I rode with Grief and he once said
That we’ll be friends until I’m dead
And while we sang a rhapsody
Along came with Anxiety
We drove along the lonely road
Of memories both new on old
And while the ride was sure a thrill
I drowned myself in rivotril
“ You sure you would do this for good?
A drug to control your every mood?”
This from Grief who knew the pain
Enough to make one broad insane
The car turned left and changed direction
Where ‘long a fork we fetched Depression
A quiet ride it turned to be-
A path towards…
“Didn’t I promise to always take care of you?”
Neva was used to the unforgiving smell of bodily fluids and bleach of hospitals. After all, her first formative years were spent there. As a child, her first playmates were other children visiting the same ward, or kind nurses killing down time.
Her parents had wanted a boy, but they didn’t really mind when Neva was born. They can always try again, they said, but they never really had the opportunity. When she was five, Neva’s father was diagnosed with colon cancer, and after a hard fought battle, passed away when…
Every generation has an artifact that can be attributed to them. The sixties kids banner the counterculture through music; the seventies had their fashion. The eighties started the digital revolution, with the rise of technological powers in the far east making electronic appliances cheaper and more mainstream. Nineties kids like me received the initial boon of this boom: it is during our time when nearly all chores were made automatic.
With this technological transformation also came a change in how we consumed media and enjoyed ourselves. One of these is gaming. I harken back happily to my youth when an…
Noong unang panahon, nang bago pa lamang ang pagdating ng mga Kastila sa Pilipinas, isinilang ang isang batang lalaki mula sa pamilyang Indio. Ang kanyang ama ay isang insulares, ngunit agad silang iniwan nito ng kanyang ina, kaya’t lumaki siyang mahirap. Pinangalanan siyang Potenciano at nanirahan sila sa mga barung-barong malapit sa daungan ng Maynila.
Sapagkat salat sa pagkain, lumaking sakitin at mahina si Potenciano, o “Potpot,” kung siya’y tawagin. Palagi siyang kinukutya ng kanyang mga kalarong mas malaki o mas mayaman sa kanya.
“Uhugin! Lampa!” paglait ng kanyang mga kalaro. Tuwing siya’s hinahamak, walang ibang sagot si Potpot kundi…
Matagal na rin kitang kinukubli.
Natatandaan ko noong bata ka pa. Mahilig kang makipaglaro ng tagu-tagoan sa mga pinsan mo tuwing nagagawi sila sa tahanan natin. Hindi man sing-gara ng mga tahanan nila sa Maynila ang bahay natin, matibay naman ito. Maipagmamalaki ko na dahil gawa sa aking punong-kahoy ang mga haligi at pundasyon, hindi ito madaling matitinag ng kung ano mang peste o sakuna. Matibay ata ang narra!
Noong una tayong magkita, batid ko ang pagkamangha sa mga mata mo; hindi naman kita masisisi. Maganda ang pagkakalilok sa akin. Ang mga kurba’t disenyo sa aking mga pintuan ay wangis…
Sa saliw ng tunog-latang gitara
at kalansing ng barya
umaawit na patawarin
mula sa makamundong pagkakasala
Sa bawat palakpak at indak
at wikang di-tiyak
hintaying diwa’y lumipad
sa mga bathalang huwad
Sa harap ng mga banal na istatwa
Mamutawi ng mga salitang kakatwâ
nang sapian ng espiritung banal
Diyos ng mga hangal
Kapatid, kailan ka ba makalalaya
sa tanikala ng kasampung
Tuloy ang ngawngaw ukol
sa huling paghuhukom
ngunit sa pagkitil sa
na tila bang pinutulan ng dila
Hamo na, ipikit mo na ang iyong mata
bilang ika’y bulag naman na —
Kapatid, ang totoong pagsamba
ay wala sa…
Meet me where the lightning strikes twice.
This, among other strange things, was what he told me before he disappeared off the face of the earth.
In retrospect, I thought he would be one of the multitudes of people who ghosted me. That is how it was in the dating app world anyway, and I always felt like an outsider. I, the starry-eyed hopeless romantic, lost in the sea of one-night standing, chiseled abs-having Adonises, just living for the moment.
Even among them, he was different.
A few months ago while swiping on Tinder, I came across Thor. That was…
counting days until I finally see the drops of August rain
Hey April, cruel mistress, you
just had to come and play
We were happy one time, too
’til you took him away
Hey April, in your niceties
did you ever think of me?
I’m a prisoner of this empty shell
now that you’ve set him free
Cold summer nights by my lonesome
Got myself drunk in this pain
Counting days until I finally see
the drops of August rain
to wash away my sorrow
that I’ll no longer pretend
That with his passing, my love
for him will ever…
Aren’t you glad, my love, in our little make-believe?
On bare feet and naked soles
You took my hand in earnest
as you wrap your arms around mine
a moment in time —
to be remembered forever.
My naïve lips against your knowing kiss
never knowing that all we had was this
moment to create the wedding we never had
Aren’t you glad, my love
in our little make-believe?
In the tune of white noise, we swayed
our broken bodies, slow dancing
in silence. Your heart a lonely metronome
telling me “I am home”
I am home, too.
I guess that is why this grief, while devastating, felt familiar. I have been holding it, cultivating it as early as then, waiting for its rightful time to bloom.
Today, we celebrate the forty days since you have left us.
It might be weird for most to hear that people celebrate someone’s passing. But all we are celebrating is the depth of our gratitude that you are no longer in pain, and our belief that after today, you will finally be free to join the Great Beyond.
In truth, I feel like it would be difficult for me…