2Lourd Ernest H. De Veyra
the music would nally redeem him. It would save him from the neighbors’maddening noise. Oh, how so much he wanted to just ram down their doorsone hot day, yank their TV off their tacky plastic cabinet while hopefully,they were tuned into
and hurl it outside their window. He imaginedthat sound of plastic and glass shattering on the busy street below. It wouldbe one of the most beautiful sounds he’ll ever hear in his life.His head felt as if being jackhammered from both sides. He couldn’teven remember what happened at the gig last night. Maybe he was brilliant,or maybe he simply jerked off all over the club, that is, if he could evenremember where. Moments like these, he would be seized by paranoia.
WasI a drunken jerk to everyone? Did I hit the notes right?
zipper openas wide as the barangay hall again?
A ange of guilt always seized hismornings, helped in no small part by the tragic absence of coffee in his sorryexcuse for a kitchen. He wasn’t as poor as to not be able to afford coffee, butMilo was the kind of guy who’d constantly walk into a convenience store andcompletely forget what he was supposed to buyexcept cigarettes, two tothree packs to be exact. Coffee, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, canned food.For some reason, he would be briey convinced that these weren’t exactlyessentials, or that he could pick them up again at Aling Rose’s
storefor much less. The problem is that he would come home extremely late whenall the stores were closed, and only scandalously barking dogs heralded hislurching arrival. It became a cycle. When overcome with an articial senseof order and purpose for the day, he’d make a mental grocery list of thingsto purchase from the remainder of last night’s budget, half of which alwayswent to beer and cigarettesthe two things essential to his existence. Thisusually happened when he stared at the cracked and lthy bathroom mirror illuminated from above by a sad incandescent bulb. Milo felt a slight sense of alarm at the sight of sunken eyes and protruding cheekbones, the bloodshoteyes, and teeth bearing an onset of decay. He recoiled at the smell of his ownbreath, which he simply thought could be masked by smoking more cigarettes.Better to reek of smoke than stale saliva and festering sh, he believed.Nothing like nicotine to mask the bad stuff. What he might not realize wasthat the atrocious odor came from within his body, from a stomach stewinginto disgusting mulch in its own gastric juicesthe kind of smell broughtonly about by perennial starvation and not talking for extended periods of