Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sky





At twelve years old, I was one of the lucky boys to own a scooter bike. It was a gift from my dad - that I never asked in the first place. All I know is that he had a friend who was into smuggling goods dumped from Taiwan. He sold motorbikes, and because they were buddies, dad probably got the bike for free and then he passed it on to me.

It was pre-owned 1985 model Honda Sky. I remember it was painted Cerulean and had a lousy basket below its squarish headlight. The engine made terrible sounds and it belched black acrid smoke when I revved its engine. Fearing complaints from neighbors, I decided to have its oil changed after figuring how its combustion works. Operating the machine was easy and since I owned a bicycle when I was a little younger, the tough act of balancing the scooter wasn't new to me.

As a teenager, I never knew what laws are. Dad never said anything except to avoid the cops. So off I went cruising around the neighborhood. A dull love story even grew between me and a pretty chick in high school after paying her a visit one overcast afternoon. All I did was to ask if there were school assignments after classes were suspended due to a weather disturbance. But when news got out - thanks to her mother - our classmates weaved stories until they have reached a groundbreaking plot: That my visit was a pretext for courting her. For the rest of the school year, we were a source of giggles and chuckles inside the classroom. Some kids even garnished extra details to a boring encounter by spreading rumors that I bought flowers the day I paid the chick a visit. Fearing that my careless approach would further smudge our already tensed acquaintanceship, avoiding her was my decision. We never got to be close despite having common friends. Eventually, my feelings bloomed but I was too torpe to even make a move. The other boys courted her instead. The last time I saw her Friendster, she had a photo of her two young boys together with her loving husband. No one among those who courted my classmate in high school ended up with her.

The scooter was never intended as a pang-japorms to attract attention. Despite the short distance of the school to my place, I made it a point to never show up driving the bike to my schoolmates. The bike had a more utilitarian purpose. It shuttled me to my Piano Teacher, Nana Enya every afternoon. I drove it to my barkada's place in Balic-Balic whenever I wish to hang out with him. Sometimes, the scooter was my means of transportation going to the market. I would go there to buy some Yaiba, Ultraman or Ghostfighter trading cards, which I used to collect in those days. Looking back, dad had the best intentions why he gave the bike to me. He never had one when he was a teenager. He was too busy earning his keep to even get the chance to impress a girl.

He gave me a choice, but I chose not to live with his vision.

Instead the bike served a different purpose. It's like driving a Mitsubishi Evo IX to pick up the kids from a nursery school and then dropping the grandmom to shop at a wet market.

Now that I recall how life was during that age, I begin to remember how it feels like driving a scooter at 50kph: The cool, dusky air brushes against your face as you swerve to overtake a gargantuan truck blocking your way; your ears hear again the addictive clicking sound of the hazard lights, as you park the bike to wait for a friend at a nearby palengke. Finally you wonder how on earth did you find the guts to operate a machine that has no registration papers, a plate number and you without a license and a God-given helmet while on a conquest of mastering the road. Given a chance to go back, I would probably think a million times before starting the engine.

But teenagers and adults live two separate lives.

The scooter played its part long enough for me to realize the folly of my actions. What knocked me back to my senses was a tragic accident involving a family friend after his motorbike rammed an L300 van. Witnesses claim the collision was so violent, his 250 pound frame flew off the air, briefly, before landing back to the ground. His lungs were punctured by the impact. It took several men to carry his massive slab to a waiting pick up truck that would rush his failing body to a hospital.

Unfortunately, their efforts came too late.

The scooter was left parked in front of the house after the accident. Enduring the harshest of elements, it was left untouched, together with the sport bike driven by the family friend until it was sold to someone who probably had no idea about its previous owner's fate. Years came by and dad began to inquire about the condition of the scooter. I assured him the bike is still being used - from time to time that is.

It was until dad decided to inspect the bike without my knowledge that the ugly truth was revealed. With the engine oil long dried up, rust and corrosion had already taken over the inner parts of the bike. It wouldn't start, contrary to my claims that it was still running a few weeks before his surprise inspection. My father left without a word after I assertively denied the obvious. He was right. We should have sold the bike the moment I ceased driving it.

I was a college sophomore when I learned that I have already outgrown the sky.

A few weeks after the surprise inspection, the scooter quietly disappeared.


credit




8 comments:

Mr. Brightside said...

San napunta? curious lang ^_^

JR said...

It was until dad decided to inspect the bike without my knowledge that the ugly truth was revealed. With the engine oil long dried up, rust and corrosion had already taken over the inner parts of the bike. It wouldn't start, contrary to my claims that it was still running a few weeks before his surprise inspection. My father left without a word after I assertively denied the obvious.

Parang nadiscover nya na bading ka!?! LMAO

SOLTERO said...

i enjoyed this story, very much. sky was used by ur dad to impose virility on you, and by him discovering you have just left it to rut sealed whatever suspicions he may have :)

Galen said...

Mr Brightside:

Ninenok ng erpats ko. Pinagbili yata. Hehehe.

Greatkid:

Honga no! Hindi ko na-interpret that way yun ah!

Alam ko na! Kasi nung nagsawa ako sa scooter, nangarap na akong magkaroon ng tsikot, which is another story.

Soltero:

Weh gaya gaya!

Marami pa siyang imposition na ginawa noon. Mas lalambot lambot kasi ako nung mga time na yun. Nung college na lang ako naging barakong barako. Hahaha!

~Carrie~ said...

Sa comments ko lang nakuha yung point ng entry. My gas, braindead na akesha.

Galen said...

Carrie:

Di ko nga narealize na may subliminal message pala ang entry ko until they pointed it out.

It was an unconscious filler. Ehehe.

Guyrony said...

I love how the hidden message was revealed shortly.

Great post.

I wish I have a scooter. sniff sniff.

Galen said...

Guyrony

Aspire for a big bike instead. Hehehe.