I was online when I read this:
"I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?"
That was when I felt my butt hurt for all the hours I have been sitting in front of the laptop, and more importantly that I kept on ignoring the banging, that I kept on hearing, of the yero walls of my neighbor. I (bang) Keep On (bang bang) Hearing.(bang bang bang) the Sisim. (Galvanized Iron Sheet) I (bang) was ignoring. My next door neighbor.
So logged out, got up, turned my right ear towards "his" direction(left ear almost deaf) and proceeded to hear and this time to listen.
(BANG! BANG! BANG!) "TAKKI YU AMIN!!"
But I know that there is no one there. He is alone. And then right on cue I hear this
ustuun' panga-asi u
Is he being tortured? Now I remember, sometimes he would call out the name of a politician, no, not Marcos but a local politician, do you know your next door politician? My neighbor does, especially their sins.
If not a plea to stop the pain, I would hear him talk of riches and buried treasure now lost, stolen, no, still not
Marcos, sorry..or not.. or maybe it is Marcos..
He does this almost everyday at 4:00 AM, talking to his shadow.
But, he is mostly sane when the sun is up, doing small favors for anyone: opening a gate or carrying the trash during waste collection day, all in exchange for a single cigarette or some change to buy one. There you will see him waiting at the fork, the garbage collection area in Asin Road.
Yes, yosi- our shared "sanity". Don't forget my instant kape - our instant breakfast for our instant life,
But do you know your next neighbor? Do you remember him? He would use his thumb to engrave the crucifix on the pavement and spit on it. Then he would chant a prayer and laugh by himself while waiting for a Jeepney, in front of Castro store at Crystal Cave.
And here is my poor neighbor, who needs other people just to laugh and be happy and to worship, I can do it all by my sober self, thank you
Do you know your next door neighbor? He wears the same outfit everyday, though there are rare occasions when it appears washed. With his long hair washed and combed even, when he goes to sell sayote at the public market.
Is consistency a sign of madness? Is cleanliness a sign of sanity? It could also appear that school children and people who work at offices wear the same clothing everyday, though at times they appear and smell washed. But you never know. They also have to wear the same haircut everyday, like you. That is, if you call the absence of hair, a haircut.
Sometimes he might be the one walking Bonifacio Street with only his white-now brown with dirt T-shirt and nothing else, thus exposing his penis - much to the embarrassment of everyone.
She will expose her cleavage, she would wear pekpek shorts, she would show more skin much to the admiration of many. She will be "liked". She will expose herself and will be paid. He too will follow. It will be called art, it will be called protest or pornography, either way it will sell, it might even be called progress and they will be "liked" for their nudity or near it.
…nude, thus exposing his private parts
Repetition for clarification breeding only confusion
Sometimes he might be the curly haired Taong-grasa wandering Bonifacio Street,
But you mentioned that street already,
collecting trash rummaging garbage cans, making you wonder what he would do with his collection of waste: cans, plastic bags etc.
Do you know your next door neighbor? Did you see him rummaging in the night market, first in line for the SM sale, for the countless cloth she can never wear, or prowling the nigh, collecting those numbers of women he will never text, bedding or Banging, as you so love that word bang bang bang, those women/men they will never love, buying those books he will never read, earning money that is never enough- Cans, plastic bags etc.all these to
...countless "clothes" not cloth.
Your correction is without invitation, I stand corrected, but I'd rather sit thank you my neighbor for Your countless rules, you can never follow
Sometimes, he could be a woman, with cropped hair, standing arms-crossed, talking out loud in public, with the veranda in Maharlika building as her pulpit. With a hoarse voice she would make loud complaint speeches for the unseen or the unwilling. You might have given her a look, and I'm sure one look from her and you would bow your head and pass her by. And even from a distance you still hear her loudness amidst the chaos of cars.
You fear me for I remind you of what they can never attain...without alcohol. I don't need it. "Talking to myself in public.. I'm not crazy just a little unwell.I know, right now you don't care but soon enough you'll see. A different side of me"
Or he would just stand in silence like a stone statue along Naguillan road, just staring at something or nothing.
It is called daydreaming, maestro. Give it more time and it is meditation.
Sadly, Kids, in their innocence, would often have fun making him mad shouting names at him. He would explode in anger and would throw stones at those thrill seeking kids who expected as much.
Because I am the boogeyman who catches can- Making sure that your children brush their teeth or wash their feet.... or go home early, you need me.
But we are not innocent kids. How do we get to know our next door neighbor? Mark 12:31 has an answer:
"And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
The bible ? Really now, if they find out I am a Marcos Apologist and a Yellowtard. Where is the love? Or if they find out you are not really religious with your religious quotes. Or worse you are-
Where is the love?
For how can we get to know what we don't love. For love, if it is true, is unconditional.
Mentally challenged as they are, they are still our neighbors. They need our help.
Everybody deals with some bangings inside their heads. Keeps them wide awake at night. Everybody needs help. Including you. Especially you. What time is it?
His bag is full of our waste, his face, his skin has turned black as it carries the cities soot, smoke and sin. Our sin.
Online or not, Do you know your next door neighbor? Do you love them?
Wait? That's it? Why not end the way you began it. Here is a quote for you(by Italo Calvino)
"The writer is someone who tears himself to pieces in order to liberate his neighbor."
You liked that didn't you? And I know you really like that author. I also know that-
-(bang bang bang!) uston, pangaasim
what is the time? sit down