(this piece was inspired by battery’s song, come to me)
(title was borrowed from a good friend’s tweet)
The trip was a spontaneous exercise in disappearing. I never expected a rehearsal this early.
It was just like it: Disappearing from one life and appearing into another mode. Rarely do I experience eating homecooked meals with a large clan and listening to stories about family trees, about childhood memories, about Lola’s crazy stints with her Big Four friends. It was worlds different from my family. The nice type of different.
I played with kids coming in all degrees of naughtiness and sweetness. What bundle of joys. Times with them were some of my most rewarding moments. It’s been a while since I took care of my babies in the orphanage. I missed them all the more. I killed the OC in me that cringed at the sight of spilled food and little things crammed into little mouths. The temporary death was worth it.
Embracing Lola and being blessed by her brought me back to warm times with my Lola from Goa. How lucky some people are to have theirs still present in their lives — their Lolas’ world-wise hands speaking volumes on skin, their voices singing like pure water.
Addressed in a language I am not familiar with, I felt like an amateur actress in the film Lost in Translation. I relied on context clues, tone of voice, and my scant knowledge of Bicolano to get the bare minimum of the messages. But people remained kind. I was even invited to attend the town fiesta several months away!
Being here, being with others provides anchorage even as I think the undertow is on vacation or is preparing something troublesome and dangerous like a tucked away quicksand. I always say I’m ready for him, but he is quick like a desperate bow looking for its mark.