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I had a chance to meet few of my cerebral buddies when I was still doing my masters in one of the SJ universities here in town, I’ll just write with anonymous names or I’ll not be invited to free dinners again. 

There were five of us during that time who took up Gender Studies, three women and two men, the women were composed of a single teacher in her mid 30s I’ll name AR, the other was in her late 20s I’ll name YS, and myself which during that time in my mid 30s. The men were also professionals, a practicing doctor who went out of his normal way to learn the gender perspective of treating patients, I’ll name Oman and a lawyer who enrolled with same intent of integrating gender angles in practically all of his cases I’ll name Pi. 

So fast forward the other day, it was a spur of the moment meeting and I didn’t expect it to be as rewarding and as refreshing and as enlightening as our other meet-ups, it was like a full evening of prayer meeting raising hands altogether. Just like a well-written drama all the characters on the set had their moments to shine, everyone has its stories to tell; however, not anyone’s story is as exciting as the other. 

‘I was really busy working, day teaching job, doing tutorials at night, that I can’t even find time to go out and meet men’, declared AR. ‘Ahh, you’re probably married now YS, you’ve been going out with that rich guy when were still in school?’  Nah, it would be rather odd and would be socially unacceptable if I’ll say,  I’m hopping from one man to another, but I’d hear less social sanction if I say, ‘I’m taking my time, enjoying the company of men’, I haven’t find that very reason why I should make my sexual life legit.' whatever she meant by that. 

'So Oman how’s your medical business?' He called it that way so he would have legit reason to organize his career, whatever he meant about that again, ‘I have three kids now and juggling between numerous roles, - a husband, a father, a doctor, a son, a mentor etc. – quite a lot, and questioned the Lord in the end why humans were made with only two hands and two feet. 

'Wow, Pi, you’re the richest among us, I heard you already have your ‘hacienda’ … he replied shyly, ‘kayo talaga’ I choose to invest in a farm and build my house there because nobody will bother me there in the middle of the night, I hate women in heels come knocking my city door, I’m low with temperance, I always end up doing bad things, and before he can even finish talking, YS butted and said, ‘like ripping a woman’s stockings?’, that made us burst into laughter. The night was packed with stories here and there, stories about women, men, children, work, family, sex, dreams, hopes, failures, frustrations, inspirations etc. 

And at the end of the night, we realized that if one will just dwell on what he or she is comfortable at you’ll never have your stories to tell, nor your history shared, that if you’re afraid to go out or you’re too busy with life without a breather you’ll still have that story, however mind-numbing and uninspiring, so we agreed to see each other again and shared stories again, sometime, somewhere in the future. 

I just realized again that for a man to have history and for a woman to make life full of stories, what Alfred D. Souza said is something everyone should contemplate on; 

Love, like you’ve never been hurt before 
Dance, as though no one is watching 
Love, as though you’ve never been hurt before 
Sing, as though nobody else is listening 
Work, as though you didn’t need the money 
Live, as though today is the last day of your life. – Alfred D. Souza

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