I feel like those girls in the movies looking out from a big window. Dirty-white colored nightgown, hair in a semi-mess with a curiously shy-looking pin in the middle-half of the wavy strands.
Only my hair's not that wavy and I haven't worn a nightgown for ages. And, silly me, the window is not at all big like the ones in the movies.
But it means I am silent. And it means I can't decide whether to be happy or sad that I find myself alone today.
The house I live in is strange. It is complete, but the parts do not seem connected. It is small with only two rooms. The couch and sofa are big. The TV rests in the center of the sala, right across the three steps that lead to the two bedrooms. This means if you sit on the sofa, you have to lean to your right to get a better view of the TV, or you could sit in the steps, like a playhouse kind of theater, with one person sitting on a higher level than the other. The kitchen and dining area is the "dark corner." But the CR wins, it's the "darker corner;" and I wonder now at what time of day it gets its dose of sunlight. I wonder now which is east or west, north or south, only that I am sure it's my mother's (and brothers') room that is bright most of the time. There are potted plants outside. These usually grow in number if the lady from Busay visits and brings with her more potted plants which Mama promptly buys and arranges in twos and threes. Most of the time they wither and die, everyone's so busy no-one can remember to water them. Outside, the walls are white with millions of black or grayish micro-dots. But now that the rains have returned, they become more aggressive circles, sometimes extending tails and looking like those melted crayons you blow in your white bond paper back in elementary art class. Inside, the walls are noticeably cleaner, but also noticeably painted by a laughing mother and a 13 or 14-year-old son bent on serious manly task. The computer table is where you will usually find me. It sits in the living room but peeks into the kitchen.
Back in 4th year college, I'd sleep until everyone gets out of the house. It was the time of less schedules inside the classrooms; it's thesis year and time is spent on researching and field work. But my thesis partner went volunteering for the ad congress, so I had a month of free mornings, three days a week. By the time, the heavy, front door closes in a bang; I get up and turn the computer on. I play music, alternating from the instrumentals, to the musicals, and then the pop songs. I close all the windows and doors. I clean the whole house, always starting with the tables, moving on to the beds, and ending with the floor.
I go to the mirror after all the cleaning. I fix my hair. I turn the volume louder. And then I dance. Hip-hop, disco, performance art, absurd steps, all of them rolled into one morning of careless possibilities. The dancing ritual is a secret. It's that special flourish that caps the cleaning. In a way, it's a whisper to the house I live in like a boarder who only goes home to sleep, "Naa man ko diri."
Mid-November of 2005, I wanted to make my presence more felt. I woke up one morning even while my sisters were still preparing to go to work. I wanted to set the Christmas tree up. I even dusted the pieces for the mini-Belen. I also set-up the Christmas lights.
I rarely get that time alone now. It's the end of September and suddenly I'm getting this gift again today. But I've no interest in cleaning nor the feel for dancing. The house is silent and I sit silent with it.
It's two months ahead of schedule, but yes, I tried to look for the box that contained the Christmas decors. I couldn't find it though.
I'd like to post a picture of the house I might have saved in the computer but can't find any either. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
I'll stick to waiting then.
It's 4 in the afternoon and my younger brothers will be arriving from school in an hour.