But my sister’s the best, not precisely because she lends me her Celine shoes or shares with me her easiest practical tips when it comes to dressing ungirly but staying attractive, but because she can skip her notes about Dementia or ADHD just to talk to me about personal sanity and how to gauge them and fall out of having an attention deficit.
The other night, after a brief stint with Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, I turned to her and sent shy signals that I deeply crave for some “sister talk.” We do not have them often; since I went to Baguio for school and she started her Masters, we were limited to 15-minute calls, Christmas and birthday cheesiness and short notes for each other. I still find it cute, though. Haha. How we exert these little efforts to stay close to each other despite studies and the stress, or boredom of everyday.
Which I guess, these are what really keep us together, stress, boredom, too much exposure with tedious readings, too much observation of fireflies dancing and hearing Broken Social Scene. So through the knack of a lousy fate and the length of time, we delicately put ourselves under a therapeutic transaction, a “sister talk,” perhaps what most girls badly need in order to stay positive and hell beautiful. So I do not know what goes on with girls who don’t have sisters, older or younger; I assume it is more of a test than a mere bore.
“Ate, hindi ka pa naman nagsasawa sa medical world, alam mo yun?”
(Medical Technology, if you’re familiar with that degree, sounds like a real bore. And yes, my sister does not make it look that. She has this habit, which is amazing because a habit is something which you regularly do, of reading her notes every night, before she sleeps or after dinner before she watches a movie. And side dish, she likes 500 Days of Summer which I don’t and dislikes The Matrix Trilogy which I do like, we’re such a pair!)
“Haha, hindi pa naman. Ang dami ko pang hindi alam, kung alam mo lang.”
(I do not know but I think my sister has this way of getting into the intricate philosophy of things, which most of the time, compel me to ride on with her. In other times, I want to believe that she was the one compelled to look at things that way, perhaps she want to sound smart thinking that I’m from UP. She’s from UST, but that is not a factor why I love her. I love her, and one of the big factors why is that she really tries to adjust to what I presently am)
And she emphasized the second “alam.”
“Ang problematic nun diba, kung ano yung mga alam ko tsaka yung mga hindi ko alam. Tsaka yung mga alam ko na hindi ko alam tsaka yung mga hindi ko alam na alam ko.”
(It took me quite a while before coming up with that response. I have it like that: calculating words and phrases, trying to measure their expanse, their semantic expanse and impressions. Words do not only hurt emotions, as the ugly cliché put it lazily, words create subuniverses as well, and often, these microuniverses are so completely absorbed they change people’s perceptions about the world, about themselves, and about you)
“So anung point ng deadwood Kitty, bored ka no? Tapos mo na yung Irreversible?”
(And I love it when my sister does something like that: attacking me right at the center of what I just did, and not right from where I just did has ended. She has that interesting flair, quickly labelling my actions and throwing them back at me, making me realize what I just did)
“Hindi pa, ewan, nabore ako eh. So tama ka. Or di ko lang siguro feel manood ngayon, aantukin lang ako pag sa kwarto eh. Tapos mo na yung binabasa mo?”
(Yes, we were at the terrace, or veranda, I don’t know. We used to share a room, but she departed when she turned 14. The urge of brimming teenagehood. And I hate watching movies when I can’t concentrate. And movies like Irreversible are intelligent enough to require some good concentration)
“Nope. Patapos ko pa lang yung isa, ang sinet ko as objective ay makatapos ng at least tatlong chapters ngayon, haha.”
(I have many options in describing this: industry, boredom, dedication, excessive attention to detail, excessive obedience to prior plans, super student-ness; I’ll add some more when something pops into my head)
“Na hindi mo na balak seryosohin malamang.”
(I have this tendency to sound jocular when I am dead serious. And funny how people are their truest when they are joking, haha)
“Di ko alam. Naparami na ‘kong kape eh, kung di pa ako aantukin, di ko titigilan ‘to. Ikaw, anong balak mo? Magsulat ka na nga lang sa kwarto mo. Gawan mo ‘ko ng tula.”
(And my abusive sister, haha, asking poems from me when she knows I write them with a pointed passion. And her fondness of coffee, and take note, black coffee. Perhaps she needs to write the poems herself, or someone needs to take her attention away from her readings first)
“Ayoko, tinatamad ako. Ewan, mag-usap muna tayo, or gusto mo na uli magbasa-basa diyan? Magbreak ka naman, kanina ka pa nagbabasa eh.”
(Evidently, I pine for my sister, or ewan, her attention, her words)
“Haha, oo nga, nag-uusap na nga tayo.
(She was not looking at me, but after “tayo,” she put off her papers and grabbed her cup of coffee, changed her sitting position so that she faces me and gave me that wry but cute smile I cannot help but feel good about – haha, Im the sister of this beautiful Masters student!)
She gave her cup a solemn and sweet kiss. And while I glance at her with daring attention, I felt extremely relieved. This is some sister who can touch her little, slightly pimpled-face little sister with an unassuming presence and her mere responding to her pesterings. And we are yet to talk.