Saturday, October 2, 2010

Was Sagten Sie? (What did you say?)

The old German transvestite walked in the middle of the road wearing a pink bathing suit and yellow Bermuda shorts. He was what most gossipmongers referred to as 'a wasted life', not for the alien who probably felt just as distant in his foreign country than any other place he'll ever be. But for the sad picture it painted of foreigners, which to their minds should remain unblemished.

To Nang Ading, sitting by the bench at the carenderia, he would've made a suitable husband for the youngest. To Nang Linda sweeping her front yard, he would've been an ideal financier to her vinegar business. For the numbers of them, thousands of them, some without faces, some that blotch with the iridescence of the wind, he would've had the potential to become great conversation piece for years to come.They gather together and gaze at the lopsided figure walking down Karsadang Daan like a soldier to his execution.

Labels.Always labels.And they sweep through the mind one by one like memories, which sometimes he opts to discard.And sometimes he merely opts to just wear the pink bathing suit in lieu of his memories.The dirt road is placid as it is painful to his naked feet. And somewhere in the distance is the kindling of what looked like who he once was.This old, unfinished structure, all bricks that barely made it to the back.An excuse of a house, really, except it sat like royalty amongst neighboring shacks. A door. A wall. A life. A hole.

There was a little girl sitting on its ledges, her legs swooshing back and forth in the air, watching the others playing on its empty shell. Destroying the house, smashing its bricked arches. Rip the Wood. Steal the wires to be weighed in junk yards.Memories. And he snaps the strap of his bathing a suit as a soldier will to his rifle. And moves on.

Ave Maria Porisima. Ave Maria Porisima. Ave Maria Porisima. They were talking about him again. Counting. Counting on their little beads that looked like a magazine of bullets glinting in the sun. His faults. One by one.Counting them down until they got to the last one where they gave their verdict, touching their hands on the metallic ending. He would hang on a cross long enough to be laughed at and lost to the conspiracies of the world which thinks him hero, and then criminal. Or both. And they gathered together on one side of the road. He on the other.

It had been walked, this road, countless times before. Its paved concrete just stopped along a politician's house and continued onwards with rocks, and dirt until it led to nowhere. Movement is bravery, then movement is cowardice. Oppressing heat. And oppressing noise. The tricycle drivers were just as bad as the wives. And the music of their mufflers sounded like the resonance of their voices. Irog diha, Boang. Irog diha, boang. Irog. Padaplin. Joe, Yabag. Joe, Yabag. Irog. Padaplin. Joe, Boang.

Was sagten Sie? Ihr Bauch zeigt sich.

And they cackled like the roosters they always kept in their backyards.Back then, when he watched these old men with their potbellies and the graceful fingers soothed feathers as gracefully as they soothed children, he had dreamed of bricks and wives and tots on shoulders, and being worshipped in brown little men's tongues. Brown children that called him Vati. Marbles. Guns. Shoes with no holes. Dripping noses. Black hair wisped on a woman's face. He smelled the rot in their woods and wires that seem to lop with each step forward.

The road is a war field and he was fighting once more, hanging from the ledge with the child beside him, suspended in fugue. He had asked his potbellied architect once what kept held the arch together without getting posts that stuck on bricked sides. Spit, he said, and cow dung. This is where he sat now, where his cardboard sat along with the tendrils of a suitcase and a banana leaf for relief. Tomorrow he will wear his peach shirt.

Somewhere a dog barked out his name and carved out his secret on a tree with piss and the smell of territory. This and that.Here and there. Did not matter. And he would walk the road again.The fetus in slumber. Let him vanish himself in a label one last time. Where they gawk at a fallen past, his last on the road that led to nowhere else but the land of hospitality.

(This is an old piece. I made it sometime in February 2010. I know this isn't the point of the project but September leaves me drained. And all my stories this month have potential beginnings and never endings. So for now, this.)

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