Jogging by Night
The campus in Los Banos is much unlike Diliman in that Diliman has almost round-the-clock jogging. Yes, I've seen joggers sweat it out around the academic oval at high noon. Los Banos joggers run on the same course at around the same time. They run on the track and field by the gym during afternoons. If you see somebody jogging at odd hours like mornings or evenings in LB, you may surmise that the jogger has Diliman roots. Or the jogger has a friend or roommate from Diliman.
I've not inquired much into the reasons behind this difference in culture. Maybe the LB people just already feel healthy enough. Or the scene on the strips outside campus or indoors seem more pleasant to them. Or maybe, compared to me, either they have less troubles or they treat it more lightly.
I jogged the night away. I jogged alone. Save for some stars and streetlights, all few and far in between, I had darkness. I wore white rubbers and black jogging pants with red stripes running down along the seams. Also, I wore a fascist-looking white shirt that my Godmother gave me (she was very happy with the story I wrote). Along with a diagonal image of a nightstick, several words were printed across the front. Weapon of choice. ProBaton. Truncheon 7772. Of course, I did not bring any club along as that would have betrayed much of the state I am in.
I pummelled the cement with my feet. I ground distance with my legs and lungs. My breath rushed to and fro, and I muttered numbers, chants, and curses to the beat of foot and pant. I startled hidden lovers with my thumps and exhalations. I crushed dried and healthy twigs beneath my feet. And I forgot to count the rounds I made.
My calves were on fire. My arms, because of tight sleeves and clenched fists, were numb. My chest heaved, but I was glad to not have marked pain at the sides. I must've been happy.
On the walk home, I grew quite irked with my right arm. Numbness would not leave it. I crashed my fist down a lamppost. The lights died. I've lost count of how many lampposts I've killed in LB in this manner. I've done one in Alabang and one in Makati. All the rest were personal contributions to the darkness Los Banos.
Someday, the ground I've done in with too many hard steps will eat my feet and chew my ankles. Someday, the lights of Los Banos will have their vengeance.
Tonight though, the spray of the shower is warm and the tea is perfect. There is much time. A good part of the night is left. I will run through a few lessons, stories, and prophesies. Then at last, maybe, a prayer.