When I was about five or six years old, I always had this daydream that I ran away from home riding a bump car. I felt so independent and glamorous in that daydream. I know it sounds foolish now but hey I WAS a kid. But I got scared that a Satanic cult might kidnap me as a sacrifice for their rituals.* Or be borne away by construction workers as an admixer for concrete used for building bridges.** My parents have a weird way of scaring the hell out of me. Those reasons prevented me from actually running away. Plus the fact that I can’t find a way to carjack that red bump car from Rustan’s Cubao [or was it Rustan’s
? The place where it also has remote controlled boats, I can’t remember exactly.]. Makati
Then I grew up to understand that bump cars really can’t cruise the streets. I was in first grade at that time, and got pressured by my mother to get not just good grades but the best grades. [Will not elaborate on that further, not in the mood to cry.]. In short, I became a nerd— grade-conscious, plagued with realistic ideas for a seven-year old, no social life, low self-esteem. Somehow it killed me. I lost my sense of adventure and felt that the world was too big for me. No matter how I tried, it was not good enough and will never be. I became a frail kid, shunning all the fun, not active in sports, no real friends.
At that point of my life, my new daydream was to die famous for something I have done for the society. Like be a scientist who discovered a breakthrough and win the Nobel Prize. Or have a kick-ass job that will make me and my family rich.
As a kid, grown up stuff got me depressed, it worried me so much. I should have stayed a bit longer on that stage in life where you believed in fantasies and miracles. I was studying so hard to get accelerated and jump grades or win the next quiz bee. I knew that Santa Claus was just a holiday “mascot” of the capitalists. Fairy tales were just tales. There are no fairies. Smoking dries out your lungs and causes cancer. African children die of malnourishment. I’ve read that Waldorf Astoria is a high-end hotel in
that can deny entry to those who are not properly dressed. Realized that my family is poor. Understood that the very first People Power in Edsa was a display of democracy. Freddie Mercury is gay and died of AIDS. Alice Cooper is a man claiming that he gets possessed by a female spirit (huh?). New York
My sister was so sick of a disease that I did not understand. Yet I was envious of her because she didn’t have to go to school as often as I did.
I turned twelve. I understood enough not to envy my sister who was in and out of the hospital because of a torn heart valve. She underwent two major surgeries. By then, my daydreams were of teenage boys and love and rebellion. She made me realize how I’m wasting my life on stuff that I cannot do anything about. I needed to loosen up.
[Skip other depressing events in my life, fastforward to my years in college]
I got my free spirit back and the sense of adventure that comes with it in college. For the first two years, my course was Applied Physics, became a non-major on 3rd year, took any subject that caught my interest then by my 4th year I shifted to Interior Design. I still had worries and bouts of depression but the world didn’t look too big anymore. It’s okay to know more about the world outside books and docus. I gained friends, lost friends, then gained some more. Fell in love, fell out of love, yet longed for more love [haha]. I fell in love in art, fiction, literature and cultures and realized how artful a wisp of cigarette smoke can be when you look at it closely.
Please understand that I really didn’t have a steady, smooth-sailing life but I’m okay. I took odd jobs, bad jobs, worthy of another blog post. I’m still poor but not in a shit hole. Oh and yes, my sister is still alive and we support each other emotionally, though she gets in my hair sometimes. I’m living independently from my parents. Still have dreams of becoming noteworthy in history, haha, just a healthy dose of daydreaming don’t overreact.
So what if I had broken dreams. So what if those dreams were stupid and delusional. I believe that people can think of anything that they want to think about and dream about, it makes us human. Realizing what our broken dreams are makes us more human.
[* In the early 80s, presumed Satanic Cults hit the headlines, of tabloids at least, along with reports of LSD-laced magic tattoos. There was a fear of kids getting kidnapped and I remember wearing a rosary and scapular to school which I hid under my uniform.
** There’s this belief that blood reinforces concrete or stone structures, I think it’s some sort of a remnant from our paganistic past that requires blood offerings. If you would observe old school foremen/ construction workers/ carpenters, when they would begin a construction, say a house, they would kill a rooster and drip its blood on what would be the foundation is and roast and eat the chicken afterwards.]