Maybe it’s a good time to talk about the week that’s passed:
Saturday: took the early flight back home. Earliest I’ve taken: at 5 am. The airport’s apparently like a market at this time. The first flights for the day. All within a matter of a few minutes from each other: Cebu, Davao, Butuan, Palawan. It’s exactly, I guess, as the Mabuhay magazine shows it. At its last few pages. A stream of red lines moving from Manila like a palm over the whole country.
Afternoon was spent in Mountain view. The annual convention of Bathalad. When the welcome drink is a plastic cup of rum, you know you’re in the right place. You also know it’s a convetion of poets and writers who write in Cebuano. A paper on Shamanism and poetry was given. By the half of the paper, my Cebuano had run out, I could barely understand what was being said, and I needed to replenish my alcohol.
Late in the afternoon, I went to Casa Gorordo. WILA’s anniversary celebration. What a few hours (and a few miles) can do between languages, between genders, between sensibilities. It ended with a good rhumba. Rhumba and rum. Not too far I suppose.
Saturday night, went to the neighboring village, St. Michaels. It was their feast day, and we all just need a reason to have steak and wine.
Mass in JY Square. How the good intentions of a homily merely get ruined by the indecisive tone. Style does supersede content, especially in matters of faith. Then lunch in Sunburst chicken with Broddy, hazel, and arie. It’s good to be home.
Decided to try out Citigym. When you realize that it’s the same gym that Jon Hall works out in, I think you realize that you made the right decision.
Then there is dinner with O. A good beer. Images of green skin and shapes that aren’t shapes, and what we could be as people slithering in and out of the limits of our own skin.
I try to study in Bo’s Coffee. Or I think I try to. Sad for these days that are not memorable.
I join jacque’s class and of course I am bathed in my own sweat. I have a suspicion I come back home for these dreadful workouts that whip the breath out of me.
I think I have dinner with Audi, Hi-d, ian, tesch and O at btc. Or was it the previous night. Good seeing friends from different parts of your life come together and almost dance around each other like they were strangers again, because they really are strangers to each other.
Wednesday: Spent the afternoon in Danao. A thanksgiving mass for my dad’s swift recovery. Funny though how the mere impending fear of a tumor (which eventually got removed) merely paved way for the more ambiguous pain of a lower back. Old age hits like reckless target.
I think this is the day when I DO try out studying at Bo’s. Struggled for an hour. To no avail.
Tried my first step class. And for days I can barely go up the stairs thanks to my worthless hamstrings. I contemplate a massage. A good massage.
A good night in Kahayag. Friends at the table. A bottle of tequila. Audi and hi-d’s band on the stage. Reggie later on claming that stage for herself. And me a few moments after: the world spinning, vomiting all over the streets in Cebu, not to mention the brown carpet of a coffee shop, and needing to have someone drive me in my car back home. When you are embarrassed, and you are on the floor at some strange bathroom, you realize who your friends are.
Spend the whole day recovering. Finally get the massage, and I spend the rest of the evening with reggie and the bunch at City Garden. I can barely keep my head up, still dizzy from the previous night.
I don’t know how I spent that morning. Badminton in the afternoon. The best way to learn is to play with people who play things better. Imitation breeds its own quick surprises of an education.
After-dinner dinner at O’s place. Good wine. Good company. Cliché but I am honest when I say: good wine yes. Good company.
I try to work in the morning to no avail. Spend the afternoon in the old high school. Giving a talk to some senior students. When one gets asked about what was the best lesson you learned in high school by a 16 year old boy with a frisky imagination, you stammer. You change the topic. You reveal what is true: that you have no idea.
Good night everyone. Curtains close.
*the artwork above is by Cebuano painter Edgar Mojares. "Chores"