1/08/2010
When you're twenty-one, you're no fun

When I was five, or six, I dreamt of being seven. It seemed like a landmark year. "You're all grown up," it says. That, and they say that you're almost certain to have a birthday party when you turn seven. The same thing happens when you turn thirteen, they say.

When I turned seven, I dreamt of being eight.

Numbers, they say, are arbitrary, and I agree. I don't feel any different, really. Back then, however, it meant a lot. Turning eight means getting older, and whatever comes with it, whatever that may be. That, and almost all of my friends were eight when I was seven. "One month tayong pareho ng age," I told Carmel back then, a bit giddy because, for one month, I'll be in the same level as my then biggest crush.

I wasn't looking forward to a birthday party when I turned thirteen. I didn't even need to look back at my seventh (and last) birthday party. It was at the Shakey's branch at SM Southmall, back when it had a large television screen always tuned in to Magandang Gabi Bayan and green wall ornaments, or something. I remember Anna's dad holding the microphone and forgetting that we're in a birthday party, not a prayer meeting. "And now, let us sing number... ay, mali." Then again, it probably wasn't my birthday party.

In place of the party was the dinner. It became about me getting to eat at restaurants I haven't been to, and not me turning a year older.

At least, until I was sixteen, when I started thinking of me turning seventeen, because it means I'm a year closer to turning eighteen. I was in college back then, and I wasn't exactly the youngest in the block. Sars and Les, I think. And Kevin, too. Our maturity was no longer defined by how old we are, but how old we act. Me, I was just imagining the new opportunities when I turn eighteen. "Legal ka na!" they'd all say, before they'd goad me to watch some sexy movie, which isn't possible anymore since that sort of film has died down. FHM may have plastered "for 18+ readers only" on its covers but I didn't buy them, still.

I did watch a sexy movie. By myself. For school. Silip, it was, that one with Diana Zubiri hallucinating about Francine Prieto, and we film students decided it's crap. Derek had a story about the guy beside him, well, doing stuff.

When I was nineteen, I didn't worry about turning twenty.

Now I'm turning twenty-one, well... okay. I'm more worried about the money I'll spend.

And your responses...

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