The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Morbid and hilarious, what's the difference anyway?

March 5, 2006

Grandfather's 91st birthday. Can you realize that?

Yes, already 91 but Grandfather is still alive, still ambulatory and coherent once in every while.

We gave him a lunch party at Pampanga Restaurant a while ago. Friends and relatives here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, attended the occasion and made Grandfather happy, at least for the moment.

I said, "happy at least for the moment," because virtually every night for the past several months, Grandfather keeps on bugging me, telling me: "Gusto ko nang mamatay. Wala na naman akong gagawin pa sa buhay ko," to which my usual reply is a shrug of the shoulders and,

"Hay, sawa na 'kong marinig 'yan. Sa 'kin n'yo lang naman lagi sinasabi e. Ba't hindi n'yo 'yan masabi sa mga anak n'yo? Sila ang dapat nakaririnig ng mga salita n'yong 'yan. Apo lang ho ako. At dalawampu't dalawa ang lahat ng apo n'yo, hindi ba? Sabihin n'yo rin ho sa kanilang lahat 'yang mga sinasabi n'yo lagi sa 'kin. Tulig na tulig na 'ko e. Mas kailangan nila ang mga salita n'yong 'yan. Ako ho e marami nang natutunan sa inyo. Sukat ba namang magtatatlong taon na 'kong nakatali sa inyo e. Sila naman ang pangaralan n'yo."

After which I would usually get back to what I was doing, better yet put the headphones back to my ears and up the volume to full blast, so I wouldn't hear Grandfather's whines and yaps. Grandfather's perpetual rants are a perfect example of the idiomatic expression "barking at the wrong dog," or was it "tree"? Whatever. Anyway, I'm neither a dog nor a tree. Better yet, "expressing ire on the wrong person." Sounds better? More linguistically correct? Err, is there anything linguistic here, by the way? Oh well, pardon my peskiness. I'm just playing with words, trying to make fun of my pathetic situation.

Grandfather gave a speech to the delight of many of the attendees. I said "many" because not all heard what Grandfather said; he spoke without a microphone. (By the way, the official shortened word for microphone is spelled "mic" not "mike." I actually know a bunch of people who write mike instead of mic even when what they're pertaining to is the microphone and not someone whose whole name is most likely Michael. Thus the stupid sound check blah-blah "Mike Tess, Mike Tess," instead of "Mic test, mic test." I abhor people who make fun of languages. Not that I'm being a killjoy, but this habit has a psychological and subliminal effect, especially when the audience are children; they end up learning the language in a wrong way.)

Grandfather's speech was short and simple. I saw and heard him practice that sentence for a couple of nights. In fact, I was the one who suggested that he say something on his birthday.

"I want to thank everybody who attended my 91st birthday."

There, short and simple, one-sentence speech. But, we should commend him for this. Perfecting this took him a couple of nights' practice in front of the mirror. No, just kidding about the mirror thing. But yeah, he practiced what he would say for a couple of nights.

Also, everyone in the party should have heard the unedited version of Grandfather's speech. I wondered why he cut his speech short. He had all the time this afternoon. We would have allowed him to speak an hour or so. That would have been a phenomenon, for Grandfather seldom speaks in front of many people.

"This will be my last birthday because I'm already going to die soon."

Yeah, that was the remaining part of the speech he was practicing. It would have been great if he included it in his speech today. Pardon me if I come across as morbid, but my situation seemed to have long blurred in my mind the difference between these two adjectives—morbid and hilarious. Grandfather's ability to become altogether morbid and hilarious at the same time always fascinate me. Now I know where I inherited this trait.

After the party, my lower back was still aching. I got this a few days ago. I was trying to reach for something I dropped on the floor when I must have made an ergonomically incorrect body movement. Or am I getting older? I'm near to believing that old-age woes and bodily discomfort can be contagious.

Or has this something to do with my being Grandfather's constant companion? I suddenly got scared. I was thinking, has Grandfather been transferring to me all that he is? Kung anting-anting lang ba ang ipapasa n'ya e, di todo-bigay kong ibubuka ang bunganga ko. Feeling Ompong.

At 91, Grandfather is really slipping back to the childhood phase of human development. He seems to think and act more like a child now.

At 35, I feel like I'm being sucked forward through time into my own elderly self. I seem to feel and think like I'm already 91.

I'm currently on a homestudy of Psychology. I'm doing well on the exams, always perfect. But I sometimes feel like I'm the one who needs to see a psychologist or, worse, a psychiatrist.

Grandfather's presently at the dining table, trying to read all the birthday cards that he received today.

From where I am right now, I can see Grandfather's smile and delight.

Yeah, I forgot, Grandfather is now clinically a child again. And I just remembered how a simple birthday card can pull a sincere smile from the face of a child.

I am presently at the computer terminal, writing this blog entry, trying to express what's on my mind right this very moment. I can hardly smile. Perhaps you already know why.

Yeah, I should remember, considering my situation, I feel like I am the one who's celebrating his 91st birthday today. I feel sick and tired. Exhausted and virtually expired.

How I wish I am a child once again, back in my mother's loving arms, instead of feeling like I'm carrying the weight of the world. "Weight of the world?!" Oh, pardon me...just another hyperbole.

Oops, got to go now. I need some analgesic; here goes this dumb lower-back pain again. Wait, dumb or damn? Whatever. Never mind.


  • At Monday, March 06, 2006 7:50:00 AM, Blogger vayie said…

    He rants. You whine. It figures. Before you can even realize it, in a few years time, you'll be like him.

    Happy Birthday to your Granpops.

  • At Monday, March 06, 2006 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    minus all the bitterness and guilt feelings, hopefully. nah, make that-- certainly.

    i love you, hon. thanks for the silly moments last night. ang kuneho at ang manok hahaha!


Post a Comment

<< Home