January 2, 2006

hopeful might be the word

for me.

Just a day after the new year and the afternoon-darkened room I share with my two elder sisters would cradle me as I write, What does God want from me. I ask, and wish He'd go down from his post and split my head open Himself.

A sharp contrast to what I am these days, like that accidental, dark circle (and from who knows where) in your photograph of a summer park.
It is an acciddent of sorts. And I will it to be just that way - these sudden shifts of moods that always catch me off-guard, and blackens the yellows of my minutes, sometimes for hours, and comes back as I lie down on the shared bed, the light from the cheap lampshade in girly pinks and whites lightly stinging my eyes.
If I had a book to read, the likes of Schoemperlen's or Lewis', I would have slept in a bed of words and lines and worlds to escape to.

I just finished Janet Fitch's White Oleander and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale straight, without any unfinished books in between, and realized that the metaphors, similes, and the persona's disposition on things and his/her resolutions matter most to me. There might be a certain tone or voice of the writer's or of the character he/she (she mostly) that I am more attuned to and get me hooked up with a book. Confessional for poetry and that for novels.

I could read Choplin and the wife/mother who took risked taking the road less traveled. Or I could burden my mind with the HOWs on Philippine literature not getting into the stream of younger readers, grit my teeth in desperation, grab a pen and doodle letters that form no words and no lines of coherent meaning.
I might want to read Memoirs of a Geisha. The film is coming in the cinemas, and I might as well do the book first.

It's midnight.
I want to start a list.
- Liyo -- Patience. That's what He's asking from you.
- Vanvan -- Pa, ingon si Janine nako naa na kuno ko'y Auntie Maricel.
- Mama -- Pwede ra ni nako ideretso sa bridge.
- Papa -- Ayaw kalimutan pawnga ang suga.
- Ate Aileen -- Nganong always man ka irritated?
- Ate Ivy -- Ako nalang beh.
- Tita Maricar -- Sagdii lang kay mao nay pinaka-special na gift! Wa pa man nigawas ang genie!
- Offred -- I feel like the word shatter.
- Astrid Magnussen -- I didn't need to put mirrors on the roof to know that.
-- I wear my guilt like a brand.
- Ingrid Magnussen -- After all, what is the biography of the spirit.
- Russ' father -- Nganong wa man ka nianhi?
- Joseph -- Ako nang gihimo ang kalan.

Domesticity shelters me, right now, even in my world at midnight and blinking lights, even in my rumpled thoughts, even as I sit savoring stolen hours alone, fighting the need to sleep just so I could float with my imaginary room.
And so I want to sleep. Feeling the want to sleep like getting the rare colds in a year.
Papa, Vincent, and Vanvan are sleeping. Mama, too.
Ae Ivy just sleep-talked. Ate Aileen is sleeping.
While she ate dinner,I casually said Si Naomi ug Nicole kay friends, like we didn't have a fight last night. Nganong always man ka irritated?
All the dumped trash - papers, banana peelings, rotten food, cans, shoes - went in bundles to wherever the city's garbage go. There are new hang-lines for the laundry. The parking area is currently reconstructed. Meals are taken together. The refrigerator top is clean. The sink is cleared of dirty plates just minutes after a meal, and at least twice in the afternoons. The toilet now comes with a blue pail. There are new, potted, short-leafed plants. Mama washes everyone's dirty clothes. Kingkong is a movie treat. Vincent sleeps during midnoon. Vanvan asks and talks more.

My home at the end of the world.
My home against all odds.

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