Today, noon time, Yoyoy took his last breath and bid this world farewell.
I was writhing in agony over a paper in front of my laptop when the news was relayed to me by my sister-in-law. The news was a shock that made my limbs quiver and lose power. If I was writhing in agony minutes ago about the paper that I was about to write, now I was writhing in pain and that stinging hazy feeling in my head got concentrated flavored with complete surrender to the helplessness of being mortals; and it took me two hours to get my eyes off the computer doing nothing as I waited for Doris to arrive so I could reload my cellular phone and make a call.
The earliest memory that I can recall about Yoyoy was when we were growing up under the wings of Ninong. He was the right hand of Ninong who had a handicraft business. We were the ones who worked for Ninong and when payday comes, all the workers (mostly cousins) would crowd the vacant room in the alley in Lucban and play pusoy. Memorable event was when Ninong took a sip of his San Miguel beer and muttered in aghast and surprise: Lasang ihi tong beer ko a! That made us laugh as Yoyoy came forward that he pissed in an empty bottle and that bottle got mixed up with those still had to be drunk. The grownups were growing and I just knew that Yoyoy was just there growing up in his own time.
The next time I saw Yoyoy, as we were already residing in Cavite, was he turned from a wiry teenager into a heavy young man; a la Bomber Moran with protruding chest and hairy beard going down to his neck.
He was my Christmas/Family reunion beer-buddy. The last time we had that celebration in the house, the moment he alighted the tricycle and approached me as I was trying to keep the coal hot under foiled bangus, he was already asking for one cold San Mig Lights. That was 9:30 in the morning and he was still smarting all he had drunk during Christmas (Christmas Party and Family Reunion in the house is held at 26th). One San Mig Lights that started in the morning before lunch turned up into a beer drinking binge as we drunk the whole day: Red Horse and San Mig Lights. We had a swell of a Christmas/Family Reunion Party. That drunkenness brought him giving me his black Gloc 9 t-shirt. True beer lover turned out to be better than me. At eight in the evening he was still up and going. I had to flee and get some rest in the house.
Now, Yoyoy is gone. But I can tell that he had a good life; an easy life that everybody can drink with him because he had no hang-ups about life in general. What is important is today, this moment. Not the future. Because if we only knew the future we will not worry about it; and I guess Yoyoy knew it.
So long insan.