Thursday, December 24, 2009

My 26th on the 24th

I have this adrenalin rush to blog. It's been a week and lots of things have happened. Some good and some painstakingly bad. Frankly up to this point, I don't know what to make of it. I just find life is sometimes too dynamic and surreal that once you find yourself in the middle of everything overwhelming, tendency is that you can't control what's going to happen. You just enjoy or endure. Be grateful or you hate. In this case I can say that this year-ender of mine never fails to impress and distress.

I haven't been able to blog for the past few days because I was sincerely out of the loop. I was busy with work and busy with my extra-curricular activities, one of which is planning my 26th birthday in a very unaccommodating day of December 24th. Ironically for a typically anti-social person I have a thing for celebrating birthdays. It might be because as a child I really didn't have a birthday, like a spam that came out of nowhere, overriding the joys that Christmas Eve brings. Taking things unto my own hands, as soon as I was capable, I began to celebrate my birthdays the way I want to. I began traditionally organizing dinners and inviting a few friends that could share my simple yet ironic happiness. To note, last year's celebration was grand. I was turning 25 and I believed at that phase I had reached a certain milestone. My 25th year was like a debut. It was stressful and painful organizing it, but it all went well except for self-inflicted casualties due to alcohol. My 25th year on the 24th had marked great memories to me and my friends.

This year I planned a more subdued celebration, but a celebration nonetheless. I realize that my life is steady. Except for the usual financial muddles I find myself in, entering 26 is not that bad. A person who has never been engrossed with age issues, I planned to welcome 26 happily. I surrendered to planning and shedding costs to fund a private and intimate dinner with my dear village friends. Taking a leave for work on the 23rd I cruised the metro the whole day to buy last minute gifts for family, get my ordered food and to accomplish some domestic errands. Every minute was squeezed and only a few minutes to make me look at least presentable. By 7:30 guests started to pour in.

The small group dinner took flight and I was happy. I took everything in and enjoyed the food and good company. There were few misses of course, but it was grandly overlapped by the good vibes. We drank. We made ourselves silly and right on cue at 12 o'clock, the usual greetings poured in. For my birthday that's now a semi-ritual, I initiated the legendary Bacardi 151 shots that toppled nearly half of my guests last year. We were happy fooling around, but a little bit cautious with the drinks this time. All in all I realized that the whole preparation was painful, but the celebration was definitely worth it.

By 2:30 am it all changed.

Slightly boozed, but happy all the same, some of us heard a threatening smash just outside our garden walls. It was enough to startle some of us and it sounded like a smash on one of the cars that were parked. One friend stood on a chair and apparently saw a couple fighting. He didn't know it was our maid and her lover/father of her child. With our circumstances, we would have easily forgotten about it until the sober guests tried to double check if the car nearest to the public "domestic" fight wasn't damaged. A few guests checked and confirmed the speculations.

They found the side mirror of my guest's car limped on the side. The drunken cretin smashed it. Naturally, the protective and egotistical men wanted to apprehend the culprit by all means. They began talking to bystanders until one of the guests saw the drunken cretin approaching our house, dead-locked on people on his way with a huge bolo-knife. The pea-sized brain human transformed like a rabid animal threatening to kill and destroy using his primitive yet life-threatening weapon. My friend went inside the house and tried to share what he saw. People began to stir and worry. He tried calling reinforcements and the next thing we knew was, the drunken-rabid-animal of a man screamed profanities outside our house. He banged our solid gates without any success of getting in. We heard slashes that can only come from powerful and hated strokes. The tipsy ones in our party instantly became alert. Even I wasn't able to properly react. I was shocked, confused and very worried about my safety, my guests' safety and our properties.

We stayed together in our garden as we continued hearing him bang our gates and slashing things we hoped were not the cars that were parked. Girls naturally tried to calm the emotional and driven boyfriends to prevent them from going out and become the next martyr action heroes. One guest peeked and tried to be diplomatic when he was attacked with the bolo. Before anything could happen, my guest closed the hard gates and we waited.

For 30 minutes, it was ongoing. The popular criminal began slashing our plants and our lights at the same time threatening our lives specifically my father, the owner of the house who was in deep sleep. I don't know his hatred with my dad, but our family knows who the man is and what sort of man he becomes when he's drunk. But to inflict danger and destruction on us in that gravity is unacceptable, but agreeably his best performance ever. For thirty minutes we heard his cries and threats. We heard smashes and we nursed our fears. We were more frustrated because the village security guards were just standing, watching his performance. They did not do what we called them for like maybe, just guessing, arrest the life-threatening imbecile?

A friend called reinforcements, the same friend who felt that it was his second life after being chased by a madman. Security started to come in. The cretin was apprehended and was forced to enter the multi-cab. We began talking to the authorities. My sister screamed profanities at him calling him to die and crawl to the ground for which I think was fair. I ordered the authorities to be accountable for the damage since the man apparently works for them, the once seasonal tanod and guard is also the cretin by the way. It's a modern case of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde.

We were tired, confused and very much overwhelmed with what has happened. Being in a middle of something so powerful could paralyze us to do what's right. Instead our minds jumped from happiness to distress and it's not very pleasant. We were confused, scared and very helpless. All 10 of us, full grown adults, afraid of a mad man with a bolo-knife. This incident is not a usual incident that happens to a person. Even having flat tires in the middle of a stressed highway is rare.

As adults we tried to rationalize the event and think of the next steps. While the threats were ongoing, we tried our best to keep my parents out of it. Thank god their room is at the farthest point. My father just came from a party and was drunk. Who knows what could have happened if two irrational men, the aggressor and the protector, meet. But my mom wasn't spared of the information though.

She saw the damages immediately. She was stressed out and I was there sitting and left the talking to my friends who knew the whole story better. Our maid was immediately interrogated and broke down in front of us. It was a sad and a thankful moment right there. It was sad because damages were done to us, threats were directed and an involved person was put at the stake. But we were thankful that my father was spared of the news, we are all still alive and the damages were on material things alone.

We closed the night at 3:30 am and I tried to sleep, but couldn't. I kept tossing and turning and felt I was on a furnace. My birthday again became legendary, but I'm willing to forgo that for peace.

My 26th birthday was greatly spent at the precinct with my father and few guests who helped us report the incident. My 26th birthday was spent rushing to the mall, squeezing myself in the congested space and having my first birthday meal in McDonalds at 2:30 pm. My 26th birthday in 2009 marked my first day of menstruation. This day I had colds. My birthday, I spent the whole afternoon sleeping and here I am fully awake with nothing much to do but eat, watch TV and blog. I would always say to my friends that they deserve to enjoy their birthdays. I can't even say that to myself right now.

Thinking about it I would've cursed the whole day and would indefinitely screw the celebrations next year, but I figured that only the weak surrender. This is not the point to surrender. Why surrender when we have done nothing wrong? Why surrender when we are alive eventhough life has a jaded way of letting us appreciate it. Why should I be greatly affected with spending my birthday in such a way that I didn't plan? Certain things make it interesting and I should learn to be thankful like for that McDonald's lunch, which was one of the best McDo lunches I've ever had.

Truth is, I love my life no matter how much I want to throw up sometimes. If by celebrating it means pain and unusual obstacles, then I say bring it on. There is one thing that I know every year. Situations may become worse. It might discourage us to do the things that we want. But as long as we live and there are birthdays to celebrate, situations just become an interesting spice because at the end we become stronger, more experienced and wiser. In fact, this experience made me more encouraged to celebrate my birthday next year because of strength and withstanding depressing times and trials. In fact, I could seriously change this picture. As far as I'm concerned, my 26th on the 24th was a blast worth remembering.

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