Monday, August 15, 2005

pure imagination

Earlier today, I finally got to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton's remake of the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (although it is said that technically Burton's version was a more accurate interpretation of the Roald Dahl classic so it is not supposed to be classified as a remake) that starred Gene Wilder. I watched the original film version on the now-defunct Movie Time UHF channel when I was around eleven. I can't remember all the details of it, aside from that "Pure Imagination" song, and even the lyrics for that, thanks to Mariah's "I Still Believe" remix, is already a bit hazy as well. Gene Wilder freaks me out, no matter what people say on how great an actor he is. I guess watching him as the fox in The Little Prince when I was in fourth grade was too much for me to take. *shudder*

Anyway, since I didn't read the novel either, I was eager to watch the remake to get the storyline straight once and for all, and of course to see Johnny Depp and Freddy Highmore play Willy and Charlie Bucket (I especially want to see Freddy again -- and who doesn't anyway? -- after seeing him in Finding Neverland). After watching the movie, though, the feeling of nostalgia crept into me once again that I had the urge to buy a VCD copy of the first version.

A few days before, when Pia and I were talking about the possibily of seeing Charlie together (which I ultimately refused... heehee), the subject was diverted into our college days. It was not that too long ago when we were whining to friends about projects and homework and terror professors, rather than meager salaries and OTYs ("overtime na TY lang") and terror bosses. Add the fact that a few more days prior, I stumbled upon my stack of "school files" when I was trying to get my of my birth certificate because Grace needs to know the exact time I was born for my astrological natal chart (apparently, initial analysis seems to indicate that the stars conspired and turned me gay... ^_^ more about that once I get the report). There I found my English term papers, from junior year in high school -- the one where I was trying to argue that Abraham Maslow's theory of self-actualization is reflected in Nick Joaquin's essay "Culture as History" (funny how a high schooler who didn't even know who Maslow was managed to scrape an 82% grade) -- to a more impressive senior paper on the irony of female dominance in James Thurber's short stories (24 points out of 30). I even kept my note cards and drafts, all in orange because for two years in a row my sections were the unfortunate ones to be assigned with that colors. That made me think of the times I bought rainbow legal pad only to use 25 of it, if not trade the pink, green, yellow, and blue ones to the other sections. And how my classmates and I cut up cartolina papers into 5x8 cards because no bookstore in Metro Manila sells orange index cards (I did find peach-colored ones, but my teacher claims they're pink).

Then there're my folded-up copies of the school paper. I reread the feature I did on Tamagochi virtual pets during third year, finding it overly defensive, especially on the part where I was discussing the "fakes", mainly because my virtual pet was an imitation. And the short story I wrote for our literary issue, of which our moderator gently (but all the same accusingly) asked me if I copied it off somewhere *gasp*

Onto my college papers, and I remember how proud I was to get A-minus on a review I did on John Grisham's The Testament because Sir Exie of my freshman composition class rarely gives that grade, despite his comments that I tend to be "annoying...sassy" . I still have the post-it he attached on the final draft, asking for a photocopy of my piece. ^_^ Then there were my pseudo-gay liberation research papers for Fil14 and the Lit subjects I took for my minor degree (gay subtext in Hamlet, anyone?), my Philo paper that ironically got the highest mark (4.0) despite the fact that I crammed it the night before the deadline, and of course, the Creative Writing pieces for Krip Yuson's class, wherein I shamelessly asked for an A for a final grade -- and was given one.

So basically, practically my entire week has been a full reminiscing mode. I even reread my yearbook writeups -- from Nick's genius albeit cheesy,incorporation of 98ยบ for my high school entry ("Let him be... your sunshine after the rain..." HAHAHA! I still love reading that), to Pat's contribution of me being -- in a gist -- a sashaying comic gossipmonger with cathartic experiences and a heart of gold. ^_^ Watching Charlie reminded me of the good old days of pure imagination. When it's easy to believe you can do anything you want and be anyone you want to be. It wasn't that long ago when it was written that "[p]rogramming classes...never prove to be boring when [I am] around." Now I just realize that probably because I hated programming in the first place to be bored by it. Or that that my supposed "literary works" purged out from life's experiences are now applied in editing virus reports.

And yet it also reminded me that sometimes it's just enough to be "lucky to be here". That it's just enough to look back and simply smile wistfully on how far I've gone (comparing my writing styles through the years was hilarious). And when at times life seems pointless, well maybe those times are just like candy, which, as Charlie says is not supposed to have a point.

It's just meant to be enjoyed.