December 01, 2004

A Rainy Day Fantasy

Sometimes it takes a storm to remind me of the things I'm missing in this Manila hellhole. I keep seeing people with long harried faces always hurrying to go home or get to work; looking at the same greyish concrete roads and buildings and urban decay marinated in a thick brown polluted haze; inhaling the same polluted exhaust fumes and rancid body odors of sweaty people here; feeling the claustrophobic heat which one cannot escape wherever one hides; hearing the same jeepneys honking their horns while simultaneously blaring some idiotic Filipino crap-song like "Bulaklak"; and eating the same bland calorific fast food. It's really a life unjustified.

With that, I want to imagine just for once, that I was back at home- home in the province where life is languid and stress-free. I want to see myself relaxing in our butaka chair at the lanai only in shorts and sando looking out to the garden outfront listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops hitting the ara-al stones and the bromeliads wetting the limestone floor of the garden. I can see the moss green and glossy from the dampness of the afternoon shower and the ceramic chimes clanging itself a melodious tune. I can feel the stubby coat of Kitty (my mini-pinscher) as she curls herself in my lap lulling herself to sleep while I rub her back. I can hear the peals of laughter and shrieks of our driver's children as they streak naked into the rain playing hide-&-seek among my mom's orchid plants. I can smell the hot batchoy that had just arrived in a big tupperware from our suki- the aroma of toasted garlic and the broth, very exhilariting. Moments later, I can hear the footsteps of my mom and dad as they descended the stairs fully refreshed from their siesta. I can taste the batchoy, hot and savory, accompanied with crisp buttered toast which I dunk into the broth, and finished off with a ice-cold Coke. Ahhh....

But such a fantasy may never be repeated again for the only thing constant in the universe is change. And such a change is certainly now a rude awakening.

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