What happened yesterday when there is an increased traffic in this blog, a barrage of text messages in my phone and a bashful torrent of posts in Facebook? Nineteen years ago, yesterday, people were contemplating on the image of Mary and what are her contributions on Feminism, judges are being indicted to expose the flaws of how humans do justice, and perhaps the Philippines is watching Fidel Ramos make a speech or two about tobacco and embracing foreign investments. All the while, my sister was young yet frenetic, anticipating a younger sibling whom she can share her Barbie dolls with, whom she would teach Humpty Dumpty to. At six, I wondered how she took the sight of our mother bleeding up to her feet, contesting pain and redefining endurance as she brought out on earth a future precocious little girl holding sand in her palm to have a fine handwriting.
Then in Chinese General Hospital in Quezon City, some mothers are perhaps relieved after having just gave birth, to a son, a future botanist, a daughter, a future fighter of women’s rights, a future drag, a future scavenger, and street player. But if we are talking about the arrival of dusk just yet, I was not yet here. I was just about to erupt from my mother’s womb, out to her vagina, out to the world with its invitations of sadomasochism. My mother said the operation nearly took two hours. “Mabilis bay un Ma o hindi?” It was pretty normal, and she noted, “At least hindi ako sinecaesarian.” Mom, at most, I breathe here, right now, typing this down and about to introduce this next subhead where for all my intents, I hope to be a winding elocution of “Thank you.”
Happy birthday to me, so thank you Ma
To all who greeted, I am slightly nodding my head and smiling, but this day is cheers to my mom. Thanks to you but more thanks to my mom, who, nineteen years ago yesterday mustered enough respiration and will to get me out, and allowed me to see Dexter and Didi and Pocahontas and listen to the loneliness of Feist and the rudeness of Lourd de Veyra. So don’t give gifts to me; give them to my mom, or at least, give her a tap in the back, or oversay “thank you” to her for sending that modest genius daughter of yours to earth, and allowing her to enroll at UP Baguio and smite the security guards and the curious passersby.
I texted her, last night, at the near end of my birthday, “Ma! Birthday ko, thank you, for bringing me here. And for the greetings and the love, and for the allowance, hehe. Treat kita pagbaba ko. I lab you. J” is that cheesy? Can you tell me if so, as in, make a reply below, say to me that was cheesy and it made you puke. Since entering UP Baguio, I became this more expressive daughter kissing my mom in her shoulders or something, giving her personalized cards when it’s her birthday. I said you should be celebrating right now, because nineteen years ago, you bore a child; you added not just another statistic on the population, but another person who would think about the world but continuing to give love to you, and respect to you despite the misunderstandings.
And the rats are coming after me.
So I ended gulping this cola.
There is Friday in Wednesday
First, I was a bit saddened when they said that only elementary and high school students won’t have classes yesterday. I was giggling at the idea of having some early quest for joyfulness starting Tuesday night, whisking the light drinks on the tabletop and mentioning poetries with some friends, but the official announcements made me delay its fulfillment. So what happened? It was nothing but routine, 7am for thesis proposal and more of western literature. But that is definitely a routine worth gorging at. Someone mentioned Sylvia Plath in passing in his blog and I reckoned the chance that I will meet him personally in the future, touch elbows with him and face him with his thin eyeglass on a coffee shop table. And can I mention The Great Gasby, and how it would not let me sleep because Diasy Buchanan refuses to make me cry when I was already wishing for myself to do so. For your February 01 when people are expecting you to go out and own the day like all the others would stop on Session to give you an easy stroll, there is no need for wine and sweet cakes. There is sufficiency in encountering the warriors in old literatures, seeing their eternal frustrations, smelling the wisdom in their pithy pronouncements.
And so I did well with a liter of coke last night and some Mars and a good dinner. Friday would wait and I texted Ma already, to complete this day. Someone else is dying of hunger and others are wondering if they can still get up to work for the next day, how about the medicine bills and the water bill and the food in the table? Let us throw the clichés away. It is not happy birthday, it is “I am very happy to hear your stomach grunt, and to listen to your absent-minded hummings, and to feel your crashing chuckles, Katrina.”