Gray Things

Over eight years ago when we found out my wife was pregnant, she had to have her blood tested.  The results came back quickly and the doctor sat us down.  She told us the results of the test meant either of two things:

A.  the pregnancy was a lot further on than we had expected, or

B.  we were not having just one child

I think the sudden silence eventually gave in to laughter laced with disbelief.  Or at least that is the memory I would rather remember.  I am almost sure we didn’t weep or jump for joy or hand out free bus tickets (hand out bus tickets??? who does that???).

Once it was confirmed with a few other tests that indeed we were having twin girls, we changed our doctor.  Hahaha, no, not because she gave us such shocking news, but because she recommended a paediatrician who has had twins and practices closer to where we live.

That doctor talked us through a lot.  He helped us choose a date for the birth – we had to since twin births are usually more dangerous.  So at dawn on 24 September 2002 we drove in the half-dark for a Caesarean operation at 8:00 AM.  There was a lot of drama that day, induced (haha, I can laugh at it now, but hell it wasn’t funny then) by the anaesthetist who was half an hour late.

I was only allowed in the operating room after a long wait.  I shall spare the gory details of skin spread out like an umbrella, all the cutting instruments dulled by blood, etc.  You don’t need to know any of that for now.  🙂

Our twin girls were born half a minute from each other.  (At the moment they have this silly notion that one is older than the other.  But really, I was there and I cannot remember who came first, to be honest.  I was just shown two alien looking gray things that squirmed.)

Well, leap into today, 25 January 2011.  I am having twins again but they are being born on different days.  The first one, let’s call her “Karu” – short for Baha-bahagdang Karupukan – was born today.  I have been told her twin sister, “Skin” – for Alien to Any Skin – will be delivered sometime this week.  Thus, twin books for a daddy of twins.  It was the poet Gemino Abad who first pointed this out to me because I think I was too overwhelmed to realize the news then.


About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

4 responses to “Gray Things

  • littlemisshomosapien

    Hey congratulations with your twin books 😉

    What are these books about, and where are they available?

    • matangmanok

      Thank you! Great to hear from you again. They are poetry books. UST Publishing House still has to handle marketing and distribution.

  • littlemisshomosapien

    Oh nice! You wrote them? Let me know when they’re finally available. I’ll try to get myself of them twin copies. 🙂

  • matangmanok

    Yes, as far as I can remember. Or perhaps they wrote themselves out despite my attempts at snuffing them out with pillows and pushing them into freezing Atlantic waters. 🙂

    I was told in two weeks the marketing and distribution folks will be ready to handle orders for the books. I hope you can wait (without getting amnesia) until then. I will have to wait a month or more. Boo hooo. The woes of not having teleporter machines.

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