for rain and for sun
It’s been raining in Manila for over a week already. I love the rain but it appears to be overstaying this time around. My heart is like the soil in this city, saturated; my words, like the streets, slippery but reflective. Walking on liquefied rainbows, carrying peculiar joys and sorrows, the weather’s relentlessness has nurtured too many thoughts for a man who is quite easily a victim of over thinking. The saudade from last Sunday still has its remnants lingering inside my soul. Shaking off the nostalgia is a difficulty rarely undertaken in this kind of weather.
Luckily, I had some bright spots last week. In spite of the weather, I, along with a few of my colleagues, decided to go swimming in the penthouse of a friend’s place. Even though the pool was frigid, the sensation of floating and being so close to the sky was a much a needed moment. Being submerged was necessary. After our health-defying swim, we enjoyed the view of the city’s evening skyline. Gail force winds rushed across the roof deck, but its swiftness was more than welcomed as we absorbed the neon hues emanating from steel towers piercing the thin, urban air.
A different view was what I needed. Forty floors up, the whole world looked so small. The sky, adorned by a moon slightly faded by wintry clouds, looked heavier than usual. Below us, the streets were decorated by traffic, and scurrying men and women going home from work looked like ants a giant god could so easily trample. Looking down, I wondered terrifyingly about those who killed themselves via gravity. Everything that makes us, us – bones, blood, muscle, nerves – splattered on the ground. Such scenes playing in my head cut through the seeming invincibility of humanity. We’re all crippled by mortality but also offered salvation because of it.
I took the bus on my way home from the swimming and sightseeing. It was raining as usual, the same one which was the pleasant, trickling background to last, last Friday’s intimate dealings. This time, though, I was on my own as I watched Manila washed down the sewers. Then it hit me, how much I have missed the clearer days: sun-filled mornings, sweltering afternoons, and humid evenings which always left me without sleep. I missed the freedom of not carrying an umbrella, and the warmth of glorious shafts of sun on my skin. I missed the plankton-like dusts swirling in the sunlight. Though I love the rain, there has been too much of it for my own comforts, too much of it without any explanation that unsettles.
If growing older and wiser have actually manifested, it’s my desire to keep things in proportion now: equal love for truth, equal desire for opinion; equal love for romance, equal desire for pragmatism; equal love for rain, equal desire for sun.