18 November 2013
It is Sunday. I have held off as much as I can from worrying, but it seems that the panic has embedded itself into my bones now. It is Sunday, and it has been eight days since the typhoon made landfall, and I haven’t heard from my friends yet. Fuck, I don’t know what to do.
All week I’ve been weighing this in my mind–perhaps no news meant good news. Perhaps it meant that everything is well. That the communications lines are just down, and all areas within Leyte are affected, and everyone I know is safe and all right. Perhaps it’s just taking some time for television crews to arrive in Alangalang because the roads are blocked with debris. Perhaps it will be okay come weekend.
It is the weekend. It is the end of the weekend. And no news still.
Now I can’t help but think–perhaps no news means bad news. Perhaps everyone I know is dead. Perhaps no one has heard anything from anybody because there’s no one left. Perhaps the whole town has been completely obliterated, perhaps there is no use putting down each and every name in the person finder databases. Perhaps this is the truth. Perhaps I should begin accepting it. Perhaps I should stop lying to myself.
It is Sunday. It is past midnight. It is Monday. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if there’s anything more I can do.
I can’t even sleep. Perhaps I don’t deserve sleep. Perhaps I haven’t done enough to get help in time. Perhaps I am fooling myself into thinking that what I do means something.
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Tonight there must be people who are getting what they want.
I let my oars fall into the water.
Good for them. Good for them, getting what they want.
The night is so still that I forget to breathe.
The dark air is getting colder. Birds are leaving.
Tonight there are people getting just what they need.
The air is so still that it seems to stop my heart.
I remember you in a black and white photograph
taken this time of some year. You were leaning against
a half-shed tree, standing in the leaves the tree had lost.
When I finally exhale it takes forever to be over.
Tonight, there are people who are so happy,
that they have forgotten to worry about tomorrow.
Somewhere, people have entirely forgotten about tomorrow.
My hand trails in the water.
I should not have dropped those oars. Such a soft wind.
Perhaps this is the universe saying, reaffirming, what I should have known from the start: there are people I love. And there will be days when they will be taken away from me. And I will not be ready. Perhaps I will never be ready.