Sunday, August 29, 2010

The kids are alright.

Sometimes, I really think my eight-year old half-brother has this split personality. When his temper flies off, he becomes this uncontrollable dynamo of rage, sometimes spitting, wishing us dead, wishing he was never born, or that he was not born having us as elders. He says this with eyes that pierce like Damien the satanic child from the Omen series. I don’t know where he gets this stuff; I hope he doesn’t comprehend just how big and hurtful those words are. Just this afternoon, we had a nasty bout which turned me into the usual monster he thinks I am when I get angry. I spat the curse, which I always, always regret. I didn’t were coming off my eyes, it was just a useless moment of pouring out, a recital of an uncalled for litany of personal hurts for an unintended, inappropriate young and unmindful audience.

As do kids of their age, they get annoying and brutish. His brother, only one year older than he is, is also not an exception. They get into unapologetic fights that really wear me out. They are lovable kids. In fact, they are reasons why I still wanted to stay with my incapable father and stepmother-I want to make sure that at least they do good, even though influence from other gala kids outside and the miserable upbringing is hard to shake off. I love these kids even when they really push the button off me they think I’m just a useless kuya, who sometimes won’t give in to their little whims that I think are just too much for their age. I want to teach them prudence, good manners, which I think we three siblings have always had despite the consequences that would have made us do otherwise. I want to stress to them that we are poor, and that I’m just a struggling nobody wanting to prove something out of the misery of life, and that they should be thankful they have food to eat and that they are able to go to school, in uniforms and all, even though it’s just a public school that never really cared how much they learn, or if ever they learn at all. But then I realize, was I made to comprehend all these realities when I was their age?

I never had a kuya, and even up to now I still wonder what it must feel like having someone to be always at your rescue, rather than the one always being depended upon. It seems like childhood was light-years away. Maybe this is why I get so grumpy at their ADHD-ish behavior. For I cannot remember the time when I bullied other kids. I can’t remember the time that getting into trouble is always no big deal as getting an earful from mama or the proverbial belt-slap from my father. I and my 21-year old brother never really had a genuine bond with him after mama died ten years ago. Perhaps the falling away took some of the familial intimacy or tenderness. Not concern, because I always have been, on their welfare. Now sleeping, with teeth that have been unkempt, bodies frail and thin but surprisingly agile, especially when it comes to play, I feel sorry for being such an ass. How am I to rear kids their age? When not in their usual boxing bouts, the kids are sweet, just hard-headed. Which I think, I often am.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Renton, Trainspotting