The afternoon was nice today, no? Even if the heat was absolutely infernal, I wanted to dine al fresco. I was hoping to have lunch with friends but most of them were busy. I didn’t mind though. I just wanted to eat, smoke and people-watch.  It’s not a Pinoy concept no, people-watching? We hardly dine alone and if we do find ourselves in a position where we could watch people just passing by either we’re too busy making chismis to notice them or we just don’t care. Sometimes I think Pinoys can be so self-centered. Or maybe it’s just the crowd that I usually find myself in.

Anyway, the afternoon was quite nice and it reminded me of someone that I used to hook up with. He was into chem and once after spending almost an entire day with him he got up and started smoking. It was already three in the afternoon and I could feel the heat creeping inside the room. I imagined the blazing sunshine and the warm breeze that awaited me outside. “Tama na ‘yan,” I told him. Lay off on the drugs already! I thought it would be quite tragic to spend a day like that locked up in a room high and out of it. “But what else should I do?” he said. How about coffee in a cafe or iced cold beer in a pub? Or a stroll down the road or well just chitchat in a place where you could see sunshine. I think he told me that he’s done with those things and would prefer to spend the rest of the day adequately stoned. His answer unnerved me. The misery was palpable. Sometimes when people get so high it no longer becomes fun. It becomes tragic in a very scary way. Mind you, it’s not the violent tendencies that are scary but the loneliness, the bleakness and the blackness of it, that’s far more frightening.

Interesting no how I started talking about a wonderful sunshiny afternoon and ended up talking about something dark. Oh well. So after eating out, I went home and took the dogs out. I wanted to share the wonderful afternoon with them. I thought I’d watch them hurl themselves from one end of the balcony to the other while reading yesterday’s paper. But after a few seconds, they all went to me and started eating the paper I was reading. Sige na nga, I told Max. Kainin mo na ‘yang pinagsusulat ni Thelma San Juan! So much for wanting a relaxing afternoon with my dogs!

But seriously though, I kind of like days like these when the mind is quiet and the heart is at peace and I could see the afternoon for what it is, beautiful and worth living for, despite the boiling temperature.


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