I thought it was nothing but just the beer and the lack of American lemons that had me acting jumpy. My hands were clammy and my back was drenched in sweat.

The night wind had the smell of deadwood and dried animal urine that sent me long forgotten memories of General Santos City, when it was still known as Dadiagas—the time when despite the downpour and surprising cracks in the sky, my feet felt dry against the sand.

Geeya and Leggy were excited about Christmas while arguing whether the black woman belting out with Mariah Carrey on the wide screen was Patty Austin. Everyone at Kanto Bar seemed oblivious that it was already September.

The clocked marked 1eyem. The inevitable has arrived. It was difficult but somehow I mustered the courage to fake an early Christmas greeting.

Geeya noticed how jittery I was immediately after I moved in from the not too far table of Cheerah and her American friend. I lit up stick after stick of Marlboro Lights in my bid to calm myself.

It worked. It kept my remaining sanity intact. Perhaps it was the nicotine or just the white smoke that confused me, redirected my attention from myself into creating bizarre forms and figures of dull creepy colors that blocked my eyes and numbed my brain.

My phone trilled and I know it was mama. I was scared to pick it up. Afraid of the message. It trilled again, sending a message of urgency and alarm. I wished mama was just kidding me when she told me earlier that papa caught himself in a brawl and they were rushing him to the hospital.

How can a sexagenarian possibly be caught in a manual crushing of skulls and battery of flesh? How can one engage in a violent showdown of physical strength, which can be measured and defined by age? How can one not possibly distance himself from trouble?


Thinking of it made me wish for my own death.

Earlier, Cheerah narrated how she’s having trouble meeting her deadlines. Germel lamented the same thing while we were having dinner two hours earlier. Both of them just came from Manila for a gathering of journalists.

Both of them wore deep black tops…the shades enough to embarrass the night.


Lyka Bergen said...

A simple story presented well! Very nice!

uRbAn_wArRioR said...

hola..kilua fans .. hehe derr~! u like art as far as i can see~!

Anonymous said...

hi bananas,

so u lived in Dadiangas before it became gensan and now ur based in palawan.

hmmmm... let me venture a guess, u must have lived near the stanfilco banana plantation here.

hmmmm (again)... maybe we know each other?

anyway, gensan celebrated its 8th tunafest sept 5.

bananas said...

@Lyka Bergen, salamat kapatid. Naiiyak ako...sure. Tse!

@urban_warrior...what can i say? lol

@adrew torres, i neved lived in gensan. the mention of gensan was about a visit i did with my father years ago.

I am based in davao and not palawan although i still want to be based in Palawan. I fell in love with palawan the first time i went there and still longing to go back there.

my next trip, hopefully, will be off the Tawi-Tawi island, though.