Dear words, ideas, and letters

Dear words, ideas, and letters,

Let me sleep tonight. I’ll listen to you as soon as I wake up. You can bug me the whole day all over again if you want to. Or if you get tired, find someone else. You’re free to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Your writer

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13. Family dogs

“It was in his second month with us that the answer to why some owners sleep next to their dogs came to me.”

I USED to hate dogs. I used to cringe every time I see one wandering on the streets under the open sky, near our house, or even inside my room. They’ll bark at you unceasingly if you’re a stranger to them. Some will bite you without any notice or voluntarily and confidently share their saliva by licking your feet, your hands or sometimes your toes.

I can still remember how I told myself that I will never touch a dog again. In my childhood, one afternoon, our family dog bit me on my right cheek while I was eating a crispy fried chicken leg. My mom immediately approached me and tried to disinfect the wound with soap and running water. Her grip of the nozzle is still vivid in my memory. I couldn’t understand the gravity of what happened and the possible consequences of being bitten by our dog then. I didn’t know that it has to be taken seriously.

After going through careful examinations in the hospital, my mom told me to be brave because I had to be injected with Rabies vaccine just to make sure. I took more than five shots. All the doctors were fond of saying the same thing every time they held my arms: “Be a man… It’s just like a bite of an ant.” 

But one day that fear vanished inside. Everything changed when my younger brother bought an apple head Chihuahua in a pet store in the neighboring city. My family named him Chua and he greets me whenever I get home. He runs so fast that those sleeping in our living room have no choice but to be awakened. No, it’s not because of his short loud cry but because he runs over them. He’s a consistent and amenable welcome committee member.

Wagging tail. Tiny paws. Hanging tongue.

I would play with him as he nuzzles my leg and my anxieties would temporarily exit my mind. My initial distaste for him transformed into delight. It was in his second month with us that the answer to why some owners sleep next to their dogs came to me.

With the right fit, fun will show itself naturally with them around. Give it some time.

Seattle’s Best Coffee

Never again will I buy and drink a medium-size cappuccino from Seattle’s Best Coffee 6 hours before midnight and expect to have a complete 8-hour sleep in preparation to a meeting with the Assistant Operations Manager at work the following day.

Bata

Bata – nagpapaalala sa’yo na noon:

Inisip mong kaya mong lumipad gaya ni Batman, pero, mali ka pala dahil may Bat Mobile si Batman, hindi lumilipad kahit saan gaya ni Superman;

Lahat, itinuring mong kalaro – ‘yung kamag-anak, kapit-bahay at maging nagkakara-krus sa kanto;

May gumagawa ng projects mo. Ngayon sa utak mo mismo galing ang proyekto;

Nag-try kang ipunin lahat ng enerhiya sa katawan at ilagay lahat sa isang hintuturo para sa Raygun, ngunit, walang lumalabas, kahit naisalin na sa’yo ng lahat ng kalaro mo ‘yung spirit power nila, ayun! naisip ninyong naglolokohan lang kayo. Tumirik na ‘yung mata ninyo sa kakatitig, walang nangyari. Ibang laro na lang, ‘yung may Kamehame Wave, sabay sipa, batok, tadyak sa kalaban;

May malaking puno malapit sa inyo, inisip ninyong magkakalaro na may duwende at tirahan ng maligno, kaya naghanda kayo ng panlaban – potion na may bawang, sibuyas, alateris, asin, paminta, at kung ano pang nasa Bahay Kubo. May game plan – aatake kayo ng alas-sais ng hapon o sa takipsilim o bago pauwiin ‘yung Mama’s Boy sa grupo. Kapag naisagawa na ang plano, magtatakutan kayo. Niloko n’yo na naman sarili n’yo;

May burot lagi sa laro. Ngayon, ‘di mo na maasar, dahil malaki pa sa’yo. Baka bigla kang itali sa poste ng Meralco;

Ang liit pala ng bola na gamit ninyo noon. Akala mo ang lupet mo na, dahil dakot mo ‘yung bola. Dinadakdakan mo ‘yung ring sa inyo, sabay sabing, Gori! o In your Face! Hanggang lay-up at jump shot ka na lang ngayon sa tunay na court. Point guard ka na lang. Dati center ka, ang liit mo pala;

OK lang na may uhog sa ilong (o braso matapos subukang tanggalin) o kahit walang brief. Ang cute mo, ang sabi nila. ‘Pag ginawa mo ‘yon ngayon, kadiri ka. Rapist. Exhibitionist tawag sa’yo;

Busog ka na sa Zest-O with mamon o sa soup na pinipilit ipaubos sa inyo ng teacher mo, kundi abono ka;

Pinipilit kang patulugin ng panganay ninyo sa hapon. Samantalang ngayon, ‘di ka na makatulog sa dami ng bagay na nasa utak kahit gustuhin mo;

Ang dami mong panahon, pero mabilis palang lumilipas, gaya ng ilang bagay na hindi mo na maalala dahil dumating na sa kanilang wakas.