Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hello, 2015, slow down

Just like that, January is over. I had the best intentions for the new year, but this year started out a little frustrating: I spent the first three weeks of January fighting a rather strong upper respiratory infection. I can say, in fact, that as early as the first week of 2015, I'd already experienced something completely new: laryngitis.

One day, I was talking non-stop with my best friends Sherwil and Emily, and the next morning, I was completely voiceless. There was no medicine for it, and, shunning antibiotics, I opted for plenty of fluids, vitamins, and rest. I slept for twelve hours or more each day.

That little bout with illness threw me a bit off track, but I'm well now and raring to get back on the New Year's Resolutions bandwagon. During the long Christmas break, I'd listed down some of my intentions for professional development, creative writing (including reading and writing in this blog), travel, relationships, finances, and health.

I managed to tick off some tasks on my to-do list, but I still need to catch up on some of this year's goals.

The unusual (at least for me) long bout with illness, however, didn't go without leaving a few lessons, the most urgent of which was to take care of myself since I'm not getting any younger, and the most valuable of which was that silence is okay.

When I was fighting laryngitis, I couldn't talk. Forced into physical silence, I compensated by allowing my thoughts to go on overdrive -- so much so that even I found myself too loud.

This year, even if I want movement, I also must learn to be still.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dream: Engagement

Still feeling under the weather, I lie half awake after responding to the call of nature, my mind running away from me, concocting this long and elaborate emoji-filled chat between me and a US-based girl friend, during which she tells me I absolutely have to date her boyfriend's 45-year-old friend.

She sends me a pic of his wheelchair-bound 80-something mother and says he has already told her about me, and she who rarely likes the girls he dates has given us her blessing (heart emoji).

But honestly, my friend says, I have to date him because he needs character references and his encounter with me would boost his hiring potential. I don't have to look at it romantically, she says.

Plus, says my friend, I am on "what engages him: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram."

Here's his picture, she says, and it starts loading.

A cough wakes me up completely, and everything is gone.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dream: Haunting

I dreamt I was in a cab with Keona, and the cab driver couldn't find Bonny Serrano. I gave him directions, but he wouldn't listen. Or he would make a turn before my instructions would register.

As we were going around in circles, Keona slipped into the space under the car seat with my iPad, playing hide-and-seek. Against my better judgment, I let her stay there.

At one point, frustrated that we were lost in such a familiar area, I told the driver I needed to step out to get my bearings and check a partially hidden sign. Again, he wasn't listening... so when I stepped out, he immediately drove away, with Keona still hiding under the seat.
I panicked. I tried to remember his name and plate number, but I hadn't taken note of them. He was a kind old man, just stubborn, and I had given him the street address, so I walked to my street, hoping he'd finally find it, see me, and drop Keona off.

As I was walking, I bumped into one of my best friends, Emily. She was cheerful and rather bouncy, and she walked along with me. "Do you know there are ghosts walking around here?" she asked.

It was not something I wanted to hear as I was looking for my niece. But Em was persistent. "There are ghosts walking around here," she repeated, this time with a playful tone in her voice. "Like me!"

"Like who?"

"Me," she giggled, walking away.

I tried to run after her and suddenly fell. The falling felt infinite, painless but heavy. It dragged me down like a magnetic force even as I felt the concrete catch my back. When I surrendered to it, I soared for a few seconds. Then I popped back up.

People were gawking. Then I saw I had left my body.

"Now there are two of us!" Emily said.

"Let's haunt Sherwil!" I said. We giggled.

Em bounced to Sherwil's house while I, still new to the ghost business, walked. When we got there, Emily flew straight to the second floor and flew right back out. I asked her how to fly, and she said to just focus on where you wanted to go. I tried and I managed to lift my feet off the ground, but I couldn't penetrate concrete. I hovered above Sherwil's car, a black and white, checkered Mini Cooper. Sherwil was inside.

I put on a scary face and went into crouching position and landed gently on the hood. "Boo! I'm a ghost!" Em pulled the car door open and cried out the same.

Sherwil wasn't scared at all, but frustrated that she had to catch up with us. "How? What?" Em and I promised to update her soon, but we both had to run. She had an errand and I had to find Keona.

The next morning, the cab driver finally drove down a street I was on. He didn't see me so I had to chase him down. Keona looked calm, but when she saw me she finally cried. "I played games on your iPad all night," she sobbed, "but there was no Internet."

The driver said he brought her home and fed her Jollibee before resuming the search. His children tried to play with her, he said, but she was on the iPad.

I thanked him and told him to bring us home. I gave him instructions. He made a wrong turn. And we were lost again.