Monday, June 02, 2003

Maudlin Entry: Embrace

After an hour of internet last night at Robinson’s Metro East, I trudged to Mercury Drug at Q Plaza to get my mom her medication – Vitamin E with Selenium, Eltroxyin 50mcg, and 20 tablets of Cecon (they didn’t have the generics). Cost me over Php800, but it was all for mom, and I didn’t bat an eyelash.

Headed to Tropical Hut for dinner. Meal Number 1 and Number 8. Nice fast food, a far cry from Salsa Rosa, or Chili’s, or Country Waffles, or Piadina Central. It was a simple middle-income luxury, spending Php101.00 on fast food, but it was nourishment and that suited me just fine.

It was around 9:30 pm when I arrived at Figaro at Sta. Lucia for my caffeine fix. “Sixteen ounce brewed, please,” I said customarily and, mechanically, found my seat at the corner of the smoking section, took out my paraphernalia (smokes, pad paper, pencil and pen), and began to draw, or doodle, or write as I fancied. Stayed until near midnight before beginning the walk home, a good 15 minutes away on foot. There was a very slight drizzle and I didn’t bring my umbrella, but it wasn’t too far a walk, so I began my march in the secure lamp-lit dark.

With five minutes left before finding the 5th of Elm Street, the drizzle picked, cold drops knowing my nape and scalp, and I instinctively ducked under the balcony of an arcade. A lady singer of the pub across the street belched, “I’m horny… horny horny horny,” while I momentarily considered if I should press on through the wet haze. Home was five minutes away, and with that the answer was clear.

It wasn’t a minute after I walked away from the shade when rain fell. Hell, I thought, bowing my head, my eyes watching the alternate swinging of my legs and the growing number of rain drops hitting the ground. My bag was getting drenched, so was the rest of me, including the innocent cigarette I had clipped securely between my thumb and forefinger.

Through the quiet dim streets of the subdivision I continued, feeling my clothes taking in more water with every second, taking regular puffs off the cigarette that desperately tried to stay lit. The rain had grown a bit stronger, washing the lenses of my glasses. Fuck, I thought, and raised my head, allowing the raindrops to strike my face like an abusive lover, liquid fingertips streaming down my cheeks after each cold pinprick blow. Before my eyes, sheets of rain glowed against the lamp lights, and the street was caressed by shimmers. I took a deep breath, taking the mood in, and letting the anxiety go in a self-administered exorcism. Afterwhich the frustration changed face, revealing a visage of calm. I took one last puff off the cigarette and nonchalantly flicked it away.

I had spent most of the afternoon fending off another anxiety attack over a past that refused to go away, and I had shed tears tearing at it for a motive. I had believed that I had burned it off my skin and heart, enabling myself to carry on through my everyday as casually as before. An internet check, an uninspiring dinner, a gulp of familiar brew, unaware of the dark clouds threatening their gift of security, and the realization that I had failed at preparing for the storm frustrated me. I find myself walking through the rain over and over, fighting against it with a hope of a summer that didn’t seem to exist. But it is a part of me still, the rain, and any effort I exert to quell the quake within me would be moot. I long for the day when I would walk through it with pride in its existence, turning it from enemy to friend, and welcome its embrace. The way I did on the walk home through shimmering lamp-lit streets.

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