I am upset. Upset because that damn videoke machine won't respect me. It gave me a low score. (85!) Sacrilege! Blasphemy! Desecration! Profanation! (There goes my Words for the Week column!)
Yes, Ian's having us compete for a bottle of liquor by making us sing until we're hoarse. No, I don't want the liquor. No, I don't even want to see Maui Taylor and Gwen Garci prancing around without their tops-- yes, the Viva Hot Babes Videoke Release for drunken slavering men and lesbians in need of fan service to keep 'em awake and ordering more booze.
None of that!
Must. Get. Higher. Score.
Not that the damn score should really matter-- the evil machines usually hand out the "you're great!" scores to the lousiest singers, while arbitrarily passing out the "okay" and "you stink on ice" ratings. But I was a frontman once, long ago. And some indignities exist that you just don't accept.
Even if you wind up looking like an idiot.
Those Dratted Six Degrees
Anyway, it's nice seeing old friends and acquaintances again, and finding out that I'm not a passing acquaintance to some folks-- Adam and Charmaine, erstwhile members of Where's Joe. And wood-working Joe himself. Myles was there too, with his wife and kid: beautiful, both of them. There's great cholesterol-loaded, artery-ossifying, aneurism-inducing food. This, courtesy of HOTSTIX, Ian's little restaurant nestled along Quezon Avenue.
Some of Ian's friends are familiar-- one of them is Buddy Zabala of Eraserheads fame. Reminds of that saying about six degrees of separation: Ian is the fourth friend I know who can regularly engage in chitchat with Buddy Zabala. The others are Evil Jerry (based in the US), Dacs (based along Katipunan) and Antoinne (based near Dacs). My hunch about the rest of Ian's present friends was well founded. Apparently they're all rock stars who I've seen playing or just chilling in one gig or another back when my life was more closely woven with music.
Missing Those Two
Powerpoets Paul and Nikka were present and accounted for, as was expected. I had begun to envy Ian his closeness to the quirky couple. But circumstances-- an auburn-haired Parañaque resident-- had kept me from confiding in Paul, and by extension, Nikka. Hence the distance. I swear, that man lives to gently, well-meaningly berate me about my weakness for women-- especially auburn-haired Parañaque muses.
I told Paul that the reason he didn't see me for a year was that "I needed to disappear." Which was true. Prior to my seeing Paul last, I was in the middle of deciding which woman I could truly, viably spend most of forver with. Paul's well-meaning remonstrations were only adding to the clamoring, dissenting voices in my head. As much as I valued his counsel, I had to trust myself to silence the internal cacophony and make a proper choice.
I was genuinely afraid that they'd think less of me because I'd needed to get away from everybody, from them, to think.
It felt good to be hugged by Nikka, to get a warm and solid handshake from Paul.
Whenever I walk into a place, the first people I look for are the women. (Creepy that I've been noticing the men too, but every straight guy has a little gay guy who is responsible for keeping him stylishly chic and presentable to the ladies.) Paul knows this. So when Ian's friend S. showed up, Paul was telling me to keep my eyes in my head. Trust Paul to be consistent. (That's why I love you, Pal!)
But Paul got it wrong that night. I was not looking at S. No offense to her (she reminded me of Jen Rosendahl-- must be her mestiza nose and all that Viva Hot Babe exposure), but someone else caught my eye and stopped my breath. In that aggregate of people was someone I'd had a very bad crush on since that day in '94 when I [OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT. --ed.]
Dex had a band
Once, long ago.
Now, he has
No one to string-sling with
This was a good idea, my deciding to come here. I'd not had as much fun in a long time. Thanks for the party, Ian. May you have better birthdays after this one. And in the words of Shrek's Donkey--"Let's do that again!"
Postscript: Why were Karl and Diwa sick? Where was the rest of the Fine Arts contingent? They coulda joined the chorus line in our rousing rendition of We are the World!
Also, for this entry, I'm the Sphynx: four points to people good at playing Oedipus