"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Desperately Seeking MJ
I've been trying to find a childhood friend of mine who lives in New York. Her name is MJ.
That wasn't always her name, or it was, but she didn't used to use her initials as her name until she had decided to sever ties with her father. She didn't want him to find her, so she became the best hider I know. So good is she, that I don't even try to contact her whenever I'm in New York because it seems so useless anyways. But I remember her every year on January 31 because that's her birthday. I pray for her on that day, like she was a saint whose feast day fell on that day. Except that I don't pray to her but rather for her.
You'd think it would be so easy to find her because she works in the movie business. When I googled her name today, I had a lot of leads. A couple of articles from The New York Times, and many, many listings of her filmography, which includes Hotel Rwanda. I had last met up with her when she was on location for Brokedown Palace. My dad and I tried to convince her to see her father. No dice.
You see, the reason MJ and I are even friends is because my dad and her dad are best friends from high school. Our families went on trips together, and I remember a lot of parties where I'd be sleepy by 10pm and MJ would be wowwing my family with her dancing prowess (Some things never change!)
A few years back, I read an article in Real Simple magazine and it featured MJ and a friend of hers. I bought a copy and sent it to Papa so he can send it to Tito Jo. I was sure Tito Jo would like to see how his one and only child was doing. It was a little thing that I could do to ease some of his pain.
A few hours ago, I even went as far as writing up extrapolations of her name as email addresses and sent an email out, I received failure notices for all but one. I am hoping that that's her email address. Bluggerbug and Zippy have been trying to help me find MJ too. Bluggerbug gave me a phone number but when I tried to call, it was disconnected.
The reason I'm suddenly on a mission to find MJ is because her dad died early this morning. My parents are at the wake as I type this. And I feel such a tugging to try to find her. I wonder if instinctively she knows he's passed. And it saddens me that there will be no chance for them to patch things up. It makes me feel for my childhood friend because she won't have another opportunity to see her father's eyes or have him embrace her and cajole her and dance with her like he did when we were eight years old, MJ and I. I write this, not to disregard Tito Jo's shortcomings. I write this because I am besieged by a feeling of such intense regret when I think about what utter waste it was for MJ to run so far away and stay oh so hidden from her dad all these years.
When I last saw MJ she gave me her email address, I wrote a long letter to her asking her - for her own sake - to forgive her father all the wrongs he's done to her mother and to her. I can't find that email anymore because it was on my now-defunct hotmail address. She never wrote me back.
(Photo credit: dro!d)
Posted by Mayang at 10:24 PM
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