Sunday, August 8, 2010

silence and my lolo.

This was once a story that I always tell my friends or whoever it is that I came across with (and whenever opportunity knocks). From this, I sometimes concluded that melancholy and silence were my close comrades ever since, although sometimes I was in denial. This happened when I was in my fifth grade, and somehow the memory lingered and the experience seemed fresh. During the time which I mentioned, my Lolo died. This was my first experience of death involving relatives. And though my Lolo was such, I never encountered the idea of grieving, or the idea of crying for someone. We were not that close, albeit I bought cupcakes for him and somehow rendered my service to him. I was contented with the idea of grandfather-grandson relationship but there was no fuss or involvement of love. I was just a grandson. But never a loved one.

My grandfather’s wake was like a closed-door meeting. If his death hadn’t been the reason, then probably his children won’t be there that time. My uncles and aunts were a mix brood of austere disciplinarians and probably advocates of boredom. Their grief was nothing but a poignant show of lack of interest. And with which I felt sure by that time was slowly crawling inside me and seem to echo in my mind. What was present in their minds and in that house was everything but silence. Drinks. Food. Some were playing cards. My cousins were running around. All seemed to be in a chaos. Chaos and grief mixed at the same time. I didn’t understand that well how this two could be mixed. I want silence. This is impossible inside the house but I’m too timid to go outside. And so, amidst this raucous scenario I decided to disappear, at least. So I look for a cozy place but every room seemed to be an accomplice to this ironic festivity.

I found a place. Finally. It was under the table, totally covered by a thick carpet-like cloth tarnished with old age smell. At least the smell was tolerable. But this table was not just a table; for on top of this, was where my grandfather’s coffin laid. It was there, a mute wooden casket which seemed to me the only witness of my unbecoming attitude. I respect my Lolo like the way I did for my father. But I respect my peace more. And if to hide under this table was the sole manner I could achieve what I ached for, then to hell with that coffin. And my Lolo seemed to like this idea. He was there above, inside the coffin. Silent. With the last glimpse of my Mom crying, I crept under and be engulfed with the silence I desperately wanted. The tablecloth, which appeared like gigantic curtains to me, was my sole cover and my wall to this unexplainable enmity. And for the first time after five painful hours, I silently lied down there on the bare wooden floor, smiling, closing my eyes. I was alone. I was with myself.

From then on I befriended silence. I was not a loner though. I hate to be alone. But I want some time to be left alone. And this is a matter of choice. And now, sitting here with a laptop in front of me with the noisy background of honking cars and beer-drinking people, I drank again the intoxicating experience of silence, of peace. But only this time, I chose it to be swimming across a sea of wonderful noises and sounds.

And I kinda like it.


Yas Jayson said...

it takes a great understanding of solitude to receive it even in the midst of honking cars anf gawking drunkards. and you manage to find silence so i admire you. very good.

but i admit that i laugh on the idea of creeping underneath your lolo's coffin table. LOL

this post is very witty i say.

glentot said...

"My uncles and aunts were a mix brood of austere disciplinarians and probably advocates of boredom."

I can say the same about my folks.

Rah said...

If your lolo could speak again, what do you think he will tell you?

Cio said...

"I was just a grandson. But never a loved one."

I honestly dont want to experience such phrase. Lucky you, you were able to somehow communicate with him, as I didnt had even a single chance.

Arvin U. de la Peña said...

pinagbigyan ko na ang request mo sa akin na magsulat ng ko na sa blog ko..

Fickle Cattle said...

I understand silence, and the need to be alone. Sometimes it is necessary.