everybody's working for the weekend.


he had himself a buddy. this tiny, skinny motherfucker named ernie. and ernie thought he was all that because he had himself a hot-as-tits girlfriend and a motorcycle. ernie had himself a loud ass motorcycle, and he roared that thing all over rosemont. he was dark as his harley, leathery as his black-ass bomber jacket. his girlfriend may or may not have been all that, but she dressed like a hoochie and wore lots of makeup, so that was all good in everyone's book. she just chewed bubble gum and wrapped her curly strands of hair around her finger.

ernie didn't even take his lady out very much. he'd just bring her over to the house to show her off, and while she watched madonna and belinda carlisle on the tv, ernie'd be chilling in the garage with his homies, the tans, and they'd all be drinking beers and roasting oysters on the mini barbecue pit. life was sweet in america, wasn't it, boys? the children, his nephews and nieces, they'd be jumping on the borders of the lawn, carefully stepping from one octagon slab of cement to the next, and anything less meant falling into the lava.

he talked about his job to ernie, to his brothers. walang gumagawa, he said. he was bored as shit at work, but when he wasn't bored, he was stressed as balls. and what's worse, he hadn't gotten laid since she'd left him. uwi natayo, ernie said, joking. we'll go back to the homeland where love is cheap and everywhere. there, he reminded him, you can't walk two blocks without falling knee deep into some peck-peck. it's that simple, pare.

ernie would crack open an oyster with a silver butter knife, then soak it in vinegar and garlic powder. he'd do one after the other, and then he'd toss the shells into a brown paper bag. he'd wash 'em down with heinekens and then he'd say to one of the brothers, what's the matter, you're not drinking? and that brother would rub his belly and say that oysters and beer didn't settle so well with him. ernie would just shake his head, and that brother would give in. okay, beer me.

they sat on lawn chairs and did this for hours. nothing in the new world was interesting - what was there to say about at&t, parochial schools, car payments, white neighbors and lucky's? - so they'd reminisce. they'd reminisce the hell out of each other. one brother would tell a story, and then the other brother would try to top it, usually unsuccessfully. and it'd go something like this.

when we were young, we didn't have any money. lolo amang kept us in check, and would barely give us a dime even if we were barefoot and starving. i did a paper route with dennis just to get some extra cash on the side. so, on the weekends, we'd go to the cinema to watch a western, john wayne, but i'd have to sit real close to the screen. dennis was so angry. he'd say, there are so many open seats! why do we have to sit so goddang close? i didn't know it was because my eyesight was bad, so i just told him i liked to sit up close. so, the two of us would be in the first, second row, and we'd have to strain our necks to see the giant wall of movie in front of us!

everybody laughed at this, at the thought of these two broke ass filipino boys struggling so much just to see a stupid cowboy movie. ernie found it especially hilarious, and he'd laugh harder than anyone. it was the kind of laugh that made you suspicious of a person, the kind of thigh-slapping, stomach-holding laugh that real people, normal people just didn't do. and it would last longer than the others', too. the kind of tear-inducing laugh that you'd think would never end. and then, when it finally does end, there are still some chuckles, little after-snorts.

at that point, hot stuff babycakes would come into the garage and say, what's so funny? ernie would shake his head, nothing babe. just talking about the past. she'd break open a corona, and sit on his recently-slapped thigh, but still mindful of the fact that a flimsy yellow and white lawn chair wouldn't realistically support the both of them. the entrance of the female drastically changed the mood, and they wouldn't reminisce so much anymore. girls didn't want to hear that shit. that was all men talk. who knew what these broads wanted to hear? something about shrimp chips and nail polish, probably.

it would get really late, and by then, all the children had gone home, gone to bed. the men would still be up, though. they'd talk late into the night because that's what filipinos did. those weekends in the garage were what they had to look forward to. all the rest of the week was just hanging around bullshit white people who'd spit in their faces and fuck their wives, their sisters, and their daughters, given the opportunity. these bullshit white people. they already had the world, but they still wanted more. it was a week full of neckties and comedies on nbc, dramas on cbs, the lonesome dreary drive to work, the quiet house afterward.

but those weekends, swear to god. bring ernie around, gather up some juicy oysters, and get that party fucking started.

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