header image


This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

Interested in What I Create?


Sunday, June 14, 2020

entry arrow11:07 PM | The Grief of Stars

Last Wednesday night, in the early evening, Renz took me to the beachside. We wanted to stretch our legs for a bit, seeking perhaps the elusive cure for stir-craziness, which has come and gone, and back again, in the endless days of the pandemic. All you can do these days really is go outside for quick chores and food pickups, with nowhere else to go next except the confining walls of one’s apartment, certainly safe inside, but with your skin bursting with longing for different stimuli.

So we bought a few drinks and some junk food at the 7–11 along Aldecoa Drive, and then I told him to drive straight to Flores Avenue, where on the seawall along the Escaño stretch, we had Piapi Beach all to ourselves: the sea in low tide, and before us receding into the darkness of the horizon, with everything else swimming in pitch blackness.

We sat on the seawall to talk, to eat and drink, to contemplate what stars and other heavenly bodies we could see. I think we saw Venus, and when our eyes finally adjusted, we spied some parts of Orion’s Belt. We suspected a scattering of clouds.

“We did this before, you know,” Renz said, “in the first year of our relationship. We were on the rooftop of some hotel downtown, and you showed me the stars with the help of a star map on your iPad.”

I’ve forgotten this, but the memory of that night, seven years ago, came back little by little. We took it for granted then, that night with the stars and perhaps other instances like that one.

It seemed like a fantasy now, that kind of old freedom, that kind of old moment.

“I wish we could do more unexpected things like this,” I said, “like taking time out from the lockdown to see the stars.” But it also occurred to me that while it can certainly be done, there is a taint now to things like this, and we feel this shackle binding us to the constancy of our abodes.

I thought of how much we don’t really know what the pandemic has taken away from us; we have made friends with our new normal, we have checked our privileges. And then one night you see the stars, and you ache for what you have lost, although you cannot at all name the void inside of you.

Labels: , ,

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich