By Virginia J. Pasalo
THE first thing that comes to my mind upon hearing the word “transient”, are the people who seek places to stay during the summer in Baguio City, where I attended college. They were there to escape from the heat of Manila, and some, to meet new people, or just experience the city. Because hotel rooms are fully booked, some would hire a whole house, a room, or a bed space just to stay for a week or more.
Life teaches us of course that we are all transient. We are here for a definite period of time, which we, by our own habits, make shorter or longer, and by our attitudes, make either memorable or uneventful.
There is beauty in transience. The fact that life is transitory makes it more precious, every moment of it. I remember vividly the penetrating eyes of a transient when he said to me, “Right now, nothing matters but this marshmallow toasting on this dancing fire, and the moon peeping through the pine leaves, casting its shadow on two souls that may never know tomorrow.”
I remember his soft eyes, his lips as he uttered them, but in my “bewitched, bothered and bewildered” state, I forgot to ask his name. From the house where he and his friends had a bonfire, up to the time he walked me back, there was silence, the kind that erodes even the strongest of resolve. He held my hand, and I felt that his hands were speaking so much, that I had to wiggle out of his tight grip, which made me lose my balance and sent my skirt flying over my face, exposing my butt. Alarmed, he immediately picked me up, and instinctively pulled my skirt down and pretended that he saw nothing. He immediately checked my bruises, but I told him I could take care of it. I ran to the door and closed it, but the window was slightly open, and I saw him trying to stifle a laughter.
“Virginia, I did not see anything. I am leaving in an hour, please come out.”
“My God,” I said to myself, “he remembers my name! He probably saw my panties!”
In my shame, I pretended not to hear him. I heard his footsteps slowly moving away, wrapped in the mist of the morning, disappearing with his name.
does it really matter if you win
the universe continues to spin
and we, small, tiny pieces of it
evolve, revolve with each turn
until the time comes,
when the sun ends to burn
life tosses, wins and losses
moments of joy and pain
rarely, reflective pauses
within the small universes
and our own suns to burn
as we believe, we live.
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