Footnote to Youth

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Footnote to youth

By Jose Garcia Villa

It’s already sunset Dodong thought himself he would tell his father about Teang when he got home after he unhitched the carabao from the plow and lead it to its shed and fed it.What he had to say was of serious import as it would mark a climacteric in his life.Dodong decided to tell his father but a thought came to his mind that his father might refuse to consider it.While in the farm he thought of his age seventeen and he said to himself that he was not young anymore.He had pimples on his face and down on his upper lip was already dark-these meant that he was no longer a boy.While going home from the farm he thought wild young dreams of himself and Teang.Teang his girl.She had a small brown face and a small eyes and straight glossy hair.She made him want to touch her and to hold her.She him dream even during the day when Dodong reached home the petroleum lamp on the ceiling was already lighted and the low unvarnished square table was set for supper.His parents and him sat down on the floor around a table and eat.Dodong ate fish and rice.After they have done eating his mother go outside to wash the dishes while his father remained inside.When his mother was out  he said to his father that he was going to marry Teang.There it was out.What he had to say and over which he had done much thinking.His father looked at him silently.He repeated it again.He said for the second time that he was going to marry Teang.His father kept gazing at him in inflexible silence and Dodong fidgeted on his seat.He said that he asked Teang lastnight to marry him and she said…yes.Must you marry Dodong?his father said.He got confused.But suddenly his father accepted and granted his wish to marry Teang.Time goes by.Dodong and Teang got married and now they had a child named Blas.After six successive years new child came along.Dodong did not want anymore children but they came.Now teang was shapeless and thin even though she was young.tThere was interminable work to be done.Cooking .Laundering.The house.She cried sometimes wishing she had not married yet but she did not tell Dodong about it.One night as Dodong lay beside his wife he rose and went out of the house.He stood in the moonlight tired and querulous.He wanted to asked questions and somebody to answer him.He wanted to be wise about many things.One of those was why life did not fulfill all youth’s dreams.Why it must be so.Why one was forsaken…after love.Dodong returned to the house humiliated by himself.He had wanted to have a little wisdom but was denied it.When Blas was eighteen he came home one night very flustered and happy.when teang and other children were asleep Dodong heard Blas’ steps for he could not sleep well of nights.he watched blas undress in the dark and lie down softly.Blas was restless but could not sleep.dodong called his name and asked why he did not sleep.”Itay…”Blas called softly.”I am going to marry Tona.”she accepted me tonight”.Dodong lay silently.”I love Tona…and I want her”Blas said.Dodong rose from his mat and told blas to follow him.they descended to the yard where everything was still quiet. “you want to marry Tona?”Dodong said.He did not want Blas to marry yet.Blas was very young.the life that would follow marriage would be hard…and Blas say…yes.Dodong keep silent and hurt.”you have objections itay?”Blas asked acridly.and dodong said.”none”.Dodong looked wistfully at his young son in the moonlight.He felt extremely sad and sorry for him.

GENRE-Short Story


  Jose Garcia Villa (August 5, 1908 – February 7, 1997) was a Filipino poet, literary critic, short story writer, and painter. He was awarded the National Artist of the Philippines title for literature in 1973, as well as the Guggenheim Fellowship in creative writing by Conrad Aiken. He is known to have introduced the "reversed consonance rime scheme" in writing poetry, as well as the extensive use of punctuation marks—especially commas, which made him known as the Comma Poet. He used the penname Doveglion (derived from "Dove, Eagle, Lion"), based on the characters he derived from himself. These animals were also explored by another poet e.e. cummings in Doveglion, Adventures in Value, a poem dedicated to Villa.