#30DayWritingChallenge: My worst birthday.

Day Eight: My worst birthday.

I drew a blank on this one.

I can’t say I’ve had a bad birthday, ever. Boring birthdays, maybe; but never bad. The normal personal Mercury Retrograde field that surrounds me (as in, there is an even tinier Mercury perpetually revolving around me in reverse) seems to give me a break during my birthdays.

So I can list some good birthdays I can remember but, for the life of me, I can’t remember a bad one.

I didn’t grow up with my family throwing birthday parties. We were a lower class family (in the beginning) and we could not afford it. I always thought that birthday parties were a strange amusement held by other people. By the time I was old enough to know why my mother would only cook pancit for the family during my or my siblings’ birthdays, it did not bother me that much.

The strangest birthday I had was when I was thirteen. Previously, my birthdays fell a week before the start of classes. On the year of my thirteenth birthday, the academic calendar changed and moved the beginning of classes a week earlier.

It was my first day in high school. The grade school I went to did not continue to high school, so I was in a new school with a new set of classmated. During the entire day, the teachers kept using my birthday as an example for the little forms we submit that has our personal information.

“So if today was your birthday…” the teachers would begin. I was amused and uncomfortable in case they found out that someone in the class was indeed celebrating his birthday and every subject from that point on will have a five-minute interruption as everyone sang “Happy Birthday”.

Good thing that never happened.

When I became an adult, I started celebrating my birthdays either by inviting some close friends over, or by going off the grid and disappearing for a day.

Birthdays are strange days. A part of me is always amused at how another part of me stresses out days before it arrives and plans out what to do. I mean, for the rest of the world, who cares if it was your birthday, right? One can spend his entire birthday sleeping and it will hardly make any difference in the larger scheme of things.

But fuck the larger scheme of things. One great thing about the human experience is how easily we can overlook that and just think about ourselves. Birthdays are wonderful!

Anywho. Today is the birthday of several friends. Maligayang bati, Alek, Jes, Randy, at James!

Shinji holding a birthday cake.

Image of Shinji Ikari holding a cake was taken from Tumblr.

The dancer fellow.

There are two birthday reminders with the guy’s name in my phone’s calendar. One from Facebook and another which I manually created — one of the few birthday reminders I actually setting myself, usually reserved for a few people I am fond of. I was very fond of the guy, you see.

He was a dancer, someone I met randomly through an SMS hookup service years back. Normally, I don’t fall for guys I meet that way.

He was very particular with his hygiene, I noticed the first time he came to my apartment years ago. There was a large bottle of mouthwash in his bag, among other toiletries; he wanted to make sure his breath was fresh when he kisses a guy. His kissed sweetly, with a slight hesitation. His lips tasted pleasantly of spearmint. There was affection there, even warmth, despite that encounter being a casual hook-up. We were gentle with each other during sex.

I was smitten.

I invited him to stay over for dinner, even brought him with me to meet my co-workers that night when we went for drinks. He had an aura of ease and unpretentious kindness. My female companions were charmed, occasionally asking about him days later. It’s his way of smiling, the same comforting smile you see in young children.

He called me “Dee”, a nickname he came up with; the only person who did so. He was not a geek, and not one to intellectualize things. He was not book smart and his text messages were very jeje. It surprised me how quickly I learned not to mind. He was a beautiful person and a beautiful soul.

But he didn’t live in Manila so I didn’t see him often. I never saw him dance — a shame because he sometimes walked as if he was gliding; like he was merely half how he really weighed.

Carl Cancino

Several years back, when I still could disappear during my birthday, I spent my birthday with him. He toured me around Angeles, and we spent the night drinking. That was the last time we made love: it was quick and cut short when we heard his cousins open the door of the next bedroom. Soon after, he went to culinary school, stopped using his phone, then finally left the country. He even stopped using Facebook. His profile only occasionally updated by tagged photos from relatives, a mute reminder of his absence.

Most of the guys I loved fit a certain mold: eloquent intellectuals with brash personalities. He was a stark exception. We never became boyfriends and we probably never will.

But today is his birthday and even if we’re no longer in contact, I still wish him a happy birthday and hope that it’s as happy as that birthday I spent with him.

Hospital visit.

I was about to heat water for the second batch of pasta when Mond approached me and asked help to bring Leo to the hospital. Mond and Leo are my flatmates, and Leo had been ill all afternoon. Less than an hour ago, I hear Leo throwing up again, and I already asked Mond if we should bring him to a doctor.

There was a man who just died at the Emergency Room when we arrived at the hospital. His body was on a gurney by the door of the ER, with his wife next to him and crying. His head had not been covered yet. I looked away and told Mond and Leo that maybe it’s not yet a good idea to approach the ER.

A minute later, I saw the gurney pushed away from the ER; the man’s face was finally covered. Mond and I accompanied Leo to the ER to have a doctor see him; I went out when we were told Leo could only have one companion with him. It felt eerie, sitting there alone at the near-empty waiting are for visitors.

Today was my weirdest birthday ever, so far.