Rey Anthony, his brother Ray Christopher, the son of my godmother Junjun, and Auntie Shyla's husband Uncle Toto arrived in Ninang Perly's new jiffy (is it spelled that way?) at half past midnight.
I was starting to read Jean Plaidy's Queen Jezebel and just finished texting Caryn that I felt better now and I'm sending her my goodnight, told her I went to the City Sports Complex's pool, swam alone, alternating groups of student swimmers getting into the children's pool every now and then (Russ and Liyo, who looked like mothers or fathers with jubilant and proud faces seeing off their daughter in her first day of school, were with me :) - a smile there).
Then Junjun's voice.
Rey is with them, too, his maturity in physical appearance pronounced more by his short hair in a ponytail, strikingly handsome in white shirt and jeans.
Early morning I had my usual tantrums as I was sent to City Hall to finish the processing of the business permit of a certain SHURE under Ate Aileen's bookkeeping. I was irritated, bored, tired all at the same time, and Mama, always her patient self when it comes to my unreasonable frowns and complaints, endured my stupidity.
I FEEL BORED AND GUILTY AND CONFUSED AND IRRITATED AND SAD AND TIRED AND GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY FOR FEELING GUILTY BORED TIRED IRRITATED.
Caryn replied to me with Pablo Neruda, cellphone bridging tired minds and fingers:
ODE TO SADNESS
SADNESS, SCARAB WITH SEVEN CRIPPLED FEET, SPIDERWEB EGG, SCRAMBLE-BRAINED RAT, BITCH'S SKELETON: NO ENTRY HERE. DON'T COME IN. GO AWAY. GO BACK SOUTH WITH YOUR UMBRELLA, GO BACK NORTH WITH YOUR SERPENT'S TEETH. A POET LIVES HERE. NO SADNESS MAY CROSS THIS THRESHOLD. THROUGH THESE WINDOWS COMES THE BREATH OF THE WORLD, FRESH RED ROSES, FLAGS EMBROIDERED WITH THE VICTORIES OF THE PEOPLE. NO. NO ENTRY. FLAP YOUR BAT'S WINGS, I WILL TRAMPLE THE FEATHERS THAT FALL FROM YOUR MANTLE, I WILL SWEEP THE BITS AND PIECES OF YOUR CARCASS TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WIND, I WILL WRING YOUR NECK, I WILL STITCH YOUR EYELIDS SHUT, I WILL SEW YOUR SHROUD, SADNESS, AND BURY YOUR RODENT BONES BENEATH THE SPRINGTIME OF AN APPLE TREE.
I wish I could have an apple tree right in the middle of my bed, leaves scattered in the mattress, no red fruits, just black and violet sadness clinging to the branches. But then again, I don't even have my own room, least of all my own bed.
Mama bought two scarf necklaces.
I used the brown one, she used the white.
Then she went off with her high school friends. A rare reunion.
I went to Robinson’s, bought two blouses and one bolero, all black.
And then a visit to RSO, and I had with me two, ten-peso books – Plaidy’s Queen Jezebel and a book from a Chinese author with a comment “A Chinese Gone With the Wind!.”
I was feeling better then.
Then thesis with Yen.
Thesis, thesis, thesis, thesis. Arrgh.
Then the pool. Release of stress, or maybe black goo from the mind. Water laps help. I will try my very best to swim at least once a week from now on.
Rey and his unRey self. I miss the him before. His smile and teases. The way he goes near me and the way he talks. The way I feel unusually pretty every time he sends himself to me. It might as well be childish, those times, but I was happy then.
They are still talking and drinking beer outside. Ate Aileen and Ate Ivy keeping them company.
Topew says, “Vrals dali diri sa gawas.”
I want to cry.
That is all.
I want to cry.
I am tired.