I dreamt that a cat bit my right index finger, and felt the dread that I needed to get vaccinated for rabies. My wife is experiencing a new kind of pain in her seams - that's how I would put it; she likened it to the manufacturing of a Barbie doll that leaves behind a mark on her shoulders and waist, a really thin mark that's probably due to the molds not fitting snugly, in the same way waffles from waffle makers have these crusty scraps and edges. Parenthood means sulking every summer by swimming pools, wearing clothes splashed with pool water. I find comfort when my child hums while taking his time in doing something. Written from the back of a receipt from my usual bus rides to Ortigas, in red ink, I quote: I pine for a dead poet on my birthday. He died last year. His name is John Ashbery. He was a voice I'd love to have in my head. Instead I have the whirr of rowing machines, the wind blowing my face. At the buss I asked myself what birthdays are all about - it's a day to celebrate life.