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Therapy in the City August 14, 2008

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Patricia Malay

14 August 2008


You know how in the movies, when someone’s upset, they end up in a bar? I don’t know about you guys but I was taught that proper women didn’t do that. If they wanted to drink, they did it in parties (at the same time pretending they didn’t want to) along with many other people. They didn’t do it in private to skulk in some random public corner to drown their sorrows in liquor.

But to err is human; to forgive was something I wasn’t capable of (yet). I found out that I was betrayed – quite publicly. I was beside myself in anger, confusion and loneliness. I felt that my friends were tired of talking to me, droning on and on about the same thing. And on those nights that I just had to talk, it was almost unbearable to stay at home. So I got into my car and drove off in circles, not really knowing where I was headed.

I don’t know how I ended up in Cyrano but I was glad I did. Its warm yellow glow at the end (or beginning, depending on where you’re coming from) on C. Palanca welcomed me on dark nights. This was a place you couldn’t be ashamed of for coming to. Whatever your reason is for being there, judgments are kept from being made (opinions, though, well, that’s another matter). I was an infrequent visitor before but this soon changed. I was at Cyrano almost every night, taking my place at the bar, boring Alex (the quintessential bar owner – patient, talkative, opinionated) with my tragedies.

Of course, conversation wasn’t limited to my own current quandary at the time. Alex was always around to discuss The Matrix and its philosophical implications. Criselda, his sister, was always a welcome smoking buddy as well. And there were the many faces that came in through Cyrano’s doors (Cyrano friends, yes?), people who knew somehow that this was a place where everyone ended up knowing everyone. I can’t tell you how many names have been thrown at me during my visits (names that were difficult to remember after the second bottle of wine). I met people that had the oddest jobs from nearby Salcedo Village to faraway countries. And I can’t tell you how much more conversation I’ve had in there that ranged from the frighteningly brilliant to the strangely significant to the forgettable mundane.

Eventually, it just became really difficult to keep to my cocoon of depression. In Cyrano, even if you wanted to (and they’ll respect you for wanting to), I think you’ll end up snapping out of it, too. Like I did. I remember so vividly how Alex, after having heard my tale (for the nth time, I believe), simply said, “You’ll be ok.” I didn’t believe him at the time but I guess that didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Alex was absolutely right. I was ok. It took a few weeks and a few more visits to Cyrano (and some other stuff) but I did recover, as predicted.

And that, my friends, is what Cyrano is about. It’s the urban proof that no man is an island. And although you might enter and leave it alone, you can’t walk away from it without having made a few more friends.

And maybe, just maybe, you might finally get what The Matrix was all about and be a little less sad as well.





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