Paper cups do not clink.
But they were what we had in hand. And we felt like toasting. So we clinked paper cups, soundless as they were. What were toasting? The realization that people deal with their issues their own way.
A few nights ago, the boys and I met for banchetto. Each one of us was from a different part of the metro. And despite the terrible rush hour, they braved the traffic and did their best to meet with me for what would pass as dinner. Actually, it was more of a drinking session for them. But no booze for me! I wouldn’t even touch the bottles or cans.
They weren’t entirely inebriated. Not even tipsy. But everyone—at least most of us—was in a talking mood.
Let’s get me out of the way first. At the start, when the guys would refer to the former best friend, they even asked if they could mention his name. I made it clear: it’s okay with me that they used his name in my presence. I have nothing against it. If they wanted to talk about him, I’m cool with it—as long as it’s about the past.
Ram was still angry. And understandably so: putting up with terrible things for four years is tough. Arby, when confronted, would be subdued. He’d answer and be honest but would rather the discussion about him kept to a bare minimum. These days, both of them have been online less and worked out more: Ram has lost a few pounds while Arby has been strengthening his muscles.
Stand out is Jan, who happened to be liveliest one at the table that night. But when the other two asked what his issue was, he was basically subdued.
Much as we’d like to get over our issues soon and all at the same time, we couldn’t. The four of us have our own pace. And we’ll take different routes. But it’s good that we have people we could talk to about the stuff that bother us, specially when there’s good food around! Thank goodness for Teddy’s Bigger Burgers a couple of nights ago. It was a good companion to revelations and realizations.
Predictably, I had their Hawaiian burger. And with a slice of cheese! I didn’t order flavored fries but the juices dripping from the patty was enough to flavor the fries, which I loved.
Instead of drinks, we had shakes. Mine was strawberry. And when they said it was thick, was it thick! It took quite an effort to get the first sip. Only after a good 15 minutes did the shake become more manageable to drink sans exertion.
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
3F Greenbelt 3, Makati