by christopher bernardo
Published on: Apr 12, 2003
Type: Short Stories

He storied the times he is scavenging in trash cans, lucky enough to find a piece of fried chicken with some meat still intack. He would get it out from the rubbage, would wipe some of the dirt, and then gnaw the bone. He remarked it was alright for him to do that, it was after all “clean”.

We were still eating when he brought out an empty bottle and put it in our table. He also placed cotton then another bottle that contains a yellowish liquid. I hessitate to ask what was that liquid. However it was so vulgar of him to discuss about that liquid. He said, people told him it is his urine (it really seems like so), he said it was no beer, he said it was medicine. I was still eating at that point, I don’t know why.

He then sneezed. Followed by a very terrible cough. It was as if he’ll die of coughing. He slipped his hands to his bag and get two pieces of tissue. He sneezed in through them letting the mucous stick to the paper. He rounded them and said that people thought he has a phlegm, he “clarified” that those were no mucous but was a “fruit” coming from his body. Well, that was the only fruit I wouldn’t try tasting, would you?

He slipped the rounded paper into his bag.

I encourage him to continue eating. It was quiet for a while, then there was some sort of band’s drumming that played in his chair. Then the air suddenly smelled like chico.

When asked if he ever loved. He replied how he was able to “get” Loyda (his former girlfriend) by faking his tears with the help of crushed onions. He proclaimed to her that he loves her so much but he is being sent by the military in a war filled with uncertatinty. He said that he was also able to fuck a daughter of Ferdinand Marcos from the sister of Imelda in Antipolo. That is weird but he storied their romances in full details. He said that he invited her in a hotel, the most detailed part of the story is the undressing of the girl.

He said he loves to sing. He even sampled a song that goes something like, “Oh I need your love babe…”. He was however depressed when his parents never allowed him to sing. When asked why,. He answered that his father was a great singer and a great lover, he said that his father has fathered many women. His children include many great singers one of them, Freddie Aguilar!

After eating, I’ve accompanied him at the door. He noticed the Christ the King image in our living room. He approached the image and began to pray. In his prayer accompanied by movements of hands I’ve heard him saying “kilikili power” then instead of the usual Amen he said “black out”. The he looked at me and said if he could have the image, I said no. He then “blessed” the image.

Outside our house he asked me to give him a hundred. I was amazed that after letting him share my food he is still asking for money. I’ve given him a portion of the hundred but somehow he’s not satisfied with the amount. At that point I tried to just forget about his insistence to get more. I then realized that for these people, it is not enough that you give your hand, when you lend your hand they wanted to tear out your arms. It was their way to survive the harshness of life. At first I was sorry for him but then why should I be. I did my share, but I can’t do it alone. It should be the neighborhood (who calls him insane) that should collaborate in helping these people. This is because the government for what we know, probably wants them dead in the first place for economic reasons.

The community is the only haven that could provide him shelter. The community is his only home.

All these time, it was not afterall these man, whom people call insane, the one who is really insane, but rather, the people who laugh at him... the government that ignored him… the community, his only home that fails to care for him.

You need not to go to our neighborhood to see this man.The closest you can get to him is by looking in front of your mirrors.
Insane people… We see them most of the time.

Insanity is something inate in every people. It is one of those elements that make someone unique among others. The communmity tagged you insane when you’re doing different and being different.

Out of curiousity I invited a person who was called insane by our neighborhood to have supper with me. I woke him up after finding him sleeping soundlessly. I know he is really hungry, I asked him, Sir let us eat. He replied that he doesn’t have the money. I said, well, the food happens to be my treat.

To cut the story short, he goes in our house. I prepared squid balls and fried eggs for the two of us. I was about to eat when I find him praying. Sort of blessing the food we are about to partake. I don’t usually pray before eating, not that I’m an atheist, I just find it time consuming. I believe most of the students, specially if they have a class right after lunch never finds the time to pray. Well, this person is praying so far I don’t find him crazy.

After he half-emptied our catsup into his plate he asked what is the food I prepared. I told him it’s squidball, he tasted and said “Sarap!” While we were eating I tried to ask him questions, but instead he was strong to ask me questions. He asked, where are we?

I told him we’re in Morong, Rizal. He refused to believe we’re in Morong and queried that if he said we’re in Antipolo would I believe him. I said no! I insist that we’re in Morong.

He continued eating. Out of a blue moon he uttered the words that he has the power of God. He said that the only difference is that he is human while God is God. To demonstrate his power (even with my forceful hessitation) he began to offer a prayer. He prayed ‘Ama Namin’ then began to sway his hands, while his eyes were closed. He swayed his hands to his head, then to his right then to his left side. Suddently, he began to talk to his “inner self”. It was as if he was reminiscing the things that happened to him all through out that day. Or someone in him was telling him what had happened. He was talking to the “other people” in him.

Afterwards. He looked straight into my eyes. I looked back into his. He seemed sincere in what he was saying. Then after a sudden he brought up the issue that he usually told people that he has a knife in his bag. Well, he said, it was not really true(Thank God!)it was just his way for people not to ridiculle him. I gave him a glass of water, but he refused to drink water from the faucet, he wants cold water.

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