Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I went home today at around 7:30 AM, after having grappled with editing a story and writing an article all of last night till the early hours of the morning at Qyosko. I was tired, and I was more than ready to sleep till noon. That was the plan. I was beginning to slumber away when the earthquake hit at 8:12 AM. I bolted out of bed fast, every instinct telling me this was no dream, and the shaking of the floors -- a quick dizzying spell that lasted forever -- was no nightmare. I could hear people shouting outside. I live on the first floor of a bulky house, and I could imagine myself flattened away by all the concrete above me. Getting up, I saw my MacAir by my bedside, and I was actually quite proud of myself when I found myself thinking: "Fuck the laptop." I grabbed my keys, rushed to my gate -- only to find the whole thing jammed as the earth quaked some more, and I remember thinking: "Why do I have to die this way, dressed only in my underpants, trapped by a steel gate, with a full view of sky and street?" I jimmied away at the lock, until it finally gave way. By then, the earthquake was over. It took a while to go back to sleep, my gate fully opened, unlocked. The aftershocks rocked. I did not wake up at 12 noon. I woke up to the dimness of late afternoon, knowing I have slept away the entire day. If I weren't hungry, I wouldn't have gone outside. But I needed dinner. I needed a confirmation of life after the news of destruction somewhere else. My heart bled for Bohol. Downtown, the lights were off -- a blackout, I'm told. But here I am in a cafe with wifi, food before me, and all the while I am thinking of how life is so random, how things can end even after centuries of having braved everything else, and how important it is to start living in the now.
 This is Where You Bite the Sandwich
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