I have only recently recovered from the fright I obtained from Veronica's friendly greeting outside of Zellerbach Hall right before the Bayanihan Dance Company's performance. Go read her account and then come back to my account.
So there I was chatting it up with friends right outside of the hall, when I hear children call out,
"Hi Rhett." The greeting was followed by giggling.
[Brain: Hmm, someone called out my name. But besides D and E, I should know no one here. Well, even if I know them, their voices should register as adult voices. Not children's.
Ahh, it's probably a kid whose name is Brett, or Jet, or Brad. That's it. Just some kids running around playing tag.]
"Hi Rhett." Another giggling sound.
[Brain: Err, nope, this time, that was definitely closer. More to my back.
Well, I did not feel any knives or sharp pointy objects entering my back. That's always a good sign that this was a friendly greeting. Usually former undergraduate students are screaming and shouting at me for their "C" or "B".
It doesn't help that I told them that their answers during the midterms were not really correct. How the heck do I help that? I just can't give credit when they don't write the right answer to a question.
Oh-oh. D is pointing to my back. Hmm, she looks like she's in shock. I better turn around.]
As my eyes focus on three youngsters aged five to nine, my brain processes the information.
[Brain: Well, they are calling me. They seem to know me. But I sure as h*ll don't know them. Who are they? Where did they come from? Ahh, so this is that feeling of dislocation due to entering the twilight zone.
Hmm, they are cute kids. They could be my kids, I suppose. But I swear, I would have remembered fathering three children. Hell, I don't know anyone who would not have contacted me with "Hey, guess what, you're a father now."
Analyze… Analyze… What was I doing five to ten years ago. ANALYZE!!!! You're a scientist. Go back to the time machine. Ten years ago was one year before graduation from grad school.
Who were you pining for in that time period? Well there was N. But as I remember, she was Asian. These children definitely look mestizas. Asian plus Filipino would make Asian looking children. It can't be from N.
Okay, did we go anywhere in 1996? Well, I did go to Maryland. But I swear, that was for a fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Our idea of partying was staying up late and talking about the gossips in the laboratory in the east coast. Heck, I can' even remember a blonde from that party.
How about graduate school? Well, there was A, C and K. They were all white. But I don't even remember getting to second base with any of them. Hell, I didn't even date any of them. They all got their PhD and I know they would have at least given me the courtesy call that I was a father of a set of twins and one single.
Okay, anyone else? Well, there was A. But she's a psychiatrist in SF now. I had to leave her because she was disrupting my existence to such an extent that I could not function. And, she was Chinese. These kids are mestizas.
FOCUS! Analyze all the Caucasian women you liked. Could you have fathered these kids with any of them? Well, there weren't that many Caucasian women I liked. By the time I was a junior in college, I only liked Filipinas. Okay, there was this really tall blonde in Chemistry 1A, but I didn't even get her name.
Wait, I did go to a fraternity bash. Oh, that was an Asian fraternity though. All the women there were in my Biochemistry class and I couldn't date them because I was their teaching assistant. Scratch that one.
Tutoring! Maybe you met a Caucasian while tutoring. The only person I liked when I was tutoring was B and she was Japanese. I don't think that a Filipino + Japanese would give you mestizas.
Well, let's confirm that these kids are mestizas. Light brown hair… Good tan… A resemblance to pango noses…. wait they have that mischievous smile. That could have definitely come from you!
What mischievous smile?
Oh…[looking at the children smiling] that MISCHIEVOUS SMILE! Shit, they look like me when I was a kid smiling after I had peed on the cactus.
I give up. I hope these are not my children and that I'm not about to be featured in the Jerry Springer show. I have my alibi!!!!]
As I say hello, the children say "Our mommy Veronica says 'Hi'".
[Brain: Oh, ayan. Veronica daw. Sino yung Veronica? Sigura kaklase mo.
(Brain has shifted to the most basic language Tagalog in an effort to process faster.)
I have never dated anyone with that name. I have a niece Veronica, but she's only 1 years old.
Of course, these could be my grand-nieces. They could have traveled back in time. I guess in the future, they can come back to the past and be like tourists. I should ask these girls whether I'm still skinny in the future or not.]
As I say "Veronica who?" they point to the right.
[Oh, thank God!!!! It's Ver!!!!]
You scared me, children!!! Don't do that again!!!