Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Of Virgin Suicides
I’m reading Jeffrey Euginedes’ The Virgin Suicides four days ago. I’ve always wanted to read it and was finally able to get a copy, when my sister and I went to a nearby bookstore as we were waiting for my other brothers to show up for our weekly dinner (which I actually looked forward to and enjoyed. I guess I really am growing up, haha). I’ve seen the movie three times, and each time, I remember feeling deeply affected when I get to the scene where Cecilia explains why she tried to kill herself (the first time): “Obviously doctor, you’ve never been a 13 year old girl.”
I remember being 12 and wishing with all my heart that I would grow up quickly. My male cousins are five or six years older than me, and I remember feeling left out when they were starting to talk about girls and stuff and all those things in the world of high school. My brothers were of no help, of course, largely because of the obvious fact that they were still boys in grade school, and I was caught in the middle. Of course, growing up, my problems were not as scandalous, they don’t warrant a tragedy like The Virgin Suicides. After all, the story’s context is US suburban life, but I remember a friend’s observation while we were having a heart to heart over beer: middle-class families in the Philippines are incredibly dysfunctional, and what’s worse is that on the surface, we like pretending that things are okay. I think this is partly why I don’t see myself every coming out with an honest-to-god compilation of creative nonfiction, I’d be too scared to talk about my family life. I’m not saying that we have a lot of problems, but we have some, like everyone else, and I wouldn’t want to say anything unintentionally hurtful, especially now that I’m supposed to be all grown up.
At dinner, my sister tells me, with a hint of incredulity: “Twenty-six ka na pala” I don’t know what she meant by that, exactly, She sounded so like mom when she was still alive. Bleh.
But yeah, if I step back and look at myself, I’m equally incredulous that I’m actually 26, and I don’t feel like growing up anymore. I wonder if Cecilia’s statement can be transposed to my current state: “Obviously doctor, you’ve never been a 26 year old queer boy.” (This is spot-on, as I have to schedule some check-ups in a few days, what with all these growing pains and some cancer). At 26, this is a short version of my to-do list: Short-term plan- get rid of this fockin' C. Long-term plan: I have no idea. Very Winona Ryder-ish, ala Reality Bites, don’t you think?