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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Being John Lloyd

[Originally posted this in my old blog last 06/19/06. The photo on the left is taken just a few hours before she left for the US last September 5th. Since then the protagonists-lovers in the story- Bambi and Mikey- have been reunited in New York where they are living happily ever after. Oh yes- I really miss you, too, Pong!]

I just got off the phone with one of my bestest friends since college. Her husband of just three weeks left for the United States this morning to begin his residency training in pediatrics at an East Coast hospital. She wasn’t the mess I expected her to be; or at least she didn’t sound like one.

In the course of our conversation, she intimated how, for a millisecond or so, she felt how better off she’d be if she were single or ‘love-less’. At least they- the single and love-less ones- don’t get to experience the pain of pining and separation she has to endure for the next three months or so before she joins him in the US.

Not being in the mood for a fierce argument, but still wanting to take her mind off of her misery, I decided to draw a two-edged sword that may break her heart a little but hopefully make her appreciate her lot more.

I just told her that people spend their lifetimes, with many passing away, without ever experiencing the joy of finding whom she has found, let alone be with them.

That somehow shook her back to the reality of her great fortune in life. Hopefully that eased her pain a bit.

I often catch myself swimming in what-ifs or I-wish-I-weres or I-wish-I-hads.

I’d wake up in the morning, open up my Bible, and wish I were alive in Jesus’ time. Bet I’d be a better Christian if I had.

I’d go get ready for work, walk to the parking lot, see the fancy cars around, and wish any one of those were mine.

As I cruise the mean streets of the city in my beat up nine-year old car, I’d be listening to the radio- RJ 100 specifically. Soon after I’d be wishing I had his talent or business pedigree and/or acumen.

Later on I might switch to the AM band and catch Korina Sanchez or Ted Failon. One can’t help but wish to have their clout or credibility or positive public perception.

Towering around the thoroughfares would be gigantic billboards, several of which feature just one actor- John Lloyd Cruz. My grandmother, bless her soul, always declared that I was his lookalike. That was probably the time that diabetes has damaged her eyes as well. But needless to say, with his string of hit movies, tv shows, and endorsements, I can see myself getting used to being John Lloyd Cruz.

Then, I reach my place of work. The pedicabs vacate the area where I’m supposed to park. About two or three kuyas in the area would guide me as I maneuver my car into the tight parking space. I’d step out of the car and I’d be greeted by an unending series of, “Good morning, Doc.” I swear some of them seemed to even slightly bow their heads. If they wore hats like in Victorian London or rural Philippines, they’d be tipping their hats to me. They are genuinely glad to see me- I can sense it in their smiles.

And those wake me from my stupid reveries. Because the truth of the matter is- I AM already living a dream of a life. I’m engaged in work that I REALLY love doing- something I love so much that I’d gladly do it for free. There’s this tremendous amount of joy in the work that I do so much so that I can’t wait for Monday to arrive, odd as it may sound.

Unless he takes up medicine in twelve years’ time, John Lloyd can only pretend to be a doctor in his movies. But me, I am one.

Humbled by their rockstar treatment, I’ll cheerfully respond, “Good morning po!” and hastily proceed to the clinic to see the first patient of the day, wishing that I won’t ever be taken away from this place.

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