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February 2007. Latest newspaper headlines read: “Journalist murdered while probing unsolved slays.” “Batang Pinoy High Blood Na!” “Inciting to sedition raps filed vs. Tribune chief.” I do not care. Milu’s head swayed back full in perfect delirium. Her sweat-soaked hair flowed touching enticingly the cold and lonely ground. The earth trembled with her moaning and the portals of heaven shook me as her anterior boasted of the perfect image of Mayon threatening to explode while her ebony crystal eyes swung up revealing only their whites. She brushed her oily forehead with her right feverish forearm as her albuminous writhing physique bounced tremulously to the totally extricated music sung from her helpless wide gaping mouth. Her claws left red marks upon my back and disheveled my hair as we both reached the height of our ecstatic momentum in spiritual union. Her red lips glowed wet. The shadows vanished. The prickly cold turned to invigorating warmth. Vases, plates, pitcher, cabinet, stools, walls, all, all vanished one by one as we soared higher to that titillating pleasure that penetrated every inch of our bodies and disturbed our souls. We were alone in our world and we drifted lost in the expanse of unexplained madness. Day in day out, this goes. Then afterwards, the reality. Dear Woodrow, I was recently married. Sorry I haven’t found the way to inform you. I waited for you for so long with many a woman’s expectations, but I felt no signs of you willing to
embrace me for the rest of your life. Woods, I love you, and though I gave my mortality away, my husband will never, never take my heart and soul from you. You’ll know from what I say, I am not guaranteed with my decision the happiness I sought for, the joy that rightfully should belong to me. But Woodrow, sad I may be, this is perhaps the only way to teach you. I love you, and will love you always…. Mama I am Artemio Villa Nuñez, yes…no, but that is how I wished to be publicly known. Some others call me Wilson, a few Mujahid. I was Woodrow P. Abanil, now 35, and I live under an assumed name. Dear Papa,
Wherever you may be now, I am worrying about your safety and health. Please find a way to write or call me more often. Days of your absence are long years of my waiting. Take good care, Mama My days with Adelfa were the best moments of my life. We used to live together happily under one roof at Sta. Ana, Pateros, while she was studying her Law at Manuel L. Quezon University. That was way back the 90’s when I was a full-pledged missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for six years. As the calling was strong, life was full of meaningful experiences: some subtle, some visible, some hard trials, but with abundant successes providing many defining moments -- those hours of most worth with eternal significance -- faith-promoting and which have “wrought a mighty change in our hearts.” (Mosiah 5:2).
Dear Papa, While you are out for long on your mission, I keep on having nightmares about women robbing you away from me. It’s cold at night you know, but much colder is the knowledge that you are far from me right now and that I cannot take care of you. I know that anytime you could be lost to another woman, especially one near with you in mission. I don’t know why I have this strange feeling, but I just wish you to know, I long for your return and presence. Please see me soon. God bless us always. Love, Mama Then District President and Sister Alston wrote: “We know that you and those you influence will have frequent spiritual experiences – defining moments – while serving as a full-time missionary. This Sacred Personal Record is given to you as a gift to record your experiences and testimony, to give you added strength, as well as provide your posterity with a legacy of your belief and accomplishments as a missionary in serving the Lord and Savior.” It’s now twenty minutes past twelve, and the moon floated like ice in my glass of beer. Reminiscing like this is pleasurable, addicting to the psyche. “’lam mo Papa, I like you so much. You’re so malambing and I gigil over you especially at night when you lingkis-lingkis me like sawa every time you notice I’m getting bored with my legal cases and endless succession of articles to be memorized.” “I love you Papa.”
Those days were young, and now I’m old. The dreams Adelfa and I tediously built for years suddenly crumbled like that old sand castle in the beach, into nothing. It was a failed dream. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Law, Adelfa married another man while I was away on mission far Cabanatuan, Central Luzon. She forgot that I would be missing the laundry, the cooking, the house cleaning, the laughing, the clowning, the crying, the caring, and the loving that I used to do for her. She was a Goddess to me; and my God! She broke my heart. Heart bleeding, I left the place, and buried my self in the mission. Those days were sweet and full of vigor. Not my heart. Inside that dignified blue “Americana” and tied crispy white collar lurked a shrinking man, with all self-belief lost, hopes washed away by frequent tears that never made their way out of those bullshit eyes. They dwelled therein where the heart does not know, but pain is constantly felt of. I had no exact knowledge where the shortcomings lay, but my pride refused to admit whatever blame there could be. I was sifting through my Adel’s pictures and love letters and I came across one dated February 23, 1995: Thursday, 11:56 p.m. Wood, I cry while I’m scribbling this letter. You know why, you’re so very, very unreasonable. You fully know that my classes end at 8:30 p.m., then for just waiting an hour, nagtampo ka na saying that you’re already tired? Why? Do you think I am not tired also? From exerting my mental faculties in work & in school, do you think I am not also tired? Yeah, you too are exerting physical effort; but what is more tiresome, physical exertion of effort or mental, ha? You don’t only know that my right leg is swelling and I
was infected by my office mate’s cold. Where are you to just even bring me here a medicine or at least some juice drink for I don’t have the appetite to eat. Where?! Wala! Nagtampo! Was it my fault to attend my class & be arriving here late than 8:30 p.m.? You’re too shallow! Is there somebody there whom I can share my problems at home contained by the letter I received this evening? Nobody, no one! Whom do you think I’m gonna confide those? To you? Where are you? Some say that having a relationship or having a mate is sharing each other’s load. Where are you to share my loads? Wala! How many assurances do I need to tell you and prove to you in order to get rid of your insecurities & jealousy? Did I still lack? Did I ask you for a return of helping you financially, spiritually, morally? None. All I need is someone to listen to my predicaments. But where are you? Wala. Okay, you have all the rights and prerogatives to not come here to fetch me and wait for me. Masama ang loob ko sa iyo. -- ‘del Below Adel’s name, I scribbled: “I love you Mama.” But now, that’s useless. It’s too late. “Why can’t you leave the past Woodrow?” whispered the gentle voice of Milu from behind me. Milu is a nurse working at Saint Luke’s, and I met her months ago at a martial arts school in EDSA, Cubao, where she was enrolled in Karate. Having seen her remarkable talent and interest, I invited her once to my place. It’s actually a Law Office above Mercury Drugstore furnished with two bedrooms and complete amenities including computers where I read often via the Internet, the friendly renters having admitted me with the understanding that I will keep the place safe for them at night, entertain all telephone calls, and heed their advice for my safety.
“I love you, and though it hurts me seeing those pictures and you still being imprisoned by your past, I try to understand and pray that you be able to find its completion in me.” “Woods, please look into my eyes. I want you to have faith in me. I will never leave you. I love you.” The moon gradually sank to the bottom of my glass and faded with the last drop of the yellow beverage. My thoughts flew again. Woman after woman came, Cathy, Christine, Pamela, Luisa, Melanie, Aida, Lorna, Fe, funny; but I later realized that I was fooling their hearts. And mine. Dearest Woodrow, Despite my suspicions about you having many women, I tell you, go on and have a good time. But please when the right moment comes that you wake up from your insobriety, please be home for me and I miss you. I love you very, very much, and this song I offer you… Goodbye, I hate to see you go, but have a good time. So long, I’ll miss you dear, I know, but have a good time. Have your fling; be gay with your new love, I’m setting you free, dance and sing, pretend that it’s true love. I know that tears will only drive you farther away Just go, forget that I’m alive, it’s your holiday. But when you’re tired of being reckless and carefree, Remember that I’ll be waiting to welcome you home. So, have a good time… It’s me always, Mama No longer happy with my daily prayer life, I decided quitting from the mission, and our Mission President Kerry Bon Lawrence released me honorably. I left for my hometown of Calbayog where they say, “life will always be at heart’s home.” So leaving
those vestures behind, the cuff links, the colorful ties, the shiny shoes, I decided to forget my shattered past. There could not be any other instance in my life which I may consider better than being with the Lord in our mission; and it is my continuous prayer that I may be back soon where the Lord, and my brothers and sisters open their arms again to accept and embrace me. But the quiet life in my hometown seemed lighter and felt like a better cure for the moment. Dear Woods, I know I could no longer write freely this way; I’m not even sure if this missive can successfully slip out of our door to reach you. Perhaps this might just end up secretly burned; but forgive me, this is my only available freedom to express though it may no longer reach you. Woodrow, even just in thoughts, I just wish to tell you…I miss you. It is me Having finished only basic education at the Adult Night High of De La Salle, Greenhills, Mandaluyong City, I had no degree to present my self before local employers. And I had no choice for occupation outside being a tindero, a security guard, a maglalako, or a tricycle driver. There were no other jobs available. And I did not want to be a ghost employee either as many would suspect there was. More so that I could not be a broker. There was no choice, and tricycle driving I took to pass my days. The days were short and nights were long. I always hoped Adelfa would by miracle soon realize that I needed her. But I told my self back, that would be a miracle.
Dear Papa, I feel that you are always there caught up in your love for me. I feel the same; but we have already chosen the paths we have decided to trudge, and there is no turning back. However, let me tell you again, the Lord knows this all. I love you and where God would choose, I hope to be with you once more in His time. Will miss you always, Adelfa I opened and poured another bottle of Red Horse, the liquid glinting as it dropped to the inner bottom of the glass. I hoped for the moon to reappear; it did not. I only saw white bubbles. The clock ticked at three a.m. The early onset of dusk in Obrero is beautifully marked by the thin, cool and soothing breeze from the hills behind the city blowing to the seas. Neon lights would brighten the lonely Marcos Highway through Avelino Street and the intersection of the route to the wharf area with that of the white poignant bridge. Rosales Bridge would provide a solace in my heart, where the sound and the river flowing underneath it would wash away my pains, my failures, and my longings. At two a.m., sleepy, I would kick my pedals back home to Carmen Uno for the muchneeded physical rest. At the least. Soon night is over and I would go through the same routine all day long, and this passed me unnoticed for two years. That was year 2002. My then silky brown skin had turned to thick and dry burnt sienna, my feet and legs swollen, but strong. Except the heart in me. It never managed to squeeze out the thorns that got embedded therein.
With a soul like that, it is quite easy to slip to feelings of futility, get tired and exhausted, and be lost from direction and hope. Dear Woodrow, I am happy that you are now exerting some efforts for your own good. I heard it from a friend. But please remember, our good may not always be enough; let’s continue growing to have the better. And where possible, let God be happy with our best. Where you cannot grant it for me as I often asked of you and for long, offer it for your self. Sustain it. God will be greatly rewarded. =) Can this note be my way to hug you before the candle consumes it? Hmmm Papa, I miss you… Mama loves you Then one night that same year, I reached home an hour past midnight. The kubo was lit by a very small oil lamp barely enough to brighten the path to my bed. But I was shocked by what blurred shadows were projected onto the wall before me – a man and a woman – my mother naked, with a man on her top! And he was not my father either! I don’t know how you would react had you been in my place. But I first shook with shame, and then with fear, which turned to trembling disgust and anger. I mumbled words I now could not singly remember. My thoughts were lost. All I could see flashing in my mind was that the stranger from darkness stood, slipped into his pants, picked up something blindly from a corner and a heavy blow landing on my left temple threw me off my feet. Darkness turned even darker. But the man failed with his second attack, as I from the ground was able to disarm him of his wooden slab. He took another object, which I again successfully took from him, and it was from its cold metallic feel an iron bar. I threw it to the ground with a muffled thud. The third time he swung his right I did
not notice what but I sidestepped it, parried it up outside and down to the right in vertical semi-circular motion with my right arm, disarmed him, and with his object reached back at him. My mind was empty and all my movements were not thought of, were automatic and unrehearsed. He successfully blocked it above him with his right, but I parried it easily down with my left palm as my right sneaked above his parried arm and executed a twin “umbrella strike” to both his temples. But it was too late to realize I was holding a “binalhag” (bladed weapon) and the bleeding man fell down. The moment was very quick, my mind helpless and deranged. Anger and the sight of him called upon the spirit of the devil and brought my knees down over the stranger and forced my arm to stab him many times. I could not resist its pleasure and the unmistakable smell of oozing blood spreading to the air. The man was dead. And it was too late even for fear to creep in, and when it came, I could not believe what my eyes saw. Empty handed I run for the door. I wished to have glanced for a second to my mother, but I fought the impulse. In me, pain was awaiting the bursting. I knew, I knew, she too was in extreme infliction. To where I went I had no recollection; to how I came right where I am now, God forgive me, I myself could not recall nor understand. For one reason or another, perhaps it was my years of longing for Adelfa that brought me here. Yes, Manila is such a gigantic city, so proud, and yet so meek to accept and cradle me a useless criminal. That I never expected, never dreamed of. Dearest, Wherever you are right now, I always dream of you and I wake up crying…my dreams feel like nightmares and I don’t know why. If I could only reach you, I would
never let go…I wish you to come back; I can’t be dishonest with my heart, each morning I wake up, I see a stranger by my side. Please, please, even just here in my little freedom to write, please be back. Be with me in my mind… -- ‘del A mosquito dove mindlessly into the narrow mouth of the beer glass to his perdition. I felt the same destiny foreshadowing. This was the fourth bottle. In my mind’s eye, I stared upon the center of the darkened office. There in the middle I recall how Milu threw me down to the floor with a “shiho nage” four-directions throw, her rough imitation of aikido. But swift she may have been, she haven’t resisted my manhood, the combined natural smell of the streets, and the rapid building up of the furnace inside our physique. With scissors feet, I managed her down where I applied a grappling lock across her body. She remained motionless, breathed deeply, closed her eyes, and surrendered totally. Then came what must eventually come between a grown up man and an adventurous, playful lady in her early twenties. Oblivion. I heard from memory some clinking sound as I toppled the three empty red bottles beside me; one twirled on its side then suddenly halted. I haven’t noticed Milu leave for home. She’s used to that especially in times she knew I was in mental turmoil again. She respects that much needed distance and quiet on my part. Attorneys Orlando A. Dinio and Melencio Pagadian were more than ordinary friends, they took me by the hand, attempted to lead me back to sanity and survival. But foolish as I am, I run with their money you know, six thousand of it and left a thick clip of payables across the nearby talipapa. They called me back fearing my total ruin, but I
never returned. And you know what happened to the six thousand? I was left with just this tooter and lighter. From what grandeur life was as a missionary, I have degenerated to a life of hopelessness, then to despairing, and finally to despondency. I tried perhaps a hundred times or more looking for jobs before, and indeed found many, but there were deep in me sudden impulses that couldn’t be controlled. And I hopped from place to place, with no definite direction, penetrated and mastered every loop and corner of Metro Manila from Caloocan to Muntinlupa, from Malabon to Marikina. Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan were not spared. I lived each day as if it was my last and really hoped each day was. Having no food to eat, I went to begging. But people in Manila seemed to show disgust for people like us, and not content with avoidance, I would often hear painful words from their mouth. Wanting to survive hunger and the ordeal of twilight dampness and cold near the Bay, I resorted to reckless action, stealing food from my kind including their empty rice sacks serving as street mats and their offensive-smelling blankets. Luneta is a rat race. I encountered a lot of fights, even with women, the disabled, and the aged. One day, I by mistake took off with the left-over food from the hands of a little child; there was no struggling, no fighting, no pain, but when I turned back from a hundred feet from her, I saw her tears rolled down from her eyes and I can’t help but feel the bitterness and pain, drained my heart of all its pungent blood. I too cried and felt like a sharp lightning suddenly struck me by my face. I walked slowly back to her, extended my arms, and handed back down the food which rightfully belongs to her. No words of apology came out of my mouth -- I was through unlearning those -- but there must have to be justice somewhere even on the street. Her eyes glinted, and
glimmered, and half a smile appeared. She took the piece of bared chicken bone, and gave the rest of the leftovers to me. That was pure innocent love I knew. But I cannot go on with a life like that. Not content with that kind of street survival where dogs eat dogs, I ventured to reckless violence. The university belt was such an area perfect for feeding, ground where it is fairly easy to get the money I wanted, from students’ tuition fees, kolehiyala’s cellular phones which changed color and kind every two weeks and were as varied as there are the number of personalities displaying them for social approval and admiration. Sprouted in my heart contempt against an imperfect, unfair society where freedom belongs only to a few; where property distribution seems unfair; where assets are wasted to the expense of people like us; where thoughts are tinged with prejudice; where economic trends are to the disadvantage of those who can’t afford what they offer; where educational enlightenment is geared only towards the interest of what I overheard from activists in Mendiola as the upper classes, turning the right to mere privilege; where globalization threatens our disposal to the garbage pan. One Sunday night, I was surprised to meet a familiar face at the Luneta, just behind the Tourism Building and across the Valencia Circle. She stood motionless a few feet away, my sight of her occasionally covered by the passing populace and frolickers. I cannot be mistaken by the compassionate look in her eyes, and the blank expression of her face seemingly hiding the surprise with what situation she found me in to. She was my Milu. For three months more or less, she housed me in a small inconspicuous place behind a gym area in Bambang, used to be a medical supplies store where student nurses from the university belt flocked for their laboratory needs. It was that time that I
adopted the family name “Numan Abbas”, lending me the privilege to hide among the Quiapo Muslims without their knowledge. In the gym I met an old colleague in the martial arts, who, let us call for now simply as “Walter”. He is better known as Master Walter. I in disguise trained under him when I was a new returnee to Manila, where by accident I met their group in Quezon City Memorial Circle during one of their Saturday practice sessions. What he did not know was that I was skilled on my own, wrung from the training grounds of the bloody and fearless Carmen which he never heard of, and from the wisdom of an old arnisador of whose name, out of my respect for the 75 yearold man in the face of my imprudence, I omit from this account. Master Walter was kind in admitting me to his house and sharing with me the food of his own family. But I felt he cannot be trusted, for I noticed that in guise of offering sparring sessions with his students, he was actually keen enough for copying my knife-fighting patterns from my old man which by our code of conduct is a matter of utmost secrecy, and which in turn he would modify and teach to his students as coming originally from his own. I cannot react because I will have appeared untrue had I protested. With the loss of that basic ingredient of trust, I decided to leave his house. And then on, I would encounter a recurring dream that the house, the one where I once slept, crumbles to the ground. A few days later of friendly encounters in the gym, I sensed he too distrusted me. It may indeed be true that distrust breeds disloyalty and vice-versa. And so each night I sleep in my room, I would plant an empty soft drink bottle behind my locked door, and balance an empty sardines can over the door knob, so just in case of extreme situations threatening my life, I would awaken to their noise. I cannot get rid of the four-inch rusty knife secured to my necklace and resting over my chest.
Milu then started getting busy with her hospital duties as she would tell me, and I started getting bored. I did not understand but it seems I have began rearing negative feelings about her. Where she fails to come as I would expect of her, immediately flashes in my mind’s eye the old vision of my mother and her man; and in between I could also see flashes of Milu boisterously laughing, playing and jerking off with another. I may have been crazy, but I found no way to control my thoughts. Feelings always threw me off, and the greater the guilt I felt, the smaller I came to be than the man I was. I eloped; not to marry another, but to hunt for the self I never could understand. February 23, 2007. Jocson, Sampaloc. The newspaper headline for the day ran: “Gloria, AFP under fire over murders.” I do not care. I was attempting to string together the major pieces of my life. Stuff scattered over the dim sidewalk partially hidden by the shadows – yellowed love letters, blurred pictures, an old diary turned brownish by time, a friend’s notes, and the now sullied Sacred Personal Record -- all these from my small and now stinking backpack. My mind kept wondering where I am to go from here. The sight of my Americana now slowly destroyed by the rodents flashed back. Could life’s hope still be found? Could happiness and sense of being still be regained? Could the tragedies be forgotten without their scars? Is there still a chance that life will be as it used to be then? Or should I ask myself to cease breathing any more? I’m starving, now thirsty and cold.
I missed my days with Mr. And Mrs. Elden Matcke, Karen Crosby, Sister Jeremy, and all others from the mission. Here I even failed to mail my remembrance for Sist Jeremy. The picture edges has now turned yellow ochre and torn. The Matckes’ letter ran: Dear Elder Abanil:
The days we spent with you are the most joyous memories of our time in Calbayog. Your enthusiasm and dedication are wonderful! Don’t ever change. You have a heart of gold and are so kind and good. What a fine District President, husband and father you will be someday. We pray you’ll be accepted to BYU in Hawaii. You deserve many blessings. Love, Elder and Sister Matcke I missed those days with you brothers and sisters. I regret to have not returned earlier to your care, to the secure embrace of faith. I failed. I’m sad I can no longer be a good father. I always felt guilty for I knew “The enlightened, who fall away, cannot be renewed again into repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22; B. of M. Alma 24:30). “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26-29). This has become the fate of the son who chose perdition. Now as told, I am into perdition…perdition. I came across Adel’s letter dated: November 13, 1994. Oh, I almost forgot, November 13th is my birthday! It is evident from the looks of the letter that I already came to the stage of attempting to overwrite my memories of Adelfa with that of Milu,
since I noticed I have earlier pasted Milu’s ID-sized picture beside Del’s on the upper right hand corner of this missive: 2:30 p.m. Dearest Papa, As what your most quoted scriptures, Ecclesiastes said, “There is a time for every season, a time to be born, and also a time to have additional lines in our foreheads.” Well, better count it so that you might also be reminded how many birthdays you have already celebrated & how many adversities you have already surmounted, which will thus, prepare you to valiantly face those which are to come. Pa, how I wish that this special day will also augment that spiritual maturity you need in order to progress & attain exultation. Notwithstanding that our life on earth is a long trek one, still we can be sure that we’ll be guided by our modern liahona. As the chauffeur needs to follow the traffic rules and regulations in order to safely reach our destination, so are we. Don’t ever, ever languish if sometimes failures and frustrations come in. Never, never give up! Remember, a loser never wins but a winner never quits. Continue to nourish your faith so that it will bring good fruits someday. Okay? As regards your plan to continue your studies, pursue it, ‘coz that’s only the wealth not susceptible to theft and robbery. Remember that you’ll carry it with you as the scriptures say that whatever intelligence we may attain unto this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. Don’t also be dismayed when along the way problems ensue ‘coz I’m always behind you to help you when you need it, to pull you up, and comfort you when you’re down, & to rejoice with you when you succeed. Remember that I love you. So, whatever be the things you believe is the truth, stand and fight for it. Nevertheless,
be humble always even as Jesus who is the Christ did humble himself. Don’t boast for having something which others don’t have, ‘coz it will lead you to commit the so-called “universal sin”. Be teachable & strong always. Okay? Happy, happy Birthday Dear!!! Love, Adel 8 April 1996 10:36 p.m. Dearest Sweetheart, Pa, I just make this short note for you just to let you know how much you mean to me. I love you very, very much. I know losing you would also mean losing my entire life, losing my sight in pursuing my ambition. Remember this, in every time I make my plans & in everything that I’m undertaking, you’re always there; you’re always a part of it. So please do your part also. Ours is a battle, which needs teamwork – a captain will not win the fight without his soldiers. The same happens when the soldiers are fighting without their captain guiding and instructing them. Remember that time flies so fast without noticing it. We have our goal. We need to achieve it. Make use of time always. Start working it right now especially this coming first semester. Regarding my hot-tempered attitude, please bear it with me. I, myself also want to get rid of it. But I find it hard ‘coz I can’t look upon you committing small mistakes. I believe that nobody is perfect. But, I know it’s just a process of making one perfect, right? For the first time you commit it, the second time you may, but the third time, I know you won’t do it anymore.
Please, please, please, get rid of those insecurities and inferiorities. I esteem you and I am in the same footing with you. Please do your part. Let the whole world know that you can do it. That you can stand on your own feet without me. That you can support your family from your earnings without thinking that there’s somebody out there who’s gonna help you. Be the foundation of the home. Okay Dear? Remember that I’m only here to help you and not to do it for you. Whatever be the quarreling we will still be having, let it not end what we have already started. Though sometimes comes some words from me impliedly saying that everything would be ending there, don’t mind it please ‘coz that’s just common thing one will say at the time she’s enraged. Okay? Love, Adel Droplets of rain began splattering over the pavement. I quickly deposited my treasures in my bag. The intersecting protruding ends of two galvanized roofs of a nearby sari-sari store provided me temporary shelter. The chilly wind blew stronger as the scattered rain changed suddenly to heavy downpour drenching the dust-coated leaves, cooling and washing away the particles and debris of the now sleepy and tired city street. Fine clouds of powder rose and vanished into the thin air merging with the rain into a place only they intimately knew. The birds have retired to their dwellings. The stack of plastic soft drink cases covered me from greater chill. Then a barely audible oldies song drifted to us in the air: A time for us, some day there'll be When chains are torn by courage born of a love that's free A time when dreams so long denied can flourish As we unveil the love we now must hide
A time for us, at last to see A life worthwhile for you and me And with our love, through tears and thorns We will endure as we pass surely through every storm A time for us, some day there'll be a new world A world of shining hope for you and me For you and me And with our love, through tears and thorns We will endure as we pass surely through every storm A time for us, some day there'll be a new world A world of shining hope for you and me A world of shining hope for you and me I slept and dreamed. My dream turned out only a re-echo of a reality long forgotten. I received a late call from the province that my mother was dead. The late notice barred me from the chance to visit her funeral. Anger and pain filled me. Anger because I never had the chance to blame my mother; pain because I never was granted the chance to say I was sorry, and to tell her that I loved her and wished to take care of her. Or at least, in her deathbed hug her coldness tight. I was indeed her son, of another man, and I was estranged and alienated within my home. That truth, before, I never knew. I found it out only now that I’m old and an outcast. And it’s late. I’m no longer whole. Before her grave I sobbed as the rain sobbed wetting my whole body, but failing to wash away my sins, my pains, my longings… I woke up to the touch of another wanderer like me, with no bed, no blanket, no food, no wife, no mother, no father, no children, no family, no faith, no church, no God, no home to return to.
Here I am, the night is over. Another journey should be done. My body is burning, trembling, aching; my feet are heavy, swollen, weak, but I have to…I need to survive. I raise my best foot again, while the other gradually sinks to the grave….
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