hindi na sarap.


coming home was like nothing. i left early in the morning, and i thought about what i'd want to write about. maybe the overhead pass on i-5, or else how there was an early morning haze. my flight was early. i've decided i like leaving early. it feels like i still have a whole day to myself. when i book a flight in the middle of the day, it feels like the whole day is shot. there's all that waiting i have to do. jaspreet finally showed me that i can check in online. all i have to do is click on that link that says "check in online," enter my confirmation number, and it's done. i've been flying for years, and i never knew about checking in online.

checking in online saves a little bit of time. i still have to go through security, and that takes a while, even if no one else is in the security line. i've got to undo my belt, and empty my pockets, and take out my laptop. it's a real hassle. i wish security personnel could just look at a person and decide. this person isn't going to cause any trouble. move along. but it doesn't work that way. they've got to start with the assumption that everyone is going to cause some trouble. they're all so paranoid.

on the way to sacramento, i got a window seat. two guys sat next to me. i found this strange, since the plane wasn't even full. "our seats aren't numbered!" the guy next to me said aloud. he made his friend move over to the next aisle, and then he took the aisle seat. haven't you ever flown before? maybe they hadn't. i got to thinking about how i always notice how the people headed to sac are always so unglamorous. and then i got to thinking how i really do look like a person who is from sacramento.

the city itself is unglamorous. after leaving the airport, there's just dry dead grass for miles. and then there's arco arena, that awfully average building smack dab in the middle of nowhere, where our home team, the kings, lose and lose and lose. and then i reach downtown, and there's a ziggurat. it's a pyramid thing, and i don't know what happens in that building. and there's the bridge over the american river, a small golden thing that looks like the golden gate bridge's illegitimate daughter. there are buildings, high-rises, and i don't know what goes on in there, either. they might as well be empty. they're just there to say, here we are. we are a city.

mom wanted to go to mimi's. she always likes going there, and it isn't very good. she had a coupon, five dollars off, and i think that's why she wanted to go. she likes to comment while she's eating. "sarap," she'll say, meaning "tasty," or "hindi na sarap," meaning, "it's not tasty." she comments while she eats, and my dad and i, we just eat, we don't talk much. my dad told me he was going to eat my toast. i said it was okay. his blueberry muffin sat there, untouched. my mom looked as his muffin. "you should've ordered the toast," she said, in tagalog.

when we got home, i noticed the new oven, the new t.v. my dad and i watched michael jackson videos on demand. we sat there in the air-conditioned living room watching t.v. for the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon. and that's about when it began to feel like i was in sac all over again.

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