Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday while I’m trying to do some washing

I hear someone belting your Nonoy Zuniga songs in the neighborhood. In one of the houses, though I can’t tell which one, the man’s voice drifts, singing the lyrics in raw Tagalog. The voice is a mellifluous one, which, when scaling the high notes, tends to fade. I've become keenly aware of the ravages of time and broken dreams in the singer's voice.  This is my second Sunday here. I am inside a tall black gate that protected us from the neighborhood. To our right somewhere, as we come out the gate, lies the bank of the Pasig river.  I can see the grime-covered skinny feet of children playing outside the fence. I remember how, back home, we would look forward to our songs by now. Sean has outgrown us lately, so there's only the two of us to drop by the Booksale first to find some old copies of Harper's or The New Yorker. Then, we would take a seat at the nearest KFC, where you would take out the notes containing our song numbers, reviewing them one by one, while I read the magazines. Now, I'm here alone, watching the video of you singing Paul Anka’s Times of your Life on my phone. I see very clearly now how your shoulders sag, and how your chest heave deeply as you gulp for breath in between your song lines. I want to go home.

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