Inventory At Thirty
“Three be the things I shall have ’til I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.”
– from Inventory by Dorothy Parker
It has been brought to my attention that you have been recently plagued by a cloud of frustration, apparently due to your current financial situation. I understand that you have been longing to leave your island of Luzon, cross the sea, and go to Camiguin for your 31st – only, you going there would have to mean that you cannot go to school for a whole term, because you would have to use your tuition money for fare. You cannot afford to sacrifice that. You know you need your master’s pronto. You know you have no choice but to remain still for a while, with whatever you have at the moment –
which is more than enough. I have taken the liberty to list them down for you, some thirty valuables you have been enjoying for the past year, your good 30th, in case you have forgotten, and God knows how you can be forgetful sometimes. They may be numbered, but not according to rank, and they are so numbered only for purposes of taking track of them while they are being enumerated. I am confident, though, that these 30 surely are the top of your 30th year list.
Please, feel free to refer to this list everytime the tail of ingratitude whips you:
2. your little home, at the moment
3. your new, peace-loving neighbors
4. your generous landlord
5. your noble job which lets you help save the Earth
6. your cool co-workers
7. pretty Ortigas
8. gritty Quiapo
10. homey Paete
11. the Caramoan islands, wedded to the Pacific
12. your first flight, weeeee!
13. the day of the Eraserheads concert last March when you met Bleepster and Mang Jose’s other friends (oh, and Sunswirlies’ bro, Nolan, again!)
14. your thesis adviser
15. the library at La Salle, one of the best libraries in this country
16. everything else in La Salle, including the nourishing drinking fountains, the pristine CRs, the twin popsies at the canteen, the Chapel of The Pearl of Great Price, the coffee shop, the covered walkways…
17. Mrs. Lykes, who is like a mother to you
18. Sunswirlies, from whom you learn so much all the time
19. Michipooh, the younger sister you never had, and she’ll be turning 30 soon, too!
20. The Baptist, for all his help and kindness
21. Mang Jose, for his kindness, and for being your friend
27. Mrs. Calda, your favorite cousin
28. your health
29. Nine Inch Nail’s gig here on August 5
30. and all the other goodness coming
You have a few more days left before your 31st. Cheer up! You may be racing towards the best years, for all you know. And you don’t have to have the sock in the eye, like your flapper idol did. Only that “thing with feathers, that perches in the soul”, eh?
Now off you go. Go!