It just strikes me more frequently these days that for how many years now, I’ve been living with three men in the house; three very different men at different stages of their lives; Ja, the more mature one if you happen to look at him, but who--and I only discovered this after years of violent disagreements and long periods of moping—is still very much the boy that lived on Malvar street many years ago, when Davao city was still a rustic town and he was a six year old on a carabao’s back in love with a 10 year old girl up on a camachiles tree; the girl whose black underwear he happened to see when he looked up in a mad rush of newly discovered feelings. Karl, the toddler who made life beautiful for me inside that two-story apartment on Tres de Abril in Cebu when I was still picking up the shattered pieces more than a decade ago, has grown up now to discover the world of men, the world with its own code of silence, a world where he does not allow me to enter supposedly because I, his mother, am a woman; a world where I secretly sneak into, every time he opens up to me to unravel the latest adventures of his teenage life; and Sean, the only one who loves me, no matter how bad I look, no matter how I misbehaved; in love with me like no other person in the world, past and present, but who is now discovering the curiosities of numbers: what twenty pesos can do that five pesos cannot; and what happens when he and his Dad join forces against me! These days, I’ve been reminding them more frequently that I’m supposed to be the only woman in the house; I should be treated like one: delicately, like how they’d treat a princess; or honoured, like how they’d treat a queen!
Instead, I feel quite the opposite. I’m the one who had to stop a difficult writing assignment midway to do an emergency washing for that uniform that Karl had to wear the following day but forgotten; I’m always the one pinned down to count Sean’s breathing every time he had attacks of asthma while Ja keep convincing me at my back that the child was getting better every minute; and then, after finally deciding (on my own) to rush him to the hospital, I had to take all the blame from the doctor, who scolded me for going there almost too late!
I grew up in a house without a man except for my father, who used to be distant, aloof and morose that God had given him three daughters (“Daughters!” as Topol exclaims, his eyes rolling up to the heavens in the movie version of that musicale “Fiddler in the Roof”) and no son! I have survived a girlhood longing for a company of men, never had a playmate except a dog named Janggo, but now that I have male company in abundance, I don’t feel any better at all!
DISCLAIMER (just in case the three men that I love might read this): the writer of this blog disclaims any ownership of this entry, which she claims to have been written by a madwoman while she was asleep or dreaming. The writer, in no uncertain term, claims that the culprit was an impostor who often visited her both in her sleep and wakefulness to mine her life of materials that can be turned into a piece of writing for the sole purpose of entertainment; with the stupid ambition of stealing the world’s attention away from the current meltdown in the US economy.