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When you sleep, where do you go?

Flowers and stars make good dreams (not)When I chance upon getting the sleep I need, I sometimes end up being more tired than when without rest. Yes, folks, I sometimes have nightmares. Is it because of the pressure, the food, or - God forbid - the alcohol?  Does our new abode have a 'resident' who wishes to un/welcome me? Or am I just over my quota of watching dark comedies and horror movies?

Most of my vivid, scary dreams are those I experience in the mornings. While the rest of the working- and schooling world are already up, I would still be in the confines of my bedroom, with not-so-soothing brainwaves prancing along the precipice of a nightmare.

This would be at around 6am, where my consciousness bobs between the states of sleeping and waking. The roommate would have been done with her morning routine and already left for work; the ceiling fan would already be switched on, and without the airconditioner’s comforting hum, King Faisal’s rising noise three floors down would start leaching into my consciousness.

Nightmares have never been a concern for me, but I recently find myself being subjected to it a couple of times a year. In one particular dream last year, I could not will myself to move, and had to helplessly endure the whisperings that told me to "Sleeeeep. Sleeeeeep." The eerie thing was, I KNEW I was dreaming, but I actually FELT someone pulling me down. Down where, I refused to acknowledge, but I positively sensed it was somewhere dark, dank and dirty. I wanted to continue my sleep, but those darn whispers kept disturbing me, and the pulling made me realize that THAT was a nightmare, and I just had to wake up. Thankfully, I did.

Just last week, I found myself in another dream where I saw a loved one fall off a river. I had to dive in to search for her but my efforts were in vain. Now dreaming underwater complicates everything as breathing would become more labored – I wouldn’t want to be inhaling whilst underwater, would I? Okay, I was dreaming, but I didn’t know that I was, darnit! So there I was, diving, feeling along underwater, surfacing for breath, then going underwater again. I kept reaching out for something but was torn between surfacing and going under. Scary, isn’t it? If I hadn’t awakened from it, I'd probably have drowned. In my dream.

If I have known I was having a nightmare, I would realize that the person I hear crying is in fact me; the boa constrictor that is limiting my movements is actually the now-twisted comforter I kick off me; and the entity that keeps screaming in the background is my alarm clock. Bless you, insistently raucous alarm clock, you pulled me from a horrible, horrible dream.

Then I spring awake, heart pounding, eyes wide but still unseeing. I should be relieved to be out of the nightmare, but I still have that nagging feeling that I am being watched.

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Who is Bethany Grace?

Today is August 13th, and it is my sister BG's birthday. For her, 13 is a lucky number, all the more if her birthdate falls on a Friday. It is Saturday today - still lucky, nonetheless.

My sister BG is four years my senior. She is the eldest, I am the youngest. She is the expert in cooking, I am the master in cleaning. Where she has the aptitude for numbers, I have the flair for words. But both of us share the same passion for books, fondness for food, and devotion to family. Heck, we jointly share our children, we even mistake her Nathan and my Shaan as siblings.

When we were both swinging singles and gainfully living off our yuppie incomes, we had a lot of fun going around town and sampling all the food whenever we get the chance to be together. I would come home to Laoag and she would be there waiting at the bus station at 1am even though the station was a mere 10 minute walk from home; then we would drive off to the park to enjoy super special empanadas, grilled longanisas or balot sa puti, before heading home at about 2.30am. Other times, Ate would visit me in Tuguegarao, I had to make her sooo hungry several times before heading to hole-in-the-wall eateries, so that she may finish the pansit that the City was known for, or the divine kare kare being sold at an eatery along Diversion Road.

I recall one incident at a karaoke bar wherein Ate sang and sang and drank and drank cocktails. Some wiseguy kept on looking our way, and my then-boyfriend had to call his police-brother as back-up on our way home, to keep the 'fans' away. I had to shush my sister to shut up as there was a police with us. She shrilly laughed her drunken giggle and said, "Oweno ngayon kung pulis siya? Babarilin ko din siya!"

She had shown me Laoag all over again, and I had introduced to her Tuguegarao. Then we both would join forces to take over Davao City (alongside cousins), Los Banos (alongside friends); and even run away from our Lowla to have Hongkong by ourselves.

Looking back, I could only be amused at the ironies of Ate:

Ate, who had to stay in college for NINE WHOLE years to finish her Bachelors degree, would end up having her Masters not only within the prescribed two years, but with distinction.. and now? she's in her second PhD (PangHabangbuhay na Dalaga?).. in less than 9 years i hope..

Ate, who used to be constantly away from home on gimmicks and trips with friends and buddies, would opt at being based home and toiling over the family business and looking after the kids..

Ate, whom one would mistake as a snobbish and haughty professional (even the workers at home call her Ma'am), would be so soft and too yielding, especially to Shaan and Nathan..

Ate, who previously had been too self-centered, impatient, and easily annoyed, could now streeeeetch her kilometric staying power to tolerate the terrible but cute adventures of our kids..

And now..  our being mothers have taken our then-yuppie selves to greater heights. Still single but every bit responsible mothers, both Ate and I jointly try our best to rear the pleasantly horrific combined forces of Shaan and Nathan, with loads of help from Lowla, of course.

With all her ironic idiosyncracies, I love my Ate. She is the only one I got.

The frightful thing is, she is crazier than I am.

(original entry posted in 2009 - nothing much has changed, except for Ate's age hekhekhek)

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What? Me? Worry?



Beware of the silent - they are observing and planning their next move..
THAT, or they just do not give a tinker's dam..
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