I'm here on the second floor of this crowded fast food chain at a table directly facing the stairway, so that all the customers carrying their food-laden trays had to make eye-contact with me before they turn to the rows of tables to my left and eat in peace. But it's very cozy here, a place conducive to writing (at least, to me), with a white ceiling light beaming directly above me and falling gloriously down upon my table. I plan to spend an hour or two here because I was told we have visitors at home and I don't feel like meeting people now that I'm fiercely craving to write--it's maddening, this desire to write is like demons to be appeased, you have to satisfy them because if you don't, you'd either die, get sick or go mad--but I don't expect anyone who has never experienced that to ever understand.
But the way the light falls upon my notebook page on this table reminds me of the white light at the hospital room where Pa used to spend time during his ailment. That was before the sisters whisked him off to Butuan with Ma.
It was the largest and the most comfortable room in our hometown hospital, designed by a renowned architect who was the owner's son, with windows from floor to ceiling, and overlooking McArthur highway, where you can see buses, trucks and jeepneys on their way to Davao or Cotabato or the smaller towns in between.
The room, if you'd care to know, does not make you think of a hospital at all, with its abundance of light, and its plenitude of space, its tasteful curtains, which you can whisk away if you want to see the view, or whisk back if you don't, because you prefer the subdued light that can make you rest and relax.
The nurses, when they find you, are not as snotty there as they might be in the other rooms; they might even be a lot friendlier! Pa and Ma and I were sitting there, looking out as we awaited the sisters coming home from Butuan the day Pa's ailment seemed to be at its worst and Pa, who was suddenly amiable and meek as a child, had been calling the name of his mother, in between moans of pain, in between the state of waking and unwaking.