|Failed morphing into an iced tea.|
I recently had a series of Zoom/Messenger meetings with different sets of friends, which was something I didn’t know I needed. At some point nobody’s really talking any more, each one just doing his own thing like morphing into a glass of iced tea or watching the horrific Too Hot To Handle–apparently I just wanted to feel like real people are there with me, that I’m not lonely nor neglected. Yesterday I met with college friends–Groinielyn aka Groin aka Peyronie’s Disease, based in Melbourne, who was at the time of the call driving to the supermarket; Film director Joni, based in Seattle, who was having his night cap whiskey; and Chel, who was in Paranaque and having virtual breakfast with me.
As always, whenever I talk with old friends I get infuriated (and a bit pleased, to be honest) every time I regale them with stories of the past and nobody ever remembers anything. I have a special ability to recall in detail events that happened decades ago–as long as they are useless, have no implication in life, and do not improve me as a person in any way. This is in contrast to my inability to remember anything that I’ve just read from a medical text book two minutes ago. I always tell my friends that I am the Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl of the group. In DC Comics Barbara Gordon is eidetic, ie, her superpower is her memory.
Chel flashed an old photo on the Zoom screen of the four of us drinking in a restaurant.
“The year was 2007,” I started authoritatively. “We were having dinner in Gerry’s Grill in celebration of Joni’s birthday. At the table across us was the actor Allan Paule. While we were eating Joni discussed Allan Paule’s filmography and I told you that I saw his movie Ang Paraiso Ni Efren at the UP Film Center in 1999”. Cricket sounds, blank early-onset Alzheimer’s stares.
So I excitedly narrated the plot of the movie that I saw in 1999 the way I narrated it while we were in Gerry’s Grill in 2007. Ang Paraiso Ni Efren is a surprisingly poignant movie with a hilarious script. It is about this guy Efren who keeps his gay lover (Allan Paule), his wife, and his female lover all in the same house. My favorite scene is when the prostitute Anna Capri sort of rebukes the gay character of Allan Paule with “Bakit ka nasasaktan pag sinabihan kitang bakla, eh bakla ka naman talaga?” to which Allan Paule retorts with “Bakit ka nasasaktan pag tinawag kitang puta, eh puta ka naman talaga?”
Chel then showed us a photo of me singing in a videoke with Joni, and if I zoomed the photo close enough, I could see the stud earring on my swollen left ear.
“The year was also 2007,” I narrated. It was the summer of 2007, and Joni, Chel, and I were supposed to meet in Festival Mall for drinks at around 4 pm. Of course they were spectacularly late. In an unwarranted rebellious whim I decided to have my ear pierced and went to, of course, Silverworks! I watched as the saleslady punched an earring through a guy’s ear, and I suddenly became afraid of all the possible viruses I could get. So I bought a cheap-ass stud earring and told her, “Ako na ang bahala sa pagbubutas.” I dashed to the restroom, looked at my determined self in the mirror, and examined my left ear.
“I mean it’s probably not that painful,” I told myself and then proceeded to manually press the earring on my earlobe. I started to feel the skin getting nicked by the sharp post of the earring, so with a quick motion I pushed it further through the meat of the earlobe. Blood started to drip out. Apparently I pierced the lobe but failed to puncture the entire metallic post through it.
“POTA!” I screamed in pain.
But there was no turning back, I was already being an idiot, so might as well complete the process. With bloodied fingers I pushed the post further until I felt a “give” signifying that it went through. After washing some of the blood off I noticed that the earring was awkwardly placed too close to the inferior edge of the pinna. “DAMN IT!” I whined. I walked out of the rest room and went around the mall, going to the bookstore, the toy store, Jollibee, etc clutching my macerated left ear with a handkerchief. And to think I was afraid of a blasted infection.