Let’s talk about age

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - PUBLIO J. BRI­ONES III pjbri­ones@sun­star.com.ph

Iturned 49 on Satur­day, Nov. 10. I know. Many of you are prob­a­bly con­fused. How could Publio be al­most 50 when he was 36 a few years back?

Well, I was. For well over a decade. But I fig­ured it was time to move on. Af­ter all, there is no such thing as for­ever, es­pe­cially when it comes to age. Plus, I re­al­ized it was near im­pos­si­ble to pull it off. Ask­ing peo­ple to be­lieve I’m still in my 30s, that is.

Although, the light in the men’s bath­room at the news­room of Sun­Star Cebu has that ef­fect on ap­pear­ances.

One time, and no, not in band camp, I walked in and stared at the re­flec­tion in the mir­ror. I swear I was look­ing at my younger ver­sion.

I looked around to see if I was alone. I needed to know I wasn’t imag­in­ing it. But there was no one else there. Just me.

So that’s how I would look if I had been 100 pounds lighter back when I was in my 30s.

I re­mem­ber stand­ing there for al­most five min­utes. Mes­mer­ized. Then I had to re­mind my­self that peo­ple might won­der what was tak­ing me too long. So I had to pry my­self out of there.

As I was walk­ing out, I had this Eureka mo­ment. There was a way to turn back the time. But to con­vince peo­ple that I was still in the lat­ter part of my third decade, I’d have to drag them to the men’s bath­room at the news­room of Sun­Star Cebu and, non­cha­lantly, ask them to guess my age. Which, I re­al­ized right there and then, was not such a good idea.

First of all, I couldn’t well go up to some­one and ask them to ac­com­pany me to the loo. Uhuh. I’m sure they’d give me the look. Or a quick jab to the face. And if they do say yes, then I’d be the one giv­ing them the look. And how would I ex­plain to man­age­ment my bring­ing peo­ple to the bath­room?

So that’s why I de­cided to own my age. Ac­cept it. Be proud of it. An­nounce it to the world. I didn’t want to be mis­taken for some­one in his 50s. Hell no. But that’s ex­actly what hap­pened to me last month.

One of my younger cousins from Bo­hol, young enough to be my son, was stay­ing with me. One night, we had a few drinks af­ter work. We talked about many things, mostly pol­i­tics, and how much cheaper some stuff in Cebu is com­pared to in Bo­hol.

Then I don’t know what got into me. He was treat­ing me with so much def­er­ence and look­ing up to me like I was some­body an­cient. It was bug­ging the heck out of me. So I had to ask him, how old did he think I was?

I know. I shouldn’t have gone there, but I did. And not only did I not like his an­swer, I had to re­strain my­self from stran­gling him. The punk thought I was 53. I should have brought him to the bath­room at the news­room of Sun­Star Cebu.

Any­way, I let it pass. He prob­a­bly had poor eye­sight, poor kid. Well, our con­ver­sa­tion turned to his­tory. Of course, I started show­ing off my knowl­edge of World War 2 when my cousin in­ter­rupted me.

“Kol, nakaabot ka ato (Were you alive back then)?”

And not only did I not like his an­swer, I had to re­strain my­self from stran­gling him. The punk thought I was 53

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