About Touch


I have been thinking of posting my journal entries in this blog for quite a while now. I kept a journal, regularly, from November 2004 to March 2006. Then I stopped. I guess I just got too tired of writing the same rants over and over again. And by that time, I was just so frustrated and about to give up on my relationship. I felt so drained, emotionally. I do understand that I have my own faults. And of course, H is not reading this and can’t defend himself. I know I am not innocent and I know that I am not just a victim in this situation. I guess I’m just doing this to also look back, take a back seat, and re-assess the situation and make sense of it all. Because I am in the same predicament once again. Should I stay or should I go now?

My parents garnered a lot of friends in our small town. People came to the shop, The TOUCH Tailoring, and asked my father, “Mr. TOUCH, would you please give us the honor of being the godfather of my child?” My father would say, “Why, sure, it would be my pleasure.” For it would not be proper to decline that offer. My parents and the other parents then became magkumpare (male) and magkumare (female). They became the best of friends, almost like family members. They went to each other’s house and it was the custom to serve your kumpare a few drinks of beer, whiskey, or rum.

My father drank a lot. Whenever we visited friends and relatives, there was always drinking involved. Once, we visited my aunt in Quezon City. My uncle, who was a seaman, offered my father one of his expensive wines. My father enjoyed it so much as it wasn’t often that he’d get a taste of an expensive wine. He’d had too much to drink that he passed out on the covered wooden swing in the front yard. My aunts thought it was funny and my mother even took a picture of him. My mother still has that picture in her photo album.

There was also this one time when my parents went to visit my grandparents in their house in Manila. As usual, he had been drinking. He was already quite drunk when they boarded the bus home. My mother told me that my father needed to go to the bathroom badly so they went to the back of the bus and he relieved himself there.

That was my father. There were times when he would be out by himself, come home late, drunk. He would pass out on the couch and wet his pants. When he’d wake up the next morning, he wouldn’t have an idea of how he got home the previous night.

We were in the car on the way home from church when I asked my mother a few years ago if she remembered when my father started drinking. She said he was already that way when she met him. When they got married and lived with his parents, my grandparents, in his hometown, my grandfather warned her about his drinking. My grandfather told my mother about this time that he hung my father upside down at the window when he came home drunk one night, hoping that it would embarrass him when people saw him like that the next morning. He thought that the embarrassment would make my father stop drinking. But it didn’t.

My grandfather even shared with my mother an old wives’ remedy. He told her to obtain the sweat of a horse and secretly pour this in my father’s drink. And this was supposed to make my father stop drinking. I asked my mother, “Well, did you?” “No,” she said, “how could I get the sweat of a horse? Besides, what if he caught me pouring it in his drink?”

So there you have it. Funny as these may all sound, it’s not like they didn’t try anything to stop him from drinking.

What does TOUCH mean?  The word TOUCH is a noun and also a verb.  It has several meanings, not just as a noun, but as a verb as well.

The following is just a few meanings of TOUCH as a verb listed in dictionary.com:

1. To cause or permit a part of the body, especially the hand or fingers, to come in contact with so as to feel: reached out and touched the smooth stone.

2. To bring (one thing) into light contact with something else: grounded the radio by touching a wire to it.

3. To press or push lightly; tap: touched 19 on the phone to get room service.

4. To lay hands on in violence: I never touched him!

5. To eat or drink; taste: She didn’t touch her food.

6. To disturb or move by handling: Just don’t touch anything in the room!

7. To affect the emotions of; move to tender response: an appeal that touched us deeply.

TOUCH is also the name of the tailoring shop my parents used to own in a small town in the Philippines.  The shop was the front room of our house, which was at a corner of a busy intersection – a good spot for a business like ours.  At the front of the shop was a big glass-covered window box where my parents displayed pants and shirts.  There was a sign that said TOUCH Tailoring.  Inside the shop was a big wooden table my father used as a cutting table.  There were three sewing machines, which my mother and a couple hired people used to sew the pants and polo shirts.  My parents ran a successful tailor shop.  People knew us because we were the only tailor shop in town.  They actually referred to my parents as Mr. and Mrs. Touch.

Continued here.