Third Zone by Boboy Yonzon
Third Zone


Mar 6, 2023, 2:18 AM
Boboy Yonzon

Boboy Yonzon


Watching “Stand By Me” on Netflix has set me off reminiscing about my own coming of age. Based on Stephen King’s novella “The Body,” it tells of friends you make and do not see for years and still miss terribly. And then there are those who come in and out of your life “like busboys in a restaurant.” Just like some girlfriends.

Recently, I had lunch with classmates from grade school, and then two weeks after, with a tight group from younger batches – all women aging beautifully. Three of my male buddies in high school are gone, claimed by lifestyle diseases, I speculate. A surviving one - battling bouts of vertigo, tummy and heart anomalies - serves as my legal consultant. Like Chris in “Stand By Me,” he became a lawyer, and a straight-shooter at that.

We were not more than 20 in high school class, in a school considered “non-traditional.” A number of parents kept sending their sons to our school in the hope of reforming them. I had a classmate who brought a revolver to class each day, and another one who threw a ball pen like a dart on our math teacher. Perhaps, in the near future, I will weave in their stories into my novel-in-progress.

I also sneaked in my dad’s Beretta to school one day. When I look back, I am glad I did not fire it when two of my buddies, Douglas and Joey, and I were ganged upon in Craig, Sampaloc by a group of guys who got mad at us for allegedly poaching girls in “their” territory. Who knows how my life would have turned if I maimed or killed somebody. We just made a run for it.

Just think of what might have been. Is there a video recording in the sky that could show us our destiny option 1, 2, 3, or beyond? One, tiny, seemingly negligible act, or even a word uttered, resulting in a great, indelible, impact on our fate, like a pebble thrown into and making concentric circles in a still water.

The wife says that my turning point in life was when I was mauled in Project 8 by a gang riding a convertible sedan. She also says that my turning point was when I was ejected from Grade 3, for being took sickly. Ano ba talaga, Ate?! She keeps on guessing why I am so driven. But one can make conscious, deliberate decisions in life just by quietly observing and imitating paragons – the positives.

Almost everybody agrees that nothing beats the exhilarating jibe of high school days. Searching for self-identity is intense. Raging hormones is immense. Loyalties to friends were treasured but not structured. I never had heart-to-heart talks with my buddies. I didn’t share them my problems, my dreams, nor my conquests. I consider myself a private person, though now I am blabbing in public. Oh how.

“Summer of 44” is another film that I am wishing they would show on Netflix. It is also based on a novella, and tells of a group of teenage boys anxious about a raging world war. A larger life changer is when one gets into a summer love with an older woman. A world turns.

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