After the storm
Sounds like a Haruki Murakami novel, no? The title I mean, parang After the Quake lang, only I haven’t read that book and the storm in this case has been, well, less catastrophic compared to Yolanda and Milenyo, which is good. I have just finished Baby Cakes though, Armistead Maupin’s continuing saga of the residents of Barbary Lane. I remember liking Tales of the City and so I signed up for this one as well. It’s actually light and a little bit predictable, perfect for those long rides to Ortigas and back. Last night, I was on a bus trying to read its last few pages. Traffic was surprisingly breezy despite the incoming storm. I was feeling shitty and defeated because we had to wait for our salary to be released until 6pm and because, well, I’m currently into this guy who’s being ambivalent about my not-so-subtle declarations of love. To be honest, it’s more of the latter rather than the former. And so I felt like a big loser. I am 36 years old, barely making ends meet, I haven’t done anything of significance and to top it all off I’m chasing after this young man to be my --- what? --- source of happiness? I looked outside where streaks of rain have violently started coming down. Inside, the harsh white light fell cold on our faces and on the radio Peter Frampton was singing that song that I’ve always secretly liked. My heart was sinking and I was staring at people’s faces, poor, ragged faces just like mine, and felt like a total loser. But then I thought how can I feel defeated when I’m still breathing. I’m still alive, aren’t I? (To which, my suicidal other self quipped: Not for long, old man!)
Today I woke up at seven and sat with the dogs to watch Glenda surge through the city. Water came in torrents --- sheet upon sheet of blurry whiteness came down as the trees swayed ferociously. Maybe I could find meaning in all of these, I thought. A metaphor perhaps that could help me realize something which will lead to an Aha! Moment. I recently read an article about the difference between being sad and being depressed. Sad people find meaning in the face of tragedy. Depressed people, on the other hand, can’t see any meaning in anything. To them, everything is meaningless and hopeless. I stare once again at the rain and I felt nothing. I felt dead inside. I sent a text message to the guy but received nothing in return (which is understandable, the city has been without electricity for almost 24 hours. Bumabagyo na nga bakla, ume-emote ka pa!)
Later as I was walking around Cubao I ran into a former officemate, a gay guy who traded the gay lifestyle for a wife and a kid. In fact he was with the wife and son when I bumped into him. Lately I’ve been bumping into people from my past. Two weeks ago, I was talking to a former boyfriend (who I’m glad have found new love!) via Facebook. I bumped into my other former boyfriend on Saturday when I went out to get load. That same day I was at the mall when I received a text from someone I once slept with. He saw me at the mall daw but was surprised that I didn’t bother to say hi. Of course, I didn’t even know who he was. Sunday, I saw a guy I used to hook up with in a cafe with his former wife and daughters. Wednesday, I was having my daily morning jog when this guy suddenly called my name. Again, I don’t have the faintest idea who the guy was. And yes, again, I struggled to find meaning in all of these. Maybe I am just waking up after a very long sleep. Sabihin na nating binaklang Sleeping Beauty ang peg. Only I’m hardly a beauty because the booze and cigarettes and all that (funky) jazz had permanently “monsterized” my fez. That or it’s time to get another HIV test.
Now I feel old but hardly enlightened. My heart has already been kicked around more often than a soccer ball at the World Cup and, damn it, I haven’t even made a goal. On some days I wake up and go for a jog and I head to the office with sunshine beaming out of my heart. On most days however especially at dusk it’s Glenda all over again. But, as the guy I’m currently infatuated with constantly tells me, I have to keep on looking at the bright side of life. Alam ko naman ‘yan eh but coming from him it seems to mean something. Maybe we are meant to be no? Or maybe I just need a good psychiatrist who is also tall, dusky, and cute?