Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dread

The two glowing eyes were the only thing visible in his dark room. On his iPod, an old Radiohead song was playing on loop as he laid down on his small bed, refusing to move. His heart raced and he was breathing fast and heavy. On his chest sat a Kinnari, a demoness, half his size but twice as heavy, staring at his eyes unflinchingly.

At first, even he was not certain if this Kinnari is indeed real for he was too afraid to test the veracity of this claim. Whether his tolerance for its presence was due to the inconvenience of driving it away or it actually grew on him, he dared not to know. For months, he let this demoness follow him around, hold his hand, and provide solace when all was incapable of doing so. He cannot say if the demoness made him happy but he was content.

He took care of several pets in his younger years but he has never seen a creature grow with such incredible rate. The demoness who used to love clinging to his arm became heavier with each passing day, now preferring piggyback rides than walking on its legs. It was all good. He tried lifting weights and he ate more to keep up with its increasing size. He got this, he was so sure.

The demoness remained faithful to him even on that day when no one else did. Its wings enveloped him and the Kinnari vowed that no one else would lay a finger on him. The ever growing demoness, now heavier than he could ever hope to carry, held him down. Its claws dug deeply into his shins. He was bleeding profusely, his heart rate doubled, but didn't move an inch. Every night, while he sleeps, the Kinnari would go outside to hunt and gather food so that he has something to eat during the day even without having to leave his bed.

He slowly lost weight and became frighteningly pale. While he has no intention of doing so, he certainly has lost his strength to drive the Kinnari away in the unlikely event of a change of heart. With the monstrosity he created on top of him, he never felt more secure in his life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Melancholia

The cries of the tree frogs blending with the rhythmic shaking of the branches of star apple trees heralded the last few breaths of summer. The scent of soaked soil, so distinct even to the feeblest nose, complemented the chill of the downpour outside. The sky started to clear but the winds remained howling. Only the moon, now appearing visible, and the occasional sparks of lightning illuminated the dark of the evening. Although it can be frightening to an uncomforted child it managed to soothe the restless and the gloomy.

The poorly irrigated patches of land were deluged one after the other. It is of great irony that the plants which longed for water all summer long could be effortlessly killed by the very thing they desperately craved for. The water level continued to rise until only the staunchest ones survived. This must have made the farmers worried sick. Most of the crops they cultivated for months were soaked certainly beyond salvage only after two hours of storm. But there was very little they can do against the elements. They barred the barns and coops in hopes of saving what little remained.

The rainfall persisted and the winds grew ever mightier. The endless sea of clouds veiled the moon covering the entirety of the town in pitch dark. Latched animals caused an uproar only to be masked by the raging thunders. A wooden house was starting to get dismantled piece by piece; from the leaky roof to its creaking walls. The home decors the owner worked hard to obtain were caught by the wind and were thrown in every direction. The person inside was alone and cold but unafraid of the inevitable. He was waiting for summer to end and he could not be any happier. Sitting on his favorite chair, with the rain blowing through his face, he closed his eyes, only to never open them again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In Memoriam

"You were the navigator who never could lead
We were lost in the silver sea
I was the ship who was too proud to ever sink"

Maybe because the song that reminds me of you the most played while I was trying my sincerest to focus on this one exam that my entire career depends on. Maybe because I noticed you visit this dead page still. Maybe I just missed cyber scribbling..

Exactly a year ago, I was waiting for you while I was drowning myself in alcohol. It did not take too many shots to get me drunk though. You sent me your apology that I've heard a hundred times and I was angry at myself for being so fucking foolishly in love. I thought making out with a classmate would make me feel better and so I did. I only ended up embarrassing her, however. I stopped communicating with you after that. I blocked your account and I changed my number. That will show you, I told myself. I went then to Visayas and did everything I planned for the two of us alone.

Fast forward one year later, I am one month away from my medical degree. I am quite proud of that, In fact, that's probably the only thing I should be proud of. I stopped dreaming of becoming an orthopedic surgeon because six years of additional training is too much of a drag and I never want to acquire the surgeon's hot air anyway. I still dream of long bus rides to Bicol, or diving in the exotic waters of Siquijor although this time, hopefully with a person who can actually swim. 

I would pray that your life goes into total shambles, but that was all in the past. I hope you've earned your degree by now and as I will get mine in April. I am currently too happy to complain, hence my lack of need to post here.I wish you well, Alex.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Nosocomial

Tonight I'm sitting on an empty gurney while waiting for my timer to tell me I'm up for another round of vital signs monitoring. This is the same exact gurney where my friends and their resident physicians tried to resuscitate an already dead patient. OMMC's surgery wards at night are bright but equally cool - perfect for keeping the patients relaxed yet conscious enough for the hourly visits from the sleepy junior interns. Whether this is intentional or otherwise, I don't know. 

It's been two weeks and a day since we started our clinical rotations and it's been 15 days of hell - with the heat of the burning sun, on top of it all. The sole consolation we get from doing 36-hour caring-for-patients marathons every three days is that we get to stay in rooms with A/Cs in full blast. This is a pretty reasonable deal when the summer sun out there is more than ready to give everyone of us our daily dose of risk for melanoma. 

Few steps from where I am is a case of uncommon yet vicious malignancy and from my rather limited yet obsessive reading binges in pathology, I can infer that this old man only has three to six months to live. He is sharing his three by six and a half feet hospital bed with his tired but hopeful wife. On the opposite side of the ward are children tucked in comforters anxiously waiting for their parent to return from his unplanned trip to the operating room. The real star of the surgery ICU, however, is this kid who has a severely infected leg which can only be managed by either vancomycin or amputation. He alarms the entire first floor from his wailing every time we clean his wound that the mere thought of my upcoming rotation in pediatrics department in June makes me want to quit med school altogether. He's been admitted since the first week of April but I've never seen him without his mother. 

The love one can see in hospitals is always in its rawest and truest form. When you see things like these everyday, it's really difficult not to realize why doctors usually end up marrying their colleagues or persons from the other medical professions. Maybe this is what's keeping me entertained enough to stick with this poorly conceived decision.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tourist

The weak but steady waves perpetuated by the winds of the Pacific crashed into a vessel voyaging somewhere in the waters of Visayas. This woke him up from his usual unstable slumber - a skill more than habit anyone will develop provided enough time living in the bustling metropolis. From the horizon, a huge mass of land was slowly starting to appear visible, credits all to the fog of the morning. The caustic acid in his stomach and his rhythmic belching reminded him that he has not eaten a decent meal in the last 24 hours because of the consequences of his procrastination the day before and the fact he'd very much rather sleep alone in his cabin than eat with the other passengers in the common dining hall of the ship. A moment after another, the mass of land grew bigger and bigger until the port of the city welcomed all of its weary visitors.

He jumped from the ship with an enthusiasm enough to ignore the clamor of his empty stomach. Another city, he said to himself and walked straight toward one of the city's most famous landmarks. The city was entirely new to him and the language barrier was unyielding. Luckily, its people are happy and inviting. Few hours later, he already put his defenses down from opportunists and muggers that he coexists with everyday in the metropolis he's from. The combined efforts of the summer sun and his heavy bag did not deter him from exploring the city and before he knew it, satisfaction was building up faster than fatigue and monotony.

Within the little time he provided himself to see the city, he discovered much of its obvious charms along with its few blemishes both hidden and not. The city, in complete contrast, knew nothing about him save for his current engagement as seen from the print of his hooded sweatshirt and his obvious love for seeing new things indicated by his several keychains from the other cities he previously visited. He is happy with that. After all, he is a tourist and he never liked staying in one place long enough to despise it as much as he despises his mother city. He wants to experience the place every time he visits it like it's the first time - never breaking the spell that drew him in.

Night time came and he retired his body in a cheap place very few people know about. Only the flickering lights by the skyscrapers and ships from afar illuminated the city but they were more than enough for him to realize its beauty from another perspective. The cold of the night embraced him and he slept better than any of the thousands of nights he spent in his home city.

He woke up the in the small hours of the morning. From where he was sitting, an overlook of the city as well as the sea from a distance can be pictured. The dark of the dawn painted the water its very dark color perfectly complementing the calm early morning breeze. He knew he must leave the city and travel to another before he gets tired of it. Until next time, he mumbled in the air, as if there's a way the still half asleep city can hear him.