Wednesday, August 08, 2007

emo snapshots

The nature of this activity is to remember how it felt when it happened. Maybe it's no longer true -- maybe you found out later on it was all hormones. Nonetheless, at that moment, nothing else mattered.

So these are snapshots of my more emotional moments, in chronological order. Crucify Ailene for bringing this on (she, in turn, blames Ida).

ONE. I was seven, or maybe six, it was night and you took me to the basketball court to watch the neighborhood pa-liga. The court lights were on like on the movies you watch, and lots of people were cheering and laughing, excited about the game. You bought me cotton candy and popcorn, and told me stories of how great your running jumpshot was when you were still young. You were my hero.

The game started and the action was furious. Even at that age I could tell you were happy at where we were. But a child's attention is fickle, and pretty soon I was ignoring the game and running on the sidelines, playing with my imaginary friends. At one point I suddenly looked at you, and you were ignoring the basketball game like I was. Instead, you were looking at me and I saw how pleased you were with me, for reasons I do not know. When the game ended, we shared a footlong sandwich from Smokey's and you promised me you'll buy me the wrap-around dog next time. You carried me -- your little boy -- up to your shoulders all the way home. I was on top of the world.

TWO. I woke up at dawn, to a pale pink sky. We slept on your roof, and the mourners at your tita's wake were all gone. You and your friends were still asleep and that's fine -- the cold breeze rolling on the fields across your house was companion enough. I looked, and there you were; my fingers couldn't stop themselves from playing with your hair. Your friend woke up and wanted to (laughingly) throw me off the roof after seeing how I was looking at you. It didn't matter --
for the first time in my life I knew I could find what I was searching for.

THREE. You looked from me from across the room, and I knew we were both thinking of the same thing. You're late by 14 days, and we were both too proud to show that we were scared. I left our class and stood outside, gazing at the morning sky. Every bit of my being wanted to run -- away from everything, but I knew I would never do that to you, or to anyone. I just wish we could graduate from highschool.

FOUR. The Pantranco-bound jeep was taking forever to come, but it was midnight, and none of us minded the delay. I was standing beside you; and you, humming quietly in the dark. I pulled your shoulder closer, inadvertently placing your head on my chest. The move, of course, silenced us both; and the night dared us to ask the questions we dare not face. Pretty soon, I said to myself, I have to come out clean. I can't keep saying I'm just a friend when I'm holding you like this.

FIVE. I stopped and sat on concrete, on one of the buildings along Gil Puyat Avenue. It was around 2 in the morning, and I was blinded by tears on the long walk from Sheraton Hotel to Boni. Two drunken men walked past; a few minutes later, a gang of seven youths. Both groups left me unmolested -- even they could see I had nothing left to lose.

SIX. I ran -- because it was the only thing I could do. Strangers that we still were, I had no idea our bodies would meld so well. How each piece fit, how a simple hug can remind me of things I thought I already lost. I ran -- because otherwise I would never have let go.

SEVEN. You were busy staring at the ring, and oblivious to my observation. A few minutes ago, I read you the cheesiest of poems, and talked about things we already knew. Your eyes reflected a joy I vowed to remember; and I knew, at that instant, amidst all expectations, that I did good.