Without fanfare May 1 has come and gone. I should be seeing Instagram posts of drug-crazed frolicking and all kinds of sexual debauchery on the beach, but for now we should be content with images of bookshelves, ube cheese pandesal, and people who genuinely “woke up like this”. The value of looking pretty has dropped precipitously, at this point we all just need to not die.
May 1 used to have particular significance for PGH interns who have just earned their freedom–they could finally sleep until 9 am and in a few hours feel bored. On the night of April 30 everyone would celebrate the final day of the schoolyear by creating effigies of the most reviled personalities in the hospital which they would then summarily BURN! The criteria for being on this Sunog List vary–sometimes all you need is to have a resting cunt face. Some of my classmates have earned the distinction of being included for 3 consecutive years, and they have grown so inured to being hated on that they wanted to file a protest when they failed to make it the fourth time. “Someone’s bitchier than me now?!” Grizella once laughed as she flipped back her hair and sipped her Vanilla Ice Blended Coffee in Shrine Motherfucker Cafe. For now, competitive bitchiness is deferred until further notice.
Over a decade ago when it was our turn we failed to come up with a list or make an effigy–more from laziness and lack of coordination. By 9 pm everyone trooped to the basketball court, and since we did not have anything to burn Cal just ripped off his clothes, lifted the entire trascription box (the size of a cabinet) and threw it to the fire. We all then got drunk, temporarily succumbed to being emo, and took photos of each other using our hi-tech Canon Powershots digi-cam. I did not have a digital camera, so I used the 2nd worst gadget in all of history–Palm Pilot Zire 72 (the worst was Zire 71).
|Ward 3 taken using the magnificent Zire 72|
After the ceremonies Thines, Ardeekid, Hippura, Burrata, Keyser Sosi and I decided to do some contemplative melodrama and walk along Roxas Boulevard. For some undisclosed reason, then-rumored lovers Hippura and Keyser Sosi seemed to be getting quite annoyed at each other, so Keyser decided to walk ahead of us and disappeared into the night. Hippura seemed quite unaffected, making jokes and laughing the whole night. Looking back, Hippura must have been weeping inside, regretting that Keyser was not holding her hand on our last night as medical interns.
At the time Roxas Boulevard was still teeming with restaurants, and we ended up in the now defunct Mocha Blends. Ardeekid and I showed our affection to Thines by laying our heads on her shoulders and purring like demented kittens hungry for milk. Burrata took our photo (this photo would eventually get me some death threats, which is a story for another day). I would find out the next morning that Keyser has lain on the cement pavement beside Manila Bay all by himself, marinating on his feelings for Hippura as he waited for sunrise to bathe him in clarity. He would marry Hippura seven years later.
Somewhere else in Manila, my other friends Smoketh and Frichmond were having drinks with their sorority sisters. Some of our other classmates were signing out of their final hospital duties. At this point in our lives we were all afraid and sort of excited for what the future would bring, unaware just yet of the crap that delayed adulthood would unleash.