I often say I’m used to being alone, as if I’m a very strong and contented person not bothered by the lack of company. I even gave advice to a younger cyberfriend about the advantages of being all by yourself.
But then, there are times when I cry and realize solitaire’s indeed a lonely game.
Like yesterday, my 24th birthday. It made me really, really sad realizing that of the greetings I received from relatives, friends, and colleagues, were transmitted through e-mail, SMS, and voice calls. It’s as if I live in another world, unreachable except through electronic means. Am I too into my cyberlife that I no longer exist in the real world?
When I was younger, I never went home to an empty house on my birthdays. Mama and Tatay and Nanay would be there, whether or not we have the means to prepare a humble celebration.
(Most of my old solo pictures were dated March 1 or any date near it. It’s as if Mama purposely have my pictures taken around my birthday so as to record my growing up.)
Back then, I would go to Church and thank God for another year, and my friends and teachers and neighbors would drop by our house and greet me. In college, my blockmates even prepared a surprise “party” in our classroom at AS, and they served a big macaroon decorated with toothpicks and Post it carrying their messages. And then there were the drinking session with the guys, too.
Things are different nowadays. Even on my birthday, I had to leave the house where I live alone and go to an office to spend a weekend duty by myself, and then return to my place where no one except the cockroaches, rodents and stray cats–and yes, my personal computer called Marjorie and a set of playing cards for solitaire–are present to welcome me.