I had an odd dream last night and it’s so odd that I’m actually writing about it.
It was a recollection of an incident I may have buried in my head probably for decades.
When I was around 15 – 16 years old I was coming home from school. I got off the jeep too early out of habit because I usually spend time in my grand parent’s house so I had to walk a few extra blocks to get home.
On the way home I passed a street where a bunch of kids my age who didn’t like me saw me and started throwing rocks at and chasing me. I still remember looking to my left startled because I actually felt the wind off of a stone passing the left side of my head.
They basically chased me around three streets, hurling what they could at me and swearing as loud as they could. It was in the middle of the afternoon and I suddenly remembered every footstep of my shoes on the pavement, every time I looked back grabbing my knees panting in exhaustion checking if they were still there, only to run again because they were.
Once I got to my street they stopped at the corner, knowing they could get in trouble from my friends there (not that I really had a posse, I guess they just played it safe).
The thing is I’m surprised I remember it so clearly and I’m also curious why I kept it hidden for so long.
I think the most likely reason I intentionally forgot it was two reasons. First, I felt entirely humiliated, and I was also scared that they might know where I live and camp out for the next time I would come out. I was also scared many times coming home and would overshoot my usual stop several streets and walk the long way home just to avoid them.
Second and most likely the reason, sometime in College I was asked to join an inter barangay league I knew their team was joining too, and I happened to be in game shape at the time and was eager to play against them. In fact I worked out harder even more three weeks before the game, and I remember being so intent on getting back at them that I wasn’t even thinking of winning, I just wanted to get a punch or kick in. I think I did more than that when on a rebound I landed my whole left arm on one of the guys head, sending him reeling to the ground. On another instance one of them was laying up when I just pushed him out of the bounds and sent him sprawling on the floor.
For some perspective, the conditions in my life at the time was in a situation where I just did not care. The place we played in Mandaluyong was even close to the police station with the inmates to the small jail cell able to watch us, and I didn’t care if I ended up there. So when the guy got up in a fighting stance I just went one step further and landed my left fist on his right cheek, sending him down again. The way I figured it the only way to win in a basketball fight was to get your surprise in early before anyone expects it, because people would be coming in pulling us apart directly after negating any chance for retaliation after.
And that’s exactly what happened. People rushed into the court, other players started pushing each other, my poor teammates included, all of whom really had no business getting into a fight and had no idea what was going on with me.
After a few minutes we kept on playing, we won, I went home and that’s it. Only to be remembered approximately 20+ years later.
And why was I remembering all of this?
Most likely it’s because of Ace.
The whole recollection of the dream was in the context of the fact that all of these big things were happening to me at the time without anyone, particularly my parents and eventually after my dad died, my mom.
I was chased all the way to the house and I didn’t tell my parents because it didn’t seem something worth sharing.
I hid all of the anxiety and anger at being humiliated afterwards for the same reason.
Many years later I was playing games often in barangay leagues and other venues with so many people’s friends and families watching except mine. I’d just go home quietly without anyone at home knowing of what ensued. Not only that, I’d be looking for jobs, finding jobs, getting fired from one, looking for a new one, working and not working, earning and not earning, all without mention to her.
It’s important to note that I didn’t feel sorry for myself. It’s just how things were at the time. There was no reason to tell my mom because there was no reason to tell her anything. It had come to a point where we’d talk around once a week and it felt perfectly normal. I had no idea what she was doing and it was fairly clear she didn’t want me to know nor was she interested in any event of mine.
And I felt this should never happen with Ace. I need to be a part of his life and I want to know what’s going on with him, and if kids start chasing him from school and he’d get into a fight I’d like to know about it because that’s what parents or any older person with any sense of responsibility ought to do.
So that’s what I will do.