There's a virus lurking in my throat and it's making my voice hoarse and my eyes hot. Not to mention that I'm always feeling tired. Why does my body do this to me?
Oh yeah, I know, it's karma. It's payback for all the times I've taken my body for granted, the late nights and cigarettes and too much beer and not enough food.
Payback is a bitch, as this woman very well knows.*
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that I really am addicted to cigarettes. And I know this because I can't help smoking even when my throat feels ever so scratchy. I have long been in a cycle of acceptance and denial with regard to my smoking habit. Sometimes I tell myself that I can quit cold turkey any time I want to (fiction) but sometimes I manage to admit that I need some help (fact).
Being constantly in the Nile, you might find yourself with child.**
Speaking of undesirable habits, my Internet addiction reared its ugly head again and it is all due to my being reunited at last with Cody. He is my darling iBook G4 and we have been together four years now, counting the time when I left him in the care of my beloved sister and then she, in turn, abandoned him to my father.
It was not the easiest of reunifications to pull off - I had to convince my sister to proceed with her trip home to the province (ostensibly so that she could be pampered for a bit after suffering through quarantine), and then I had to pitch in for her plane ticket, and finally I had to pick her up from the airport upon her return on Sunday. The last of which proved quite a challenge.
Her flight to Manila was supposed to be at 5 pm but after bad weather, a broken airplane, and major airline mismanagement, it ended up rescheduled to 11:15 pm. Which is how I ended up going to bed at 10 pm and then getting up after only a few winks, leaving the flat at an ungodly hour for the second night in a row, and waiting along EDSA for a bus that took forever to come.
I wait like, fifteen minutes before I decide that the MIA bus isn't going to come. I take the next bus (LRT-Ayala-Leveriza-Baclaran) which drives by. It turns out to be a mistake I can't afford. When the conductor comes to collect the fare I hand him a 20-peso bill. But no, apparently, it costs 25 pesos to get to Baclaran on this bus because of a long fucking detour through Makati. I take some coins from my pocket and thankfully I still have 13 pesos. I pray and pray that the fare from Baclaran to the airport would be just 8 pesos.
An hour later, after countless stops in Makati, I get to Baclaran and transfer buses. I strike my drunk pose in the hopes that the conductor will decide not to collect my fare. It doesn't work. I hand him the 8 pesos. He considers the coins in his hand and then asks, "saan ka?"
"Sa Terminal 1 ng airport."
"9 pesos ang bayad."
I half-wince, half-smile at him and tell him that I have no other money. I expect him to call out to the driver to stop the bus and make me walk. But I concentrate all my powers on him and he sighs and prints out my ticket.
From 29 to 35
After that, everything is just smooth sailing. I get to the airport and find my sister. We take a cab home. I go to sleep, Cody beside my pillow.
*Betty Buckley in "The Happening", photo by Zade Rosenthal
**Baby Moses Saved from the River, Nicolas Poussin