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I had dinner with a college friend the other night with our two other classmates – one who’s visiting Manila for a work-related conference and another who is reviewing for the bar exam – when our conversation over dinner went to the case of Vice President Binay. This classmate who’s writing news for a provincial paper argued that the Binays are wrongfully charged of corruption, or at least his daughter Nancy should be innocent. He hinted so many times that he’s established some sort of friendship with this senator who’s currently being pilloried. Of course, what’s with writing for a paper that proclaims itself to be the biggest daily in the Visayas. I argued that she can’t be that dumb not to know those shady deals made by her father.
This friend of mine with so much ire in his voice said/shouted: ‘Show me anyone who’s innocent.’
I almost fell from my seat.
I assumed his argument ran like this: Only in a country where everyone is innocent can plunderers or corrupt officials be put to jail. No one politician in the Philippines can be deemed innocent. Therefore, any calls for justice against the Binay is just so wrong.
And I kept quiet because it was a dinner not for a debate on politics but for a reunion with college friends that I had not seen for a while. But I cried from the inside because this friend cannot rightfully call himself a journalist, that at some point I felt ashamed for having a friend who thought like a moron. But I kept quiet because it wasn’t the right place to call a friend a moron in his face in front of two former classmates that I had not seen for years.
There is, after all, always a right place and time for everything.
Before I went to bed last night, I had conditioned myself to wake up at eleven today because today’s a Saturday. I wanted to make up for the lost hours of sleep this week. But breaking a habit is difficult, so at seven I was already making coffee and reading news online. From my table, I could hear the caged birds (they’re love birds, and so many of them) chirping from the nearby apartment.
I opened a box of Pepero and munched on these chocolate-covered pretzels. They’re my breakfast. It’s a drizzly morning. If it were a weekday, I’d be feeling down and bleak, but it’s the weekend, and except for taking my phone later to a service center in Ali Mall, my day is going to be free. No amount of drizzle will ruin it.
I’m spending two hours of my morning reading some poems. I want to do four today. Poems are a little tricky. They only manifest themselves after some painful extraction, but, if a poem is good, it’s worth all the bruises and cuts.
I think, this can be good life–a free morning, a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, a light breakfast, chirping birds, and Pablo Neruda.
I quit for a reason:
The freedom from it is refreshing.
For a guy in his 20s, adult moves include but are not limited to establishing a family, changing career path, going to law school, buying a car, giving up the city, or getting a mortgage. I’m doing the last.
One has to do an adult move at some point in his life because it is but normal doing so. Although the ‘normal’ here may be subject to some degree of disagreement among readers, to a certain degree, we all have an idea what normal is. And although it might be interesting to write a post on what constitutes normal, it is not the object of this post. Normal is that realm of security some of us would someday want to settle in.
And I cannot anymore pretend I am not one of the ‘some.’
A home loan means making sure that I must not default on my monthly payment, ever. It means I will have to work harder because I need to pay my monthly rent while paying my monthly amortization for the next two years until the turnover of the unit in 2016. It means I will have to postpone the purchase of that nice-fitting Zara coat I was meaning to buy for a friend’s wedding this weekend. It means moving some part of my savings to that other account that is solely for the monthly payment of my loan for cover if, God forbids, I run short of cash. It means cutting on my weekend eat-outs. It means not buying anything impulsively, bringing with me a list whenever I do my grocery. It means planning my vacations well and doing away with some, having, at most, one in a year.
Honestly, it’s a decision I made because I went tired of my sister’s constant goading to find a place for myself and my conscience telling me that I will not stay a marauding nomad for the rest of my life.
Perhaps, the normal has gone too tempting to resist as nothing can be more normal than finding that place one can call his.
It’s a bit scary, though. That idea of being tied to a place by a mortgage, at least for the next ten years or so scares me.
But of course, I got to do an adult move.
Our parents are visiting us for the weekend. The last time they were in Manila was thirty years ago. I found out while rummaging into my mother’s documents when I was ten that she and my father got married in Pasay in 1983. It must have felt odd for my mother who’s now 53 to see how much the nation’s capital has changed after all those years. And even more dizzying for my father. They will leave tomorrow evening for Baguio City with my younger brother. In the afternoon, my sister and I plan to take them to Quiapo to attend mass or maybe say a short prayer and Binondo for those delicious dumplings sold in that quaint hole-in-the-wall dimsum place I know.
I had to wait for a trip to Tagaytay to have my first molar extracted (next project is an implant). The dentist asked me whether I had a drink the previous night. I said, no of course. He then said I shouldn’t do heavy lifting at the gym in the next two days. I promised I will not. He asked me if it felt painful. The pain was killing me. I said I was just feeling a slight numbing sensation. He warned me that the anesthesia would not work if I was feeling pain. I lied, telling him that the pain wasn’t that bad.
He instructed me to open my mouth and rubbed a bitter-tasting substance on my upper left gum. It dulled the pain that was bothering me that time.
Then without warning, he proceeded to injecting my gum with anesthesia. He was without mercy. I could feel the needle touching the bone that held my first molar. I closed my eyes. I knew a drop of tear fell from my left eye. Then he told me to wait for a while for the anesthesia to take effect. I hoped he’d give me an hour, but there were patients waiting outside. After a minute he took a stainless apparatus I cannot describe here how it looked because I did not dare check it.
He pulled one. And then he told me that he’d need to do another pulling. I never though it was broken in two.
The idea felt painful.
So my brain must have told my body, that normally, if pain was that bad, I would begin to faint. And I almost fainted.
He told me to rinse. I saw blood, a lot of it. Mixed with my saliva which I’d never thought could be that thick.
He told his assistant to give me those tightly packed cotton balls and place each between my upper first molar and the space that my lower first molar used to occupy.
He asked me whether seeing blood freaked me out. Without waiting for my answer, he asked his assistant to take the extracted tooth, now broken into two, away from my sight. I could never be more grateful.
I attempted to stand up. He told me to stay, wait until I felt better.
He didn’t prescribe any medicine; I thought he’s give me an antibiotic.
I dragged myself outside, telling his assistant that I would be back to get my change. I ran to the nearest supermarket for capsules of mefenamic acid.
Losing a tooth which has been with me in the last decade has been tough. However, the pain I had to endure because of it was too powerful keeping it wasn’t worth it.
I found this from one of the posts I wrote five years ago. I wonder what happened to this guy. He gained some weight, obviously. But he looked so much sure about the world then.