There will be highs and lows in a relationship. It’s a matter of finding the right reasons to compromise.
Keep the peace.
The owls did it again.
I did not mention this the other day because I seem to remember that I published a post about the local bird of the night predicting (accurately) the departure of life from the body.
Since I changed my sleeping hours, later than usual, I began to hear the noises of midnight and the early morning. Startling and spooky, the owls hooted as if they were talking with one another, keeping track of the invisible to the human naked eye and providing hints of what would come to pass.
Yes, depending on their location and distance from my position, I could take a wild guess where the dead would be located. (It’s a discouraging prospect but it is what it is.)
True enough, or should I say bewildering, the owls maintained their percentage of accuracy to a high level. Supernatural? I could not put a word to describe it. Fantastic, perhaps?
“Did you hear them, too?” my kumpare asked the next day. “I was pissing outside when I thought they were just overhead. I had to hurry up to go inside and hide.”
“You’re exaggerating,” I remarked nervously. “As always.”
“He’s dead,” my kumpare mentioned the name of our neighbor. “The next day after the owls hooted.”
Right there and then, I began to keep a more open mind. I did not know what to say, nor would I want to confirm what my kumpare surmised, I only wished the birds would leave and move far away from our locality.
However, that would be easier to hope for than realized.
When I told my godsons that the aswang was not real, I was simply excluding them from the anxieties and fears of adults. Children should be exempted, while still young, from the ugliness and obscenities of this world and beyond.
Believe it or not, there are unnatural phenomena occurring hereabouts. People could not explain them other than joke around and pretend they were folk tales of old, handed down through generations with embellishments as years went by.
Right now, I could hear the dogs howling one after another. Should I be frightened?
No. I am sure.
After I was forced to log off yesterday, I went out for a walk: to simmer down a bit.
A few minutes later, down the road toward the irrigation canal, I encountered another godson of mine. He rode his bike as if he was hounded by a pack of dogs: he raced, to be exact.
I raised my right hand to signal him to stop. Naturally, I expected him to obey me, sure that with his excellent sight he could recognize me a hundred yards away.
He passed me by, nearly sideswiped me with the rear wheel as he sped off downhill. I was afraid he would take a tumble but fortunately he excellently handled the bumps and holes in the uneven gravel secondary road.
I shrugged off the miss encounter as something ordinary, tossing in my head several theories why I received the snub.
When I reached home an hour later, he stood by my gate with another godson, my frequent visitor. They were in an animated conversation, hands motioning in the air as if their subject involved flying.
“Care to share with me the gossip?” I interrupted, opening the imaginary gate.
They laughed at my antic, accustomed to the way I interact with them.
“Ninong, last night I saw an aswang outside our house!”
As curious as I was with the startling news, I calmly toned down my reaction, not contradicting him directly. I was most certain that his claim of seeing the folkloric local vampire was just a figment of his imagination.
“Did you not see me earlier?” I asked, diverting their attention toward reality.
“I was afraid so I did not look. Father told me to stop at nothing lest I could be snatched by the aswang.”
“Can you describe to me what you saw?” I asked, accepting his alibi.
“It was black as night, tall as a tree and silent as a mouse.”
“I saw something like it at home, too.”
My frequent visitor would not be defeated. He would match the story to stay in the forefront.
“I hate to tell you this but what you saw was your shadow. Look!” I pointed to them their afternoon black cast on the ground.
“But that’s at the back,” he reasoned out. “What I saw was in front.”
The lack of simple observation skill and the strategy of casting fear to a young mind created such a condition. Parents do not want their children wandering around at night so the tale was told.
“If you do not believe me, go out at night along with your father or mother, check out what I told you.”
Unimpressed, they politely waved me their goodbyes, probably thinking I was born a skeptic. Not true, of course.
Early this morning, my frequent visitor passed by on the way to school. He grinned to the max.
“You’re right, Ninong,” he reported. “I saw it.”
“I told you so.”
“But, there is an aswang,” he countered.
“Why are you so sure?” I asked.
“I heard mother calling father aswang last night after our lights went out.”
I said nothing further. Sometimes children misinterpret words they were not old enough to understand.
I know most of you do not experience connection headaches. You go online and never see that spinning wheel for a second. Good for you. You do not get stressed the way we do.
Well, modern technology is great, most especially if it’s functioning as promised. But if not, it’s like driving a Formula One race car at 2 miles per hour top speed. I am sure you follow my drift.
Sometimes I feel like going ballistic, zeroing in on my target and detonating a kiloton of complaints. But then, I backtrack, fully knowing that I could not make a dent against the thickened skin of the giant beast, patently deaf and unmoved, sound-proof protected inside its fortified lair.
I was born in the year of the dragon so more often than not I tend to breathe fire when I am incensed with the way I am treated. Ordinary folks like myself do not give me the reason to blow my top. Most of the big and mighty provokes my sense of justice that I wish I could fly and sear them into reaction.
Do I hear chuckles? It’s all right. I am smiling, too. I want to laugh at myself for wasting my time staring at that spinning wheel.
Before I sleep, I could wish for a bolt of lightning to strike the main tower of my tormentor so my suffering would be over.
I guess I have to go.
Second part of the condensed version of Charged (Collection of Short Stories titled Love Is All Around)
– 0 –
PO1 Granada parted through the crowd like Moses dividing the Red Sea. Her uniform did the trick this time, her stature quickly accepted especially when they saw her caress her holstered gun.
“People! What’s going on here?”
“Loverboy there is decimating the flowers!”
The heckler was popular because he knew how to sew up the right words to create laughter. Known in the world as the ever-smiling race, he proved his claim to be the perfect example.
“Sir,” PO1 Granada wondered why on earth the man sat there like a fool, unperturbed by the loathing he repeatedly received. “You have to stop that. Park regulations prohibit people from destroying public property.”
Roger stopped suddenly, the phrase ‘she loves me’ his last. He sensed that the new arrival was different from the people around him.
He turned around casually, ready to defend his actions for all to hear. However, when he saw the police officer who admonished him, his eyes widened.
PO1 Granada gasped, her surprise total. Dispersing the crowd was the first option that crossed her mind. She would lose her credibility if what she feared occurred.
Shut up! Don’t do this to me!
Roger telepathically received the unspoken message, bowing his head to avoid eye contact with anyone. He was a portrait of a criminal, caught in the act of a senseless crime.
“Enough people! You have your entertainment for the day.”
“What about him?” the heckler asked, stopping the crowd from losing interest. “He should be punished.”
“He will be,” the policewoman agreed. “I know my job.”
“I am curious,” the heckler would not leave unsatisfied. “What will be his punishment?”
Roger did not move. He started blaming himself for the stunt he initiated.
“I know,” the heckler roared. “He should gather all the petals on the ground and make a crown. That way we could make him the King of Wishful Thinking. Yeah, like the song.”
The crowd clapped heartily with the suggestion. They began preparing their cellular phones and other gadgets. The scene could be uploaded in YouTube and other social networks.
“Enough!” PO1 Granada had to pronounce her authority. “There would no mob judgment. This is police business now.”
– 0 –
Handcuffed and herded like an ordinary felon, Roger was mum while the policewoman kept her distance. Onlookers watched them, most in a state of bewilderment on what happened.
“I am sorry,” he coughed out.
“Have you lost your mind?” she shot back, walking ram-rod and straight like a proper law enforcer.
They reached the Japanese garden, which was tucked away from the main grounds, unusually free from visitors.
“Give me you hands,” she produced the key to unlock the cuffs. “You do this again and you’ll be more than sorry.”
“I was really desperate since yesterday. I could not sleep. I had to do something to let my mind at ease.”
“Are you at ease now?” she mellowed her delivery.
“It depends on what you’ll decide,” Roger looked like a lamb, well, a bearded lamb who was on the verge of tears.
“You’re the most sincere man I have met,” she clasped his hands. “As a woman, I am supposed to follow the routine, you know. I have to keep you guessing. But …”
“But what?” Roger did not want to hear the usual parting words he heard so many times. Still, he bravely waited for her final say.
“with what you did today, I have to make sure you won’t try other silly performances.”
“You’re not a bright person,” PO1 Granada, a.k.a. Sally, jested. “Do I have to spell it out for you?”