Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Be Happy

Her name is V(h)aleria .
She spells it with an “h”
Her nickname is Haler.

Of late, we have become fast and firm friends ...

After the rumble in the jungle that is my workplace,
I often bump into her,
As she drowns her own stresses
At our favorite watering hole
During a buy 1 take 1 happy hour …

She sees me enter the bar and her eyes start to roll as she loudly proclaims -
“Well, well, well …
Look do we have here
C’mon – let’s join us”

Her eyes sparkle as her mascara heavy eyelashes fan the dust off the high table
I start giggling even before she is able to say another word
I grab a seat and settle into the bar stool that is to be my home for the next hour

“Anything drinks?”

This girl is amazing… her English is consistently wrong but she speaks with such English-neutralized enthusiasm, confidence and fluidity that it almost sounds correct.

She waves her hand like an Iberian flamenco dancer to attract the bar attendant …
And points her glossified lips in my direction.
The waiter instinctively understands and takes my order – a double Frangelico on ice .

“Balita ko na-promote ka sa trabaho … “ I say with admiration

“Yahhhhh – it’s a blessing in the sky” she demures
“Only , my schedule demands my time” she adds sadly

“ Buti nababalanse mo pa ang oras mo. Di ba bata pa ang anak mo?” , I say with concern

“Well ...I just take things first at a time. .
Like yesterday ... in the morning I ran into some errands.
And I still able to work in the afternoon.
I get most of both worlds.” – she proudly declares

“Eh – yung asawa mo? Tuloy na ba yung separation nyo? –I inquire

“Wellllll … he is annulled and void .” – she says with a frown

“ Talaga? Ano ang sabi nya? – I inquisitively probe “

“I don’t care a damn what does he say.
He can just do his do and I’ll just do my do
I can’t take it anymore of this.
I told his face ... ‘you harden there’ !!! “

“Pero – masaya ka naman?” – I suggestively quip

“Are you joking my leg.? I am hilarious.
Life is gooder than ever after.“ – she says with a smirk

“Mabuti naman. Kasi minsan, siempre nagaalala din ako sa ‘yo…” I suggest with sincerity

“Don’t worry baby ... it’s all spilled milk under the bridge.
Life must fast forward.

I just ask myself ... what is the next that is?
If worse comes to shove , what are friends like you are for??” – she says with conviction

My 2nd drink goes down the hatch.
She raises her bottle as if in a toast

“Sige – hilong hilo na ako sa ingles mo” – I whisper

She pouts …

“Joke lang – siempre hilo ako sa alcohol …” I quickly add

The moment appears to have been saved
“ Uwi na ako … magkita na lang ulit tayo next week … “ I volunteer

“The same for me. Time is of the elements …
It was nice to bump you “ – she declares as she chugs her last drop of beer

We part ways.
She disappears around the corner.
I marvel at how she has transformed herself from a shy provincial lass to an exuberant city gal.
Confident despite …
Always on the upbeat
Ready to hurdle her obstacles
Enthusiastic about life
Raring to change the world …

I smile as I realize what a joy it is to have such friends …
To remind me of the fire in the belly that I need to regain
To see the good despite the bad
To move forward with life
To get over the speed bumps
To live life …
To live it well

As she would say – “Don’t’ worry baby. Life is like a disco ball – it just shines to the beat … “
Whatever that means – I am sure that it is a good thing.

"To be depressed is to be lonely; to have a friend is to be happy..."
- Guido -