Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Second Year Part 2-The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes is the window of the soul

Dear insansapinas,

Psychiatrists say that people blank out memories that they don’t want to remember. Especially the painful ones. Reminiscing them brings out tears. Pushing them further to deep recesses of the mind gives one a temporary sense of relief, only to be haunted later in life. There are things that should not be written for they evoke memories; but they need to be written to correct some wrong notions and prejudices because of obscuring the truth.
In that world of mine that I created, day and night ceased to matter. The dark clouds seemed never had left the sky. I would have wished for them to fall as rain so I could see a new bright day but I learned that we can’t always control the circumstances in which we find ourselves.I felt trap in my own life. There was no major breakdown; not even in small dosages in the form of random sobs or breaking out my feelings to my closest friend. I could not even feel my feelings.
By day, I wore a mask when surrounded by my classmates. My spinster professors asked why I got hitched while they could not find someone to save them from the so-called last trip. One English Professor asked the whole class to keep a daily journal. She always called me first for recitation. That’s when I developed my writing skill. Everyday,” I wrote short fiction.” The real experience was written into a short play where I won the Best Story and the Best Actress. That was my life story except for the ending where the character lost her sanity. I kept mine intact. No room for breakdown.

By night , I transitioned to an individual who felt that being numb was normal.
We we were staying in his younger sister’s place who was married to a seaman. Although we were only three in the household, there were just too many people who hung out and ate in the house. I always woke up with no breakfast left on the table or had come home from school without dinner. The kitchen was the “kusina ng bayan”. The relatives were all around the block. I learned how to keep Skyflakes in my schoolbag.
Some days were good; some days were bad and mostly Saturdays and Sundays were the worse. Drinking sessions started at the break of day. I could never learn how to cook their dish. I just did the chores where no specialization was required. Cleaning up and doing the laundry during Sundays.
I spent the Saturdays in the library away from the noise with my two friends; math wizard and the lady friend who became my best friend forever. Yep, the math wizard never left me. He had always been there. But there was no relationship going on. Not even emotional cheating. He was to me a good friend and a brother no matter what he felt for me. He was too perfect for a boyfriend. There were rumors that he was gay. He had no vice, no girl friend, no male friends and was a homebody.
No, I never confided to him. I was a very private person. I put the happy façade whenever I was with my friends… so people would not know about how miserable I was. I had a plan and that plan was not to remain married. As to when and how, I was considering limited choices. But first I had to concentrate on studying.
The relatives were questioning my going to school. Someone remarked that the moment I finished, may be I would just leave when I find a good paying job.
A conversation between two old relatives made me remember some of the words spoken in their dialect. My lady friend spoke the same dialect although she came from another province.
Translation revealed that the clan did not approve of the marriage between two cultures. The hidden motive was just to really invest in my study. The investment was just in the books and allowance. I was not paying any tuition fees. Although the truth hurt, I was forever grateful for allowing me to go to school where I never missed a single attendance even when I was already having a hard time with morning sickness and pregnancy-related health issues. It was my only hope. To right the mistake. To regain my self esteem … become proud and be able to face my family again… with the diploma. It gives me a tremendous sense of comfort whenever I got high grades and my professors took note of them.
There was a time when I was in the library when I fainted. When I regained consciousness, I was seated on a chair with my lady friend applying cold compress at the back of my head. I fell and my head hit the concrete floor. (Kaya siguro, sira ako…ooops). Math wizard left after calling my husband. He would not like to see him. He, too.
And I would not like them to meet. He has two sides of him. He vacillated between raving bouts of violence and being meek. One thing that I made the relatives incorporated understand was that I would never allow physical abuse.
One time, I asked (not confronted) a relative about my watch. She verbally abused me and left cussing . I saw her come back with a number of male and female relatives in tow. Did I marry a mob?
Before they could come inside the house, I was already holding a kitchen knife. I was alone. They held back. A neighbor who owned the sari-sari store across the street pretended to deliver something for me. He was a kababayan who had been living in that place for decades. He knew the thugs and the troublemakers. He came to protect me.
The hubby did not do anything when he came and learned about the incident. The explanation of the presence of the mob was just to secure the lady relative who planned of engaging me in hair - pulling-face-slapping combat.
The sister-in-law had decided against the husband-seaman who I found was kinder to me whenever he was around. A gesture that I appreciated and paid back when the couple’s destiny turned to worst several years later.
When I came home, the place was empty saved for one chair and the bed. She was kind enough to leave us two plates. No spoons ad forks. No stove. No dining table.
I sat at the corner with tears streaming down my cheeks. I feel so all alone.


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