The world atlas.
When I was a eight or nine, I asked my grandmother to buy me a globe. When they went home for a vacation (they lived in Florida), the first thing that she told me was that she bought me one. She pointed at a box and asked my grandfather to slit one of its corners. She told me to take care of it because it cost a lot. My grandfather said the price as if he were cursing something. I’m not sure if I heard him right (it was USD 300.00) because I was just trying to get a glimpse of the globe under weak light (we were inside a van). I was forcing my fingers inside its box and I could feel the bumps on it (the mountain ranges). My grandfather told me that there was a big book with it. My grandmother was just looking at me. I couldn’t care less about the book at that moment. I just wanted to see the globe. I gave up. I tidied up the slit and said thank you.
Ah. Why is it that it’s my grandparents (both sides) whom I miss the most?
When we got home, I got to open that box. The things that first caught my attention were the X-Men action figures (Weapon X, Cable, Magneto, another Magneto, gosh, I would have been ecstatic if they had been Storm, Jean Grey, Rogue, and Psylocke), X-Men comic books, and the big book.
So it was an atlas. I didn’t bother with it until I managed to let my excitement pass. I pored through the comic books for a week. When I was done with them, I focused my energy on the globe and the atlas for nearly two years.
The globe was brownish. I was first disappointed because I was expecting a blue and green globe, like one of those inflatable globes you could find in book stores. But I learned to love the color. There was an old world feel to it. The atlas was probably 250 something pages and it was tall, like the length of two trade paperbacks. The dust jacket had a photo of the world, in blue and green. The pages were glossy and they smelled of fresh print. Had I been prone to paper cuts, I would have been an anemic kid.
The first part had many demographic data (rates of literacy, mortality, economic growth, population growth, etc.) and some basic geographic information about each country. And there were the maps. Lots of them. I remember being slightly disappointed at the not so extensive map of the Philippines. I wanted to see our street on the map.
But my obsession with the atlas was insurmountable. I would occasionally buy onion skin paper to trace the maps of Europe. It was always Europe (my favorite part was Scandinavia). Now I’m sad. The globe was turned into a basketball by my sister (she has a way with touching things). The atlas, I don’t know what happened to it. This is why I hate high school. I lost a lot of important childhood things during this phase. I was too busy with my pimples and my identity that I took a lot of things for granted. I wish I could at least have saved my comic books and the atlas. I used to sleep with that atlas under my pillow, for chrissake!
Why am I talking about this? Today’s Writing 101 challenge is this:
Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.
I talked to a dear friend last night and she said that I was being a rebel in this Writing 101 course. I’ve never really followed the challenges, she claimed. I keep changing the challenges. I admit that. I do so not out of rebellion. I do so to talk about books.
Besides, strictly following the challenges is not the point of the course. It’s to build a blogging habit. In that case, the course has helped me a lot. Happy weekend!