Catajan: The straight line | SunStar

Catajan: The straight line

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Catajan: The straight line

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

AS children I am sure you played this game.

Unnamed and without any clear rules, the game starts when you see a straight line, it may be the lines on a sidewalk, on a tiled floor, in a linoleum lined room, it may be the sidewalk in itself or the elevated portion of a walkway.

The game rule is for you to walk the straight line without losing your balance and without falling out of the line.

Every child has done this and I hope that if you had a childhood worth remembering, you did so yourself.
The game can be played alone or with a group of friends who will cheer you on as you walk the "line" egging you to fall or coaching you to finish.

It can also be played alone, as I have done so many times in my childhood, mostly inside the SLU chapel where my family heard mass every Sunday. The chapel had beautiful tiled floors which to me were a playground of sorts, trying to tred the straight line and surviving the mass which to a child meant nothing.

Fast forward to the present, we still try to play the game of the straight line.

As adults, we still play the game of the straight line but in the context of being true citizens of the world.

The game of the straight line is likewise played when we try to be honest even if we know others are lying.

We try to be helpful when we realize the world has turned their back on someone.

We try to be sterling examples of humanity in the hope good karma will smile on us in this lifetime and bless us with manna from the heavens.

As adults the game of the straight line transcends all logic when after a night of drinking we try to walk the invisible straight line we draw to prove we are sober.

We still have friends who hover, egging us to fall flat on our face and there are those who coach us to finish.

Life does not change much, see you all at the end of that line.

Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on February 14, 2018.

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