Last night a cousin of mine came lugging three bottles of Red Horse Grande. "Gusto lang kita makainuman."
Not that I have anything else to do but I'm not one for heads-up beer sessions. Also we weren't close, like with other cousins. The most we see each other is about once a year, during our New Year gatherings. So I'm surprised.
Turns out he was tipsy already. He and my other cousin had a few beers earlier that evening. The latter had an early engagement the morning next so they had to pack up sooner than the former wanted; he was bitin. And the nearest he could one-on-one on was me.
"'San ang puti mo na ah! At pumayat ka na!"
Hehe. "Lul. O, balita?"
"Bukas malalaman na."
He was actually in a legal predicament not far from mine. Involving still a girl, but this time on a more intimate nature, iykwim. A kindred spirit. My slight unwelcome ebbed.
"Ah. Ano ba talaga nangyari tol? Di ko lam yung buong kwento e."
So he told me. He's like his father when he tells his story, waving his arms around and about, his hands forming very animated gestures. His father had a notorious penchance for getting piss-ass drunk. 'To Meo also liked gesturing.
When he finished I still didn't get why the girl pressed charges. I asked him to explain but his answers went off tangent more and more.
"Ay 'san me napanaginipan ako. Napanaginipan ko si Jesus."
Riiight. It is Easter Sunday. It must be the booze. He spoke deliberately, like old folks do when they had elderly wisdom to impart to young 'uns and had enough alcohol in them to believe that what they are saying is A Truth of The Universe.
"Nakita ko si Jesus nakaputi, mahaba balbas, tapos me baston. Tapos pare, tinalikuran ako. Nagpapakuha na ko e, nakita ko yung katawan ko tol, nakalutang ako nakatingin sa katawan ko, pero una yung baston nya tas sunod yung katawan tinalikod. Naglakad palayo."
I tried real hard not to laugh. The booze had already done its effect on me and I was beet red all over. He went on, all seriousness.
"Ibig sabihin me misyon pa ko tol. Ayaw pa ni Lord. Gusto ko na e, pero tumalikod sya. Nagising ako umiiyak. Alam to ng ate ko tsaka ni mama. Kulang lang tayo sa panalangin. Ako na nagsasabi sayo pre. Di dapat tayo nakakalimot sa Kanya."
He went on, and on. I didn't mind much, I was warm with beer and he brought lots of potato snacks. Halfway through our second grande he leaned his arms on the table and nestled his face on his arms.
"O inaantok ka na, dun ka na sa kwarto 'san."
"...Inde, kaya ko pa to. Pahinga lang ako," he mumbled.
He never raised his head. He sat there and passed away.