Friday, May 8, 2009
FOR ACE (MAY 26, 1970 - MAY 1, 2009)
The first time we met was on a rainy early evening at a bus stop near our old house in Sampaloc. It was 1998. June. I got a call on my mobile from Ace who asked if we could meet at a convenience store near his place. He mentioned his location and I realized that we live pretty close to each other. The place he suggested was right smack between our neighborhoods.
“Great! I am just a couple of minutes away from that store by foot” he said. “Since this is the first time we’ll meet, I am wearing all white.”
All white? I thought. Who’d be stupid enough to wear “all white” in a rainy evening such as this, tramp through the mud to get to that convenience store and survive unsullied?
“Okay. See you in ten minutes then,” I said.
I was standing at the bus stop across the convenience store shaking the water out of my raincoat when from a distance, coming towards my direction and holding a huge clear plastic umbrella, was a vision in WHITE! In this grey, cold and wet night, he did stand out with his detergent WHITE buttoned sport shirt, WHITE bermuda shorts and WHITE tennis shoes and socks. There is no mistaking it’s Ace.
Gingerly walking towards the bus stop, he took slow steps to avoid the puddles and the mud, making sure he’d walk on something solid like the big rocks scattered haplessly and looking closely downwards to see where to plant his foot next. A few feet from where I stood, he lifted his head, saw me and flashed a wide friendly grin. Unfortunately, that grin made him miss a step and his immaculately white tennis shoe-clad foot landed squarely in a brackish mud puddle.
“Potah!” I heard him cuss as he lifted his foot and took the last few steps into the shelter of the bus stop.
I tried hard not to laugh while keeping a straight face. I guess he saw in my eyes the difficulty of keeping my laughter in, and with aplomb, he lifted his chin, while he shook his muddied foot and said…
“It’s a fashion statement. Hi. I am Ace.”
That night, I knew I met a dear friend.
Ace died after a massive cardiac arrest a few days ago and was buried last Wednesday – May 6. For several years he’s been undergoing dialysis. Ever since a kid he’s had week kidneys. I remember during one conversation that the doctors told him his life expectancy would be no more than 40 years. They were right on the dot.
Here’s to you old pal. Wherever you are, I am pretty sure you’re making your fashion statement.
I found this in his friendster profile...
In love with the real ME for the past year...I am the Temple of the Divine...So I am obssessively taking care of my body externally, lavishing it with lots of good, natural stuff and internally, nourishing it as well with a healthy balance of all essential nutrients whether of plant or animal origin...I love to take long, fragrant baths, slather myself with natural scents, and dress up for the tropics...No more Mr. Corporate dressing for me...I do smile a lot more now, laugh heavily, let loose of the rhythm in me (Yeah, swaying, tapping, swinging even in the LRT when I feel like it, unashamedly,) expressing myself even to strangers...Most of the unneccessary baggages are gone...I love sharing what I know either at work, in life, and in love, as well as listening intently to gather much much more from the billions of people out there...That's why most of what I do now involves facilitating academic classes or teambuilding sessions, addressing corporate or trade groups as guest speaker or resource person, volunteering as life coach, and getting paid as an executive coach...I am happy right now...If someone comes along and wants to share it, I will welcome him with open arms...in whatever form...as friend, brother, and lover...
Who I Want to Meet:
Anyone...is a child of God...