiny drop of blood escaping from lips bitten in restraint preceeds the first tear drop. As it trickles down her smooth cheeks, cracking the carefully applied layer of foundation it opens up a chasm deep within her soul. As silent sobs rack her slender frame all the pain and misery imprisoned in her heart escapes through the gateway of torrid tears. 

Never one to leave a job unfinished, she pulls in that rigid control, stopping the floods. With a less than steady hand, she touches up her makeup, eliminating all traces of the tracks those tears left behind. After all, her investment in her large vestige of maquillage will cover all flaws and imperfections, the stain in her heart a minor irritant to the unsuspecting onlooker. She arranges the folds of her skirts, forces the confidence in her walk, pastes on a practiced smile and tilts her chin up to an angle of cheeky rebellion. Head lifted high, she enters the stage again. After all, the show, must go on.