Among all the good things in life, the following are on top of my list: old friends, cold beer, fresh breeze on a calm and quiet evening, bursts of uncensored laughter, and good conversations.
Ah, good conversations – they are extremely rare these days. In an age of perfunctory relationships and shallow interpersonal connections, where most of our interactions with other people are shady and self-centered, finding someone you can truly talk to is highly improbable it’s almost like winning a P200M lotto jackpot. In today’s superficial universe, intelligent people who may not necessarily agree with you, understand or condone you, but who can empathize and connect with the workings of your twisted mind, is an endangered species, perhaps more scarce than the African Black Rhino or the Chinese Giant Panda.
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to encounter one of these endangered kinds. As it turned out, Luck is a strange thing. While the universe runs on strict principles of cause and effect, sometimes we find ourselves caught in odd circumstances - those ones that do not make sense at all. Take Randomness, for example. In a universe where entropy is the law, and even the smallest of molecules have a tendency towards disorder, it escapes my brain how two molecules operating on Brownian motion can actually collide and result in some kind of an atomic interaction that leads to a boom, whatever that is!
Blame it on Randomness. After all, it doesn't really matter who and what we collide with. What matters is who or which of those we collide with can join us in this perpetual Brownian motion of our existence. I don't mind being a victim of Randomness once in a while. If the random connections we make result in thought-provoking conversations over doses of cold beer that would have normally knocked the consciousness out of you, well, that isn't too bad, is it?
Anyway, last weekend was a rare one. I exceeded my limit for words spoken in a day, surpassed my liver's capacity to produce alcohol dehydrogenase but surprisingly stayed sane despite the nausea, and was totally unaware that the clock has struck 4:30AM - the first dawn that I was ever by Manila Bay without my running shoes on.
After the alcohol was out of my system, I was still lightheaded and floating. My legs felt like lead and it was impossible to work. I was sick. Right then and there, I knew what it was all about. I was having symptoms similar to my dreaded but recurrent Post-Travel Depression Syndrome. Psychologists say that people who travel may suffer from post-vacation blues after returning to a normal routine from a journey, especially if it was a pleasurable one. The longer the trip, the more intense the blues will be.This time, I didn't travel. But what I had was so much like it.
And then I knew. I'm not changing my mind about the beauty of a good conversation. But the trouble with having experienced one is this - everything else you hear around you becomes small talk, and you realize that the language of the outside world is plain gibberish.Going back to the real world takes a lot of getting used to, huh?
The trouble with a good thing is that you will never get enough of it.