17 October 2016

The Fall

‘So how did you sprain your knee?’ asked Jeff, my physical therapist, as his hairy arms pulled and stretched my left leg like pizza dough. ‘A basketball game?’

No Jeff, I wanted to say. You couldn't be more wrong. I don’t play basketball. Matter of fact, I can’t dribble a ball even if someone else's life depended on it. During P.E. class, I was always in the bleachers with the nerds, the loners, and the glee club members, listening to Rick Dees on the radio and scanning the court for glimpses of armpit hair. This sprain has nothing to do with basketball.

But do I tell Jeff the true cause of my accidental injury? Where do I even begin?

I could start with a brief description of Ms. Olga Gorayeb, our Filipino III teacher: half-woman, half-vulture. Has a surly demeanor that could put most suicide bombers to shame. The alleged girlfriend of the head high school librarian, Ms. Vivian Tengco.

One day, an unusually perky Ms. Gorayeb announced in class that our final project was to produce a short film based on a few chapters of Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo. This, she emphasized for the seat-fillers at the back row, is thirty percent of your final grade. ‘You guys better wow me,’ she demanded.

I took her challenge to heart. This was the perfect opportunity to impress everyone with my directorial skills and assert myself as the next Akira Kurosawa. Someone from Hollywood would eventually get a copy of my work and not before long, I’d be tearfully thanking the Academy, my parents, God, Jose Rizal, and --- wait, orchestra, just one more --- Ms. Gorayeb.

With a surfeit of inspiration and ambition, I took my ragtag cast, which included girls from Poveda high school, to Nayong Pilipino to shoot my opus. I was an exacting taskmaster, commanding countless retakes of scenes until perfection was achieved, cursing and throwing things at people if necessary. ‘Ow, that hurts,’ Anthony whined after I hit him in the eye with a crumpled script. ‘Flub that line once again and I’ll show you hurt,’ I prophesied.

The climax of my production --- its crashing chandelier (Phantom of the Opera), its helicopter landing (Miss Saigon) --- was Maria Clara’s death. For this pivotal scene, I envisioned Maria Clara gracefully jumping off from a church tower to her tragic end. ‘See that?’ I told Kathy Cruz, pointing at the eight-feet tall replica of Cagsawa bell tower beside Mayon Volcano. ‘As Maria Clara, you are going to climb that and then jump off.’

‘You’re shittin’ me right? Do you want me to die? Do you know that I’m not even being paid to do this?’ Kathy asked.

I didn’t appreciate the unprofessional timbre of her voice. I demanded that she do as she’s told right away because we’re fast losing light. She called me a tyrant and I called her a slut for blowing the track team last summer, a fact known by the entire student body and scribbled on toilet cubicles. The primma donna cried (her best performance to date) and left in a hurry, taking all the girls with her.

Without any so-called actresses left, I had to improvise. I handed the video camera to my trusted friend, Dickie, gave him precise instructions, changed into Kathy’s costume, put on an itchy wig, and expertly climbed up the bell tower. Looking down, I began having nauseating doubts about the safety and sanity of my stunt. But then I heard Dickie shout ‘Action!’ --- Maria's cue to commit suicide. The sun is setting. Too late to back out now.

I jumped.

The next second, my left leg was in a galaxy of pain. My group mates howled in convulsive laughter. But it didn’t matter. Instant replay showed we got the perfect shot.

So there. That’s how I got injured. Now, do I tell Jeff all this?

Thinking things over, I said, ‘Yeah, it was a basketball game.’


chismoso said...

Ah... high school... where we dream we can actually change the world with a flick of a finger... where creativity is at its finest.

Hope your injury didn't turn out to be a long-lasting one. At least let us know that you wowed Miss Gorayeb, and that the injury was worth it...

On another note, maybe you could let us know if your PT was cute and if he "therapied" you in some other way ;P

Quentin X said...

Last time I had a sprain was when I fell down the stairs in a gay night club down the Gold Coast. Most ungraceful fall.

Q The Conqueror said...

I jumped from a four-five foot ledge, my foot twisted when I landed... Right in front of one of my crushes with his Girlfriend.

He asked if I needed help. And his gf told him to bring me to the clinic (Opportunity to lean on him) but stupid me said no. Crap.

red the mod said...

@ MisterHubs:
I would've said; "Sir na-sprain ako kasi over-exertion po. I was trying to impress kasi this chic. Kaso pumalya po eh."

Which would've been a white lie since Ms Olga Gorayeb is not yet outed (although I see no need as the name is a deadringer in all manners of speaking), and consequently established your meta-masculinity to him. Probably in the guise of establishing rapport and/ or identify with you, and to which end would lead him in being more open and comfortable in your presence.

This would have been an opportune time to confide with him regarding some changes that you've been going through. To which he would say that "it is all normal." You may then revert the dialectic towards pubic matters, and him being comfortable with his machismo would volunteer to demonstrate this 'changes' in a show-me-yours-I'll-show-you-mine session.

You may use your imagination for the succeeding scenes...

P.S. It's Kurosawa Akira; that visionary and prolific Japanese film director, producer and screenwriter of Yojimbo, Rashomon, Ran, Dreams, The Hidden Fortress, Kagemusha, and Record of a Living Being fame. Among numerous works.[art-film-phile too!]

P.S.S. I am deeply grateful for the undeserved compliment. Yes, coffee would be very nice. Outdoors preferably.

@ Q The Conqueror:
Are you referring to that low wall/ ledge of some sort with one side having a cantilevered pebble-washed bench and the other a planter box full of perennials? The ones that are at the flanks of the doorways both at the front and back lobbies?

John Halcyon von Rothschild said...

It was best to use the basketball excuse. Saying "I sprained it while jumping off a wall in drag" would probably shock Jeff. Or turn him on...

Reyville of Simply Manila said...

HaHaHaHa. This is why I always wanna come back whenever I miss to smile/laugh. This is sooo brilliant. I am soooo inspired. In other words, envious! HaHaHaHa.

jericho said...

Kathy could have cursed you when she walked out of the set. Is she the type? Things really are usually not what they appear to be. Hey, wanna trade the Atonement book for the film? hehe

Kiks Phulumulu said...

ohh, maria clara turned out to be a slut. so pov....

i think you did justice to maria clara's fall. you weren't a slut yet during that time...

were you?

Kurast Docks said...

i hope the grade was well worth it!

thank you for the greetings!

btw, i linked (tagged, i dunno what to call it) your site several times. im a fan. hope u don't mind.

thanks again.


@ chismoso: I walk with a slight, almost imperceptible limp. It's more apparent whenever I walk up a flight of stairs... Ms Gorayeb wasn't wowed. Nothing could wow her except her lover's tongue (haha)... I have two paragraphs devoted to the PT's appearance but I scratched it at the last minute. He's cute in a grizzly bear kind of way.

@ quentin x: i hoped you recovered gracefully.

@ q the conqueror: Sayang naman. Pakipot pa kasi. ;-)

@ red the mod: Nah, Jeff looked like a man's man. I doubt if my story would impress him... Thanks for the correction re: Akira. Rashomon is one of my all-time faves... Maybe you can email me so we can set a date?

@ John halycon von rothschild: Haha. That's exactly what I thought.

@ reyville: Thanks! Appreciate it much. :-)

@ jericho: I waiting for its cinematic release. And I can't part with the book -- it's just too precious to give away. :-)

@ kiks phulumulu: Hehe. I was still pure and chaste and repressed back then.

@ kurast docks: I don't mind. I'm a link whore. :-)

empressmaruja said...

Congratulations! Your blog has been nominated for Pinoy Blog Superstar December 2007! Check out my latest entry for details!

kalansaycollector said...

oh. all for the arts. ;p

hay as expected maria clara was a slut. yes she's a slut but the best slut in town and then she jumped...

BOG! *yelp*

sprained ankles and aunties on the loose.

so what is your final grade in filipino 3?;p

islander said...

Ha ha ha ha!

Nothing further your honor. I need a recess!

aries said...

misterhubs: "...eh kasi po doc sinubukan kong tumulay sa ilaw ng flashlight, kaya lang naubusan ng battery pagkatawid ko."

doc:"ahaha...ha...ha. corny"

wanderingcommuter said...

one word: ouch!!!

make it 5 words more : hope the film went fine.

empressmaruja said...

Kung sa akin nangyari 'yan, ang drama kets: "Halika, pogi, i-demonstrate ko sa 'yo."

YAJNAT said...



chase said...

the arts? eck! i hate playing in plays.. i rather be the stage crew or the director. hehehe

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