right this fleeting now
writing this on a monday early morning. actually, lotsa things happened saturday, but let me reserve stories about yesterday for sometime this week, ahahaha... coz yanno how it is during the workweek: sometimes stories run out.

been reading the blogs of and emails from friends.

one cannot get enough of asking herself who she is, but by doing so, her blog reads like someone skinning herself alive. she dislikes it, at the same time, she knows she will never find peace if she stops blogging her issues. she isn't suicidal, or depressed, she's confused because she's looking for herself. i admire her because she doesn't run away to some remote, exotic locale like lhasa. she's looking for her roots here in the u.s. she doesn't identify fully as filipina in the philippines. neither does she identify as american. watching her peck at goosebumps is like watching someone teetering along the side of a skyscraper with no intentions of jumping off the ledge. but something else can nudge her ever so slightly, the wind or some random pebble left over from construction, prematurely sending a rare thinker to the fates of us all.

another writes about her hobby and how difficult it was to obtain the needed pieces to complete her collection. i have most of its pieces. her collection is online and when i first browsed through it, i hope i could amass half as interesting a collection as hers. she has photographs and postcards of st. petersburg, the cathedral capital of russia. "it's like a fairy tale," said a polish friend, of the city.

my hobbyist friend has postcards of a small town called pskov and its regions, in northwestern russia. in fact, most of the photographs in her photoalbum are postcards, and most of the postcards, along with arresting monuments and reflections of skylines on water, feature churches. pskov churches, white stone structures with minarets and crosses, are accompanied by three-story stone white monasteries with holes for windows. i imagine the mystics wrote their works in stone monasteries like those in the postcards.

she's not sure why she has hundreds of postcards of churches in her album. "i'm haven't studied theology but i have read plenty of books for myself and i like postcards with religious places too. i don't know why religions fascinate me so much, maybe it's because there were no religions in USSR and i managed to live in that country a few years of my childhood that i can recall," she wrote. by her asking what i did for a living, i realized i haven't told her much about myself at all. and now i want postcards of riga. i don't want to think how this hobby of pictures must be taking us away from work, school, other parts of real life.

another friend wants to join this year's AIDS walkathon-race thingy-fundraising event. he actually spelled his entire name in the "to" of his email to me, and i wonder if that means anything. you can never tell with him. he shops better than i do, but then again, i only like shopping if i have money to burn. and i don't have, anymore. ahahaha. the friend is looking if i would be one of his sponsors, and since i sponsored one of our other friends, i want to do the same for him.

he blogs eating at a churrascaria, and he's explained it to me, but of course i didn't understand the first time. "it's a brazilian-style restaurant that serves up a wonderfully prepared 'salad' buffet, while waiters dressed-up as gauchos walk around with skewers of perfectly grilled meats, poultry, or fish," he blogged. today friends and i ate at a chili's in skokie. i haven't eaten there before, and midscale food chains like chili's are all right for friends. they're much cheaper than fogo de chão, the churrascaria he blogged about. you don't go to fogo de chão to just eat eat, you go there for the experience.

he wants support for a good cause. "i suck insanely when it comes to fundraising, so your help is greatly appreciated. i'm not even setting a goal for myself just because i suck at it. AHAHAH," he e-mailed.

none of these friends live in chicago. i would have wanted to join my friend at fogo de chão, i would have wanted coffee with identity, and i would have wanted to breathe the russian autumn as well. but these, right now, are enough. this time with friends are enough. right this fleeting now, as i write this, i am glad for what i already have.
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