You know how it is sometimes when you’re stretched thin, worn down, fed up and tired out…? You know when you just need a break? That’s the time when – what is for some of us – a secret vice comes into its own.
Watching snooker on TV just has to be about THE most surprisingly relaxing thing on earth. And when you’ve not got enough energy for the bright lights of the city or a party and you just want to hide away for an evening, snooker’s gently unfolding geometry is just about the perfect evening’s entertainment. And don’t underestimate relaxing – some people take it very seriously indeed.
Slip into a different universe
There is something wonderfully ceremonial about the way the game unfolds. It is like a slow-motion glimpse into another universe. The game most definitely comes with its own peculiar pace, as though gravity somehow works differently there. You have to slow down to match the pace of the game, as if you’re being sucked into a richly coloured hole in space (rather than a black one).
The game itself is simple and straightforward and wonderfully rhythmic. Put the balls in the pockets one at a time in the right order – red then a colour, red then a colour, then, when the reds are gone, yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black, one after another. It doesn’t require any effort to understand or make any demands on you as a viewer other than that you keep your eyes open – and even that is optional.
But inside this warm and cosy wrap-around there is a competitive tension and a level of skill that adds another layer to the whole drama. If the gently rolling colours are not enough to ease your aching mind, there is the escapism of following the fortunes of your favourite player. The game might be played in a wonderfully cushioned hush, and everyone involved may be splendidly calm, but within their quiet cocoons the players are all competing tooth and nail to land the game’s big prizes. And they do win big money.
It’s easy to start to feel like you know the players involved, they’re always in close up. And there are such striking differences in the way they play – slow and cagey, safe and sound, or rock and roll racers like Ronnie – The Rocket – O’Sullivan. They all have different talents and they all have their fans, both amongst those of us who watch casually or those who put their money where their affections are and back their heroes at the bookmakers.
A perfect fit
Some games are somehow just the right shape for TV. Tennis is another one: boxes within boxes make for a game that is just perfect for small screen watchers. It is a wholly natural fit. And all that green is somehow deeply soothing. Have you noticed that the tennis from Wimbledon is somehow easier on the eye than the bright red clay or the blue plastic that they sometimes play on in other tournaments? Maybe that’s why it just feels so easy to come home, turn on, tune in and wind down when one of the big snooker tournaments is on. The perfectly smooth bright green of the baize is wonderfully serene.
When no news is good news
When you compare it with all the other sport around it is just so much more likeable. No financial scandals like in football, no drugs dramas like in athletics or cycling. Nobody gets hurt and no-one misbehaves – well almost no-one. Rocket Ronnie has been known to play without his shoes on…
But when the worst thing that anyone does is to ask if anyone can lend him a pair of shoes you know that your evening is not going to be interrupted by anything that will keep you awake at night.
Low key high drama
It’s that paradoxical combination of low key and high drama that gives snooker its particular appeal. When every other sport is running about jumping and shouting and pumping themselves up and doing everybody else down, snooker’s old world charm makes it the perfect companion for an evening’s relaxation.
If you’ve not tried it for yourself, it’s never too late. There are tournaments that run all year round and even if you’ve never even seen a game in your life, it will take no more than a few minutes to get to grips with what is going on. It could have been said ‘to get to grips with the action’ but ‘action’ is not really how snooker rolls – it’s much more relaxing than that.
…he’s really my “the one who got away”? Maybe. I know he’ll love me so much, he’ll not know what to do with all of the emotions and the passion.
What if we ended up together? Though I’m happy where I am now – with a stressful yet fulfilling job and enjoying my singlehood – times like tonight make me think about the what-could’ve-beens.
“Ikaw kasi eh, bakit mo ko iniwan…”
It didn’t really sound like a question. It sounded more like, “you could’ve been happy with me if you didn’t leave me.” And in my head, I’m like, “were we even together?!” 😀
The real question is, will we even still be together if we didn’t break up at that very moment over a decade ago that he seems to still vividly remember? Knowing me, I feel like we wouldn’t end up together no matter what choose-your-own-adventure sequence of events we follow. There’s not much there to hold on to that could’ve kept us together.
I guess it’s better this way. He has his own family now, with smart kids and a lovely wife, who has no idea about this thing between her husband and I. I’d rather stay as the long-time friend he’s still very much close with.
Dang. I’m still thinking about what he said and what could’ve been. I knew he was in love with me back then. Head over heels. But he felt like I wouldn’t take him seriously. I wished he tried. We did have this mutual understanding, and in some way, I did feel something for him. He didn’t have the courage to pursue me ’cause he was scared of what I could do to him emotionally. I really wish he did try. I’m sure he would’ve been one of the most memorable loves of my life. 🙂
Okay, enough of this shit. 😀
As soon as I got out of the cab, I could literally smell and feel it – the warm breeze filled with the scent of tree leaves and the sea. Ahhhh I’m home.
Since I moved out of our home in Malabon last year, I’ve only been back here exactly 3 times. This Holy Week, I made a promise to my nanay that I’ll be staying here until Easter Sunday. And so here I am. 😀
It’s funny how I tease my nanay, saying that I don’t like Malabon anymore, in my own version of the conyo twang.
“My gaaddddd. It’s so init here! Like, oh my gosh!!”
She laughed so hard, but I know she can feel there’s some truth to what I’m saying. But to be honest, though I completely enjoy living in Makati now since almost everything I need is accessible, I still love the “serenity” of living here in Malabon. I had to use double quotes for serenity since this isn’t your normal kind of peace and quiet. 😀
Just the other day, I had this small talk with a colleague. I asked him where he’ll be staying for the long weekend, and when it was my turn to tell him I’ll be going home to Malabon, he said,
“Di ba mahihirapan kang umuwi ng probinsya nun?”
Of course, I reacted, quite loudly.
“Grabe ka namannnnnnn!! Di pa probinsya ang Malabon!!”
He apologized profusely while I laughed my effing ass off. 😀
It wasn’t the first time someone mistakenly thought Malabon is no longer a part of Metro Manila. We’re located at the top-most part of the Metro, and you’re one tisod / tumbling away from Obando, Bulacan. People here already have their own accent (we call it punto). So, yeah, I understand why they’d think that. 😀
His reaction made me stop and wonder whenever I go out to our mini-patio, our backyard and the streets. It does feel a li’l provincial over here. You hear the gentle yet roaring sounds of trikes (that use motorbikes) passing by. There are trees surrounding our home, but they’re not ours. 😀 I can actually pick green mangoes from our neighbor ’cause the tree’s branch reaches out up to our front gate.
And, of course, there’s this relaxing feeling that you’re at home and you don’t have to worry about anything else. I missed my nanay’s loving attention, preparing lunch and dinner, making sure we’re eating 4-5 times a day. 😀
But with all that said, I also miss being independent. At my age, I don’t want to be a burden on my nanay anymore, which is also one of the reasons I decided to move out despite my worries and concerns about living far away from her. I want her to have less worries in life and just enjoy. I don’t want her to continue taking care of me (she just couldn’t help it, I tell yah!) because I want her to think of herself for once. She’s been so selfless my whole life. She deserves to have a worry-free life after all the sacrifices she’s done for me and my bro.
My bro decided to go back and live here again with her. Though I’m happy my nanay will have someone to accompany her, the thoughts of my bro being a burden to her again, and him not developing into someone who’s truly independent of our nanay’s care, are weighing down on me. I guess time will tell where this will lead us. All I know is I need to be more independent, take care of myself, and be on my own.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my last 2 days here at our ‘province’. 😀