Three nights ago, it was past midnight and I was trying to finish a post lab report when the chorus of “How to save a life” burst out of nowhere, derailing my trail of thought and diverting it to thinking about where it’s coming from. I looked at my phone, its screen light was blinking with an incoming call form an unknown number that’s too short to be a cellphone number. Who the hell?
“Hello?” I asked as I answered the call, only to hear ticking like that of a timer at the other end. After a few seconds of asking the same thing over and over and not getting anything audible that may have come from the actuall human who made the call, I hung up. I looked at the number, a provincial code, and tried to recall what province the call might have come from. It hit me, even as I was thinking, “No way, no, no, no!” and “Not you again, but if it were you, you’d better call again so we could talk” at the same time.
Then there was an incoming call again. My rational thinking and equilibrated state was gone within the first line of the song. A part of me wished that I was wrong about the caller’s identity. Of course, I was right. Damn it.
“Who’s this?” (as if I was really unsure of who it might be)
“Hi, it’s me.” <tick tick tick of that timer again.weird call connection>
“Hey. So you still remember me,” (in my mind, what I was actually thinking was walangya ka, bakit ka pa tumatawag ngayon?)
<muffled voices in the background>
“Hey quit it,” <muffled voices>
“Sorry, my… these two drunks are bothering me,” the caller drawled.
“Hi! So how are you? Are you doing ok?” words spoken too fast and too perky to be normal coming from him though he could be so hyper sometimes.
“You’re weird. Are you drunk?”
“Hoy, ano ba? Bakit ka ganyan?”
“Uhm, I’m kinda drunk,”
“Duh, ano ba yan, bakit ka kasi uminom?”
“Because I only have the guts to talk to you when I’m drunk,” the words could hardly come out smoothly. He’s too distracted, too drunk to simultaneously think and talk straight. Bwiset.
Then the line went dead, which left me quite confused. I tried to recall what I got form the conversation. I just heard his voice. He called. And he’s drunk. And he can’t talk to me when he isn’t?
How to save a life..where did I go wrong…
“Hi! (him being perky) This is a call from Citel, is this Ms.C*?”
“G*go, tigilan mo nga ‘ko, Bakti ka ganyan?” kaasar, pinagtitiripan pa’ko
“So how are you?” (like we had just started the conversation, I started thinking that he’s gone mad)
“I’m not ok”
“Ha?” (does intoxication lead to not hearing well?)
“I’m not ok. What’s going on?”
“How are you?” (Grr,bingi yata eh)
“Ok so I’m sorry, I haven’t been texting you or calling you for a long time,”
“Er, yeah, so,”
“I’m sorry…I’ve got some problems and emotional baggage,” (duh, no, really? I know, right?) then probably to his drinking buddies “hey stop that,” then the line went dead.
Ok, sum of the last conversation (if that could actually pass as a converastion):
he texted me, saying one of his friends ended the call, that he’d call again an hour later, and that he hopes I’d still be awake then. Of course I’d still be awake. He’d just disrupted my quiet and uneventful night. I didn’t want to have to talk to him anymore, and yet there’s this part of me that still wanted to ask him stuff even though I knew I’d be getting answers from someone who’s smashed.
“Hi! So how are you?”
(damn it, I was hoping he’d be a bit sober and less drunk after an hour, but no)
“You’ve asked me that before, and I’ve answered you,”
“I know, I think this is the fifth time,”
(wow, he can still count. That’s just great.)
“Why are you calling me now? Why can’t you talk to me when you’re not drunk?”
“Do you still have that CD I gave you last time?”
“Yep, what about it?”
(what’s that got to do with all this?)
“Remember the song..(undecipherable words)…?)
“Er, no…” (Because, honestly, even if I did understand what song he’s asking about, I wouldn’t remember—there are 93 songs in that CD. All I remember is that they’re all mush.)
“It’s like my good bye song to you,”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“…emotional baggage…problems… and I’m sorry…I only have a few seconds left for this call,” (or something like that. He was rambling and those were the only words that I was able to make out. Anyway, if that’s what he was trying to say, then, duh, like I haven’t figured that out yet)
And that’s it. Minutes later he texted again, saying he’d “tell me everything in person” (oh really? I wouldn’t count on it because he’s up and out there. Besides, his”baggage” might keep him from leaving that place,) and that I should take care of myself always. Toink. His voice and his ramblings were still playing in my head.
The whole “I-only-find-guts-to-talk-to-you-when-I’m-drunk” thing is full of bull. Telephones, cellphones, PCs with internet connection, and other means of communication should not be anywhere near one’s choice of venue for a drinking spree. First, because you might regret a lot of things you might have said and/or done when you use these things to contact certain people since intoxication lowers or temporarily removes inhibitions. It makes people say things they do or don’t mean, simple things like ‘I’m sorry’ or the overused three words.
Chugging down too many shots of rum, tequila, vodka, or any other poison of choice before trying to say things that you do mean but just can’t say it in your right state, totally ruins the whole idea of trying to be honest and putting it (yourself, your feelings, your guts and whatnot) out there.
Because, second, a testimony or anything that comes spilling out of the mouth of a rambling drunk is as reliably truthful as the answers you get from a magic 8-ball. Or maybe not. But that’s just it, I can never be sure. Besides, slurred or rambled words, which, when tried to put together in an attempt to form a complete sentence, is too challenging to decipher at almost two in the morning even when my brain is wide awake.
I hate how people just dive right back into my life just when I was starting to accept the fact that they’re already out of it, just when I have started getting used to them not being there. What makes it suck more is that I can still get so affected.
So. Which one of us is intoxicated and who can be really called sober?
Currently Listening: call me when you're sober - amy lee
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