(Day 9 – A favourite story of your best friend)
It was our freshman year in UPLB. The rain was falling lightly, but because the dorm cafeteria was overflowing with people, my best friend Marian and I decided to eat our dinner in one of the covered areas near what was known as the pink hall then. We lingered on even after we finished our food. I had lots of stories to share and was eager to babble the night away. She’d be all ears — and that was one thing that I found remarkable about her.
I consider Jane Marian to be my best friend. She’ll protest at this point because there were instances when we kinda lost track of one another’s lives. But we’re communicating again, though she’s miles, miles, miles away. I’m glad the communication’s back. You can trace our friendship back to elementary, you see. I like her because she keeps my secrets. I also like her because she listens. And even if we won’t talk for months, it’ll be as if nothing has changed when we somehow get together to catch up. Plus, she has the best reactions when I rant about things related to love love love. She’s full of a quirky kind of wisdom and I give her credit for that.
I mentioned how I like Marian because of her powers to sit still long enough and be attentive whenever I turn into a babble machine. When I get stressed, I either clam up or spill over. When I’m with Marian, I mostly spill over. Don’t get me wrong. I let her talk too. One of the turning points in our friendship was during the 10-day fieldwork before high school, when she told me stories of how Tamahome met Miaka. Haha.
Anyway. It was my turn to tell stories that night. I’m not sure what got the conversation rolling. I think we were talking about Christianity and spirituality when I suddenly began my discourse about Judy Blume’s “Are You there God? It’s me, Margaret.”
The main reason I brought the story up was because of the protagonist’s conflicting emotions about religion and spirituality. Margaret’s mother was a Christian, her father was a Jew. And then one day, Margaret suddenly found herself stammering on the other side of a Catholic confessional. It was somehow related to our season then, thus it was therapeutic to talk about it. The book tackled other things too. Which is why our discussion lengthened, causing us to relocate to the staircase at the dormitory’s Unit 3 where we continued. And then we talked about Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth” and Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”. Okay, I talked. And the books weren’t even connected to one another. I guess, in a way, I just wanted to mule over with her the things that I loved – books, stories, imagined and real places.
I think Marian was my guinea pig – because of her ability to listen, I now feel comfortable enough to get into “book discussion modes” with other people as well. Ask my friends who’ve heard versions of “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” from me. Or whom I have bombarded with thoughts and insights concerning “Peter Pan” and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Or whom I have been pestering about the social and spiritual implications of “The Hunger Games” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
I guess we’re good friends if you can let me talk literature over with you.
And if I babble too much – well, we have Jane Marian to blame. ; )