Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Just Dance


Wish You Were Here

"We danced that night, and had our first kiss. But what I remember most is how when I hugged him tightly, he wouldn't let go. Naramdaman ko na ang lungkot lungkot niya. (I felt how terribly sad he was. How forlorn.) 

And I thought to myself: here we are, two lost souls clinging to each other for comfort because we are sad. And at that moment, we only had each other. I realized I needed someone who could give to me, who would bring me joy.  

But it wasn't him."

It was going to be a long night. Raffy was returning to Qatar the next day and we were all gathered to celebrate his departure the best way we know how: bars, boys and alcohol.

At exactly nine in the evening, I tweeted my friends to wake them up. "Wakey, wakey Upper Eastsiders. As a Black Swan ballerina once said … it's time to dance."

We were supposed to meet at around ten thirty for late dinner and then drink. With the prospect of five bars and clubs ahead of us, I was half excited, half dreading the night. Excited to see my friends (and possibly meet a hot guy), while dreading the copious amounts of alcohol that will surely flow and the certainty that the night will not end until the sun rises. One must not forget, after all, that I'm no longer a spring chicken and that these endeavors are more prone to tire me that they used to.

Still, like a good soldier (and friend), I decided to brave the night. By two in the morning, we were in the third bar for the night and downing glasses of Jack Daniel and shots of Jägermeister.

And it was then that I saw a short, lanky young man chatting loudly with his friends at a nearby table. I could tell by the volume of his voice that he was a bit smashed. They raised their glasses, and he suddenly offered the saddest toast I've ever heard.

"For all the wounds that never heal!" he shouted, while beads of perspiration trickled down his face. Startled, I paused midway during a conversation with a guy, and I turned to looked at him closely. He couldn't have been more than 23, 24. I wondered what could have happened that made him say that. But then again, I suspect I already knew the answer.

Much later, I did get a chance to meet him and I teased him about what he said earlier. "So … for all the wounds that never heal, eh?" I said, grinning at him.

"What? Haha. I was just joking," he replied, laughing.

"Time heals all wounds," I told him, offering to him the much-repeated words of Geoffrey Chaucer. He smiled, and nodded briefly, but I knew those words don't mean anything to him. At least, not yet.

I wanted to console him, but how do you sum up the wisdom of years in a few minutes in a packed and noisy club? They were playing a song the crowd loved and people were swaying and dancing, bumping into each other while my friends were already starting to surreptitiously get the numbers of guys they liked.

"You know," I told him, "When I was going through a difficult break-up, whenever I was out at a club, I took comfort in the words of a wise woman who once said, 'Just dance … gonna be okay'."

We both laughed. "It may sound silly … but I did. I danced and danced, and … she was right. It's gonna be okay."

The next time I saw him, he was dancing with his friends. His eyes were still sad, but I could see he was trying. Perhaps, all he has for tonight to comfort him is the alcohol, and the music, and his friends. But that's good enough.

And maybe one day, he'll make it too.



Momel said...

Let me say it now before any of your cheesy, emo-based fruit regulars put the mood to sleep with some comment that imagines it's the next best thing in deep:

We're glad you're writing more, Pogi.

Moving forward, that kid has got a lifetime of hurt ahead of him. So it's a good thing that he's practicing now. For what? For all that hurting.

Of course, I could say "preparing," but with the way he's getting himself hammered, I elected to use "practicing" instead.

Elias Jayson Tolentino said...

You always have the way to make any reader feel vulnerable.

Thanks for your words, K. I miss you too. I think I am going to bump with you soon.

Mac Callister said...

Sana inaliw mo siya kane hehe.

You're always at these clubs kane, happy happy every week ba yan? Hihihih

Spiral Prince said...

story of us. hahaha.