March 14


a reflection looks back at me. I didn’t dare look at it in the eye. a cat settles itself beneath a parked jeepney. it’s dark and I don’t have to remember. no, not yet. 2:54 March 14

 

shadows move. casting themselves in the blueish wall. I am falling. face-down. the mattress sinks, refusing me any relief. I didn’t lie. at least, I still believed. 2:57 March 14

 

don’t smirk at me. stop giggling behind my back. why must you do it? Oh. it’s not (about) me? … yeah. right. 2:59 March 14

 

the room stinks of light. it’s all too much, overhead, reflected against an artificial white table. labor, labor. f*ck you, I can’t spell love anymore. this space is function; no love. this space is digits, quotas, quality, blah blah. I don’t create, I produce. if I don’t emit, I lose. against you. against me. how did I get here? how did I become one AND against the enemy?! … 3:06 March 14

 

I’m sorry, Jan.
3:08 March 14

How to be forgotten


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This is how I fade. I don’t greet you when it’s your birthday, Christmas, New Year. I suppress the smile, the impulse to ‘Like’ any of your posts. I don’t. I don’t. I just don’t. Then I fade, naturally. That when you speak or hear my name, you’d struggle to find a picture of me in your mind. I become this short human, black hair, thin arms, no face. I’m long gone… before you even learn to let me go.

4:45 P.M. March 8.

Anatomy of a Caregiver


These days, I wear shackles. Invisible chains holding me tight next to Routine. There is not much space, not much air, just enough oxygen to suck it in. ALL IN.

I work at night which means I’m supposed to sleep during the day. But as a caregiver there can’t be an “I.” Instead, there are Hands — crushing the tablet so it can be mixed with his adult milk (because the tablet tastes horrible, it makes him vomit). The Hands do it at eleven so he can drink both milk and medicine by the time the clock strikes at eleven thirty. Sometimes, the Hands go about adjusting the direction to where the electric fan blows; other times, it will go pick a fresh clean diaper and remove the one soaked in urine and feces. When the Hands are still, the Feet do its bidding. Going to pharmacies to buy more medicine, diapers, and toiletries. It’s an alternate pattern of Hands and Feet — working busy at night, tending to our patient at day. Fatigued, but I’d rather be that the Hands and Feet work frenzy… than be still and hear nothing but the worrisome lub-dub of the Heart

as each day unfolds for it to hurt

and hurt and

hurt.

x_x

4:29 AM

~image by Larm Rmah

The Recurring


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Friday: 2016

I want to lose myself… in the voices, the chatter, someone’s life story that occupied pretty much this cramped jeepney. I want to be molded, joined, lost in the bodies squished left and right, front- and back-seat. I want to become the blurred face as the jeep momentarily speeds before it slows down, approaching the traffic light. I want to be no one, to be empty, to assume no name or identity. It’s a Friday. And I don’t want to exist.

Friday: 2017

Yester-night. I was in diaspora… I felt displaced, inside. It was a Friday and I didn’t want to exist… that when I arrived at work, I went straight to the pantry. I drowned my throat with coffee (but can’t flush the thoughts aside). I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I didn’t want to be reminded what’s the basis of my existence at that moment. What is it, you ask? Why, a contract, of course! An obligation to show up! HA-HA-HA. Who ever forgets, come see me; I’ll remind you. HA-HA-HA. My inner diaspora, this self disconnect. Ask me again, I’ll be honest this time… at that very moment, all I wanted was to exist, simply exist. To know that we are here because this is what Fortune handed you. And me. An us.

~image by Filip Mroz

I keep on saying, “I’m not ready”


12:32 AM

I keep on saying, “I’m not ready.” My story isn’t ready. That it’s still jumbled in my head… I myself don’t always recognize it. So the pages continue to be blank. White. Lines. White. Fading.

I’m not sure what I’m waiting for.

These days, I’m just growing unsure, more unsure.

10:16 AM

So many stories are swimming in my head. I wonder which ones are mine.

Sometimes I could tell which is mine to tell, other times not.

I may have got it bad.

10:13 PM

Sometimes I’m sick of being sane, of living within the confines of “normal.”

9:23 PM

I died but I don’t remember dying. If I close my eyes, I get to see the floor, the spit, my dangling feet. I am hanging, gasping for air, writhing, struggling against the growing tightness of the rope against my neck.

I don’t remember dying.

But I knew what I had done… who I killed this time.

Myself.

 

**image by Evan Kirby

Heartbreaking in secret


I don’t know when it started… that I just stopped existing in your life. I was occupied and bent to kept myself occupied. I had this habit of arranging things around me—moving the chair here, removing an old box, replacing a container, finding new and different uses to a bottle, a can, or an unlikely vase. I thought that if I move things here and there, I’d be fixing my own state of mind, that I could successfully maneuver my inner flow to blend with the objects that surround us which is part of our reality. In short, I just wanted to fix us.

But it’s complicated. It always was. There is more to you and me than objects, angles, shadows, light, dark, or… home.

One room

We can’t make conversations. We tried. Now, I guess it was all in vain. I sort of just gave up. I turned to my books, binge-reading now and then. Last week, I’ve finished Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. It’s a good book not because this is Plath, or because she had one of the most beautiful collection of vocab. It’s more than that: actually, she’s awesome at making internal conversations—the kind I could have with myself but I can’t do with you. Not that I didn’t tried. Oh, I just said that, sorry. Remember that time I asked you why I had to apologize while you can’t (or you won’t) even when you’re at fault? You thought I was becoming… too smart. Perhaps, that’s why all throughout this time you’ve made it a habit to constantly pick on my bad habits, on my mistakes, basically, everything. Just as I’ve made it a mission to fix the chaos of objects, you’ve made yours a mission, too. To fix me by pointing out everything that’s wrong with me. If we compared notes, yours had always been so direct. Either way, we didn’t get close to where we should be. I end up hating you. You hate me just as well.

And I stayed in my room for refuge. I have there my books and my inner conversations.

A ghost

I must have talked in my head for too long. The conversations have waged on and on (until now). The gap grew big, it’s now a gaping hole. Before I know it, I saw myself as a ghost, a selective apparition who chooses to show herself when she had to, or as routine demands. I do my chores. I still arrange the boxes, the chairs, and even wipe the dust off old furniture. But there’s no longer any “fixing” for both of us.