Is there any song that I hate with a passion?
None comes to mind; instead I’m reminded of a song that makes me cringe because of an unpleasant memory it evokes.
It was the summer after the second grade, and I had just gained a new friend: a boy from across the street, who would sit on his porch and wait for me after breakfast every morning so we could spend the day…wait, I can’t actually remember what we did everyday, except chitchat and occasionally go around the village in his three-wheeler — he did the pedalling, naturally, while I sat in the passenger car. Oh, i think some days we played board games and such. Anyway it was one of those mornings, and I was trying to breeze through breakfast but mom had prepared something special, as always, and of course I was a real slowpoke who always had trouble chewing and swallowing my food. Mom and Dad were at the table with me though Dad was predictably not really there, with the day’s broadsheet serving in many senses as a wall keeping him from us. The radio was on, and this song started playing–
Met you on a springtime day
You were mindin’ your life
And I was mindin’ mine, too…
Mom started signaling to me, pointing to the direction of the living room.
Lady when you looked my way
I had a strange sensation
And, darlin’ that’s when I knew…
It also happened to be the direction of the street, and clueless, eight year-old me went,
“Ha? Ano po? Ano po yun?” (“Huh? What? What is it?”)
That it’s sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along,
Yes, it’s sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along…
She kept pointing, a bit deliriously, shaking her head now.
Oh, I wake up in the night
And I reached beside me
Hopin’ you will be there…
“Ah, si _______ hinihintay na ako sa labas? Nagmamadali na nga po ako e.” (You’re telling me that _______ is already waiting for me outside? Ya, that’s why I’m really trying to finish this quickly!”)
But instead I find someone
Who believed in me when I said
‘I’d always care….’
The song kept playing, and Mom continued playing charades with me till she saw it was a lost cause.
“Ay hayaan mo na nga…” (“Oh, just let it be…”)
She looked down at her plate, defeated, and continued eating.
I shrugged my shoulders and finished my plate.
Dad remained covered by the paper.
I was out the door in five minutes and thought nothing more of the little sign language episode.
I can’t recall now whether it was at the end of that same day, or some time later, that Mom pulled me aside and revealed to me that the ditty was Dad’s song for a girl he had been seeing. Mom had just found out and Dad had just vowed to end the affair.
She had been hoping I’d get her signal for me to turn the radio off or to change the station.
I didn’t get it, and they both had to endure listening to the whole song.
I’ve had no redeeming memory of it since.