September 30, 2014 - 5:56 PM
Someone asked me (via text) few minutes ago, “Don’t you sometimes find yourself in that mood? In that infinite feeling?”
We were talking about Sam, Charlie and Patrick at the tunnel on Sam’s pickup truck with David Bowie’s song on the radio. Of course, what Charlie felt that night about infinity shouldn’t be the source of comparison to everyone’s feeling of infinity. Yes? Yes.
And I answered, “I do. When I’m happy.”
And then it got me thinking.
“When was the last time I was THAT happy?”
September 14, 2014
There I was, with my chin resting on my arms, the camera dangling on my neck, while the people around me were either screaming her name or busy taking photos, trying their hardest to get a good shot of her.
It was the very first time I saw The Alyssa Valdez in flesh. She was there, standing few feet away from me, tossing and spiking the ball with Amy. And when I say few, I mean less than ten feet away from me. So close that I can even see the beads of sweat trickling from her face. That close, yes.
After I took a few blurry pictures of her (What? My hands were shaky, okay?), I just spent my time staring at her, followed her every moves, and the people around me were professing their love for her, while she was there, doing her thing with a timid smile carved on her lips, and her eyes focused on the ball. Okay, I admit. I did my “professing their love” part, too. Hehe
Anyway, I was wondering what she was thinking that moment.
I was wondering how she was feeling while under the brightest spotlight that day inside the University of San Carlos gym.
I was wondering if, somehow, there was a lucky face from the crowd, gawking at her, that made an impression on her.
There was a moment when she “misreceived” her ball, and it went flying towards the crowd, towards the East side, our side, and Alyssa’s eyes followed the ball. Maybe, somehow, for a second, her eyes lingered on somebody from the group nearest to her, because everybody was screaming and swooning, and the clicking of the cameras just went on for like eternity.
It didn’t stop.
The I love you’s.
The clicking of the cameras.
And then she mouthed, “Sorry,” to no one in particular with a very reserved smile on her lips, about the ball, and the crowd from the East side just went wilder, almost raising the roof of the gym. It was crazy!
For a moment not longer than five seconds, Alyssa’s eyes moved, maybe scanning the faces of the people gaping at her? And for a nanosecond, her eyes lingered to where I was standing, and it was enough to just shut off everything that’s going on around me.
It was enough for me to be at the moment. Know what I mean?
It hushed the noise.
The screaming and the I love you’s and the “ALYSSA!” and the clicking of the cameras were like echoes from a distant world.
It slowmo-ed the moment.
Like how it took the Mikasa ball to succumb to gravity and reach Marge’s hands (because she was standing beside Alyssa, warming up with Maddie).
It made my heart skipped a beat.
And that’s saying something, considering that my heart would palpitate every now and then, sending a tingling feeling from my toes up to my head. In short, it rarely skips a beat.
I looked behind me, and saw @forthephenom laughing at me. I smiled at her and stared at Alyssa again, because I thought that was the best thing to do next to none.
It made me want to cry. There was that lump in my throat and my eyes went misty. No joke!
And I’m not a crybaby.
It made me realize why we are revolving around the sun.
I suddenly realized the purpose of my existence.
Like how Jacob felt when he laid eyes on Renesmee for the very first time.
I’m kidding on the last three sentences.
Seriously, it made me realize why stars are supposed to hang above us, and show us how beautiful and how enthralling they could be, while we’re supposed to just look at them, and appreciate their existence without deliberately letting them know of our own existence, because things are supposed to work that way. Well, most of the time, I guess.
And then there’s Maricor standing beside me who was seriously beside herself (She was particularly ogling and swooning at Ms. Tina Salak. Haha), overwhelmed by the fact that the people we see on TV, talked about on Twitter, and included in our prayers, were standing in front of us.
In flesh, looking a bit cautious but still enjoying (I hope) the scrutiny and excitement of the Cebuano crowd.
They. Are. Freakin’. Real.
Which my sister, Rikka, pointed out, and said something like, “They don’t look fancy or anything, which is a good thing. Because that means they’re real.” And she smiled, looking at Den, and kept on saying how pretty Den is.
This echoes Charlie’s realization about Brad, the quarterback. “…but I guess when you see in the hallway or in the field or something, it’s nice to know that they are a real person.”
And there’s this kid standing on my left, tiptoeing, looking over at RAD across the other side of the court, doing selfies with the crowd from the West side, and she was groaning and screamed Alyssa’s name with all her might, asking for a selfie. Of course that didn’t happen.
And there was my other sister, Kim, who came in late, clapping her hands hard and cheered her heart out after every “kill” and point scored by RAD and the rest of the Lady Troopers, and blurted out, “I’m at the wrong side of the court!” loudly after realizing that almost everyone around her was wearing blue.
And our big sister, Yeen, who would say “I love you too,” whenever the girls sitting behind us would scream “I love you, Alyssa!” and laugh with them, like friends sharing a good laugh after a silly joke.
The feeling of just being there at that exact moment surrounded by the people I care about and the people whom I do not know but whose hearts beat harmoniously with mine.
The feeling of finally wearing my blue shirt loudly and being surrounded with people who also wear them proudly.
The “Ooooh’s” and the “Aaaah’s” and the cheers and the applause.
The “Go Ateneo! One Big Fight!” chants when the girls were down.
The feeling that, at that exact moment, I know I should be there.
That I belong there.
That was infinite.
And at the back of my head was Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit playing over and over again.
And I thought that was fitting, since the song always makes me feel alive.
I wished Blake, the organizer, played that one over the amplifier. That would’ve sort of cemented the moment on my archives of memories. And that would’ve been epic. To me, at least. But I don’t think Blake, the organizer, likes Nirvana though. And I won’t diss about how poorly the people behind the event came up with the idea to confiscate the food and beverages at the entrance. So, shhh!
Maybe that’s the reason why I kinda felt like I just came from a rock concert that day, because everything makes sense when you listen to the music that’s supposed to give meaning to things when words are just too hard to string together, even when only you could hear and feel it. Know what I mean?
P. S. I had that so-near-yet-so-far-but-who-cares-well-I-don’t moments that day, and that made things even better. I was in that “in a good way” kind of high, I think. :)