I see the Big Dome in its entirety from where I sat, packed with people who most probably knew songs of Lifehouse from way back. I wonder if anyone from this crowd came in here to rock to new anthems, or just like me, wanting to feel the same again. Maybe I’m here for the nostalgia—after all, I’m alone, like I was four years ago, and in a twenty-something crisis. If it’s any consolation, all these favorite artists dropping by Manila make me feel like that girl I used to be a decade ago.
Nothing’s changed, really. I still find sheer joy in listening to music that knows the exact words to a particular emotion. The only difference is that I don’t get to spend most of my waking hours watching music videos on TV.
I look at the huge screen in front of me, passing time. I have been mislead into thinking that this will not be another show that shows what Filipino time is. To amuse myself, I peek below to find spaces. Half empty or half full, depending on how you look at it. Another artist I like graces the screen, and I am reminded to work hard for the money once again because the gig is next month. I am reminded of the times when I was there, front and center. I am reminded of my shallow dreams to be in this industry, because they say if it does not feel like work, you’d never have to work another day in your life. Such an alluring idea, but I am not comfortable being outside my comfort zone yet.
A snack seller walks back and forth, and a whiff of not-so-hot pizza fills my senses. A voice-over monotonously babbles the names of the sponsors. People are going back and forth the comfort room. I’m getting bored. A band who catapulted to fame thanks to a television commercial begins to play.
Ideas almost always keep me occupied, and thank goodness they knocked on my brain to distract me from my boredom and impatience. I think of how people spend their savings, salary or what have you, just to be here tonight. I think of how many dreams have come true tonight—the biggest fans, the boy who worked up the courage to ask his crush to a date, the people behind this production for a successful event, the couples who share a tub of cheese popcorn, and people like me, alone. I think of how being alone can be so liberating and to a certain extent, thought-provoking.
I backtrack to four years ago, and I can vividly recall the people I was “with.” To my left then was a lovey-dovey couple who was acting like it was Valentine’s Day, and to my right was a young boy and an older female who happens to be his sister. Being sandwiched in between those pairs made me feel out of place, but I didn’t let them ruin my night.
Today was almost the same, but not really. The staircase is on my right, and to my left is a trio. I came here not to de-stress—being here was caused by my impulsiveness and taking chances. Maybe all I’m after is a little clarity. Let’s see about that, the show’s about to start…