"Hello darkness, my old friend..."
I have but an hour before Shrove Tuesday ends and Ash Wednesday heralds the start of Lent. As I was watching this thing on teenage suicides on television, I started remembering something that really grinds my bones and boils my blood... I had to stop myself a while back there and started to make the sign of the cross; but somehow halfway, I just couldn't do it. I didn't see why I had to waste sending good will via a religious gesture for someone who just does not deserve it. But then, I got to thinking about the other dimensions of self-sacrifice, and I just gave out a sigh... Maybe writing about it, will stop me from making snide remarks and jokes about this person in the next forty days and nights. I think that's one thing I can define self-sacrifice and abstinence with.
You see, a few years back, I was introduced to Alice Jae Mastro [not her real name, but the clues are in the sound of the alias] by a friend which we shall call Female Falcon [Falcon, i believe is "lawin" in Tagalog -there's another clue]. Female Falcon had been a classmate of mine for some time already, and since Alice Jae Mastro shared my interest in the Theater, I connected with her and we became good friends... Or so I thought.
I enjoyed her company tremendously. She was an intelligent person with quite an impressively acerbic take on almost anything. We were able to manage mounting a musical against certain odds, we had a blast while working many a late nights, and I thought I found someone I would call a friend for life.
Who knew that a dark shadow follows one such as her. She admits to be suffering from a Bi-Polar Disorder and is considered a Manic Depressive prescribed with certain meds to avoid suicidal tendencies. I understood her, to say the least. But I never knew that she could use that shadow to manipulate people to get the results she wants, one way or another.
The trouble began when after doing the show, Female Falcon started hanging out with another girl, let's call her Pia, she played keyboards for the band that did our live music. I really don't know if it was jealousy on Alice Jae Mastro's end or some freakish lesbian obssession she has with Female Falcon, but I got caught in the middle of it trying to see if I can be of help to not further the rift between them. But Alice Jae will have none of it, and proceeded with manipulating me to take her side.
Don't get me wrong, she's not entirely evil, just twisted. She was capable of gathering a few friends to wish me well before I took a deserved break in Panay Island. She even watched one of my shows and praised me for my performance [but now I doubt if there was any sincerity on her part]. I can't really figure it out, but we just grew apart and saw each other less and less. Maybe it was because I felt 'caught in the middle' and my sincere gestures and acts towards her situation were but products of her manipulations to see if I would run to her side.
Later would she hate me for working with a common friend named Myrna and take it against me just because she wasn't in speaking terms with her [a fault that is Alice Jae's entirely]. Imagine, while inviting her to a Valentine's dinner, she utters, "Why don't you invite Myrna, you guys deserve each other." After that, I never bothered to speak with her again.
I thought I had heard the last of her until about September last year when she had posted quite disparaging things about me at her friend Okie's blog.
Well, you want to hear a funny story? Alice Jae Mastro actually said this about Okie, "You know naman Okie is not the most talented actress and would rarely get considered for a lead role. So, she takes advantage of it when no one is available. E, no one wants to work under Dindy Damndador, so she had no choice but to cast Okie as Belle in Beauty and the Beast." Doesn't that speak a lot about the kind of friend she can be? I pity those that keep her in their company. They can't really be sure about her...
I confess, I had half a mind to pack a box filled with a hangman's noose, razor blades, rat poison, and other suicide implements and send it to her as a Christmas present with a note that says, "Get it over and done with. Spare us your drama." But the better part of me won, or I was too busy dealing with people dying, my grandmother getting sick, and the Christmas rush.
Now, as Lent approaches, I vow not to entertain these thoughts about her commiting suicide [though I admit to derive a sick pleasure in doing so when I remember], I shall avoid the usual suicide jokes at her expense [for forty days and nights at least], and I will pray for her at mass this Ash Wednesday [I hope I remember since there are people in dire states who deserve our prayers more].
...thus spake the barefoot baklesa
313. HONORING SAN ISIDRO, by Bibsy M. Carballo, Sunday Times Magazine - *By Bibsy M. Carballo / Photos: Romeo Vitug * *Photos of San Isidro, courtesy of Jayson Maceo* *The Sunday Times Magazine, 21 May 1972, pp. 26-27* *...
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