I think I'm through with patching things up between friends, and their friends. I have to dispatch most of them as memory. Sadly, most of them are the ones I cherish a lot.

Three years ago I downed bottles with A and B at LB Square. It was March, they were about to graduate the next month, and all three of us were quite giddy with the idea of doing something shady in the campus. We ended up soaking our knees on the Baker Hall pool at 3AM. All of us were scared to get caught by the University Police in the act of diving--worse if they happened to record the unusual activity with their hidden surveillance cameras. So we shivered in the early hours of the day,  then for some time we gazed at the stars, just like in the movies. We went home chilled to the bone, about two hours later, dodging the barbed wires along the perimeter.

Just two months ago, A texted, confirming my name. I asked who's this, and he didn't say much, but basically he said maybe we should hang out together, A, B, I, and--I assume--our college organization.

I recently met with B at this bar in Ortigas. I think that was just two weeks ago. Ever since her father had contracted cancer of the prostate, she never went out that much. I completely forgot to tell her about A's text message, and about how it surprised me.

Maybe A is depressed?

B and I talked about C, another common friend whom she's having a lot of issues with last year. Their friendship ended abruptly, and with lengthy e-mails in tow (some drafts, B said, but mostly sent). The conversation brought with it a lot of issues with ten different people, mostly unresolved, if not vague.

Just yesterday I was browsing through old photos and had a really bad time reminiscing, thinking about what really happened, and what went wrong. There was a lot of heartbreak. Lately I met with D over martinis and amaretto in the same Ortigas bar (don't I just love that bar!) and she was having family problems, and the requisite friendship problems in tow. See, I used to cook adobo in her dorm back in college, and together with her housemates they thought I should cook for them more often (needless to say, they liked the dish). Surprisingly, all four of them, D included, are currently in such turmoil that to think of them living in the same dorm three years ago is unthinkable. (The catfights involved Boracay, make-ups, name it.)

E is in his first (or second) year in law school. The last time we've chat, I was still in New York, and I was planning to give him this shirt I have the hunch that he might not like in the first place. (Funny, I had the gall to chat with him 32 minutes after he signed out from Facebook.)

F is always juggling with a lot of reasons: she has colds, etc. She wasn't able to attend the get-together she planned for D, B and I.

It was this year's Mother's Day when I attended this really cozy writing workshop about Walter Benjamin in Maginhawa, where I finally met C (the last time I've seen her was with L in the Hainanese restaurant, when we pleaded the waitresses to consider us as last orders since the mall's about to close) and I concluded, from the evasive remarks and the silence, that she doesn't have anything to do with E anymore, which is disheartening, to say the least. I was rooting for their relationship ever since, knew I had to light fireworks in their wedding, knew I had to tell my wife that they are what we should become. Just like the figurine on top of a three-tiered cake. I shrug. So right after the workshop there's the two of us in this taxi to Trinoma, C sitting on the backseat, I sitting right next to the driver, I wondering if it would be the right time to ask whatever happened between the two of them: Was there a closure?

I could never find the right timing.

There was H, whom I have not spoken to for so many years, basically because she never told me she was about to be kicked out of the university, for reasons that--and I'm being painfully honest here--I also can be blamed of, especially with her truancy, for the lack of a better term. When I think of H I always end up thinking I wrecked three dozen lives. Which is true, but more to that later.

Oh, when D and I bid our farewells that night, she mentioned H having a really big crush on Lourd de Veyra (which we've just seen at the bar) and I remarked that we should've talked about her, but I told her the same line: more to that later.

J and I exchange nods in the campus, but we didn't think there should be some resolution with what happened in our (shameful) past. We didn't even know the root of our problem, so his solution is to befriend H and laugh sheepishly after I nod at his way on the corridors. There's nothing funny about civility. It's the most embarrassing point of my life and I am just... I just can't help but dismiss it as some phase in life, like craving for chocolates.

K and I arranged to meet in New York before I go back to Manila. She was visiting an aunt in Queens and is staying for two more weeks in the city, but her mentioning of the Museum of Natural History as a rendezvous and her parents tagging along didn't appeal to me. We had had good times, especially at this place in Katipunan when she introduced me to two of her friends, one of them a single mother, to which I asked a naive question about the father of her son. Bad move--but she wasn't displeased about it. I find that charming. Anyway, I told K just recently that I'm on a hunt for an apartment near Diliman, hopefully to take my Master's this June. She told me on Facebook she enjoyed MOMA, especially Van Gogh.

L and I are still friends. I send him the regular dose of links of curiosities and reads on shared interests, and then some drafts on my current work, and he replies with an apology. I asked B about K's relationship with his boyfriend, and she said they called it a day last November. I told B I didn't see that coming. Which thus explains the confused mental state again L has always been subject to, and has always been notorious for, especially during the ebb and flow of his rather fluid disposition, his whims in life.

This reminds me of C and the taxi on Mother's Day, when we asked ourselves rather rhetorically: so they broke up (L and his boyfriend)? and probably sighed, hopefully not about C's relationship with E, hopefully not about the underlying conclusion that even good things must come to an end.