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Showing posts from April, 2019

A letter

I once found a letter in our mailbox that was addressed to nobody I knew. The address on the envelope was ours, but the name was a stranger, so short of going house to house in our neighborhood and asking for somebody by that name, I didn't know how else to help the letter find its way. It sat on a bookshelf for weeks before I decided to open it. Maybe it contains a clue on the person's identity , I reasoned to myself, as I opened the envelope carefully so I could still seal it again. It didn't. It was an apologetic love letter, from someone who hadn't communicated in a long time, a ghost before ghosting had become a phenomenon people would write and tell stories about. I haven't forgotten you, the letter said in Filipino, and I am sorry if you think I have. Do you still live in this address? Please let me know. It was signed with love, sent from foreign waters with no specific return address. For a few seconds, I felt like I had been handed an important m

On growing up without water

A few afternoons ago, I struck up a conversation with a woman who was waiting her turn at the couturier. The dogs--the shop was also a home--had gotten bored with me and had left to sleep under the remains of the sun, and since I was there only to keep my mother company, I decided to talk to the woman while my mother and the couturier settled on a design for her mother-of-the-groom gown. It turned out that the woman and I lived in the same subdivision, and after I shared with her some of my concerns about cleanliness and security in our neighborhood, she suggested that I run for our street council. I smiled and said I would consider it, but to be honest, my first reaction was: Let the adults handle it.  Then, I remembered that childhood was a million years ago. I have been, for many years now, a person younger people turn to in a room. *** I've been reminded of my childhood a lot lately. It's almost funny what the triggers are, if they weren't actually tragic.