Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My little piece of paradise

So far, it has been one literal hell of a summer. Paranoid over coming down with heat stroke and dehydration, I have put into practice all the scientific and the unorthodox ways of coping with too much heat. That includes guzzling more than a dozen glasses of water per day, cutting my hair short, opening all windows in our living room, putting the air conditioning unit to maximum level, sweeping the floor of my bedroom every after 3 or 4 hours (I feel the room getting hotter when it’s messy. And if my parents are lucky, I would include their room in my cleaning agenda for the day.), wearing sunglasses inside the house, occasionally popping my head inside the freezer, and a whole lot more. Trust me, if the heat goes on longer, I swear I’m going to go nuts.

At times like these, all I really want is to be in this place – a little piece of paradise on earth.

This picture was taken on Black Saturday last Holy Week. Our clan was capping off the weeklong reunion, as we always do, on a small resort in Barili, Cebu. While the others were busy cooking food, eating, playing volleyball or mahjong, swimming, and singing (courtesy of the very trusty karaoke machine), I wandered off for a while and surveyed the beach. There, I found my place.

It was a shady spot where I could feel the soft billowing of the cool breeze, hear the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, and watch the blue sea stretching out to forever. I couldn’t resist the urge to bask in a glorious moment like that. I took my towel, spread it out like a mat, and sat cross-legged with a book, a pen, and a little notebook on my lap. I plugged some good music to my ears, drowning the sound of merrymaking in the background. Then, I got lost. Lost in all the beauty unfolding before me. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, slowly, painstakingly…like I was never going to breathe again. In my mind, I devoured the richness of life and pondered on the splendor of nature, making me realize I’m so lucky to be alive – to be able to see and feel how everything around me lives as well. It was, truly, a magical moment.

I would have stayed there the whole afternoon but you all know how our relatives are – always asking what we are up to. Turned out, while I was lost in my own world, the people from the real world were looking for me. Soon, I was tapped back to the present with them approaching and asking me, “What are you doing?” I just smiled and said, “Nothing.” Then I winked at them. If only they knew where I’ve been to.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Goodbye, Captain

I vividly recall the day Captain came into my life. The midday sun was scorching hot and we were in my high school Science laboratory working on some experiment. My classmate Christian arrived with a backpack, the main zipper of which was slightly open. Out popped the head of the cutest dog I have ever seen! He was a plump little Japanese spitz with white and brown fur. My classmates and I squealed in delight. I have been pestering my classmates to give me a pup of my own and on that day, my wish was granted.

When I first brought him to our house, he was a quiet little fella. He didn’t know where to go or what to do so he just followed me around. I sat on the floor beside him. After a few seconds, he gently put his head on my lap and slept. Such a sweet dog. Of course, he was a pain in the neck at times. Few days after, he became very hyperactive that he chewed on our carpet and crashed on my stuffed toys. That was just the beginning of his craziness. Months later, he would chase my cats and knock over our neighbors’ flower pots.

I remember how he used to hate my cats because he was jealous of them. Whenever my attention was focused on the cats, he would whimper loudly. But later on, he befriended the cats and even went as far as playfully biting their tails. (I suspect it was some sort of revenge)

Despite all that, Captain was my best friend. It didn’t matter to him whether I was the best or the worst master. He gives me a look of assurance telling me that no matter what happens, he will always back me up. At times when I am down in the dumps, all I really need to do is to sit down in silence. His presence would be comforting enough. Sometimes, I even feel guilty for leaving him when I had to study in college. But whenever I get back home, he would still be the same Captain I left behind – mischievous, playful, and loyal. Sadly, today, no faithful comrade would be standing by the door to meet me.

I miss stroking his fur behind his ear. I miss giving him a bath. I miss changing the water on his bowl. I miss purposely tickling his ear with a piece of dry leaf. I miss cuddling him with all my might. I miss him jumping at me whenever I arrive after how many months of being in school. Above all, I just miss him. But then again, he might be in a better place now.

Goodbye Captain, my Captain, I’m still missing you…