Monday, December 28, 2009



Two guys were horsing around near the elevator. With his clenched fist ready to strike his opponent, the other braced for hits coming from his rival. The blows landed gently on the other's arm. It was like punching nothing but the wind and it was the breeze which struck his adversary. They laughed at each other while trading soft blows. You saw their war dance as something silly. For it was never really a cat fight to begin with. The next time you saw the two boys, one's head rests on the other's arm, while the guy who started the horseplay snuggle the one who got the first jabs.


The Elder became the first casualty of the round-the-table booze blast. What got him were the Chivas and the Carlos Primero given by another brother for the party that night. The Elder was hard to control. Taunted by everyone to satisfy their whims, he could have walked in his baby suit if not for the one who followed him around. This one, which we will call the Younger shepherded the Elder. He covered him with blanket when he took off his shirt and threw away his board shorts. The Younger faced the game squarely when taunters tried to link the Elder with another kid. When he went to the bathroom (to probably take a leak) it was the Younger who followed him and made sure his wobbly walk would not cause him any trouble. It didn't matter what happened between the two for it was the younger who came out undefeated.

When the Elder was finally subdued, (and peacefully lying in bed, at last!) I found the Younger in the bathroom in front of the sink. His tough act may have saved his Elder, but it was he who threw up in the end.


It was nearly twilight but the booze hasn't downed me yet. Everyone was asleep save for the long haired princess sharing the sofa bed with an unseen text mate. He must be imagining his boylet kissing him goodnight. Walking towards the balcony to get some fresh air, it was the city in transit which awakened a memory. Amidst the distant lights, the sparkling lattices on the horizon and the empty streets below, I remembered a decade's old scene at a party not so different from the one I had that night.


Madaling araw at tulog na ang lahat. Tumba ang mga nagsipag-inuman samantalang nagkalat kung saan-saan ang mga pinagkainan. Patong-patong ang mga plastic cups na ang laman ay pinaghalong softdrinks, alak at suka. Putikan ang banyo. Ang toilet ay manilaw-nilaw pa. Hindi ako madapuan ng tulog kaya't naisip kong maglakad-lakad. Pinagmasdan ko ang mga kasama. Inayos sa pagkakahiga ang mga nakasalampak sa sahig. Ang iba'y pinatungan ng unan sa ilalim ng kanilang ulunan. Tahimik ang paligid. Nakakasenti. Subalit ang mga kalat ay nakakasira ng moment.

Dahan dahan kong pinulot ang mga basura sa sahig. Ang mga pagkain ay niligpit; ang mga nabubulok ay tinapon sa plastic bag. Pinagsama sama ang mga walang lamang bote. Ang mga paper plates at mga plastic cups ay nawala bigla sa dinner table. May nakasama akong isang babaeng kaklase sa paglilinis. Hindi siya ma-senti katulad ko ngunit sa aming kwentuhan, nasabi niya sa akin na ako ay romantic.

Pasikat na ang araw ng kami ay natapos.

Walang naging saksi sa aming pagliligpit.


Almost ten years later and the solitude of that moment haunted me again. Returning to the balcony after throwing away the leftovers (and putting some back in the fridge) I sat in one corner, plugged the earphones of my Ipod in my ears and played some of the most intimate songs, which never fail to make my heart melt.

and your heart speaks... it asks how it truly feels being...

Beyond attraction, the corrupting condition of lust, and the deceptive nature of infatuation. I wondered, for the first time,

what it is to love.


Its not hard to fall
And i don't want to lose
Its not hard to grow
When you know that you just don't know

Damien Rice