Zero Visibility

20 August 2013
7:59 AM
Manila

M.–

It’s quite diabolical outside right now. The weather is currently described as zero visibility, and everyone is directed to stay in their homes. Classes have been suspended. Government offices are closed. Everywhere there is flood in varying proportions: waist-deep, ankle-deep, knee-deep, thigh-deep. A report talks about babies in pails, hurried evacuations, shortage of food. Another talks about how the water goes past a man’s head, how an entire subdivision is submerged, how people need boats now instead of trucks.

I’m writing this now because I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to later. They might cut off electricity. They do that sometimes, especially when there are people to rescue, and they are on top of their roofs, shivering in the cold for hours. Or clinging to electrical wires on posts.

I’m safe. I wonder if there are people I know who can’t say the same at the moment. I wonder if safe is what I want. I remember a night four years ago, when it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted, as I follow an exodus of people in the middle of a highway, the water creeping up to my hips. I’ll say it again: I’m safe. I wonder if I’ll ever believe it. I wonder if saying it is enough.

T.

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