stupefied

This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world, and while she looked so sad in photographs, I absolutely love her, when she smiles... -Nine Days

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Holy week stories

I’m home. Four days ago actually. It’s gonna be a long vacation and I’m ticklish. Holy week plus my 5-day audit leave. Smell some party. (Well, that’d be after Easter). The past days it’s been church and some processions. Visited relatives, old & new, and some friends. Failed to make my confession though. Just prayers and abstinence. We’ve not had meat since Monday. There’s not much to watch either. I couldn’t really do fasting coz I’ve bad acids in my stomach which makes it intolerant of lack of food. Today Christ is dead. I know any sacrifice I’ve made would be grain compared to what He did for us in the name of love. Suddenly got me thinking how much I can actually give up for people I love. That I’d save for another blog.

Anyway, it always feels good to be home.

Since I got here, I’ve been to places and faces and I keep forgetting that distance and time can do so much. Why I’m still amazed that people do grow up, and marry and have babies or get so sick and die amazes me as well. I even forget I’m 25 already, so imagine my surprise when friends so much younger than I am are now-mommies and wives, and people my age are already throwing birthday parties for their kids.

Like last night we were with one of our friends (who was two years behind me) and she was carrying a 2-week baby boy in her arms. Her baby, so adorable, I couldn’t quite believe such can have really small feet and nails that seemed like china to me. Looking at my friend, so maternal & mature confirmed how unready I was for such things. I couldn’t even hold a baby right. I felt I could break his tiny bones and I thought, I’d probably be a terrible mother.

Our friend was only 23 and the doctor had to cut her to get the baby out. She lost much of her water so a ceasarian delivery had to be done. The whole time she dozed off so she wasn’t able to feel those cruel labor pains. With this kind of delivery though, pain comes last. You feel it when everything’s over. But when you look at the baby, it’s like a very powerful painkiller that numbs your wound and only makes you think of happiness. The stitches could hurt a bit, but holding your baby makes everything worth it.

Then you see your parents, proud lolos and lolas. I thought of my own parents. They’d be thrilled to have one too. But maybe they have to wait some more.

Her brother joked about us wanting one for ourselves too. I thought no, probably my other friend, she’s been so astonished with the baby from the start, plus she has a boyfriend. Teased her bout tying the knot and making one too. She shrugged almost instantly. Not ready. I thought, when do you really become ready?

So they picked on me. I was older, had a job that pays well, plus a green light from my parents to holy matrimony, so what was I waiting for? I laughed so hard. Doesn’t it take two to make a baby? Told them I’m single, FYI. And not dating. And you probably would laugh but even if I dress sexy and think like western women do, I’ve made a personal preference to stay intact until my wedding night. So I’m definitely not ready for a baby.

The baby cries, gives out that cute little fart and blushes, as though he was shamed to have some ladies hear him do something gross. Proud mommy gave us small photos of baby Mark Lewis, and it was time to leave.

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Also last night, we joined tatay (grandpa) in the procession. It was quite poignant seeing how age has taken away all of his teeth and verve. I remembered him being so tough and potent that as a child I’d become scared to approach him. Same goes with my other cousins. I can’t remember being close to him (though my mom tells me tatay used to fetch me to class when I was 6, riding in his big old-fashioned bicycle. Oh I wished so bad I could recall those times. He probably might have talked to me or told me stories or something).

Last night he seemed unreachable as well, but why it was hard to get close to him wasn’t because of fear (like in our childhood days) but maybe because while his body has become weaker, the wall he has built around him has grown so impenetrable. I couldn’t get in.

I worry for him. He’s so old, and so sad. I wonder, when was the last time he ever smiled? My nanay (grandma) passed away about 7 years ago and since then, he seemed to have shut the world out of his life, including his entire family. We used to frequent our grandparents’ house when nanay was still alive. After her death, it was like the doors to the house have been closed. On nanay’s funeral, I couldn’t forget seeing him cry so much. I’ve never seen anyone cried so heavily like he did that afternoon. I cried that nanay was gone. But I cried harder for the man she left behind.

I don’t really know what’s going on in his mind today, but I don’t need to guess that he probably misses nanay so terribly. It makes me sad.

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The other night I was with my two favorite brods. Been a while, so we had lots of catching up to do. One of them prepared the best home-made iced mocha I’ve ever had, a table has been set on their front yard. 3 chairs. 1 pack of Marlboro lights. And a lovely full moon. Stories. Laughters. More stories. More laughters. Until about 2:30 am.

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It’s good to know that even though the world seemed changed, some things stay behind you. It gives you comfort knowing that though time puts distance between you and the people who have been part of your life, the distance isn’t something you can’t cross. Sometimes all you need is one SMS, or a half-minute call and you find yourself laughing with the same old people you loved, laughing bout the old days, laughing bout today, and even tomorrow. You worry that because people grow tall or fat or get pregnant or fall in love with other people, they have already changed. You worry that because people don’t SMS you or email you as often as you would, you have already lost them. You worry that because you live in different worlds now, you’re different now. These used to be my worries. But see what I put there, a “used-to-be”.

You can’t really lose a friend to distance.

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