Sunday, April 24, 2011

Frontiersman





We live in a small house blessed with two moldy bathrooms, three bedrooms with thin wooden walls and a sala that extends all the way to the kitchen. The house would have been large enough for a family of four but with a family double that size - including Baabaa, when he decides to sleep over - one could dismiss us as tin can dwellers. There  is always someone up for  half of us are nocturnal and the clutter becomes an eyesore sometimes, I  secretly stash some of the refuse at the neighbor's trashcan.

I grew up in a family that has always been inflated with asylum seekers. My mom has seven siblings not to mention her cousins who live in our old house. Many years later, we would open our doors to some students who found our home a refuge. These were my mom's students if you're wondering. Now a generation has passed and we moved to a new house, but our doors remain open.  My sister's ex-boyfriend who is now her husband chose to live with us.

Personal space has ceased to become an issue.

But  there are times when the brother-in-law must return to his family. He brings along his family to live in the mountains. Even the house helpers need to return to their families too. When transients need to stay elsewhere, we are reminded of who the real dwellers are -

Mom and me.

Christ has already risen, and the people who have left are expected to ask for extension. It means the Lesbian driver won't be around until the middle of the week - if she decides to return,  and my sister, her husband and Baby Lenin - who have just left this morning won't be back until next week. With the maid to keep us company, looking after the house would have been a breeze. But my aging mother is left alone in her room most of the time.  Needing constant reassurance (with the maid always staying at the neighbor's house)  her seclusion leaves me uneasy.

It is just the first night of my vigil and I could already feel that something  has been carved within. More than the echo left by an infant's babbling or the occasional quarrel between the young couple, it is the invisible thread of togetherness that just got missing. For I used to have no worries sleeping under stars knowing someone will watch over my back, but  now that we're just three in the house, the blanket of darkness becomes my closest fiend.  

I will always be a creature of silence, but  from now on, never can I lay claim to the distance which now surrounds me.




15 comments:

Spiral Prince said...

I know that feeling, Mugen. I've dealt with it ever since we moved to Bohol. I wrote something about the same thing just earlier, but I lost my train of thought and it now sits elsewhere as a draft. Don't let the silence consume you - reach out and bridge that gap by any means you can. Technology is under your command. Failing that, I guess you'd have to find comfort where you can, but that in itself isn't admitting defeat. Happy Easter. :)

dabo said...

i share the sentiments joms..

claudiopoi said...

same here joms.

at home, it's six children, a set of parents, an aging grandfather and his caregiver, three adopted cousins (two have since graduated and have left the household), one househelp and a houseboy, and lots of farm animals.

i know how you feel -- and how the noise can become part of the daily routine. so much so that each time i need to go somewhere far away, with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company, and no one but myself and no other, i feel like a big part of me is missing.

but you'll be fine. because sooner or later, you need to get used to the set-up. :)

odin hood said...

sa bahay tahimik... walang nanay na maingay hehehe still i miss my mommy

Midnight Orgasm said...

Living along is still the perfect way for me. Although living with someone else, especially people you are related by blood, is awesome. And comes handy, of course.

Sean said...

maaga akong bumukod sa aking pamilya. pero hindi pa rin ako sanay mabuhay mag-isa. sobra akong nalulungkot sa katahimikan pag umaalis ang aking asawa na hindi ako kasama.

Eternal Wanderer... said...

baliktad tayo.

mas sanay ako sa onting tao sa bahay. kaya kapag maraming tayo, freak out ako :P

Louie said...

I've been living alone for 5 years kaya kahit may konting tao lang na dumating, sobrang saya ko na. Mahirap pala talaga mabuhay mag-isa.

Agree with Claudiopoi, you'll be fine. =)

my journey said...

i totally understand how you feel, kuya joms.

that's why when the holy week came in, i've got no one beside me here in our boarding house

i just decided to do rest day overtime work.

silence and loneliness

the perfect pair

and the worst tandem to beat

jc said...

Mama is going to be alright. Guardian angels will watch over her when you're not around. :)

Kiss and hug Mama for me! :)

Viktor Saudad said...

I love being at home because of the peace and quiet. I love my home.

The only problem I have is the mess. Kung ako lang mag-isa nakatira, there wouldn't be much of a mess.

Viktor Saudad said...

my mom's a neat freak. and i think i got it from her.

She's away from home now, kaya ako na lang ang nastress sa kalat.

I miss my mom.

Mother's day is coming soon...*sighs*

daniel said...

That helper is nasty, pagsabihan dapat yan sis' nangangapitbahay pa!

Godbless : )

ACRYLIQUE said...

Awww. naalala ko nung mga panahon na gusto kong maging astronaut. SPACEEEEEEEEEEE!

Zip Reid said...

Been living alone since I was 16 when I left home for college. Got used to the independence and loneliness, but the child in me will always yearn to be with my mom.. Home is where my heart is!