Jade: …I’d definitely want to see you again soon.

Me: I don’t blame you.

Jade: I forgive you.

So this is the upswing. Finally, things started looking up after I settled my finances. I hate to admit it, as I said to Nikki, but money does make you happy. Well, money helps make being happy easier.

Last week spelled an end to the slump that I have been on for a while now. This makes writing difficult so allow me to detail the events prosaically.

I had just finished doing my Performance Review for the first half of the year and boy, have I been working! The form, which didn’t include my manager’s comments was fourteen pages long!!!

On Thursday, I went shopping for something to wear for an interview I was having on Friday. After several hours of going around the mall, I finally found a store that had shoes my size and not juvenile-looking. I got myself a new pair of dark wash jeans which I have been on the search for forever. Say what you want, but Bench jeans are the only jeans that fit me well. I know getting one from Zara or Topman would appeal better to the finnicky tastes of some people I know, but what the heck, I can wear a shirt that I got from the teens section of a department store and make everyone think it’s designer. (I may be exaggerating here)

I broke in my jeans by heading out to Malate by myself. Yes, it was one of those “date-yourself days” that I have from time to time. For effect, I wore a shirt that said “ALONE” in front, and “AGAIN” at the back. It was a very witty shirt and I got it for the rough equivalent of two US dollars, when I went to Bangkok.

I went to a karaoke place I used to go to with the Hasslas (a group of friends I went to Boracay and Puerto with). Since I come here every time I happen to find myself in Malate, the bartender recognized me and cleared a spot for me at the bar. I ordered a cocktail since it wasn’t a beer day and started deliberating if I should pick a song and sing to a group of over-achieving singers.

There were 14 songs in queue, I figured by my turn, I’d be too drunk to care. I downed my drink, picked three songs and ordered another one.

Meanwhile, a guy with slits for eyes was scoping me from a table close to the bar. He looked like an ex of mine who owed me money. I was almost going to ask for it back when I realized that he was Chinese and not Japanese.

He asked me to join his table (he was out with his sister). And I stayed with them until the bar shut down. He was a little drunk and was starting to get argumentative with the cashier. They helped me hail a cab, and right before I got in, Eize (Chinese guy) asked if I wanted to sleep beside him that night. I got in and shut the door right away.

On Friday, I was on time for the interview. It was for a lower post but with a better package. Plus, I get to work with my two best friends and have time to take for a Master’s degree if I wanted. Since the guy who was interviewing me knew me for a long time, the assessment wasn’t so difficult. His only question was, if I really wanted to get that job because there is hardly any upward movement in that company.

See, I set a goal for myself and my career. I told myself that I will become a Manager by the age of 30. I’m going to be 27 in a month. I’m several steps away from that goal if I stay with this company. At the same time, I could pursue a different goal of becoming a Psychologist if I move to the other one.

I received another offer from one of my old bosses who is looking for a supervisor for the company that she is currently country manager of. It’s very promising and I’d really want to explore that as well.

To continue the theme of exploration, I explored the possibility of flinging myself back into the dating scene again (or at least opening myself to the prospect of meeting other people). So last night, I met a guy from UP.

Jade’s first boyfriend is Joel, who is an estranged friend of mine. They were together five or six years ago. He also had a crush on an ex-boyfriend of mine who I lived with for a week.

Cubao Expo at Dusk

He took me to Cubao Expo which is a haven for beatniks, hipsters, hippies, artsy folk and people from UP. In short, this is MY TOWN. I’ve been here before but never with as much people around. People had to queue up before getting in that night because it was “Meiday” and a lot of indie bands were playing.

I bumped into Claren, who I always bump into in very random places (story to follow). And I almost jumped out of my skin seeing that I actually knew someone who was in that sea of people. Claren looked impeccable as usual and was with a guy who looked exactly like him. I introduced him to Jade.

Jade knew a lot of people in Cubao X. So I went around the motions of the “hi’s and hello’s”, “great-to-meet-you’s” and “oh-you-look-familiar-have-we-met-before’s.” He introduced me to one of the finalists from Project Runway Philippines that I had a MAJOR crush on. I didn’t realize it was him at first. I used the third line on him. To be fair, he didn’t mention PRP, I just realized it after Jade brought it up half an hour later.

Now that I think about it, Jade reminded me so much of Jo, my last boyfriend. He was mature, artistic, secure, and not so good looking. I got his jokes and he got mine. We caught each other’s punchlines. He had the same taste in music, the same penchant for judging pretentious people and most glaringly, the same level of touchiness. We would be stopping at several spots around the Cubao X compound and look like a black and white blob. He was all over me. But not in a salacious way.

We were talking about the rain I think when he stole a kiss and walked off to toss his drink down the drain. For a few seconds, I was stunned, caught off-guard. I didn’t know what to make of it. When he came back, I just carried on with the conversation as if nothing happened.

He took me to Future which is the bar below a boutique called the “I Love You Store.” I told him to get me a cocktail and he ordered what would be dubbed as the drink of the week… My Shirota.

My Shirota is a mixture of Korean Soju, Yakult (a fermented milk drink almost every kid I know is addicted to), and Grenadine.

Equals My Shirota

It tasted of every good memory I had as a child. It was very appropriate for the theme of the night. It was sweet and tangy and pink.

After floating around Cubao for several hours we grabbed a bite and decided to sound trip by the curb. It was 3AM and there were blisters the size of nickels on each of my heels (why did I ever not wear socks?) I was so tired but I wanted to float some more. So I decided I’d check into a hotel with Jade.

I asked if he would sleep with me if we slept together. And he told me that he wasn’t sure. I laughed and told him that I didn’t know the answer to that question either.

We slept naked with our arms around each other and we woke up 11 hours later.

We had breakfast and coffee at 4PM and we took the train home after two hours.

I got home and commenced a thirty minute search for my other phone. As I was calling myself and listening intently for the opening verse of Bic Runga’s “Good Morning, Baby,” I pondered on the reasons why the past week was one of the best I had.

Like My Shirota, it was a cocktail blast from the past–a mix of familiar feelings: the satisfaction of a shopping find, the thrill of getting scoped by a stranger, the pride of being sought after by a job instead of the other way around, the excitement of being in the company of beatniks from UP and the tenderness of falling asleep in someone else’s arms.

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