It wasn’t a hellish shoot. In fact, for the most part everyone had fun. It wasn’t stressful, either. I think the sorrow in the air had something to do with that. By the first hour everyone’s frame of mind, including mine, was probably like this: “ah hell. Let’s just take whatever and when our time’s up that’s what we have.” No tempers flared, no mean words were exchanged. Everybody was just – sad.
Why? I’d like to say “the usual reasons”, except whenever “the usual reasons” happen to friends they become the most heartbreaking things in the world. Someone was on the brink of depression because his relationship was on the rocks, someone’s family member was very sick, someone else was just consumed by depression, understanding what happened but just wishing she got over it right away. I’m not a big fan of destiny, but it was so weird that this specific day everyone’s world seemed to be crashing around them.
The painful part of it all was that most of the people involved were in front of the camera, so when we’d shoot it was fun and jumping and “performance level” and all that. Then the playback would stop, and people would let go of their instruments, sit down by themselves and just get lost. Two of the band members were the only ones I ever looked at as an older brother and sister, and I’d seen them go through this eight years ago, and wished to God they’d never have to go through it again.
What was really great, though, was that towards the end of the shoot we all kind of found comfort in the general wretchedness. We made jokes about it. We were at a point where we couldn’t really care less, so we started pretending that we were shooting a music video for Glenn Frey’s classic, “The Heat is On”. We all started showing each other 2 Girls 1 Cup and by the time MTV came to interview us we were all madmen, saying that the website was the main inspiration for the video and that all the kids should check it out. At the end of the night we all told each other, “hey look! We’re all together again, just like the old days! Let’s bring back the radio show!”
Shortly after the shoot I drove Mikey to a meeting he was supposed to have with Ciudad. On the way we were listening to In Rainbows, and I pointed out how I thought U2 was baduy when I was a kid because they were such an old man band, and now Radiohead is as old as U2 was then. Mikey, who’d just turned 27, pointed out that the length of time we were from 40 is the same length of time we were from second year high school, when Ciudad was formed. Quite disturbing.
I decided to sit in at the Ciudad meeting, and as usual it ended up being a non-meeting. We spent most of the time gossiping about our friends. We all cheered about Mikey being the new Mong and encouraged him to romance all the ladehhs. Also, once again, 2 girls 1 cup was brought out for everyone to view. How that horrible piece of cinema can bring people together so much, I don’t know.
It was just as it was, 13 years ago: I’d go practice with Ciudad and then head over to NU and hang with my friends. It was weird because at that most depressing time in our lives I realized that I’d known these people for half my life already. I wasn’t with friends – I was with family. And no matter how much shit we may go through in the coming years, 13 years down the line I still hope I can go home to them.
I remember, during the debacle that was Super Noypi, Mihk and I making a pact that the next year would be “drama-free 2007”. It seems we brought all the demons out by making that pact, because 2007 eventually became one of the most drama-filled years of our (and many other people’s) lives. So we made a pact that 2008 would be drama-full, hoping to pull a fast one on God with reverse psychology. The second week of 2008 has just started, and already we have this. Looks like we jinxed it again.
Except this time, for some weird reason, I have a feeling that everything will be ok.