Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | September 6, 2006

Runaway train of thought

I almost had a psychic girlfriend.
But she left me before we met.

I read somewhere that God’s greatest gifts to humanity were imagination and a sense of humor. The imagination part, we use to compensate for what we are not and the sense of humor we use to accept what we are.

That thought kept playing over and over as I leaned on the glass window of the train I took with no particular destination in mind. There is a thrill, I swear, in going out of the house and traveling with no definite plan. By train, I refer to the MRT that slithers back and forth the opposite ends of EDSA.

That’s the closest train experience I’ll ever have. Or the closest I’ll risk taking. I’ve heard too many horror stories about the one that choo-choos past squatter shanties to dare fulfill my train fantasies there. Oh yes. I love trains. The one thing I love about India is its trains. If I ever get an India assignment, that’s the first thing I’ll do. Ride a train. And eat something spicy.

But that’s straying from the original thought. Like Zen masters love to preach: I’ve got to learn to tie a string around the neck of my monkey mind. Otherwise I’d be nothing but a cesspool of straying, scattered thoughts and disjointed images.

Focus. Focus.

I woke up realizing that I had a day off from work and nothing planned. I checked my black book to visit the most exclusive list in the whole universe: My list of 100 things to do before I die. Still unticked-off were 84 items.

Among those 84 items was this entry: Ride a train.

I planned an end-to-end ride on the MRT so I taxied straight to the Taft Station and bought my ticket there.

“Can I have a ticket please,” I asked the female ticket seller, purposefully speaking in English so that I could set her up for a joke.

“Where are you going sir?” she asked.

“I’m going nuts,” I answered. I consciously flashed a smug smile before telling her to book me for North Edsa. Then I saw a vague reflection of me in the glass that served as a chasm between both our worlds and realized I looked so dumb. In a flash, I realized I managed to feel smart and look dumb at the same time. That has to count for an amazing feat, eh?

Still, I smiled at no one in particular as I made my way down the stairs and into the waiting, almost empty train. In a world were everything good has been eroded by the reality of going in an unstoppable downward spiral, it’s nice to have a semblance of a sense of humor.

My friends tell me I have a great sense of humor. And they tell me I have an amazing sense of imagination too. See where this is all leading to?

I have God’s two greatest gifts in me!

I ought to be proud. I was, for a while. Until I realized what those gifts were meant for. One to compensate for what I’m not and the other to accept what I am.

Imagination helped conjure an alternate me. A devilishly handsome, smoky-voiced, long-haired, muscular, talented, artistic rock star with a knee-melting, heart-stopping cocky smile. Sense of humor helped me survive every encounter with a mirror and an honest, tactless friend.

A blaring visual treat of a highway billboard featuring a sexy girl with a refreshing smile blew past me, snapping me out of my mental (as in, of the mind and ‘yo dude, mental!’) wanderings.

Imagination: She’s smiling at me.
Sense of Humor: She’s laughing at me.

Not too far apart after all, eh?

And then came to mind the familiar Internet and SMS joke that I’m still trying like hell to understand where it fits into this whole rambling:

I almost had a psychic girlfriend.
But she left me before we met.

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