May iniisip ka?
Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.
Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
So it seems that my premonition has come to an end. All that I remember of my father has gone away with my memory of the rains of childhood. All of his whiskey and sad country songs have their place in my past. But even for this, I’m not a changed man. The smell of his breath and fingers, old spice with a cigarette and whiskey, have been replaced with the curry and incense of this motel room. Perhaps I never knew him. Perhaps he never knew me. Maybe we never knew ourselves and the days we shared were myths.
With schoolmates, I caught ditch-frogs under the Michigan willows. And these, my childhood friends, have all died, and their ghosts linger like pale shadows in the thicket surrounding the gates of my village. When we were seven a flood filled the cornfield behind my mother’s house. We made boats from the dead trees and sailed from one end of the field to the other. With the dying cornstalks and cotton sheets we made banners and sails. The wind told us where to go, but we always landed on the shore, again. Again, and again we landed on the shore. And the sun went down, and we would walk home.
In the morning the sun would rise through the trees and the scatter-bugs would make little constellations in the purple sky. It was something we looked forward to without knowing. The quiet humming of these bugs in the morning, the afternoon ditch-frogs, the smell of pork sandwiches in the evening. Nothing could stop the summer from coming, or the five of us from living amongst the gentle humidity of it. The summer lasted forever when our hands were small. We did not know that the days ahead brought black skies, that the constellations of flies would die in heaps, that the people we loved would die because their hearts would stop beating.
From this motel room I will walk to the nearest bar where I will tell the nearest man that I am in love with his girlfriend. And by his reaction I will live the rest of my life; with or without my father or the setting of my childhood suns. I still remember the plum sun, the Michigan willows, the hands of my mother beating tortillas flat against the kitchen table. I remember them as if they are still happening, as if they never happened.