Thursday, July 14, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Everything revolves around her room, a room painted entirely in pink and cluttered with everything you can imagine. A gramophone is at one corner with a thick pile of magazines is bundled together by a long strip of grey straw right beside it. Her paintings aren’t mounted at all, just flimsy and deliberately unfinished canvasses lying around on the floor. A mannequin and numerous cola bottles litter the bottom of her closet. Her clothes are, instead of being placed inside it, strewn haphazardly on the bed. Her panties—clean ones at that—are in a drawer that is always open while her brassieres all hang loosely on her bedpost along with her numerous bags and hats. A burger wrapper and an empty soda cup are on top of her television. A few droplets of condensed water are slowly sliding down the side of the cup, threatening to create a circular puddle on the TV’s plastic casing. She immediately grabs the cup and transfers it to her bedside table. No one can say that she might not need a drink later, sometime in the middle of the night.
She’s been waiting. It’s undeniable that she’s been waiting since that night when she left him to enjoy the company of people other than herself. By her head lies her phone. Silent for the past eight or so hours, apart from the random check-ups from her mother as to whether or not she had washed the dishes yet or had cleaned her room. Obviously, the answer was a flat out no. The dishes remained unwashed, the trash still not taken out, and the floor gathered a triple layer of dust.
She breathes in deeply. Coughs and then breathes in again, much deeper than the last one. She stares at her pink ceiling for a few more moments and then decides to stand up and make her way around the clutter of her room to a drawer. Her cigarettes are inside. Only one stick remains and, as she makes a final survey of the cigarette’s well-being, she fumbles around her pockets for that lighter she had bought just the other day in 7-11. She takes a whiff of the cigarette and coughs again. She looks at it and sees a patch of mold growing on the very end of it. Repulsive. She throws it away.
It’s 12:45 in the morning. Halfway around the world, people are awake or just waking-up, depending on whether or not they were drunk the night before. If so, then it would be a different case altogether. She’s wide awake along with the drunkards on the other side of the earth. It makes her feel more alone than ever. She proceeds to her bed and lies down on her clothes. She closes her eyes and dreams.
I had dreamt that I was in a game of life and death. I was a player and yet a participant as well. With every move I made, someone had to go away or die. I was in my house with my family. My sister was waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up so that they could go on a date. My father was fixing the plumbing under the kitchen sink, looking very much like those clichéd repairmen fathers on the television. My mother was just beside my father except standing up and embracing a big bowl with cookie dough in it. She was making chocolate chip, oatmeal, and walnut cookies for dessert.
I was in my room, as usual, bathing in the pink-ness of it. Staring at the ceiling and talking to that big guy/girl/whatever up there. My room was, amazingly, in a state of utter cleanliness. No amount of shock was founded in me, almost as if it being clean was something even natural. Then, suddenly, the ceiling talked back. It said something about giving me powers. I closed my eyes and shut out the voice. God, I was obstinate. It stopped after a few minutes. So, I opened my eyes, put on a pair of shorts, and went outside. I had heard the sound of a truck and followed it.
My sister was gone. I heard the truck drive away. Saw the little speck with her in it disappear into the distance. She wasn’t coming back. I knew she wasn’t. Depressed as I was, she was, on the other hand, happy. I imagined her head outside of the truck’s window. Her wavy hair was reflected in the side mirror, being played around by the wind. Her face was aglow with a joy I had never seen in her before. She was leaving the home turned hellhole called our house.
I couldn’t say that I felt exactly the same way towards our humble abode. Comfortable as I was in it. I returned. From the foyer, I could see the inside—up to the kitchen.
My parents were gone. Everything they were holding was laid down perfectly on the kitchen counter. The wrench and the recently dismantled pipeline. The bowl filled with cookie dough and the half-finished chocolate chip bag with its opening gaping. The oven was preheated. I could feel the heat singeing the hairs on my leg. The water from the sink’s faucet was still running. I turned it off.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t looking for my parents. It was, just as I said about my room being clean, almost something natural. Like I had expected them to be gone. And they were.
Maybe they had gone on a permanent vacation. Maybe they had deliberately left me to be on my own. That was how it felt. I wasn’t exactly happy about it but I had instantly accepted it. They could’ve been on a plane to Cancun or Macau. It didn’t matter. My parents, just like my sister, had absolutely no plans to come back to me. Or, at the least, say goodbye. In a way, they had died.
She wakes up. Something cold had dropped onto her face. Liquid. Water. The pitter patter of the rain gets louder and louder. Her ceiling is leaking. A moist puddle that seemed to defy gravity had begun to form near her room’s fluorescent light while she was dreaming. So she grabs a stool, the yellow one beside her bedside table, and stands on it. Wobbling, she reaches for the puddle with cupped hands so as to catch the dripping water. It drips. And drips. And drips. But each drop slips right through the wide gaps between her stubby fingers. She loses her balance. There’s no time to shout out loud. She just falls onto the floor with a loud and heavy thump.
The tears begin to well up in her eyes. A low rumble forms at her throat and gets stuck there. It transforms into a high pitched moan—as if the rumble was squeezed tight. She bawls.
“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.”