Friday, June 12, 2009

Coffee and cigarettes in Quezon City

I have woken up about an hour too early, and instead of writing with eye-lids in half mast I am tempted to crawl back into bed. I have a busy day at the office and need that reserve of energy. But maybe instead of snuggling with my husband who still sleeps after working until 2am, I will wash the dishes and make breakfast. In the mornings I do not like sweet things, at least not at first. Memories of traditional Filipino breakfasts from my childhood: waking up to the smell of garlic fried rice, tuyo, fried eggs and corned beef. Waking up knowing my parents would already be up, relishing the few times in the day when they can sit quietly together with no interruption from the children. Sometimes I would wake up earlier and spy on them. My mother in her floor length champagne colored nightgown, hair already perfect with no effort, sitting with her beautiful face perched on her knees, one hand outstretched towards my father. He lights her cigarette and plainly admires her. They take their coffee served by the maids and talk in hushed tones. Inevitably my mother would ask, "Shall we ask them to wake up the children for breakfast?" My Dad, reaching over to stroke Mom's bare arms would say, "Not just yet" and light another cigarette for her. I would smile and sneak back into bed, and wait for the maids to wake me up.

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