Trying to Be Jolly on New Year's Eve
(In the family room, Grandfather, my official photographer, took this shot. Three p.m., before taking a bath, before visitors started arriving, I gave myself a haircut—undercut, as usual. I'm wearing the red long-sleeves my Tita Mely gifted me with and the Bench t-shirt my sister Niña sent me.)
On New Year's Eve, a celebration was held at the house. Visitors consisted of cousin Mike and wife Marivic's friend families. The occasion was relatively fun, considering that seldom do I get to interact with many people here. Some of the visitors were busy with the usual chitchats, the children with the Playstation Dance Revo, Papa watching the pesky but lovable children, and others watching DVD. I got to converse with some of them. As the night progressed, I decided to situate myself on the stairs, where it was relatively quiet; I excitedly got the cordless phone, took the phone card from my wallet, and dialed my sister Karen's cellular phone. After several tries, I finally got through. I got to talk with Mom, but we were cut only after a few minutes; I learned in my next call the next day that the battery of Karen's cellphone ran low. I just couldn't share the fun almost everyone in the house were having. In fairness, I was able to join a few moments of the laughter, but it was shortlived; I was simply missing the pure fun I used to savor during New Year at home. Not a single crack of a watusi nor a boom of a rebentador could be heard outside—a blatant reminder that I'm really somewhere far away from the Philippines.
Nevertheless, I was able to forget my sadness for a while when, about two hours before the strike of midnight, the adults decided to play Pictionary; I, included.
Seconds before 12, almost everyone started to do the countdown...4...3...2...1...Happy New Year!, and greeted the new year with glasses of champagne and other kinds of wine, the names of which I was not quite particular. (I take pride in myself being a non-alcoholic.) Like a Death Star droid, I joined the rest in greeting the new year albeit uttering the phrase with a monotonous voice which was obviously lacking libido.
I had a glass of piña colada, after drinking which I got red as expected—almost as red as the undershirt I was wearing. Then, back to my own shell...there on the stairs, the only area devoid of fun and laughter, where I quietly sat and read The Book Lover's Book to commune with the person who gave me that book.