It was the first three hours of the year. I think Mama's absence is finally sinking in. Five hours ago, I was very excited preparing what was supposed to be our new year dinner for me, Papa and my cousin, Lael. My other cousin, Hansel went home to his mother for them to celebrate the turning of the year together with his siblings by her. The food served on our table were the spaghetti and palabok
left over from Timmy's youngest daughter's birthday last night. She and her mom had been very nice to let me bring some of the food home after they learned that I will be the one who will be preparing for the dinner. I don't like to imagine what could have happened if I were really
the one who cooked for us. Everything on our table were from other people save from the barbecue my father asked me to buy from the mall earlier, in the unavailibility of pizza anywhere. We had left over adobo, menudo and puto also from Timmy and lumpiang sariwa
from Joy's sister, Ate Janice.
I have always looked forward to these kind of events, events that are normally shared by families and people who love each other. It has been innate in me to expect something great to happen every christmas and new year only to feel disappointed most of the time. It makes me feel like a small kid, watching a sideshow, anticipating that a magical spectacle is about to happen but only get to see the usual parade of acrobats hovering above, twisting their boneless bodies and nothing more than just that. It is something in me that I have yet to outgrow. I think it is high time for me to accept that moments like this and days like this are actually nothing more than just any other day.
Without the calendar being invented, this day would not have been any special, because after the spectacular array of pyrothechnics overhead across the entire metropolis, after the deafening cluster of fireworks around and after the new year dinner, rigorously and neatly prepared has been consumed by you alone with your dear cousin as your father announced that he is ready to sleep two hours before the countdown only to realize that he is not actually sleeping but talking to someone apparently not your mom over his mobile phone on his bedroom with doors locked, it is just like any other day. It might be the new year, but look around - nothing has actually changed.
Lael and me as we watched the fireworks outside.