Of thousand lives

Keys. I keep keys of every room I’ve inhabited. It’s actually symbolic, at least on my end. It serves as my access to territories I’ve chartered, to an existence I lived, to all years I’ve consumed, to every self-version I’ve worn and shed.

Once, after an old friend of mine vacated her place, I went back to her flat and secretly took the keys. I had it duplicated. I returned its copy to its previous spot. Then I gave my friend the original and told her the story.

Tonight, I locked the door of my room for the final time. I gave one final glimpse, inhaled the details one final time — the empty shelves, the clean wardrobe, the folded blankets, the made bed. It was in the opposite state when I was inhabiting it. It was filled with clatters and books and dreams and life.

A realization struck me: that the last two years did not kill me. If anything, it made me stronger.

I settled my remaining bill. The receptionist issued me a receipt, one last time. I left messages to people who are important in my life before I vacate the building. They asked me for the keys, and I surrendered my copy. But, as I’ve said —

I
Keep
Keys

Of thousand lives I’ve worn and inhabited and lived and loved and will live again in moments of retrospect. (August 2016)

Advertisements

The first one made me financially destitute

UPLB at night. I spent a great deal of my stay, in the last two and a half years — say, three — walking around this campus. When I need to release the pent-up mental tension and internal turmoil, for instance. Or to take a break from the stacks of academic tasks on my plate. Or when I have an ample amount of time on my hand, and I am uncertain how to live my life, and I am genuinely scared.

But mostly I do it when I need to think. I walk and walk and walk, for miles and miles and miles. I wander on the interminable horizon of possibilities, of secret selves and daydreaming. In the process, I worn down the soles of my shoes and untangle ropes of my worry and stretch the plains of my consciousness. The first one made me financially destitute. The last two disabled me to return to my former dimension.

And in the end, my hope leaked out of its designated rim.
Each stroll was worth it.
Its totality immense and incalculable.

Holding the cat, we rode the first HM bus

I left Manila yesterday for Los Baños at about 3 in the afternoon. I rescued a cat somewhere in Edsa-Cubao. Saw the feline when I was heading to the bus station. Thinking of a very high probability of getting hit due to the monstrous nature of Edsa, I took him with me.

Holding the cat, we rode the first HM bus. The driver asked us to leave.
So we did.

Having acquired a lesson, this is what I did: I walked a considerable distance away from the station, placed the cat inside my bag, trekked the way back and boarded the next vehicle. Fellow passengers gave me what must have been a thousand variety of facial expressions when the cat began meowing inside. In panic and ceaselessly.

To calm him, I pet him the entire ride. Eventually, at past 7 in the evening, we reached Los Baños. I headed straight to a birthday party and gave the cat as my present. They named him Gaspar.

I was not able to see my old place until at least 12 noon today. I opened the door and found everything as is — suspended in time — when I left it two weeks ago.

My graduation dress and sablay, both unwashed, still hang on my chair. My old laptop, Deppy, waits for me on my bed together with Barbons, my 17 year old stuffed lion. The blanket and the pillows have my rough arrangement. Even after two weeks, my room preserved my final touch. It was nostalgic.

As I lay on my bed, I examined the details by simply moving my eyes. I used to stare blankly at this ceiling, back then, when the world becomes too much to bear. The curves and edge of the window curtain, I noticed, have certain beauty when it sways. My paintbrushes have tainted tips. My desk is still messy and one of these days, I will have to clean it for the last time.

Though the limited amount of time on my hand compelled me to choose — carefully — I was able to see and hang out with few people. This is the best thing. I wish I have more time though, and they too. But all we had yesterday and tonight, to me, have been great. I look forward to more of these.

I have to leave LB early morning tomorrow. I have to pack some of my belongings, in particular clothes, my easel and art materials. My desk, though, for the mean time, will stay messy as it is. My sablay and grad dress will still occupy the chair. I will again see the few friends I have grown fond of.

Cheers to a life that is kind and bearable.

I’m going to hitch a ship called Sea Witch

Those who know me can attest the actuality of two fundamental aspects in my life: I sing songs that are (1) out of tune and (2) out of time.

The former, apparently, annoys them as it merely falls under the category of ‘stupid noise’. The latter, on the other hand, makes them wonder about the precise year or century where my existence is forever moored.

Let me take you down, cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.

And I’m going to hitch a ship called Sea Witch and sail the Carribean and the Atlantic. Sweat on my palm as I hold its rope and watch its banners flap and sway and dance its infinite grace in the unbridled wind. Salt water on my cheeks and unkempt hair and tattered clothes.

Here comes the sun.

On the rolling plains of Mongolia and golden sands of Morroco. Dust and mud and wagon and horses. And at the end of the day, we’ll build bonfire and roast turkey. We’ll recite poetry and retell forgotten myths. Old gypsies in their ancient ways, under the quivering stars. Stretching and savouring the summer wind, near the Hobbitshire.

It is 1814 and all we need is love.

And last Saturday I was in Los Banos and I met my adviser and Ate Tess and we were caught in a sleet of pouring rain. We were running and we were drenched.

I must have grown up, I realized, for I can no longer remember the last time I’ve excitedly waited for the clouds to burst and the first day I’ve cursed the small sign of drizzle.

But last Saturday we were caught in a sleet of pouring rain and we were running and our shoulders and hair were soaking in childhood recollections; our feet heading towards the old times in our lives.

Some may accuse me that I’m a romantic, and perhaps they are correct and I am. But hey, come to think of it: What’s the sense of time-travelling if you’re not?

Strawberry fields forever.