It’s the last day of October, and I am doing a desperate attempt to write before November comes like a deluge on Espana Avenue in June. Classes are starting in a week’s time, and I know I’d be dead by then. I shall start all over beginning with a Monday that shakes me like a bad tasting Bloody Mary, a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the much-awaited Friday, a too-short-it-kills weekend, and it’s Monday all over again.
November means I’m back to the daily grind. It means sleepless nights. It means morning of dragging myself to the bathroom and the 7:30 a.m. unforgiving train rides. It means 4-5 hours of sleep. It means I need to be extra creative in making do with my very little time. It means seeing my students again whom I terribly miss. It means I am only as good as my last class meeting.
It means I’d feel my mortality more than I ever. The best feeling there can be.
He ended our class last night at 7:30. He concluded it flustered, irritated like a menopausal boarding house matron at the climax of her descent to her grave. The entire content of his rant was about his accomplishments as a scholar, his being a well-published academic, with an unbridled tone of his infallibility, and how the professor, whom my classmate stupidly mentioned taught him how to compile texts for his review of related literature, should not teach how to write an RRL because she does not publish, at least not that he knew of.
It was like hearing a shabby academic prima donna exalting his virtues in front of an impressionable, fanatical audience.
The performance however was found wanting in the area of taste. His bravado left an aftertaste that stubbornly sticks on the palate.
I was disgusted.
I arrived at the arrival area of NAIA 3 at 9 last night; your text message said you’d touch down at 9:10, just in time. The public address announced that your plane had arrived while I was walking down the stairs from the floor above. There were a few people walking to and fro. Most were seated on those metal benches, looking bored and sleepy.
The passengers who just deplaned left the baggage claim area in trickles until the trickles became like an agglutinated super-huge drop(let) of dew. And I saw you at the apex.
I knew I began to feel happy again.
Endings, though most often are sad, are in reality sweet. The papers are in, the exams given, grades of students to be submitted Wednesday next week. I’m, in general, a free man. No more, at least in the next three weeks, worrying about what to say in a one-hour class period, about what to wear that will not cause the most modest of my students to blush, or about which of my repertoire of jokes to throw to keep my easily distracted students from sleeping or their thoughts giving in to their natural wanderlust.
I have been away from this blog for a time; I might, though I cannot promise, be able to at last find time to write more regularly again at least before the second begins.
For now, I am just relishing this wonderful feeling of being well-rested and lightness.
“Have you already left for Pampanga?”
After six attempt to call you as soon as I woke up at 11 this morning, all of them leading to that aseptic “please try again later,” I sent you this text message hoping to see you before you leave. I received “not yet” after an hour. It gave me hope. I thought what happened last night was nasty, very immature.
Seeing you go wasn’t that bad, but days without you: unimaginable.
Thank you for that late lunch. That pinakbet was delicious.
And thanks for the prompt to make this page a little bit less barren.