As what is wont to happen, I hardly derive any inspiration to write from positive or happy developments in my life- hence the delay in writing about the passing of my friend, Arnel.
Lest I be accused of being utterly inhuman and devoid of normal grieving patterns, I take comfort in the knowledge and belief in my heart of hearts that he is in a place 999,999,999,999 googol times better than where the happiest person on earth is.
Truth be told, I envy him- having finished his mission on earth at the age of 27. Free from the toil and misery of the daily grind here, he’s probably enjoying endless videoke sessions in heaven, with harps and lyres and a cohort of magnificent angels and cherubims as back up vocals to boot. Performance level, I’m sure. And a constant score of 101%!
Do I miss him? Hell yeah.
But I’d rather lose him than have him here but he's deep in the muck of illness and misery.
True to form, Arnel was ever the entertainer, even at his own wake. It was arguably the most animated and lively wake I’ve ever been to. A handful of high school friends were able to visit him and our constant recollection of Arnel’s antics, witty one-liners, and fondess for imitating people’s mannerisms had us all doubling in laughter, albeit suppressed with supreme effort in deference to the event we were in.
And what a joy it is viewing over and over again that one video of Arnel I was blessed enough to capture through my phone. It was taken March 31st of last year, at Jen’s birthday party, one of our high school friends. Vintage Arnel- singing, nay, performing as if on stage, with eyes shut at the right part of the song, arms flailing about, thoroughly working us, his audience, like putty on his hands.
While we were viewing the video at Arnel’s wake, we couldn’t remember what he was singing much less hear the melody and lyrics from the video since the audience- as captured in the video as well as those viewing it- were laughing so hard, enthralled by this performance. Fearing that I might lose the video in one way or another, e.g. my phone gets stolen, it conks out, etc, I shared the video to two other friends. Fortunately, the boyfriend of one of these girls had better hearing than all of Arnel’s friends combined. He was able to discover what Arnel was singing- Irene Cara’s Out Here On My Own from the Oscar-winning 70’s flick FAME .
Rather than post the, um, somber lyrics of Out Here On My Own, I believe what is more "Arnel" is the movie’s theme Fame.
Baby look at me
And tell me what you see.
You ain't seen the best of me yet
Give me time, I'll make you forget the rest.
I got a story, and you can set it free
I can catch the moon in my hand
Don't you know who I am?
Remember my name (Fame)
I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly (High)
I feel it coming together
People will see me and die (Fame)
I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame (Fame)
I'm gonna live forever
Baby, remember my name
Remember, Remember, Remember, Remember,
Remember, Remember, Remember, Remember
Baby hold me tight
And you can make it right.
You can shoot me straight to the top
Give me love and take all I got.
Baby I'm in love
Too much is not enough
I surround your heart to embrace
You know I got what it takes.
Indeed, you will live forever, Arnel. You won’t be forgetten.