LOVE IN THE TIME OF MMS AND SMS
Posted by vjtesoro
The above title is a pun on the novel written by a Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez “Love in time of cholera.” But of course this column could only approximate the literally flair in a humble way. Unlike in the novel where the epidemic is central in the flow of the story, in this essay it is MMS and SMS.
MMS and SMS are familiar acronym, well-known to the selfie generation that means communicating with one another, sending pictures, video, sounds and yes, text messages, short scripts which can instantly reach one to be communicated with. With its introduction, it literally brought down the wire sending it into another direction.
While SMS or text messages strengthened the ties of family and bond of friendship, it also created another sphere where crimes of passion, or related violence would be manifested.
I am reminded of a friend who was virtually dependent on text messages. (He was part of the generation that relied heavily in this medium; he was not even aware that there was a “telegram” before that.) He would regularly “text” his girl friend day in and day out; and conversely, he would likewise receive an instant response. The exchange of abbreviated words, affectionate expressions, and private jargons including smiley stickers knew no limits. If uninterrupted as a consequence of power shortage or load limits if not loss of the gadget, the exchange would go on indefinitely. It is the connection, the link that binds hearts and minds.
One day, my friend was sent on a mission. The temporary separation was never a problem since there was some means to communicate at any time of the day. Every detail would be monitored; any problem can be addressed, every concern taken up. But there was a ruse somewhere. The mission required no electronic gadget to interfere in the sensitivity of the mission. The limitation however was not clarified.
And so when my comrade went into the mission, his other half was in a quandary as to what was happening to her beau. She was inevitably disturbed and unsettled by the sudden silence. No text response was sent despite the numerous signals she has been sending. At night, when the mission was for a while rested, the operatives, one of them is my friend, would take the occasion to check the messages—almost reaching hundreds already. He was that media precocious, multi media savvy. But he was on a mission and he was for a while living in the Jurassic period. The habit of responding however, as a matter of courtesy, dictates that text messages ought to be answered notwithstanding the fact that it is belated. My friend, naturally, would text back to his girlfriend of almost a decade, short of formalizing their relationship into a bond recognized by the Church.
His loved one would fail to respond on the belated message. This would go on for days, weeks and eventually months considering the fact that the mission would entail that long. And while the organizational exposure would afford some kind of career aura on my friend, it was also creating some challenges in his love life.
Love must be nourished. It must be nurtured and constantly maintained. A single misstep could wreck havoc on its handlers. It could happen elsewhere and still it could be understood, that is, liberally understood and consented to be violated, but never in this side of the planet. Never in this country. Love in the Phlippines is everything. It could inspire heroism, it could also arouse despair.
After a full quarter of absence, what my friend and his loved one affectionately founded and sustained for half a decade, would crumble and melt. There would be misunderstanding and suspicions. There would be doubts and uncertainties. Negative forces that intend to ruin any bond, any strong bond for that matter, have begun to seep into the consciousness of their relationship. As the mission was about to conclude, so is their association.
My friend was dreamy of coming back but the woman he idealized has grown frustrated for his thoughtlessness. Their love affair was founded with constancy and consistency, love’s genuine nourishment, conducted through text messages but for a stretch there was belated and misunderstood communication between them. The love almost sealed at a time of their youth never matured at all. It was for a period fledging and remained juvenile. Both suffered the consequence, until it snapped into the level of indifference.
The young lady could not bear the pressure until she was whisked to the hospital, guarded for her health condition. Her family was around her to lend succour. Friends would likewise be there including her acquaintances in the social network.
Her estranged partner on the other hand, had no peer to share his dilemma. He was on a mission, forced to imbibe physical and mental pressure. He had no family to turn to who can wisely guide him because of conflicting interests. He had nothing to turn to except on something which his friends would resort to although it is unfamiliar terrain for him: to sink and swim in a sea of liquor. He did that and it constricted his mind further. Losing his mind, his heart’s desire began to manifest. For him, the better resolve would be better to end everything and start again in life hereafter.
His final act was to send his text message to the world, to a limited world. He would still continue with his life bearing the purity of his purpose but in a place where he can express his adoration for his loved one even without the use of cellphones!