By Jing Villamil


YOU said it once, living alone too long is actually not too sad. But, it can be creepy weird. Especially when you are a feeling person, and the house feels with you as much. A strange case of empathy, connectivity. As said – creepy weird.

And, since you felt this virus yawning as early as November last year, you had been feeling “bad”. As everybody were, are. We are all “feeling” persons though we proclaim its absurdity.

Then, March 15 came. It was hard enough to take in the mouth the abnormal forty-five days of enhanced quarantine. And when you believed you were near to being liberated, the fifteen days extension is somehow harder to swallow. But you can. Push it back further down your throat, you can.

Though, you could not keep your stomach from souring and churning as you wonder . . . what of the families of the poorer, the poorest, the informal settlers? Shut-in, breathing-in their combined effluvium within the confines of their cramped quarters? Butt to butt, back to back, in extreme lockdown 24/7. There! In the more defiant sectors of the metropolis!

You stand by the window and talk to the sky and ask for the why of all these. You see His scowl in the dark gathering of clouds. He thunders: “Do not go blaming Me, child. This work is definitely not Mine”. And truly naman, He had been very quiet lately. Neither were there fire and brimstones, rites of exorcism from His houses. And His priests.

But, how to fight this legion of half-lives without faces, with no bodies except the orbs speckled with ridiculously charming roses, armless, legless, wingless even? And why should we even try to fight an unfair unwinnable fight?

Because, when it slipped quietly in to the inside and flood the whole of you, it can scratch your life out and those of million others, from the hottest belt of the earth to its iciest poles! Beginnings have their apt endings, but; these orbs! These choke you to sudden cut-offs. You die, with eyes wide, forever puzzled. Asking, asking, asking: to whom what which did you lose this war?

The window panes bear the scratchings of your “feeling” pains. You sag, your chair groans but it catches, it hugs your sad heavy weight. The walls weep, and pour forth its grief to the floor. Damp, the mat bleats its wrath. The broom swats it quiet down splat. Seriously.

Your mother had prayed her children may never had to go through the war she had had. That was the last World War. When the Germans, Italians, Japanese behaved like they were strongest, smartest.

Now, the Germans, Italians, Japanese, and the rest of the people of the world are dropping down sick or dead. This might be the war to end all wars. There will be no other as virulent, as unrelenting, as vicious.

There is no consoling the ancient air cooler. It had been tearing, nay, pouring waterfalls since this virus was mere scratchings in someone’s most evil mind.

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