Tuesday, September 12, 2006

toilet confessions

"Yes, I am one of them. I read in the loo."

Upon hearing my revelation, my flatmates started their tirades against me. Unbelievable, disgusting, a sacrilege and unholy were some of the words they used as they persecute me for being guilty of doing something disgraceful. I should be ashamed, one of them said. For a couple of minutes, I sat still on the couch as I listen to them rattle on non-stop. Their words piercing my chest like arrows from a battalion of elves.

Before you start typing obscenities and crucify me for committing something distasteful, hear me out first. Please.

Like most of y'all, I believe reading is such a great thing. I also believe that we can only learn so much. And that most of the time, we won't come upon the truth when we don't do anything. Sometimes, we have to read those boring and dull compilations of printed pages to learn something new and discover something different.

It was The Alchemist that started it all. Paulo Coelho's fable about following your dream is as powerful as it is inspiring. I was an instant fan. And immediately after reading it, I longed for more. Soon, I met Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote and many others.

I can read anywhere. Dim lights don't bother me. I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at four in the morning with very little light. As a result, I'm now wearing glasses. The poor road conditions of Mindoro did not stop me from finishing Da Vinci Code in sixteen hours as I journey from Manila to my hometown. Having said that, I don't see any reason why I can't read in the loo.

The toilet, and I can say this with utmost honesty, is one of my favorite places in the house. Other than my bedroom, it is a place where I find peace. With its immaculate white walls and gleaming tiles, I consider it a sanctuary. Shoot me for saying this, but I actually think, it was a wonderful idea reading One Hundred Years of Solitude while sitting on my throne.

Besides, how many of us can take pride in saying, we've shared a toilet with Albert Camus, F. Sionil Jose , Banana Yoshimoto, Isabel Allende and Bill Clinton?

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