An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

13 August 2010

The dude next door

He didn’t always live next door. He’s someone I have known for a long time, before I lived next door to him, and our memories together go far back, perhaps even further back to a previous life. But in the heart’s attempt to make sense of the overwhelming ebbs and swells that make up a relationship so recondite, one needs to have an anchor that is portrayed in a more or less conventional light. Thus, he is The Dude. And he lives next door.

What can I say about him? Perhaps just a few simple things, like, he loves puzzles. He can solve the 3x3 Rubik’s cube in under a minute. About a year ago he purchased a 5x5 version and after just a few days of practice he was able to solve it in under five minutes. Also, he is a vegetarian, and prefers his food spicy. He drinks a lot of water, and is online a lot, to look up his Lakers, to browse the boxing websites and blogs, to read up on Manny Pacquiao, and to look up the latest news in technology and the latest Apple rumors. He is an Apple geek. His latest Mac is called Sans Rival; his previous Mac was called Cotton. He irons his own shirts but cannot do his own laundry. He likes the color black, because he says it’s elegant and sophisticated and goes with everything. His cars have always been black.

What else to say? Now he likes good leather. Before he met me, he didn’t even notice leather, but now he can tell whether or not a piece of leather-ware is of good quality. All his leather-ware are black, of course. Now his casual clothes have less color and prints, but more style. Now he also knows some Shakespearean lines, and I suspect that sometimes, he secretly Googles for papers on Shakespeare. He likes at least one chick flick that I know of, Letters to Juliet. He admitted this to me after we saw the movie in a cinema. He likes House, M.D., and he likes 24, and he thinks that the writers of those two TV shows are some of the best in the industry. His favorite movie is The American President. I watched Salt with him and he watched Sex and the City 2 with me.

I keep finding more and more things to say about him. Now he is more conscious about his grammar and word choice, which makes him feel insecure when he is composing a draft, but I think he really has nothing to worry about, because his English is very good. He can get a little pompous sometimes when he talks about his work, but it’s only because he is very passionate about what he does and he takes great pains to be exact in his conclusions. His Excel files are perfection. I am a beneficiary of this Excel perfection when he made me a template for balancing my checking account. I use it now not just to balance my checking account but to monitor all my bills and expenses, track all my post-dated checks, project my cash flow, and plan my purchases. Because of this Excel file, I have never had a check bounce, all my bills are paid on time, I don’t need to carry around much cash, and all my purchases are planned. His Excel perfection helped me live a mature financial life.

But not so much in other aspects. Because in other aspects I am still a little girl. I still need him each time I get feverish, or when my knee gets scraped and needs to be disinfected and bandaged, or when one of my software gets a glitch. I still need him to get dinner for me sometimes, and massage my legs when they get crampy. I still need to consult him each time I plan to buy a gadget or perform a software upgrade or install anything new into my system. I still need him to remind me to take my medication and to go to bed at 9:30 pm.

I also keep finding more and more reasons why I need him, and it could go on and on. But I suppose that in the dark and murky vapors that continue to surround our lives, and in the fears and uncertainties that plague us, what makes us endure are the prosaic, the simple, the everyday facts, such as the sun continuing to rise every morning, and AM Radio still churning out the news every day, and rush hour still awful but endurable, and Google still available each time you access it. It is small details like these that help me carry on, facts like, local checks still take about three days to clear, a thousand pesos plus five hundred is still a thousand and five hundred, that my ATM PIN still works, and that my taxes still get withheld from my salary. Lamps still light up when I turn them on, people still answer when I call them on the phone, and my analog wall clock still works. Books are still made of paper, hamburgers are still made of beef. The value of pi is still the same and Apple computers still don’t crash. And he is still the dude next door. For these, I am thankful.

[Image Credits: 1, 2, 3]


Blogger MARNE KILATES said...

Hey, Maryanne, just dropped in. Oh, boy, it's so nice reading about your Dude. Am so happy for you, my friend! There's a lot of bounce in your recent blogs! Enjoy! All the best!


8:50 AM  

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