Monday, March 28, 2011

Anatomy of A Lifetime

At the age of twelve, the boy will learn the name of his first crush in school. As if chanting his own mantra, he will whisper her name the first thing in the morning and the last thing in the evening. He will have sleepless nights and lazy days thinking of her, the young lady with cheeks waiting to be kissed by virgin lips. He will wait for her after class and hope with his young heart that she will find her way to him because maybe, just maybe, the feeling is mutual. Attracting a girl has never been a task so monumental, so he will learn to fix his hair and wear perfume. Never mind if he will smell like his mother; there is a reason why their cabinet drawers are communal spaces in their bungalow, except that he still prefers to sneak his way through. By the time he gets to talk to the girl on a lonely concrete bench facing the setting sun, he will reveal his secret. With only the trees to witness a confession so pure and sincere that heaven might fold, she will like him just the same. They will kiss.

But age, like your worry for unpaid debts, is a mental state that usually troubles the mind. The boy will want to mature without having to pay the costs of growing-up. Soon, every detailed attempt to recall the months that went by will inevitably condition him to remember her face, her eyes most of all, but never her name. Perhaps it is true; you can have as many names for a face but rarely does it happen the other way around.

After turning third year in high school, the boy will be sixteen. He will have as many pimples as the pores on his forehead. It will be a dermal cataclysm that no skin in the human race has ever had before. Realizing that it is his supreme injunction to free himself from that dreaded quagmire, he will try a burdensome regimen—he will have to stop thinking about the girls he fancies. It will be tricky and equally tiresome, knowing that teenage life is fertile ground for potential romance. Every year, millions of adolescent boys fall victim to the wrath of puberty. The lethal combination of raging hormones and proximity to the opposite sex accounts for pricked pimples that suddenly transform into craters of weird shapes and sizes, as if they are the unwanted memorabilia of a recent past.

Prom season will be a story on its own. As far as the male species is concerned, everything is about coat and tie. Boys will have to coat themselves with courage if only to ask girls to dance with them for a minute or two, and they will have to tie themselves to a branch of the nearest tree should they still fail even after wearing their balls high up to their hearts. On prom night, the boy will approach the most popular girl in the batch. He will stand before her and extend his right hand as an invitation, which is no less than a calculated gesture designed to raise a request without having to say a word. Before her, his knees will tremble a bit and his lips will quiver. In return, she and her friends will give him a curious look that is the farthest thing from a yes. His humble proposal will be rejected. He will smile at her, turn around, then walk away while thinking about the dance that never was. He will not hang himself, though.

College will be the phase for many firsts. A girl who is not as virgin as Mary will claim his virginity. The boy will get wasted for the first time after ten bottles of beer and, thereafter, he will run back to his dormitory before sunrise, racing through the streets almost naked had it not been for his white underwear. The morning after, he will have his first brutal hangover. He will also be given his first failing grade and he will celebrate the occasion with his peers by sharing cheap brandy and stories not supposed to be told but are hilarious and embarrassing enough they should be told anyway. One moonlit night, he will discover the piano suites of Claude Debussy and he will listen to the third movement of Suite bergamasque over and over while reading Paul Verlaine's poetry until he falls asleep. There are other firsts: from having a girlfriend to forgetting a breakup, and from ranking first in a final exam to being nailed by the professor during recitation class. Whether he likes it or despises it, the first will not necessarily be the last.

The boy will graduate from college and find a stable job. He will save most of his earnings. In five years, he will have already built a house on his own lot, one that is big enough for a small family. Ten years later or eight years after marrying his coworker, he will have two daughters and two sons. He will get old and retire from work after almost four decades in active government service. Because his own children will marry at a young age, he will have six grandchildren and maybe even two great grandchildren. But he will suffer from an ailment caused partly by senility and partly by the vices of the youthful days long gone. The last of his living days will be spent at his room and he will call out the name of a girl he last remembered when he was twelve but whose face he can no longer recall.

Clair de Lune.

9 comments:

mommy-razz said...

nice post..:)

Désolé Boy said...

"He will have as many pimples as the pores on his forehead. It will be a dermal cataclysm that no skin in the human race has ever had before."
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I'm sorry but I had a good laugh with it ;D Wonder if it was me you're hinting..hehe
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Anyway nice..uhmmnn..I dunno..is this a recollection of yours? Pero parang ang bata mo pa to graduate college and work.
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Whatever. Cool entry!

SPLICE said...

@Mommy-razz
Thanks! :)

@Desole Boy
It is about 75% percent fiction haha :) [By the way, I am already a college graduate] Thanks for reading!

charles said...

I LOVE the last paragraph.

Those types of ending make me want to cry. :)

SPLICE said...

@Charles
Thanks for the compliment and for reading! I hope you drop-by again sometime soon :)

sub said...

"The last of his living days will be spent at his room and he will call out the name of a girl he last remembered when he was twelve but whose face he can no longer recall."

...sweet!

hindi pa tapos finals?

SPLICE said...

Sub
Tonight [7pm] will be my last exam :)

gaye said...

check ur email. im in dire need of ur help, thanks :)

Judiya Mariya said...

I share the same belief that life has a template. And people just pretend that they are surprised in every phase of their lives. :P