Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twenty four



I was born exactly twenty four years ago now past midnight by the early hours of the twenty first of June in some shady hospital somewhere in Manila. Every year, it seems like a rite to pass this very same tunnel getting crampier. There is the same old spaghetti recipe in the house, dusty bottles of booze getting kicked by the floor, empty buckets of fried chicken, missing jig saw puzzles and swelling candles on top of some rambling chocolate cake.

There’s nothing really earth-shattering about turning twenty four. If you’re seven, like how I used to, there would be party thrown by your parents with balloons and hotdogs on sticks; thirteen and the pimples would start arriving; on eighteen you get a ballot and a driver’s license; by twenty one, they say adulthood comes to us men. But come twenty-four, a twenty four is essentially as simple as being twenty four. No certificates. No fireworks.

Twenty four could mean independence to most, an apartment of your own, a stable 8-hour job and a nice girlfriend or boyfriend to take into some fancy dinner at the end of the week. Although, at twenty four, I’m still the same boy who doesn’t wash his own underpants; who, with the exception of instant pancit canton, canned tuna and sardines, would never dare face a stove. I’m still the guy, who, from time to time, would still crawl on her mother’s bedroom to sleep beside her, demand his father via overseas call to give him money because a sale is on its way at his favorite line of garments and moan over the fact that prince charming hits the traffic over the moon.

Twenty four years and three times I fell deeply in love – all unrequited. Been robbed twice, one with an ice-pick threatening to slash through my throat the other when the culprit willingly lift my cellphone from my backpack without permission. I’ve been molested once by an old man, probably in his late forties, inside a bus on my way to school when I was still in college. Then there are two attempted suicides; two major hospitalizations; and two important people I recently lost, which I think I will forever mourn.

This, of course, is not some rambling birthday post. How capricious and hypocritical it would be if I would lament on my birthday the fact that I am poor, dateless (not to mention sexless) and that I am an aspiring writer, who not only could often not write, but also does not know the proper use of colons and semi-colons. The country is going down-hill in some wild avalanche and being the “youth-of-today,” a large chip is bestowed upon us in terms of two categories. One, there’s the screaming poverty munching a huge scale of Filipinos everyday while in government, corruption remains to be a status quo. Second, despite the rallying marches, holding placards and streamers of protests, you have to think of a way to rock your look for some party, wear some Givenchy long sleeved top paired with an H&M jeans, after you’ve shouted the words “imperialist” and “capitalist” in any street of Manila.

There could be a lot of things swirling inside the mind of a twenty-four year old man; like slaying dragons and inventing spells; being into relationships and having imaginary sex; learning to speak French and being able to ride a kite someday. But more often than those, I am afraid I have to admit that I'm actually afraid.


For the next twenty-four years, I could still be the same boy who does not wash his own underpants and who still doesn’t even know how to properly fry an egg. I could still be dateless. I could still be robbed. I’m afraid the child in my heart won’t be able to rise and handle it all, sail within the roaring waves of change and stand with the seasons of my life.

The past twenty four years, life has not been fair to me most, but this very same “unfair-life” gave me the simplest but the greatest joy I ever had. I may be lacking things and stuffs most of people of my age have, but sitting here in our rusty roof typing away words in my cursed laptop while I think of chocolate cakes and an old family spaghetti recipe with Tanita Tikaram singing on the background, I think I am mad enough to think I could survive another twenty four years like this.

____

Well I've been afraid of changin'
Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
And I'm getting older too

-Landslide by Stevie Nicks

37 reaction(s):

Juan der Last said...

Milestones are all in the mind, DB. Birthdays aren't special just because somebody else said they were. They are special because you are. Naks.

Happy birthday! :)

Mr. Chan said...

Happy Birthday desole boy! :)

Grabe ang summary ng 24 years mo :)

Be positive lang!

lonewolf said...

have to agree with mr. chan, always have a positive attitude in life


HaPPY BIRTHDAY

Aris said...

happy birthday, db! :)

Supladong Office Boy said...

Bon anniversaire monsieur désolé! =)


PS. i love the way you write. (parang Rihanna lang.. lol)

c - e - i - b - o - h said...

eto pa..

Happy Birthday!!!

^_^

Ms. Chuniverse said...

Happy Birthday DB!!!!

Mwahtsups!


:)

nOx said...

maligayang bati, db! mwah!

my-so-called-Quest said...

happy birthday! :D

Leah said...

Awww.. Life may be hard, but it also is very beautiful. We may get tired of Life, but we shouldn't get tired of LIVING.

Happy Birthday, DB! Goodluck! 24 ka na.. Binata ka na. lol. :)

ram said...

happy birthday...

Jepoy Dee said...

happy 24th bday to my dear anne hathaway. :)

miss you :)

Sean said...

aww, i like what juan der last wrote.

happy birthday db!!! hope you have a good one!

Nate said...

happy birthday DB!! ikaw na ang may madramang birthday..

Will said...

Happy birthday to you. Smile and we will all smile with you. Take care DB!

the green breaker said...

I take that you haven't seen my DM in Twitter yet? But Happy Birthday again DB. :) You are not alone.

egG. said...

happy birthday......

smile... :)

RoNRoNTuRoN said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Mr. G said...

Happy birthday!

Alter said...

aylabyu na talaga. hb ulet. mwah. see ya later.

KikomaxXx said...

para sa kaibigan kong si ehem KUYA ROBIN dahil matanda ka pa pala sa akin.. hehehe... maligayang kaarawan sana ay palagio ka paring young at heart.... hahaha

^travis said...

Happy birthday!

Xall Percé said...

Happy 24th "First Breath Anniversary"!

Mac Callister said...

happy b-day naman to my "crush" hehehe.dateless?sana sinabi mo sakin magkakandarapa ako i-date ka ngayon din!!!!

more success in life and good health yan ang wish ko sau desole-baby...chos!!!

YOW said...

Happy Birthday DB. :) God bless.

kalansaycollector said...

happy birthday!
i love this post bilang nakakarelate ako bilang i'll be turning 24 next month naman. hehe

dateless?
date tayo! ahaha kung makaaya naman daw ako agad agad.

howell cheers for another 24 years! :)

orally said...

Happy Happy Birthday DB!
.. and please lang iwas-iwasan ang attempted suicide- it's dangerous to your health lolz.
CHEERS!!!

Kane said...

DeeBee, maligayang kaarawan. You sound free.. and happy. =)

Thank you for your kind words. It helps cheer up and old man like me. Enjoy your youth =) These are the best days of your life.

Kane

Mr. Brightside said...

Hey! Heypiburdey!

Akalain mo yun, this year we celebrate 24 wonderful-painful-crazy years here on planet earth.

Enjoy your day!

- Mr. Brightside

P.S.
In experiencing pain and all the negative things life could throw at you, there is always a turning point. Always look forward to the brighter side of life.

rudeboy said...

Actually, 24 is one of those so-so ages: neither here nor there.

When you turn 25 next year, then you should have a big celebration. You'd be a quarter of a century old, and 25 is a nice number, fit for a milestone.

Big birthday bashes should occur every five years thereafter: 30, 35, 40, 45, and so on.

Nevertheless, happy 24th, db. And many more to come.

SunnyToast said...

Happy birthday:) count your blessing! life is good!

shenanigans said...

eto na!


HAPPY BEERDAY!

Mikel said...

Happy birthday DB!:) Ang galing lang ng recollections mo.hehe

Viktor Saudad said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (tho late na)


24, is a milestone - you assess your growth as a person. for some it's a pitstop - for people to look back at how far they've gone and to look forward where they're heading to.

I think 24 e yung quiescent, yet crucial moment to take things slow to reassess yourself, get that a steady foothold.

we only get by with 24 hours. pinagpala na tayo kung may sususunod na 24 hours. What more pa kung pinagkalooban ng 24 years? That itself is a celebration.

Yas Jayson said...

dolce vita, messr!

Nimmy said...

Ading! Belated Happy Birthday!!!

Peter said...

Joyeaux anniversaire monsieur.

 

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