My life has literally not advanced. Chronologically, yes. But progressively, no. I’ve been living in a what they call in the Philippines, “buhay baboy”—you eat, sleep, do something mindless…rinse and repeat. If only I had some more funds, and maybe a friend to hang out with, I’d be more inclined to go out and carpe diem, but my family is busy, and I blame myself for not taking initiative in entertaining myself.
In the words of Ernest Hemingway: “Write drunk, edit sober.” Well Mr. Hemingway, tonight, I will just be writing in the former.
Frank casually proposed to drink around 9 p.m. I automatically said yes in the spirit of camaraderie, since now I am able to drink again after my previous bout with my unexpected back pains. It was a slow Thursday because the previous night, sleep did not dawn unto my needed cause and I was left in the shore of unwanted clarity until after 4 a.m. where I was only able to feel the heaviness of melatonin after watching Unsuitable for Children, an Australian Indie film. But the day progressed, as promised, at 9:30 p.m. I had showered, dressed, and looked presentable enough to look civilized for an aftermath of chaotic and copious events of inebriated stupor.
We arrived in at a nondescript street only lit by inadequate peripheral street lights, and I almost felt like we were trespassing by our unexpected arrival. I followed Frank and his friend Bennett whom he has always described in background small talk as his friend who was “always fun at kickbacks, for he was really good at the guitar, ‘he is like a human jukebox and the top of our class in law school’.” Details aside, we entered a door which led to a quite hallway leading to stairs that hinted at the main venue, so we walked up and was surprisingly met by a myriad of small time band posters embellishing the walls, although it being Thursday, the joy and excitement I felt was subdued by the very fact that it was indeed Thursday. A day shy of Friday. There were barely any people, only my brother Frank, Bennet, and I, and some supporters, gathered sparsely in front this small time band that joked around by saying that this was their first time ever again meeting each other only to practice in front of us at this nondescript venue. But don’t get me wrong, the venue was nothing short of disappointing. If I remember correctly, It was air-conditioned, which was the first thing I noticed, and it felt sort of well placed in the middle of this anonymous neighborhood.
Music played, but I didn’t necessarily enjoyed it until I was onto my 3rd Red Horse. (If you ever get the chance to drink Red Horse, you won’t be disappointed. It is good beer.) Their other friend Jessi came along. They were all law school graduates, and as my brother pointed out, they were a “tight-knit crew,” who stuck it out despite the affectations and pretentious atmosphere of their other law school classes. They were composed of nobodies or hooligans, and even me, a mere spectator of their friendship, felt embraced in their circle. We talked a number of brief conversations that entwined our consciousness into closer proximity, and we ate food that passed along the time that the band wasn’t able to elongate for us, but we managed, and it was fun. We went up to the balcony to have a smoke.
Ah, the balcony. It was around 12. Everybody was smoking menthol. The last time I remember being in a balcony in my memory was in Berkeley—a chilly, melancholy type of night. But this time my presence was kind of routine and mechanical save for me observance, but for this crew, this was a usual thing. We sat in the wet plastic seats and talked about news about video games and rumors and whatnot as we let the smoke pass around our eyes and arms and into the infant dawn. We descended back the stairs when Frank remembered we ordered mojos.
They talked about Patrick Rothfuss. “Tonight, I can write the saddest lines,” they recalled. The group talked about their musings for their nerd love, the creator of The Name of the Wind, and how he is a really great fantasy writer. Before, I jutted in to give my contribution to the conversation, but after my 4th Red Horse, I kind of let my observations become my main driver. It was amusing hearing them.
My brother paid. It’s been a long time since they’ve drank together since they graduated law school (it’s been a year I think). We went back to the anonymous street and had another smoke. Then it started to drizzle. We talked just like greasers down the block, trying to catch a taxi back home, cigarettes under our hips. We took cover until a passing empty taxi decided to pick us up. Wanderers, I thought.
Would we be ever subjects in someone’s novel? Because what I experienced tonight was something more of a passing hint of recollection, we ARE the substance of an influential short story. Me, the narrator. Anyway, I don’t care about finishing this post gracefully.
I don’t give a fuck. This shit is beautiful.
Five days and it’s already my big sister’s wedding, and I can’t help but think about strange things. Here I am with the rest of my siblings, finally going to see our oldest sister enter a new stage in her life which is not to say that it hasn’t already been like this, but the ritualistic aspect of it makes it feel real, and feel frighteningly transitional.
Cynically, they’re just going inside a church in fancy clothing, kiss in front of God and three hundred people and slice a creamy loaf of bread and celebrate. However, the fact that this is happening strikes me odd in a formidable sense of apprehensive delight.
What this makes me realize is that my brothers and sisters and I will finally enter the stage of diverging into our own families—of spreading our gene pool and going out into the vast, uncomfortable world of millions of different families.
We are finally growing older, and that makes me a bit scared…That, to me, 1/3 of my family’s lifetime has already passed. A new generation of youth is already blooming. I am no longer the youngest in the family. I am starting to see more and more of my late mother in my big sister. My dad and the rest of my uncles and aunts are all showing their age.
As I am writing laying in the living room couch, I can’t stop myself from being flung into an introspective state of beautiful obscurity. Life is moving, and seeing it is indeed wonderful to witness.