What can you write about really?
how can you look at images on your muted down television set at a quarter til midnight and see images of your countrymen crying, telling relatives not in the disaster site that his parents are dead, or that they still haven’t found the bodies of their 2 young daughters. the heartbreak never ends.
how is it possible to not cry when you see the devastation? the bodies strewn and covered with sacks,or cardboard or pieces of roofing? there is no dignity for the dead, more so for the living. Bereft of water, food shelter, they stare ahead, not knowing if they’ll survive the night, the stench of decaying flesh around them. how can you not go crazy?
how for fuck’s sake can you not go crazy with all the death and destruction??
i don’t know what to say next. i just spent ten minutes staring into nothingness and refilling my wine glass. i have messages on my phone from people i hardly know, some from people i actually do not know asking “how can we help?” what can they do?where can they donate? i’ve tried to answer some as best i can, but i’m still numb.
no i answer, “no we don’t have family in the area.” when i’m asked if my family was affected. but it doesn’t matter does it? because aren’t they all your family?
“thank you very much for your kindness” i tell the folks who i met when i went out this afternoon to pick up donated clothes and shoes from total strangers. someone says,” i hope it will get better.” i say “i hope so too. “i walked to where my car is parked lugging the big bag they gave me. another neighbor of theirs comes out and asks if i’m filipino. I say yes. he says please wait a while.
a while takes 15 minutes but i wait there in the chilly air of dusk he finally comes out with a small grocery bag of clothes. in halting english he says he was watching the news. he hands me 20 euros as well. i want to hug him but that might’ve been weird to do. so i shake his hand instead.
i drive away and i can only go a few hundred meters before i have to stop. because i’m crying again, like a little sissy. One of the bags on the back seat takes a tumble and a kid’s shoe lands on the floor. i pick it up and smile knowing a little guy somewhere back home will be able to use it. then it dawns on me, a lot of little boys wont ever get to wear shoes ever again. and i curse and out of habit i slam a fist on the steering wheel. fuck it! i forgot my hand was hardly healed yet. i drive away.
the bottle of wine is empty now.
as i continue trying to type out this disjointed post. chaos seems to be the word of the day though. and i just watched Mar roxas huff and puff his way past an interview on CNN looking and sounding like an ass.
i want to get angry. but i can’t just yet. there’s a lot that needs to be done first. reckoning and anger can come later. for now, i know what i need to do.
so i text the other leaders of the movement over here.
” where am i picking up donations tomorrow?”