so there i was

lounging on my favorite couch at ride & roll bar trying to enjoy my glass of screwdriver last night. it is ride & roll’s twilight week, and we were set to increase their revenues even by just a percentage. it’s the least we can do for a place that served my favorite adobo rice.

how did i end up with a glass of screwdrive when i was looking forward to a bottle or two of red horse beer?

let’s start with this admission: i am acutely afraid of germs, especially new pathogens from new locales. when i am settled for the day, bathed and happy, and we get a text message for a late-night out jaunt, i wear a cap and a jacket. i compromise “fashion” for my “fear” if only to protect myself from physical contact with strangers and with dirty tables and countertops.

so when i discovered an insect in my half-finished bowl of binagoongan courtesy of ambula at xavierville, i wanted to barf right there on our table. i wanted to get my spritzer of isopropyl alcohol and burn my tongue with endless sprays. i was in a panic, and i was giving out nega vibes. so i went out and brooded and sulked and channeled all of holden caulfield’s cool sense of hatred toward the world.

jazz told me i can kill the germs by drinking vodka or tequila. ride & roll only had ladies’ drinks. the screwdriver and a glass of margarita were my germ busters. i sincerely hope the two glasses worked.

and so there i was lounging on my favorite couch at ride & roll trying to enjoy my glass of screwdriver last night because it is the bar’s twilight week when joel toledo walked in to use the men’s loo at the second floor.

that. is. joel. toledo. i thought.

i’ another thought. i mean i was drinking and i was still channeling holden caulfield but a part of me that’s giddy and perpetually in awe of writers is kicking and screaming to be let out.

i let that part of me out while holding on to a retreating holden persona and said hello to him.

so here are what i got from joel from the two instances we talked: One when i went out to greet him; two when he bade us goodbye and thanked me for the CD of anthology my co-fellows and I at the Silliman Workshop prepared as a token of thanks to our panelists and to friends.

– he’s happy when i introduced him to my friends and i said “SIYA yung book na binili ko!” and he said, “Tama yan, dapat patay na ang writer pag anduun ang work niya”
– he’s leaving for a three-month residency in Iowa
– he’s looking forward to meeting a dean at iowa and meeting ROBERT HASS. yes, meeting ROBERT HASS (i just needed to repeat that).
– he’s been neck-deep in poetry and other works because of the Under the Storm antho and because of Phil. Free Press’s upcoming awards

yesterday was an eventful day. i marched with LGBT people and supporters at the UP pride march under the banner of task force pride and not under our home org’s simply because of a mix-up about our tarp. i met joel toledo in quezon city (the first time was at Silliman University) which was a surreal experience. and i ate something that housed an insect’s icky juices and all its baggage of germs.

i’m still alive, still brooding, still clingy to ride & roll, still toying with the idea of spritzing isopropyl alcohol inside my mouth like a breath freshener. so there.

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