Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RR (Last Part)

Dear Brother

I will never know the true depth of your sufferings right now. All I have is a heart breaking picture in my head. I imagine you dazed and confused while tubes bringing nutrients bore through your nose. By now you have given up your attempts to pull them out. Its no use. You've enjoyed your normal life like a man, and you think, in your hospital bed you have to endure the pain like a man.

We do not know each other personally. I doubt if our lives ever crossed path. But last Saturday afternoon, I tried to reach out hoping that my little act of kindness would get through your blurry mind. To come into close contact was never an easy task. I had to wrestle my fears, defy the loneliness of the journey and figure out why I had to show some compassion when I don't know you at all.

It must have been the inner me wanting to get through to you.


I started my journey at past lunchtime. Here, at the heart of Manila, I could have taken a bus that would bring me straight to your ward in Muntinlupa. But no. Something in me insisted that I should go around the city to find that essential plant I was planning to bring.

Earlier that morning, I sought a friend's advice as to what organic gift to buy. Oregano sounded cheap. Besides, we had a small plastic pot of that herb in the driveway and, stealing it from my next door neighbor would save time and effort to present something when I show up. I immediately crossed out the idea. Karma strikes you know and it might backfire for the both of us. Offering you Basil was my second choice. However, I had to take two rides from home just to reach my favorite garden shop in Mother Ignacia.

"What the heck," I mumbled. "This is my chosen trip. I have no right to complain" I thought to myself.

So off I went to Quezon City just to buy a Basil herb in Green Hearts. If you would notice, I never wanted to bring you flower-bearing plants from the very start. You see, in times I wanted to give up on life and become stoned like some lost souls I know, sniffing leaves of fragrant herbs restore my well being. Call me nuts or whatever, but as far as I remember, only good thoughts linger whenever a freshly cut peppermint wafts under my nostrils.

Choosing a sub specie of a Basil plant already proved tricky. What more after I asked the caretaker what variety thrives inside a shaded room. In the end, I resigned to choosing a Mint instead. Not only does it possesses a sweeter and stronger scent, people like us would easily identify the plant with that gay club in Malate which was our foray in this kind of life.


I wonder what kind do you have.


Two hours inside a freezing bus made me think a lot of things. It didn't help that it cost almost a hundred pesos for a single ticket from Quezon Avenue to the outskirts of Filinvest. Should I've known that my sleep would be cut short, (by the bus' turtle-paced speed along the highway) I would have taken the MRT instead. "But what about the plant," you would probably say. Yes you're right. It would be a hassle to bring the organic gift inside a tightly packed mass transport.

So I waited, almost eternally, for the bus to enter the expressway. Meanwhile, I was trying to fend off some fears in my head, which as you would know, is something that should remain unspoken until the time is ripe for revelation. Dear brother, I too was a rebel and I have committed some atrocities all in the name of pleasure. Only the prude ones go to heaven and contrary to how I conduct my business nowadays. Being prude has never crossed my mind.

Only caution.

I may never know where fate lies and should it tread parallel to yours and your brothers, this is my only solace for an unforeseen life. Until then, I never wish to know and I have no plans of finding out the truth. I just hope that this major effort for souls misunderstood and avoided by so many assure me that no.

I will never be left behind.


The bus arrived at past 4 in the afternoon. The sun cast its soft rays over a clear blue sky. It maybe a dizzying walk from the bus station to the multi-cab terminal across the wide boulevard, but I'm learning so many things from the trip. Alabang will never be my world, but its wide open spaces, its orderly streets and verdant landscapes would always be a source of inspiration for me.

I was on the last leg of my journey after getting to the terminal. Finally the field trip is over. Whoever came up with the idea of offering something which reminds you of living must be a very old soul. We are used to giving something that is cut, arranged, and is bound to wilt. What inspiration for life will it give to the sick when the present is in fact, dying?

Anyway, I never knew such tiny multi cabs charge exorbitant fees. Had I known your hospital's distance and direction, I would walk from the terminal to your place on top of the hill. It didn't help that the cab driver asked so many awkward questions, which I only answered by shoving your Mint plant close to his sweaty face.

It should be enough for him to back off. I don't want my presence to be trivial.

Arriving in OPD, I immediately asked for the head nurse. The security guard said it was her day off and nobody would entertain my presence. But it was too late to turn around. I have come a long way to give up just when I was about to reach you, so I insisted.

My plea worked and I was on my way to your wing. I remembered to pay some respects and set some limits. And being a total stranger, what I sought in truth wasn't you but the people who cared for you.

So I went to the nurses station and asked for the contact person, which your friend left on his blog. Again, the nurses present said that the contact wasn't available so I asked for you name. Surprisingly they know you so I begged them to take the plant and give it to you.

They accepted your herb and asked me if I still wanted to pay you a visit. One of the nurses explained that because of your sensitive situation, I needed your mother's permission.

I said no. Told them it's enough for me to know that your Mint gets through to you.

The nurses must have been relieved of my decision.

Walking along the corridor, I noticed some patients staring at me. Do they have the same condition as you? Only they can whisper in secret. Leaving the building, I had a grand view of the skyscrapers in front of me. A few blocks away from your temporary home lies civilization, while you, in your bed wonder how long before the struggle ends.

But remember.

We live to find the meaning of life.

I pray for you immediate recovery. May the Mint (which I hope sits at the middle of your bedside table right now) serves as a reminder that your life is worth fighting. Please never forget that you've always been loved and is still being loved by the very people who touched your life.

This is the closest I could get dear brother. Until our next crossing.




anteros' dominion said...

. . .

E said...


The mint is near his bedside. Thank you so much for being so kind! Right now, RR is in pretty bad shape, he is no longer responding but still he is fighting and holding on for dead life.

Toxo igg results came in negative but he will be scheduled for MRI and CALAS within the week. We are all praying that the results from those test will determine what is wrong with RR and that RITM can start with the proper treatment.

You are one kind soul...You touched my heart as well as his parents hearts. Thank you so much! It really means alot to the HIV community.

engel said...

My prayers are for RR.

thecurioscat said...

still praying for RR

Anonymous said...

prayers for RR.

~Carrie~ said...

I admire the kind gesture you showed for a stranger. And thanks for the hug, sweetie.

E said...

UPDATE: RR is in a comma, hindi na nahabol ung MRI...Sad to say but there is a big chance that he won't make it.

Galen said...

I'm waking up at the start of the end of the world,
but its feeling just like every other morning before,
now i wonder what my life is going to mean if it's gone,
the cars are moving like a half a mile an hour and I
started staring at the passengers who're waving goodbye
can you tell me what was ever really special about me all this time

Matchbox 20
How Far We've Come

Galen said...

For RR.