Briones: Getting old(er)

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

SOME people may find it hard to believe, but I was young once.

So it has been several years. Too long ago, in fact, that sometimes I have to jog my memory to remember what it was like not to have a care in the world. It’s the only way I can try to understand the youth of today.

Then I realize that even then, I was already suffering from a feeling of disconnect.

You see, I was the kid who was more at home hanging out with the oldies.

I liked to be in the thick of things while older male relatives smoked and drank the night away — and smoked and drank they did like there was no tomorrow. I also enjoyed eavesdropping on the women as they gossiped about this and that and would sometimes forget to keep my mouth shut and get chastised for joining their “adult” conversation.

Perhaps they tolerated my presence because I was the first grandson on the Briones side of the family.

I was doted upon by my grandmother, my father’s mother, who ran the family business on J. Urgello St., and my other grandmother, my father’s spinster aunt, my grandfather’s older sister, who ran the household.

Perhaps this would explain why I had a hard time fitting in with my peers.

You see, I was the kid who almost always did as he was told. Then again, that didn’t make me extraordinary. I think people of my generation and those before us knew too well the repercussions if we didn’t toe the line, so to speak.

But I took it to another level.

I’m still trying to find the word to best describe what I was back then without making Chucky (the doll) look nice.

Let me see... I was fond of informing on others and watching them get punished for their transgression. That would make me a tattletale. And selfish. And downright mean, I guess.

Looking back, I’ve realized I was always resentful of kids who tried to get away with things probably because I wished I had the guts to do the same.

Of course, I’ve matured since then.

I no longer concern myself with motorists who park their cars along highways or on sidewalks despite a presidential directive against the practice. Nor have I repeatedly called the attention of authorities to address the problem of minors hanging out past curfew on J. Urgello St. in Barangay Sambag 1.

Oh no. I’m well past that.

I don’t even care if skateboarders congregate outside the Department of Health 7 compound on Osmeña Blvd. to practice their jumps or whatever it is you call it without any mask on, while coronavirus cases in the city continue to rise steadily.