Yesterday, the line at the post office extended to the door. Behind me, I heard it swing open and shut, occasionally followed by an outraged curse or two. A few heads in front of me, a tall blonde clicked her tongue derisively. She swung around at each sound of the door, and slowly turned back, eyeing anyone who empathized with her over the inconceivably long wait. I looked at my toes.
In front of me was a small, frail, older woman. Eighties. A slight bend to her neck. When her turn arrived, the clerk had to gently explain how to address the envelope. “Right here? I have to write my address here, and Judy’s address there? Okay, okay that’s enough, I got it.” She hobbled to a table nearby, as I stepped to the front. While my package was being processed, I heard her hum. She suddenly began to think harder, louder. The hums became,”Eh, eh,” and then, “sonuvabitch!” Her head bent lower, so low she became a question mark. After a minute more: “Shit!”
I couldn’t tell you what any of this means to me. To be honest, this past week has been something of a nightmare, no? I’ve just caught wind of the shooting in Connecticut. Yesterday, I found out someone I used to know passed away, at the ridiculously young age of 24. And the week in general has had a weight to it, a gravity — balancing my dad’s care with news from the Philippines; lola’s own condition oscillating between different extremes. It’s difficult to have a balanced or correct perspective about such unnatural realities, all unreasonable and horrible. It’s impossible to make peace with death, when its occurrence has become more noticeably frequent, and overtly unfair. What is this world that we live in? Why is it so frightening?
I have no answers for you. I only know that, at some point in the week, our packages will arrive where we send them. The world will continue to spin on its axis (unless the mayans were onto something). And, we must continue to care for each other. Somehow we must find a way to be even more grateful to be here, the more horrifying the world becomes. Somehow.
You can search for some, while I will scout for how. In the meantime, I love you friend. I do mean it.