Monday, May 7

Three Six

Was wondering whether I should say something about my birthday that just passed, as a thousand other thoughts swim in my mind like a teeming mass of little dots waiting to burgeon before me in a frenzy. Maybe I should anyway. As per usual, nothing of significance happened that day, except that I finally saw Makati after having been cooped up in the south for so long. I brought my little boy with me, and I am glad that Gabby seemed to flash back the same feeling of delight that I have at having seen some sort of civilization. It’s awesome to see that buildings have scraped the skies much higher than when I was last working there, and with growing curiosity I started taking snapshots, however much to Gabby’s annoyance in the end. People were getting busier and were dressing up much smarter. I felt like Gabby and I were like country mice meeting up with city mice cousins in a big scary place.

We had lunch with the cousin and my brother, they were both on a short break from work, and so it was down to the usual small talk of the urbane, and eating hastily while glancing at their wristwatches every so often, which I excuse them for, as I understand the corporate culture. I had a feeling though that I will never succeed in living in their kind of environment anymore, the hurried and harried life, as I prefer to spend and vacillate my slaving days in a mound of brambles, meaning the not so modern dusty south part of manila.

After saying our goodbyes and blowing kisses in the air, I dragged my son to glorietta. The afternoon heat was dreadful and I needed to down something on my parched throat. Gabby was complaining that he was tired and I had for a few moments needed to carry him to the shade. While in glorietta I was assailed with a tempting itch to buy something for myself, probably a new pair of shoes—fortunately I resisted the urge and remembered that my son has been egging me for a “yellow truck”. I know that a matchbox car would be quite harmless, but what do you know, I wasn’t prepared for the realization that my afternoon with him would lead me to.

We had left glorietta for toy kingdom and were walking around in circles for half an hour inside the store as he could not decide which one to get. We pretty much walked past hotwheels and matchbox cars, and I thought that he might ask for something really big and expensive, and I was gearing up myself up to say NO, just in case he hauls a thousand peso worth of toy from the shelf. He looks from one aisle to another, and this time I didn’t say a word. He took my hand and he led me. And after looking up and down the shelves, he made his verdict: let’s go home. I uttered an almost inaudible yes, but I said wait, are you sure. And the little boy couldn’t have been more resolute: Yes mommy, let’s go home.

I’ve been waiting for many a weary years to avenge myself for some unreasonable habit of spending in the past, and I finally see it coming, to save my life on my thirty-sixth birthday. My son, a little four year old thing, teaches me how to say no and mean no, and never look back.

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