Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Because my world is your world, too

I wrote my story on Maribojoc, Bohol in my mother's hospital bed. Nobody knew it. It was a very crammed ward, marked private, with only my mother and my father in it. I did it sitting on her bed, which was so small, I can hardly move my elbows. There was no electricity and no water when I arrived and it was very hot. My father sat forlornly on a bench across the bed."Were you pissed off, Pa, that your daughter took very long to arrive?" I asked, partly to strike a conversation and partly to ease my guilt. My father smiled. It took too long for me to come down because I could not extricate myself from my obligations. I was running out of cash and I knew how helpless I would be inside a hospital without cash. I was in panic as I interviewed people for my story, knowing that my mother was in the hospital, very sick. When the interviews were over, I brought the rest of my work to the hospital, trying very hard to summon all my energy to keep my mind in focus because the smell of dried sweat mingling with the smell of dust and medicine interfered. My sister arrived on a four o'clock bus from Butuan, asked me to meet her at the gate, but I was already fast asleep, I only read her message in the morning, when I awoke to find her talking to my mother, who was sick. I did not know how I finished my story. I sat there thinking about mothers and daughters and sisters and how they manage to survive.

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