We shared stories and jokes while we jogged or walked casually, often making 7 to 10 rounds around the blocks. When we have worked out a sweat, we stopped and went home. Sometimes we would arrange to meet again during the day for lunch, a talk or for going somewhere, or else meet again accidentally. I guess you could say we were meant.
Especially when all 5 of us are always short of money.
But the surprising thing is that we go places even when short of cash. That's the advantage of being jageros---you easily walk or run for miles and reach places. We don't mind traffic. All we have to do is get off the vehicle and start to walk.
At 5 am I would wake up and help my wife prepare for work (after a prayer). After seeing her go, I take a light breakfast, go to the toilet (where I do part of my quiet time), and then hit the streets. Often, while taking my light breakfast, the four of them pass by my place discussing and laughing. I'd overhear them and look out the window. I always do that---watch them go by from my window. Then, after a visit to the toilet I go out and catch up with them.
They talk and laugh while I just focus on my relaxed run. Of course, I listen to them, but I let them do most of the talking. I keep busy with my shadow boxing as we jogged lightly, swinging at the air with my punches and hooks. I'm the lone martial artist among the 5 of us. Now and then I share my thoughts, but I prefer to be on "training."
"Have you seen that new running shoes on TV?" asked Rex.
"Yeah, I'd like to have one of those!" Benjie exclaimed.
"At P5,000 a pair?" Paul asked.
"My old shoes are still good," Pol said.
"I like simple running shoes, being a simple guy," I said. "And this pair (referring to the one I was wearing) still serves me well."
Most people lacking money talk like that. They'd rather say a lot of other things than admit the simple truth when it's staring at them. Well, most times it's a joke. When I can't afford something, I jestingly say I don't like the thing. But mind you, it's just a joke to cushion the damning effect of realizing further how you are penniless, how you cannot afford a lot of things because you don't have money. It's not telling a lie. That's why I'm laughing now in my mind---it's a joke you shouldn't take seriously. Lies are often seen as jokes, and vice versa, by narrow minds.
But some people won't let you off the hook with that joke. They'd insist you lied and bring on all kinds of guilt on you by all means. They can't forgive you, and it's all because they see you have no money. I warn you---there are experts out there on guilt creation. They create guilt for you and bury you in it, even if it's all their fault. I've met them. If you happen to meet them and you can't do anything about what they're doing (these folks are powerful), just run. Run daily.
But you see, when you run together with those of the same feathers, the impact is reduced and the 5 of you simply laugh away your plights. It's quite relieving. It's therapeutic. If you don't run yet, I suggest you do now. And run with close companions, those you can closely identify with. Those with the same wavelength as you have.
Rex was once reprimanded for having admitted on social media that, "I just killed someone a minute ago!" He told me it was true. He wasn't joking. But some commented that it was a joke in bad taste. So he replied, "Who's joking? It's true. I stepped on an ant? He just died!"
So, the 5 of us agreed. You should never assume anything until you understand the whole story. If you find something weird or strange, don't comment anything. You just either like it or ignore it. And also you don't have to have a say on everything you read, see or hear. Most times, everybody's better off if you just shut up. Most times, no one needs your opinion.
Often, opinions are meant to be kept to oneself. God created them so we can weigh our dispositions. Seldom is it meant to be shared. The five of us put our hands together to swear to always remember these things. Then we jogged off happily uphill until a panoramic scene of the valley below dramatically broke before us.