Thursday, August 23, 2012

the inventory of lost possessions

As if the grueling journey to Old Manila was not enough, me and my acquaintance’s beloved were lost last Saturday. Forever. One was Baki and the other one was Monroe. That we had names for them made the loss even more profound.

The former, actually, was a three-year old Canon Powershot SX200IS (but I had to shell out almost ten grand a few months ago to have it repaired) and the latter a six-month old Apple iPhone 4S. All gone. In less than 24 hours. What a way to start the long weekend.

Regardless of their age and monetary worth, it was their intrinsic value and history (short-lived or not) in our lives that we will certainly miss. After all, it is not every day that you get to unwittingly leave a camera in a taxi or have a thief pick through your bag in a rock concert.

I’ve had a fair amount of items lost last year, but try as I might to keep myself from committing the same blunder again, shit happens, and every bite of its actuality is as painful as the last. To spare anyone from bouts of self-loathing, I will deem the detailed background of how these things go poof as irrelevant.

Though ‘materialistic’ would be an easy category for me and my friend to fit in, the absence of these gadgets are honestly heartbreaking. Yes, I have driven this point home early on, but for a man who just has to document wherever and whenever he can and for a woman whose profession and lifestyle require stable connectivity, it really is.

Many would probably say that ours is mostly a generation dependent on technology, infatuated with things new, mechanical, appealing with life-like glow, and that we somehow exist with a symbiotic relationship with them. While that holds a thimble of truth, I and the rest who could attest with me believe that it is not entirely the case.

It is often viewed that technology, especially the ones that attract to the young crowd, perpetuates cultural degradation, narcissism, and a whole class of psycho-sociological studies worthy of a sci-fi or horror flick.

What is rarely considered though, if not dismissed altogether, is that our embrace for these products is a way of showing the progress of days the middle finger, saying, “Hey! I can keep up with you!” or “I am seeing and meeting them no matter what!” or “I know better than you do!”

With something as small as a camera or a phone, we gain this power to frame a moment, share an experience. How amazing is that?

Ironically, it is through this that we are reminded of our being human, that even with the clicks and presses and swipes that seem to dominate our lives, we are, in fact, in control of them. Call it denial—denial to time, denial to societal disconnectedness, denial to mortality—but I would call it living in the now. It could be as simple as that, it could be not.

But for now, allow me this short period of mourning. I will let this loss shroud me for a while and, of course, let it subside. Absence still is absence. Soon, I will bring myself to the nearest gadget store. As you know, I could replace Baki, my acquaintance could replace Monroe, and that’s how the two of us would prove we are still in control. Do not worry, we still are.

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