The original plan for tonight was not as shy as what actually happened, although it was neither too grand. With my checked body clock and perhaps a tacit 2012 resolution to kill the nocturnal in me and start being more productive in the day, and not at night, the weekdays just felt a bit heavier. Meetings, relishing office atmosphere, writing propaganda statements, mingling with Cordi pubs during their CHED Presscon, arranging interviews and being interviewed via phone patch – the week was lived in daytime, not mostly after midnight reading Western thinkers or snatching NBA time or wasting time in the internet. I welcomed the reversal and despite my seeming over-fondness of being a night person most of the time after graduation, there was neither difficulty nor major adjustments.
And then I thought of it, just right this moment, how day seems to be the more realistic, while night portents more of romanticism, escape, self-deluding poetry. In the day, people sweat their backs off, riding the public transport, ambling from Session to Magsaysay, make money, race with their lives, duel with the dangers of the metro, breathe polluted air and second-hand smoke. In the night, they drink the hours away, salivating at the breeze, basking at hands which they held and which were not theirs, resorting to thick, cozy jackets, ukay or otherwise. Someone called it catatonia, the awakening at night, rising from the dead just like the zombies, jubilating at the relative peace, jubilating at the partial death of law.
And is not that one of my more candid celebrations in the recent past, back in my catatonic days – the law is dead in the evening. Right now, looking at that perhaps misguided declaration, I sense a tincture of cowardice. Nights are venues for escape, and those who frolic on it are escapists. From the density of the metro, from the street lights and the police’s whistle, from the annoying heat, from the hard, bleak realities the day presents without miss, without exaggeration.
And so, I am right here, in the fifth paragraph, the third straight one shoving all the others just to get “and” at the onset. It’s almost 12, almost technically Saturday and I am sort of saying to myself that the night should be just beginning. My new self-set curfew for sleep is 3am. Yes, I failed to comply to that one time already this week, last Tuesday night, while rushing some really important project for someone really special. Now, I am keen at sleeping on time, even though I whispered to myself earlier and in the days before that there should be one night when I will sit down and just get the words out of my head and take a shot at beauty. Tonight shall be that night.
Ok, back to the plan. The original plan. It included Tanduay ice, just a bottle, and some fine smoke, and some cold January Baguio air, and a pen and a notepad. And yes, before that, a good dinner, no canned foods, no NFA rice. Friday nights. This time, I anticipated it with more zeal, after successfully upholding the idea that I am just like most people who work five days a week, eight hours a day. Friday nights announce the onset of the weekend, temporary break from figures and papers and reports and hurried lunches and forgotten dinners. On my first Friday night post-catatonia, I had relatively ambitious imaginations.
But I ended up with corned beef, steamed in the sinaing just like hotdogs can manage. Apparently, corned beefs need onions and garlics, my dinner was sort of out of taste. And not Tanduay Ice, because with the way Marcos Highway is being “renovated” and the ensuing traffic, all I was able to go to earlier for the night’s supplies was Tiongsan Harrison. And yes, they don’t have Tanduay Ice. Even just a bottle? Yes, they don’t have even just a bottle. Queue might be getting longer in the sweet terminal, unbearably longer already and I may find myself robbed of a jeepney ride to home. I do not want to start the night with that.
So I consoled myself, with made-up assurance, the stores near our home will still be open when I get there and they might have Tanduay Ice.
But what they have is San Mig Light.
And I thought, sige na nga, pwede na rin ‘to.
There were too many narrations, boring ones. What I want is beauty in brief. I stopped gulping the beer down and proceeded here, but without much contentment. Perhaps the real point is that something lacks, no, someone is not here. And all Friday nights would seem incomplete, too wilted, without her matching what I saw in my head from Monday to Thursday. Silences with our laptops, different preoccupations but sometimes rhythmic breathings, occasional nudging and teasing, Bloc Pary or John Mayer breaks. But these are only words. And all I have now is a head in a coil and an Itunes program opened but paused.
So hello weekend.