Katrina’s arrival warrants leaves from work. I take vacation leaves so I could manage my schedule. Sometimes I can sense that it’s not doing us that much good, being together, just us, talking about what we’ve been talking about since the day we discovered this extraordinary activity of actively sitting around with beer, cigarettes or coffee, pronouncing ourselves “depressed”. But as a testament to our Will & Grace-like fondness for each other, we almost always let the other one have his/her time to shine, if, on a previous sitting-around session, the one has established that his/her ‘depression’ is more important. We’re not really depressed. What we are, are unsatisfied 25-year olds who ask the most obvious 25 year old questions to each other, which, if you’ve ever been the type of 20-something who gives this particular age area the biggest deal, you might know which questions. We ask the questions that matter: What makes a person happy? What are my goals? and Where is he/she(!)? and come up with no answers either of us could be happy about. It’s like we’re co-authors on a self-help book about The Hardships 25 Year-olds Face that nobody reads. She’s maybe second of maybe just 2 girls I’ve ever had a serious relationship with but I sometimes detest being with her and being hopelessly contemplative.
She arrives from the gloomy but glittery Middle East and I rearrange activities and budgets temporarily. Like all other nights, it’s coffee first somewhere in Ayala, she waits for me, I stall but not entirely on purpose, and she texts me profanity on my way to her seat at typically a Starbucks because I’m late. Then dinner at a nice place but in a cheap one because Makati and Middle East exhaust both of our funds and it’s not like we really eat. I secretly anticipate her nasty habit of summoning people up wherever we are, despite it being 90% of the time awkward since I can’t relate to some of her peoples. Since she left, I wanted to tell her that people started to lead Katrina-less lives and there are only a few of us who would file leaves or get off work earlier than usual, just to be with her and her smokes. She knows it I’m sure so I refrain from telling.
People are unresponsive to her summons on this particular night so it’s just us two. We’re both not crazy about being without any other company but we’re friends forever! It’s not nice to ditch a friend who just arrived from wherever, but really, it’s just that when it comes to her, I’m powerless. So we go to Metrowalk and the place reminds me of some of the reasons why I think it’s occasionally unhealthy to just be with her and nobody else mainly because the place has such a lousy aura and crowd. It’s not just that one bar but the whole plaza. A terrible band is playing and we camp in an area that would make it impossible to not hear anything. The vocalist sings a bad cover of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ which was really so bad. What’s worse is that the group of guys next to us is genuinely having fun. It doesn’t even matter that they looked like they were having just the right amount of fun. I could not stand the guy mouthing the words to the song as if he’s not hearing something awful. Then out comes washed out PBA players Alvin Patrimonio, Atoy Co and their ilk. What should a group of sad, sorry looking girlfriend-clutching guys do but take pictures. It was really bad because one of them had to request for another shot on two separate occasions just because the first one probably was a bad shot because the picture taker was an idiot.
We’ve had enough so we enter lousy bar and singer songwriter was singing songs that are requested on Love radio and I prefer this over the mini-concert outside. Inside the bar were call center agents on their day off. One of them, a short, gayish guy destroys Alicia Keys’ ‘If I Ain’t Got You’. They were having a sing-off with the PBA celebs’ sidekicks. PBA guys were inside too and it wasn’t 2o minutes that we get in that the bitches who were singing along to Total Eclipse gets in and requests to take a snapshot with Allan Caidic. They really suck.
10 minutes later, one of Katrina’s peoples arrives and we had a really awkward moment because he was going to embrace me because he thought I was Steve, a guy he was going to embrace because he was supposed to know him but actually didn’t. And so we don’t embrace. We hated the scene but we know we’re part of the very crowd we’re openly detesting. And that’s what I love about her, that she can tolerate me and these people. Nights such as this deserve an early finale, but I really missed girlfriend.