So it's Friday night and it's raining as I walk to the bus station. My roommate calls to say that he's in Encore and there's an open bar and he can get me in and would I like to join him and I say yes because what else do you say to that? And then five minutes later I change my mind and decide to go to my old dorm because it's that time of year again when we welcome the freshmen. My time is already * years past but as I watch them dance around the bonfire to the beat of Brigada's drums my body remembers and my blood quickens and I am taken back to when I was precious and innocent. (Why is calfskin so smooth? Because the calves are innocent when they die.) I'm calloused now, I'm too old, I've almost forgotten why these kids are so happy. This makes me sad but only for a while, because my friends are here and we're in C- and sitting at the table beside us is a boy. This is a boy who ran for the student council but lost, a boy who is reasonably attractive, a boy who is gay, a boy who has a girlfriend. I watch him watch the World Cup (Brazil vs Portugal) while I smoke. Then more friends appear and these guys are bros but they're not really my bros. We talk about a lot of shit and drink a lot of beer and before I know it I'm slurring my words and showing them the picture on my phone that I treasure most. The picture is of me and Andi Eigenmann and I have it because I like watching Agua Bendita but mainly so that I can show it off to the bros. And they all nod in appreciation at the picture and Mon playfully punches me in the shoulder 'you lucky dog' and Francis gives me a high five and Rob asks me if I've shaped up and decided to not be gay anymore. I just shrug and say, "no eh, I'm still gay", and I wink at Francis because it is him who cares the most about my being gay. We've kissed before. Then we move on to other shit and maybe I fall asleep for a bit or maybe I go to McDonalds to buy fries or maybe not, I'm not really thinking anymore. When 5am comes around my feet take me home on autopilot.
I find myself on the doorstep of the house I used to share with Santiago and his sister. I try ringing him but he doesn't answer. I knock on the door lightly because I don't want to disturb the neighbors. Nothing. I try ringing him again and I think I might be growing hysterical, or at least as hysterical as one can be when drunk and sleepy, and I imagine that I just might go to sleep on the doorstep. That doesn't really bother me. Thankfully, when I knock again Kay opens the door and I say good morning and it's been so long since we've seen each other and I'm glad she's awake. Then I promptly fall on the bed and doze off. When I wake up a few hours later Kay is watching Barney and Robin try not to have the talk. I ask her if she's gotten any sleep and she tells me that she's been busy packing up her stuff. And then I realize that I am lying on her bed and that probably explains why she's still awake. OMG what have I done? But it's okay, she's not mad at me, in fact she gives me some of the chocolate she's eating and we waste the rest of the morning watching TV. In the afternoon, Kay's friend comes around to take her stuff to her new apartment. We help a bit but he does most of the carrying. When that's done, Santiago and I go to the bayanCenter in Diliman to have their DSL disconnected. We get lost for a bit in Teacher's Village and that's where I realize that almost a year ago to the day (give or take a few weeks) we were lost in the same place on our way to apply for a DSL connection.
Talk about coming full circle. And then I realize how different I am now from the unemployed, hopeful, excited boy I was back then. I mean, I'm still unemployed, hopeful, and excited but I'm no longer a boy anymore. Just kidding. I am employed but hopeful and excited, not so much. I've been feeling very detached lately. I think reality is getting me down. Like this morning, I was at the corner of Shaw and EDSA waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green and while I stood there these huge buses came barrelling past and some of them would honk real fucking loud and it made me feel angry a bit but mostly I just felt a sense of resigned defeat. I need to go to sleep and start dreaming again.