As I pack my bags, I pretend to feel something for the first time. I try to convince myself that it is all new, and that it will take long for me to finally get used to things.
Later on, it occurs to me that there is nothing wrong with being too familiar about it–this feeling, this situation. As a budding poet once said in a poetry reading event, Just because I don’t know what ‘stay’ means doesn’t mean that I can’t.
For the record, I can stay. Or, more appropriately, I want to. However, there are certain things that are simply out of my control: my parents shouting and threatening to kill one another, the terror of living in a barangay where there is always flood and fire, the landlady telling your mom to leave home because she can’t pay the rent, purchase of a new home, a notice saying your house will soon be acquired by a financial institution because your mom can’t pay her debt, work in another place, and the realization that you can’t stay with your family anymore because things get more complicated the longer you stay with each other.
As soon as I finish the process, I realize how I have mastered this art. Same old ritual or gathering things, putting them in bags and boxes, and organizing your thoughts on how to unpack them one by one.
Photo credits here.