03.10.2007 -17 °C
I remember Meredith Grey saying something in that fabulous drama show of hers. Something about people not growing up. That growing up is just a myth. That she has yet to see anyone who has truly grown up.
I was reminded of this when I met a few of my college barkada the other night.
We met in Starbucks 6750.
As usual, I was first to arrive for our 7PM scheduled reunion of sorts.
I was always the early bird, even back then in college.
Donne was next in line. He was my gay bestfriend back in school.
"Girl, asan na ang mga haliparot?" Donne asked me as he sat down next to my chair.
"Hey! I missed you, too!" I replied sarcastically.
"Yuh-uhuh. Missed you too and all that," Donne said, lighting a cigarette, "Joke lang! Namiss rin kita bakla! Kamusta naman ang career mo as a telephone operator?"
"Prosperous naman," I answered, chuckling.
"Well, if ever you give it up, you know naman na you always have a spot in our public events chuchu," he said. Donne works as an "eventologist".
"So how's the lovelife?" he asked.
"What lovelife?" I snorted, "The last relationship I had was early this year and it lasted a whole week."
"Isang linggo?" Donne laughed, "That's a new record for you."
"I know right," I said.
Just then, another friend arrived. Si Petite. Our resident Party and Kikay Girl. She was with some guy we didn't know.
"Hey hey hey!" Petite shrieked, attracting everyone's attention for miles around.
"Hey hey ka diyan!" Donne responded sniffily, "You're uber-late."
"Hello? Siyempre kelangan kong mag-ayos ng fez ko noh?" Petite replied, "You think pinanganak akong ganito ka-flawless? Make-up yan mga bakla!"
She and her boy took the other seats next to us.
Donne and I were quiet. We were waiting for her to introduce her guy.
But it seemed that she had no plans of doing that, so...
"Hi, I'm Donne and this is Buquir," introduced Donne, reaching out a hand.
The guy, smiled, shook our hands, and answered, "Jhun."
"Jhun?" Donne asked, an eyebrow raised.
"Jhun," answered Petitie.
"Jhun," answered the guy.
"With an H?" asked Donne.
"With an H," answered Petite, smiling, "Parang Mhark, Rhey, Rhoy, Jhennifer, at kung anek-anek pa na mga pangalan sa kamunduhan na may H."
I was trying not to laugh. May issue kasi kami ni Donne sa mga taong may innapropriate "H" ang pangalan.
"I don't mean to be rude, pero mag-dyowa ba kayo?" I asked them both.
Petite and Jhun looked at each other and she answered, "Oo, I guess."
"I guess?" Donne was confused, "Anong I guess?"
But before Petite could answer two more folks arrived.
Si Ben at si Toffer. Our resident straight guys.
"Hello boys!" Donne greeted them.
The both of them gave us hi-five's.
"Oy tsong, pumayat ka ah!" Toffer said to me.
I was happy to have heard this, "Talaga?"
"Oo, in fairness, dalawa na lang baba mo," Ben pointed, "At may hint of a neck ka na."
I threw some tissue at him.
"So kamusta naman ang mga buhay niyo?" asked Ben.
Nobody immediately answered. We were all looking at each other. I guess, we all suddenly realized that's it's been almost five years since we've all been together like this.
"Grabe, adults na pala tayo," I said, out of the blue.
Petite laughed, "Feeling ko freshman pa rin ako."
"In fairness, bihis freshman ka pa rin," Donne said, smirking.
"Kaming dalaw ni Ayin ang unang kinasal sa barkada," Toffer mentioned.
"Siguro kaya di nakapunta si Ayin kasi nagsesex pa sila ng asawa niya.
"They've been married for almost a year," Ben said, "I'm sure medyo mild na ang sex life nila."
Suddenly, Jhun stood up and said, "Excuse me." Then he headed for the CR inside the cafe.
We looked at his retreating figure.
"He doesn't talk much, does he?" I asked.
"Baka naubusan ng H," Donne answered.
Petite smiled, enigmatically.
"Ano ba talaga? Dyowa mo ba siya?" Donne pestered.
"Oo na hindi," Petitie said.
The rest of us didn't say anything to that.
"Kasi, may dyowa siyang iba," Petite said shyly.
"Uso ba ang kerida sa pamilya niyo?" Donne asked.
"Eh may dyowa din naman akong iba eh," Petite said even more shyly.
We all burst out laughing at that.
"Ikaw naman, Buquir," Ben pointed at me, "How's the call center life?"
"It has its moments," I answered nonchalantly.
"Hmmm... Me thinks you are not being entirely honest," Ben replied, wiggling his eyebrows.
I laughed, "Andami na kasi nangyari sa akin sa PS eh. I don't know anymore if it's really worth my time staying there."
"Sa ating lahat, ikaw ang di ko akalaing magtatagal sa ganiyang klase ng work," Donne mused.
I was surprised. Donne always supported my decisions.
"Don't get me wrong," Donne explained, "I have no issues with your line of work. It's just that, well, it's so not you. I'd imagine you'd end up as a screenwriter or a journalist even."
"Oo nga, Buquir. Isn't that what you always wanted to do before?" Toffer asked, "Didn't you always want to write for a living?"
I couldn't answer immediately.
"At least, mukha ka naman successful sa PeopleSupport," Donne said.
Successful? Ako? Haaaaaaaaaaay...
"Enough with my career," I breathed, "Let's talk about something else."
We were all quiet for a few moments.
Toffer asked the group suddenly, "Did you ever imagine back then during college that you would turn out to be what you are right now?"
Donne immediately responded, "Ako I've known back then na I wanted to do this kind of work. Arranging fabulous parties may be hard, but they do have a lot of great perks." Perks being the guys he meets, I guess.
Ben said, "I know I'm not happy. I mean, my job pays well, pero it's not who I am."
"Eh di ba Marketing Grad ka?" I ask.
"Yah," he responded.
"And you work in San Miguel's marketing department?" I added.
"Yah," he replied.
"And you like to drink lots of beer..." I finished.
"Ulol!" Ben laughed.
We were silent again, sipping our drinks.
"Love life na lang talaga ang kulang sa akin," Donne breathed.
"Ako rin," I added.
"Ako rin," Petite added.
"Oist! May diyowa ka na!" Donne scolded, "speaking of which, asan na ang Jhhhuuun mo? Nasa bhanyo pha bah?"
"Neknek mo bakla ka," Petite said, "Nagtext siya kanina pa. Magkita na lang daw kami later pag tapos na tayo."
"Ay ganun! Di niya feel ang presence natin?" Donne was scandalised.
"How dhare heeem!" I said.
The rest of the patrons in 6750 were looking at us really bad because our laughter was soooo loud.
"O, san tayo after this?" Ben asked.
"Tagaytay tayo!" Donne suggested.
"Embassy na lang!" said Petite.
"May shabu pa ako sa bahay," Toffer said.
"Ang sosyal mo pala!" Petite laughed.
"Patintero na lang tayo sa parking lot ng school natin," I said.
We left the cafe, laughing, sounding like a bunch of school children who were determined never to grow up.