Friday, June 13, 2008


Today while visiting an old roommate, I found something I had thought I lost forever. It was a simple cassette tape, more like a demo tape, made by my favorite cousin.

Although we lived in different cities, we always managed to spend our summers together and we always managed to get into the same scrapes and messes. He was the ringbearer at my aunt's wedding, where I was one of the flower girls at age 6, and from that time on, I think he had to endure being teased by all the male cousins for being my partner, as I was the only female cousin during that time. The rest of the girls came later.

When we were in college, he studied Engineering while I went to study Mass Communications and "trouble". He would come by the apartment to bring some fresh corn he bought while passing by the corn field on the way home, and after I'd boil it, we'd chuck it and invite everyone else to sit in the patio or dining table, and eat and talk.

Pretty soon, he started a band, and although I never attended any of his shows, I could hear him sing when he'd perform at the Fuente rotunda. He made me proud.

When I had to leave suddenly to carve my own path, he handed me his demo tape, saying, "so you won't forget me." Or was it "here's something to remember me by."

Maybe it wasn't any of those statements at all, but it had the same message.

I never forgot him. I always thought of my favorite cousin, who was always there for me through the years, and now even though we'd gone our separate ways, he was still close to my heart.

Then one day I heard the news from my mother. "He died yesterday. A freak accident."

A boulder fell on top of him while he was vacationing after graduating from law, his second degree after completing engineering. What can one say? Never one to go to church, I went that day and lit a candle for him, praying that maybe it was all a mistake.

But it wasn't.

And today I found his demo tape. I thought I'd lost it forever. It has a photo of a curled up child, and inside, a photo of him and his band mate, a xeroxed copy neatly folded into the sleeve of a cassette holder. I tucked it into my purse, along with another long lost tape, Cheech and Chong's Greatest Hit, and headed home. I was going to digitize it.

And finally I have. It's such a relief to have it digitized finally, and to listen to his voice again. The song title? Conscience into Question.

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