Late Nights with Bud

04.25.2015

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

This song was playing as I went inside the bar where we used to hang out. As I turned right to the small corner leading to the toilet, I stared blankly at the door and leaned back to the wall behind me. I was hearing the words “Let it Be” over and over again and these were all the words that registered to me,  I went back to the table where @edbusim was waiting and tried to finish my 2nd bottle of beer. And we left.

Late Nights

There were many nights when I would walk in that same bar and our friends were nowhere.  Well it would normally be 2 in the morning and no one would be there to chat with. But you were there.  Drinking your heart, er, your liver out.  Despite high levels of alcohol in your system, you spoke with clarity and wisdom.  You never ran out of stories to tell. Sometimes I think you would just try to entertain me because I’m (almost) always alone.

Your Stories

You told me about wanting to retire in Bohol, well I’m quite not sure if  it were Bohol that you mentioned.  You told me about your word in Makati and some frustrations you had at work.  You gave me unsolicited (no offense meant) advice about life. Well, me… I told you not to drive drunk. And I also told you I was HIV+.

You were ill

A few weeks ago, I was told by our friend Raul that you were confined due to Pneumonia. ICU. I had the time then but we wanted to make sure if it was okay to visit you or if there was a “no visitors allowed” instruction.  Later that week, we found out that you were removed from ICU and Raul then was able to visit you. But not me.

I was busy

I was too busy.  I had to go to Cebu the whole week for an HIV-related project. This week I had to attend a workshop on Gender Based Violence among PLHIVs.  I was busy with the community of key affected populations. A community I do not know. A community of strangers.

Today

I woke up the and internet was down.  I had a full day ahead as I had to visit three laboratories and check on some things, Again, for the HIV Community.   But before I drove off to my first stop, I had this need to get access to the internet and so I stopped by Infinitea. I parked upfront and my internet was running. Notifications came in.  And one notification caught my attention. I decided to go into Infinitea, I ordered my usual Iced Jasmine tea with Honey, grabbed a seat and opened my facebook group message from Raymond:

Hi guys! Sad news. B***** passed away today. Let’s offer a prayer for him.

I was numb. I glared at my phone and my mind went blank.  I tried to take in what I just read by my system just won’t let me.  I went into a deep trance. I didn’t know what to do. Say.

It wasn’t until the service crew came over to serve my drink that I came back to Infinitea.

I decided to FB-message my number so Raul can call me. Then left for my first stop.

The First Stop

I was parking when Raul called.  And there weren’t any immediate details about you. But as I got off the car, I found myself sitting behind the car, by the pavement, in tears.  After the call, I went up to the laboratory, did my thing and left for my 2nd stop.

The 2nd Stop

I got lost as I was looking for my second laboratory. I wasn’t paying much attention to where I was going and I had to detour two to three times– and in the process, I almost hit a pedestrian, a trike, and another car. I had to stop. Breathe. And went on to look for the laboratory. And I found it.

I decided to go home first since I was feeling hungry. Or since I was feeling exhausted. It might have been the heat but then again I wasn’t walking under the sun or anything. I went home anyways and decided to do my last stop around 8 in the evening when the Friday traffic settles down.

I am Guilty

I got home. Turned on the television. Sat at the couch. Sat. Sat. And cried.

Guilt was devouring my entire being.  I have been spending time, money, blood and effort for strangers out there, and I could even spend one f*ckin* second to see you in the hospital.  Not one second.

And now you’re gone.

I kept telling myself you should have come to me. You could have told me anything to everything.  You could have, should have, would have. But I should have done the same. I should have gone to you.

And I’m sorry. I know guilt and tears won’t bring you back.

I’m sorry.  And knowing the good person that you are, I know you forgive me.

So you go and take a well deserved rest. A well deserved peace.

Thank you for being a part of our lives.

You will  be missed.

More than anything, you were loved and will always be loved.

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About +daddy+drEw+

HIV awareness and treatment Advocate & Activist. Living with HIV since 2007. A friend. A partner. A dad to the HIV Community.
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