“birthdays only serve to remind us of our mortality.chos”-facebook status posted last10pm, jun 19
Had lunch. Played scrabble. Won, courtesy of the 7 tiled word in one shot. Browsed the Net all through out the shift. Got paid for doing exactly this. 5am. Logged out. Took M to the bus stop, reminded her that we need to meet at 2pm in Cubao Mrt station.
545am- tossing and turning in bed. Fitful sleep. 1251pm, realized that the alarm that I turned off earlier at 1230pm was to signal that I have to prepare for the Cubao Expo expedition with M. 230pm, i arrived in Cubao. Waited for M. and waited. Decided to check BOOKSALE. Got Lingua Fresca (latino anthology) and Prozac Nation. Debated wether to buy only the first or get the two. Browsed more books. Saw Best Erotica of 2008. Scanned the authors, most were females. Skimmed the entries, straight fiction. Gave it a second chance, saw that an article was written by a man. Bondage. Oosh. Scanned some more, another one about a callboy.
315pm, I decided to keep Latino fiction and the erotica. I let the Prozac Nation go to the hands of fate, if it’s there when I get back, then its mine. 318pm, texted M that she will buy me a grammar book coz I have to endure the stares of old gay men ( I was wearing a black and white stripped tank top and a DSLR on my neck) which is of course due to her being late. 330pm she texted that she is in The Mall already. 340pm, saw her waiting. Told her that she will buy that darn book. She reluctantly agreed. 340pm-6pm posed, took pictures. Admired the antiques and quirky stuff and items on display, all for sale. Took more pictures while evading the two LGA ( La Guardia )of the complex who forbade us to take pictures unless we have permission. Met friendly shopkeepers and owners who allowed us to take pictures inside their stores (they of course thought that we were dilettante of bloggers, must be because exposure is exposure hihi). Got our fill, our quota of smiles and our version of the rule of thirds.Pictures. The reason for our being there. It was a blast. 610pm- headed to Trinoma to buy underwear for that Uncut Underwear Show in Araneta. Managed to spend 1200 for my undies and her umbrella. Got the ticket. Headed to NBS for Strunk’s and EB White Style book. Bought it, I was happy. Hey it’s her gift. Yes, a gift no matter what the circumstances,I saw her smiling when she saw me holding the red packaged book with ear to smile on my face. Happiness, is really one the things that multiplies when divided. 7pm, A texted that she is already in MRT. Ignored the text. Took M around trinoma because even though she lives in QC she seldom visits this mall. 8pm, we parted ways. 810pm-took the mrt, texted A that I’m on my way.
840pm, in Rob Gale third floor, saw Queeny and JR ( CEGP friends), she was surprised to see me. Felt the same way, said hi. She told me, we are all supposed to meet up. Queeny called B. they had a long talk. So off we go. Queeny, RJ and two of queeny’s high school mates. 845pm, met A, B, and C (three of my closest college pub friends). C was holding a paper bag from PRP, in it was a shirt. A green shirt with graffiti. Looks non descript and relax fit. 9pm-after the introductions and niceties we all can’t decide where to eat. Someone suggested KFC ( nah, I won’t eat there, not on this day ), TOSH came up. So TOSH it is. Told my friends that since people change, I gotta change from my sando to the Birthday Shirt. Went to the bathroom. It fitted well. I like it. 910pm, ordered food. Exchange of pleasantries.Me, A and C all noticed that B was thinner than we last saw him. Way thinner than he was back in college. He said that earlier that day he was diagnosed of hyperthyroidism. Extremely rapid heart rate and profuse sweating being the two symptoms that prompted him to seek diagnosis. A,C and me joked that its AIDS. A second later I told the rest of the gang that B has got HIV. So B and I went on talking about a mutual acquaintance (acquaintance was from the same school where we graduated and this acquaintance was an officemate of mine) who died last month. Of AIDS. Or so the chismis said. Told B that I saw Acquiantance like 3 months back that he wasn’t the slim and pretty faced gay that we knew. He said that he saw his pic on FB and acquaintance was really thin. He’s got all these rashes and skin asthma like eruptions on his face when I saw him, I added. We were non chalant. Heck, acquaintance was dead. I then said that another gay officemate died that same month, some said due to AIDS, other sources said due to Cocaine Addiction, with gay officemate having the perpetually red and sniffy runny nose. Official version was Pneumonia. B went on about all these deaths, he said that a friend of a close friend who was supposed to take the Board for Medicine died this month. Guy was a Muslim. Another FB friend of his also died, this FB friend was a ‘model’ of his school. Also a gwapo guy. B said that in 4 months he has 4 people that he knew who died of AIDS. Then we talked some more. Mostly it was updates, and them prodding me to treat them since in a few days I’ll have my 26th birthday. Honestly, no can do. 930pm-krista arrived (a close friend of Queeny), B and I met her before. Krista with fair skin, aquiline nose and pretty face, JR said she looks a bit like Krista R, thus the name. We ate, talk, and got Krista to give me her business card after telling us that she work for a major telco company in the country. Told her that I will email my resume. Pacman arrived, (krista’s BF) he knows a lot of dialect from his work as CFC and SFC resource person. Had a great time chatting him up. He inquired why I have dslr, told him that it’s a bisyo of mine. Joked that I need models for my portfolio, would love to do a pre nuptial shot of them. Krista lit up, she said ‘go, go’ while pacman was just ok. Krista noticed this, I’m the only one excited. Pacman quipped its because I want it to be real. Was quite taken aback by this. Then Krista said, its because you haven’t proposed yet. I thought that the lovebirds will have a proposal right there and then. Then off they go 1030, more picture takings. Then we all decided to head to yoohoo, in Metrowalk C bid his goodbye since his compound closes at 12, same goes for queeny’s two highschool mates. So the 5 of us, A,B,Queeny , RJ and me all headed to yoohoo. 1045pm ordered a bucket of red horse. Took pictureof us, in various poses , camera mode and pretense. A shot with the pine tree is set in Singapore’s Clark Quay (per B its said like clark key) another shot with the ortigas skyline was of Thailand. Heck, it was Asian tour without changing planes. Ordered more beers. Talked about Queeny’s flight tomorrow back home. C and A said that she needs to take vitamins, iron and folate so that the baby won’t be bobo. C teased her if she already knew who the POP was, if it was the fairly recent gwapo ex or the now estranged ex. She said it’s the ugly estranged ex. She then said that she will inform us when her due date is. C said that he will book ticket now for the baptism. We all settled for the 3rd or last month of may as the Binyag date. 100am, JR mentioned snubbing his dog for 2 months coz this dog killed her pups. Then i said that it’s immoral for dog owners to own and care for a dog knowing that pet grooming costs a lot when a lot of street kids are starving. C agreed with me, with a bit of disagreement. He said that it’s a matter of choice. Jr then said that if you are 40yr old and above and your still poor that its already your fault. At this statement the state U educated A,C , Queeny and me all turned to look at JR, a product of catholic School upbring from prep to Masters. C challenged him to prove his point. So we all got to hacienda luisita massacre and brutality. At this time all of us are getting agitated. I said that Noynoy should be answerable for whatever it is that happened in his own backyard, being the highest official in the land. JR countered that as a president he can only do so much. He said that he agrees that Noynoy has got a lot of explaining to do but we should let the judiciary decide to do its thing. The three bodies being independent of each other. C then countered how could you expect objectivity when these are all midnight appointees of Arroyo, that unless the folks in the judiciary resigns, the legislative, and executive will never be independent and objective. Jr countered that we gotta give him a chance, and that we shoudnt liken Noynoy to GMA. We all agreed but it still doesn’t sit well with us. What we failed to say was since noynoy is the president he’s got the means to do what is right. Disregarding the lawyerly technicalities he should be able to impelement carp and explain why the massacre happened. It all boils down to political will. 215pm, I saw c staggering as he climbed up the stairs. Told A about it, a then asked C why. C said its cramps, sometimes he can’t walk when this is happening. Felt awfully bad for C, the garigadi or the perpetually giglish gay guy. 230pm we also decided to bill out. JR went to the men’s room, C by then was having a major cramp attack. He told A that he wants to go home now , someone forked over 500 and I gave 200 for our share (I think that is less than what we all consume, but the heck) hailed a cab. Told manong to take C to Bagong ilog. 235pm, C was dizzy. Wanted to puke. Told manong to pull over, C managed to puke after A gave way. After this C was already whimpering “habo maghilang” which means I don’t wan’t to get sick. Then came the tears. Felt really bad for him. Then I begin to shed tears myself. Then finally we’re home. A told me to alight the cab to assist C, by this time C was crying uncontrollably. So I hugged him in the way that I haven’t hugged anyone before. The only means of comfort that I can give. We took him inside his rented room, took off the shoes. The socks. The bangle and watch. All these time he was crying about not wanting to be sick. A could only tell him, no one wanted to be sick, but since he’s got it, we gotta deal with it, in a calm and soothing voice. A could really be soothing when she wants to. So I rubbed his back, while A was trying to remove C’s scrub suit. To no avail. C said that he will sleep like this. He told us to go home, that he can manage it. A said we will, once we remove his top scrub suit. To no avail. A’s relative is already texting and looking for her. So we had the final attempt to remove his shirt and we failed. A decided to put C’s freshly laundered sando inside his shirt. C at this time was pacified, and quiet. So we left. We did not turn off the lights nor, closed the door. Headed out. A said that the diagnosis was just given this morning. I know. B must be crying not because of the pain. Must be because he thought how is he gonna deal with his condition and his dreams of becoming a Somebody in his field. B, the guy who was able to hold back his tears when he knew that his Pop died. This night is really sad. And he is there by himself inside his room. Took the bus. Bus had several stops. Seated next to A. Alone in our thoughts. Dslr felt heavy on my neck. Memory card is almost full. Like my head. But unlike the memory card, I can’t erase everything after I have cut and pasted the pictures. We don’t have reformat inside our heads. So I write as a means of forgetting. As a means of changing how things happened. We are the editors of our memories after all.