by Betty Uy-Regala
Parating umuulan noon.
kahit sa carinderia.
Hindi ko kaya, tulad mo,
na ipunin sa palad ang nararamdaman
at pag isinuntok sa kung saang dingding
ay mapapakawalaan na ito.
O umiyak ka rin
ngunit di ko na maalala.
Sadyang maraming mga detalye
ang aking pinaanod
sa mga naghihintay na kanal.
Ang kuwento ng ibon, hangin at araw
na paris kamo ng kuwento nating tatlo.
Ang nunal sa iyong mukha.
Kung Marlboro o Winston
ang iyong sigarilyo.
naitanong ko tuloy sa sarili
kung nangyari nga tayo
sa isa’t isa.
Ang malinaw lamang sa akin
ay namatayan ako
at namatay noon.
today’s exactly six years since I graduated from high school. holyputch :)
Last night, I was too sleepy to get down from my car and walk to my house. I didn’t want to wake up my mother, I didn’t want to go through the task of walking towards my room. So as I have done countless times before, I parked my car in front of my house, switched-off the ignition, reclined my car seat, and slept. I was sleeping for about an hour when I heard the murmur of adult male voices. I opened my eyes to see three middle-aged men peering into my car. For a moment, I felt like I was a sweating fish inside a dark aquarium, and these men were watching me swim. I was dead sleepy and the situation seemed entirely surreal. My car’s windows were tinted so they couldn’t see me clearly. I, however, could see them straining their necks and squinting their eyes, trying to make sense of my shape, my movement. They were talking to each other but I couldn’t quite understand what they were saying. I drowsily lifted my palms to touch the surface of my car’s front mirror. It was my way of saying hello. They saw it and it assured them that someone was indeed inside the car. They peered closer and speculated louder. I opened my door and in all drowsiness looked at them like hu, whu, whut. Turns out they’re men from our village baranggay security, and they thought I might be be in need of some sort of assistance. It took them about two seconds to see that I was in no danger, that I was just a girl with weird sleeping habits. They walked away and our street became extremely quiet again. I closed my car door and went back to sleep until the morning turned dawn-blue.
I think I get it now. Why adults make a big deal out of seeing children grow. When relatives used to come over and marvel about how tall I’ve become, I didin’t understand the fuss. But I’m like them now. I look at the teens/pre-teens I’ve seen as little children and marvel at how much they’ve changed. Kids do change at a rapid pace. In four years, a sweet 11-year-old girl can become a controlling 15-year-old. A dreamy 10-year-old boy can become a smart ass 14-year-old in the same amount if time. During the first twenty or so years of life, there’s always something happening, something being achieved or being lost, something changing whether the kids want to or not. Their bodies change, their lives change, their perspectives change. They graduate, they get pregnant, they become addicts, they become scholars. There’s always, always something going on. And I think, at some point, it stops. In four years, a 40-year-old accountant would still be a 44-year-old accountant. A schoolteacher could still be teaching the same subject several years down the road. And yes, there are changes but they’re not as massive as what had already transpired. I can only assume that when full-blown adults look at growing kids, they see how much the world has changed another human’s life in the same span of time that theirs have remained the same. Life calms down to a waveless journey somehow. I can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing.
Last night I had dinner with a friend whom I think has changed quite a lot. As with all conversations I’ve been having with her lately, it turned into a very quarter-life talk. Of plans, wants, newfound adult obligations and decisions, of having to do things, of having to move on from things, of having to resist stagnanacy. And yeah. I’ve always known that I’m the type of person who has difficulty dealing with changes. It bothers me to the point of tears sometimes. But if there’s one thing I’ve realized since graduating, since being accountable for my own life rather than following a structured educational system, it’s that I am far more petrified of stagnanacy than I am of change.
Things I DON’T HAVE TO DO before I die:
- Get a boob job.
- Marry an athlete.
- Touch a cockroach.
- Work for a fashion magazine.
- Pour isopropyl alcohol on sensitive parts of the body.
- Bury my nose in someone’s armpit. That’s pretty much it. I could be willing to try all else at least once.
This is me taking a stab at a more concise and less self-centered form of blogging. Sana lang ma update ko to. Hello to the Toolbox people, who check their Tumblrs the second the bosses leave the room.