What happened to our newspaper man

After more than two weeks, the paper came again. It came the day after I wrote about our newspaper man not coming, and then it didn't come again the day after.

I joked that maybe someone who had read my post and decided to give us the paper just for a day. (The thought of that mystery man who would leave a single red rose three red roses and an unfinished bottle of cognac at Edgar Allan Poe's grave on his birthday crossed my mind. Wouldn't that be something?) But on the third day, the paper came again. And it didn't stop coming.

On Sunday, collection day, we made sure to be up early for Mang Manny. Sadly, his trademark slightly musical "Diyaryo!" call didn't com. It was closer to noon when somebody tapped at our gate: a young man who said he worked at the place Mang Manny got his newspapers from.

My mother asked him where Mang Manny was, and he said that Mang Manny was in Batangas, and he would be staying there for forty days. His wife had died -- I didn't even know he had a wife -- and he was staying for the whole traditional mourning period.

I don't know if I'll ever get to ask Mang Manny how he is. We never really talk. But I'll be glad to see him again, so maybe I'll reach out this time. Maybe.