Thursday, November 20, 2008

Personal Space

I remember my first desk at the young age of 5 or 6. It was a desk with a hutch, with wide open shelves. I remember it to be so big that if I wanted to, I could slip in easily in the desk drawer. My Dad is very particular with having almost all our home furniture made with Narra. Understandably, Narra is the premier local wood of choice for high quality furniture. Not only is its durability time-tested, it is also known for its very beautiful grain and beautiful finish. My old desk has served its purpose well. It taught me how to be organized with my things at a young age. Albeit, it could very well be the root of my pack rat mind-set.

When we moved to Manila, my mother thought it best to sell those lovely desks, my sister’s and mine. As soon as we were settled, she had another one custom built for all of us siblings. Naturally they were made with the same wood, although now smaller in scale, considering the number of desks that were to be accommodated in the study room. Having had to share a room ( and clothes, shoes, books, and most things else for that matter) for the entire duration of my single life, the desk was the one item that I consider truly my own. It was mine exclusively, a stand-out in my eye, especially among the collectively owned possessions at home.

When I got married and moved to a new house with C, I left the old one behind. Imprudently thinking that with 4 rooms and a lot of space to fill up, I wouldn’t be needing it anymore. The empty house quickly filled up with the rapid addition of young ones . With it, drawers, cabinets, shelves and other places of storage instantly became filled up with things, not all of them necessarily needed. Things soon got lost in the clutter that accumulated daily.

And so I now come full circle, back where I came from. Wanting something that’s exclusively mine among the collective possessions at home. And so I began dreaming of having a desk just like the one I had.

I am beside myself with excitement. My new desk has just been delivered, and there’s something about the smell of it that gives me a buzz. I just realized that Narra wood gives off an odor similar to camphor oil. And so for the moment I am in heaven on earth.


Like most teens in my generation, I got captivated by Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High. But unlike the typical teenaged girl, I did not progress to Danielle Steel and company. Towards the middle of high school, I was introduced to Sidney Sheldon and then quickly moved on to Michael Crichton, John Grisham, et al. Reading best sellers soon became trite, the plots clich├ęd. I soon began to initiate myself into the world of non-fiction, and this personal discovery was a state of great luxury and comfort for me. Topics are usually autobiographies of personalities who piqued my curiosity or historical events that made a mark. I remember reading books about the sinking of the Titanic, Greek mythology (no doubt inspired by mythology in reading class during junior high), ancient Rome and Greece (most especially the relationship between Brutus and Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra), Persian Empire (particularly under the reign of King Xerxes where the Battle of Thermopolis happened. Inspired inpart by the book of Esther in the Bible), Alexander the Great, Katharine Graham, Princess Diana, Jacqueline Onassis, JFK Jr, Audrey Hepburn, and of course the list goes on and on. An assortment of topics, really. Oh! And some Archie Comics also thrown in for good measure. At one point, the late Kevyn Aucoin’s book was almost a must buy – until good logic turned me around and saved me.

A few months ago, however, I received a call from a friend requesting me to ask C if she could borrow a certain book. Unfortunately for her, C was away on business that time. She mentioned that she was just done reading Twilight, (the first book) and urgently had to read the sequel right away. She told me C mentioned that he bought the book, but I told her I was positive that I did not see him reading it around the house. But just the same I told her I will ask him once he gets back.

But this friend surprised me by traveling all the way to Serendra that night to go to Fully Booked and purchased all 3 remaining books to complete her Twilight collection. And this is already after searching for it at almost all of the bookstores with no luck. I was so intrigued by this book because of the reaction that it got from my usually level headed friend that I had to send an SMS and ask C about it. She was right. C had indeed ordered it from Amazon, intending it to be a gift for J. My sis-in-law, borrowed it right away, as soon as it was delivered.

It is absolutely out of character for me to be interested in the horror-fantasy literary genre. I was not lured by Anne Rice with her aristocratic vampire, Lestat. Regardless that it was made into a movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, and much later into a Broadway musical. Neither did Harry Potter elicit any interest from me, even when it was raking in millions of dollars in book sales and movie tickets.

However when I found out that the Twilight series fall into dark romance, that is where my attraction with the saga started. As soon as I began reading the first book, I found myself a willing captive to the book’s thin plot and shallow characters. I read it without dissecting the way the book was written. It is essentially a love story; and what girl, regardless of age, can resist a good and simple love story?

It’s not the greatest book in the world, but I generously own up to the fact that I read it in a day’s time. I simply could not put it down. It was pure enjoyment, let me tell you. I have read all four books in one week. And I am now back to reading the first book, all the better to refresh my memory for when the movie comes out this weekend.

Before this Twilight saga piqued my interest, my bedside companions were Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future by Joel Rosenberg and The Shack by William Young. Both are heavy reads, and so I take a break from one and read the other. Don’t ask me how I do it, that’s just how I plan to go on till I actually finish it. But being rudely interrupted by Twilight, I might take some time to go back.