>> Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's exactly 6PM as I write this. I've pressed the play button on my walkman phone and it's now playing Paul Weller's "You Do Something To Me" off the playlist I entitled 'Dusk'. 'Dusk' was previously known as '6PM' but since I rearranged the tracks and added more to the list, I decided to rename it. And what's this fascination with this time of day? 6PM is not just a playlist, it's a realm of memories.

How I came up with a 6PM playlist was easy. I remember as a kid, I'd often walk home at dusk, because any minute later would mean an angry grandma. I'd pass by sari-sari stores or houses with men out on their front yard drinking Gold Eagle Beer or Tanduay Rum (you can tell by these drinks what kind of neighborhood I grew up in), and they'd always have a radio on. This was pre-videoke. What amazed me was the kind of songs these radio stations played. At 6PM, it was always classic slow rock and power ballads like those from bands like Styx or songs like Caravan. Jukebox music right in your own home. Since then, when dusk comes, I'd always crave for songs that have a distinct guitar riff or a lonely bar room feel with an affected lounge singer. A bit bluesy but not quite, more like dreamy. To give you a better idea, here's a portion of my playlist:

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Or better yet, here's a close enough clip of what I mean (the song is in the list too). It's a scene from Y Tu Mama Tambien, just before the threesome did the nasty. The song is called Si No Te Hubieras Ido by Marco Antonio Solis.

It was dusk when I met my first lover. We were both 15 and in love and nobody knew about it. It was a summer affair in which I learned how to drink beer, smoke, and dance. I didn't flip out when it ended. I considered it as my initiation to a mysterious world and I passed with remarkable colors, that I never knew existed. I remember writing an uplifting short story when we ended our relationship. I also remember that it was when I started to write about people without using pronouns.

It was dusk when Ryan, my best bud in high school, and I would go to Capitol Lagoon and talk the night through because none of us wanted to be home. We'd exchange mythologies of the doomed love affair of the two golden statues that marked each side of the Lagoon's pool. The lovers are so close yet forever parted because some artist thought it would be dramatic if the female statue would eternally wait for her hero.

It was one of those talks when I first came out. It was also the last of those talks. Years later, I'd disproved my own mythologies about those statues and instead thought of them as a haunting metaphor for all my relationships--whether it be family, friends, or lovers, we'd always be parted by bodies of water.

It was dusk when I'd drive the long highways of Davao and find myself in different cities in an hour. Aimless driving, aimless thoughts. I remember that the goal was to chase the horizon until it was time to go back. With only a good soundtrack on board, I'd make my way through towns that shrunk smaller and smaller with each mile away from the city. Seeing those towns, I thought I didn't want to go back to my life. Simple living meant simple problems. But then the tape runs out, the last stick of cigarette evaporates, and perhaps the last can of beer turns into burp, and I'd snap out of it, drive back home and try to catch Frasier on cable.

It's that lazy guitar riff that brings back a thousand memories. It doesn't matter now if it was happy or sad. It's just memory. Neither a positive or a negative. And the songs, they are notes that mark the sunset--the very moment when we stop to think: what have I learned today?OUT

6 responses:

pablo 28 September, 2007  

I, too, love the dusk. When I was young, I used to spend my summers in Bukidnon where my father had a little farm.

While others may fear the dark, I always seek shadows. There's something sensual and serene the way shadows play hide and seek with the light.

This is a beautiful post. I felt like crying. hehe

Jap 02 October, 2007  

Thanks, PABLO =) I never thought you were the emo type lol

Qatar Cat 05 October, 2007  

You don't have to be the emo type, to love the dusk.


Jap 06 October, 2007  

QC, yep, I'm not really the emo type anyway lol =D

intsik 07 October, 2007  

i remember during my grade sdchool years (pre-semen days), i used to run so fast afraid of my mom because at 6pm, she warned us aswangs will go and devour all of us. i would touch my groin area and feel a tingling sensation. that was when i was really, really afraid. :)

Jap 07 October, 2007  

LoL@JOEY, your experience seems more like a sexual awakening hehehe

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