You could hear the argument from the closed windows of the living room and reverberating through the whole house. The interplay of voices seems a bit musical at times, with the shrill staccato of the female blending at some points with that of the low drone monotone of the husband. Nevertheless, it is irritating, like all domestic arguments are in this compact suburbia, where the neighbors are so close to each other, one might just as well be tempted to join in on the conversations if you were really buddies or berks.
However, something in the continued frequency of this particular ongoing argument suggested that this was serious talk indeed, and unless one put on a set of headphones, there was no escaping the transgression on one’s senses. Without meaning to, bits of information trickle in, there is mention of marriage (whose?), then money (whose?) and finally, pre-nup (aha!).
The topic of the whole argument, and what was seriously being discussed in earnest, is suddenly made clear when they finally mention the names of the people involved: Sarah and Mateo.
Our world today, and for me, at a time when I am trying so hard to concentrate on writing. As with any other day, month or year, there seems to be no other conceivable variation to the soap opera at the next house. If the topic-of-the-day does not revolve around domestic differences such as contradicting methods at disciplining children and the like, it naturally gravitates towards showbiz, that modern drug which gets most heads a-buzzing. The treatment for all these arguments however are the same; steeped with an almost-feverish passion that will leave school debating clubs pale in comparison.
Almost akin to the Nora-Vilma fans club feuds of old, the modern-day minion will go at great length to defend the honor of their tala, and this had been the root of the ruckus at the next house.
In another setting, most often than not, one can receive a few minutes of inattention when the people minding the grocery store is completely focused on talking about what should have transpired in the latest Probinsyano episode. In instances like these, amusing as they may seem, your begging to be heard is given a stony gaze as you are served, as if it is really rude when you intrude.
In all, it’s just a case of different strokes for different folks I guess, and it is really all good. After all, one of the lessons to be had in life is how to patiently learn to navigate one’s own way through all the differences as we seek out our kind or similar feathers. It is likewise only natural that, imperfect as we all are, everyone has their own hamster wheels to play with and there seems to be no sense in battling it all out and insisting which one is better.
Showbiz, politics or religion, eat all you can to your hearts’ content, but never chew so loudly that you wake up the whole neighborhood. In the end, this is the only issue when you do so: is there a need to rub it in other people’s faces?
Just like the loud talkers at public transports who tell their jokes as though their intention is to entertain everyone, respect those who do not care to listen. Or those with their makeshift sound systems who block sidewalks and proclaim salvation, respect those of different faiths. Or the peeps next door that details each argument with heaps of did-you-knows and inside information, who cares? For all you know, people are trying to sleep.
There’s a meme that says it all: “My dear religion is like a your sex organ. It’s perfectly fine for one to have and take pride in, but when one takes it out and waves it around, then we have a problem.”
Leave to Sarah and Matteo what is Sarah’s and Matteo’s.
HONORING MY MOTHER
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