I was down with a flu since Tuesday.
My muscles ache and my skin singe with fever. I had runny nose in the morning and at night, chills wrap me to sleep. I was in for a bed rest - I had spent a day obeying my body's demands for sleep and more fluids. Come the next morning, I was up in bed and back to weight lifting. I even took pictures of sunset at the Manila Bay on my way to the gym.
Part of the reason for going out was to return the umbrella Giboy forgot to retrieve from my bag last Monday. He was in the city and since my shift ends in the afternoon, I decided to accompany him getting his driver's license at East Avenue. He reminded me of the umbrella last Wednesday morning, and knowing he spends his work outdoors, returning his possession was an urgent matter. I don't mind commuting all the way south to spare him the inconvenience.
It was necessary.
The journey, however, had put so much strain that the flu made a nasty comeback upon reaching home. I had to take the blue pill before going to sleep hoping to wake up feeling better. The body responded well and I was out of the house to attend a meeting the next day. My presence was required at work. It was Thursday, the same day Papa Tagay was set for surgery. After seeing the boss and two of my colleagues, off I go to the Heart Center to visit my buddy.
I was told by Santi and Panda to go home and rest. They too showed up to express their support for our friend's medical procedure. They said, I was still recovering; that I should not force myself to act like I have no flu. I nodded at their suggestion. I even let Panda see me ride a jeep going home. But stubborn, the self is, an offer from someone to keep me company when I said I wanted to drink changed my direction. At half past seven, I was at the Mount Carmel church offering prayers. Not done with my request for divine intercession, I walked all the way from Aurora Boulevard to E. Rodriguez reciting the rosary.
All the cabs passing in front of me were occupied.
Meeting the stranger, and having a drink at Quattro Bar took my mind off things. Yet, at the back of my head, I was very conscious that careless words may lead me into trouble. His questions were laced with curiosity. His fascination, evident in his bespectacled eyes. There was no doubt I had the advantage, but I refused to acknowledge his attraction. Strange as it sounds, but I too, lament that those days of sensible exchanges will not prosper. In real life, we simply differ. We paid the bill unsure how to spell the friendship I was willing to offer.
Awkwardness seem to shadow the message exchanges that came after.
And once more, the flu made a comeback.
Friday and I was back at work. Unwell, but my mind stayed bent performing like the malaise hasn't beset my body. I was able to wrap the day completing all the tasks at hand. I was even able to return to the gym, to work out like my chest wasn't even hurting because of cough.
"Such we are creatures of habit," I left on Twitter before resuming my work-out last Wednesday. "That we rather suffer the consequences of our actions than to break our routines."
The same question was asked of me by my drinking buddy last Thursday.
"Don't you find routines boring?" He said before smoking his cigarette.
No longer I recall the answer, or how my excuse for living had put a smile on his face. But knowing my penchant for changing decisions at whim, and solitary movements, without considering the convenience of others, routines hold me in place when outward perception dissolves in chaotic mess. You may call it discipline, or other lofty expressions that say the same thing about commitment.
But when I no longer see everyday patterns, and certainties in days ahead; when I feel constants being overwhelmed by changes, and that my place is befuddled by events not of my doing, the resolve to cling to time-bound habits I faithfully repeat with every cycle is a reflection of my inward response to situations. So it doesn't matter if I'm down with flu, or buried beneath piles of work, with approaching deadlines.
Routines must stay in place, only as to tell my feet the direction I'd be going.