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To Love A Nightbird

Image Description Carlo Bonn   |   13 February 2018


We've been on the dark. We live on the dark. We love the dark.

JGH. I don't know why I keep doing this.

There is a strange delight in walking these streets, alone, at night. No place to go, no one to talk to or walk with. There is poetry in sidewalks yellowed by streetlamps, there is magic in stoplights turning red for absent pedestrians.

There is always a desperate hoping in the beginning, that you'll have a chance meeting with someone you know, an old friend; or discover and meet an interesting person who'll make you feel alive in this lonely night, an entirely new friend. But you know that there'll be no one. You've done this countless of times before, and you found no one.

You walk on. You'll treasure every bit of human interaction. A jeepney driver's joke. A little smile from the cashier at Mcdonald's. A little nod from another nightbird walking on the same road. Everyone walks or moves slowly, for there is nothing to rush for. The city is already dead, anyway.

The setting is the same: the place, the streets of Batangas City, where you have actually experienced sleeping on; the period, timeless, for tonight was last night and will entirely be the same as the next night; the characters predictable. Always on this streets will be boarders: both boarders as in skateboarders, and boarders as in college students from rented apartments. And both types of boarders are bored. That is why they are out here.  Always, also, are barkadas. Also, bored. Also, on the night asphalt, are people coming home from work, SM salesladies. Tired, stressed out, eager to get home, wash the make-up off their face, tear down the skimpy skirts and clingy stockings, and lie down. Also on the streets are couples on dates that stretched out too long, or perhaps they could not just get enough of each other. You sense that, the way they say their goodbyes as they separate, as the girl rides the jeepney home. The guys always say: 'Text mo ko pagdating mo sa inyo.' or something to that effect. You know that feeling. You've been out at night with a girl before. The day is just too short when you're with someone you love... the hour is too long when you're alone.

Maybe I should start going to bars. That's how it happens, on foreign films, and books. You're lonely, and bored, and want to meet someone new, go to a bar. End up drunk, or in love, or in bed. But I never enjoyed bars. I never enjoyed alchohol, or loud, upbeat, 'sexy' music. And never enjoyed the company of girls who like to party. I'd rather be with someone who'd be happy drinking coffee, or Mcfloat with me, someone who would sit on sidewalks with me. Someone who would be amazed and affected by the magic of streetlights on empty lanes. Someone who would be contented listening to the silence of what would be a very busy road in just a few hours, like me...

Someone who'll wave back at me while she's sitting comfortably at the back of a sibat late-night jeepney, while I'm saying: 'Ingat. Text ka pagdating.' Someone who'll not panic when we check the time and discover that it's past midnight already, because we are both unafraid of the dark. We know the ways of the dark. We've been on the dark. We live on the dark. We love the dark.


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