Short Story | Fiction

A Parable For The Lost

It was almost 10:00pm. Elsewhere, people spent the night with friends and families, or resting in their homes. Others were already on their way, albeit stuck in overcrowded buses or jammed roads; still, they’re on the move — unlike us, still waiting for our own ride. Unlike me, simply watching each bus pass me by.

A taxi glided towards me, rolled down its window, and waited for an offer. I tried to ignore the expectant face behind the wheel; I’ve learned to distrust their service, even when I understood their plight. I couldn’t tell what the driver thought as he drove past me; eager passengers had already raced towards his vehicle. A few frustrated people cussed at the taxi driver, but it didn’t matter; there was one less competition in the waiting shed, one less rival to a decent ride home.

And I just wanted to go home. But not right now; not right away. I was tired, but it was not as tiring as spending the nights in abject solitude. Amidst the standing crowd of stranded commuters, I didn’t felt alone. And soon enough, I felt satisfied, reminded fully well why I often chose to be alone. Continue reading

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Introspections & Retrospections

The Trouble With Peace

I stared at the ceiling. I like looking at the little holes— a corkboard sky of inverted starlights, office dust for phosphenes; and on rare occasions, wayward ceiling debris fall like shooting stars.

But what I really like about staring at the ceiling is how everyone becomes a bit more hesitant to approach me. This illusion of thinking, of introspection, of go-away-I-need-some-space not-so-universal gesture we make when we tilt our heads up and get lost, making them wonder what on Earth are we looking at up there. Or maybe not.

Clickety-clackety-cluck, goes the dulled rhythm of several keyboards being tapped, dissonant melodies of a clockwork office routine. Sometimes, an officemate murmurs to someone else; at times, they talk loudly. Too loudly. Cubicle discussions turning into impromptu conferences; but on good days, it does turn into a welcome flash mob of gags and jokes and random angst-turned-into-humor sessions.

On bad days, there’s just silence. No, not peace; just impassive, stoic silence. Continue reading

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Thanks Mrs Ukita for the pasalubong!
Spiritual Reflections

Learning to Stand

“Your swings are good,” our dojo’s sensei said, “but where’s your footwork?”

Two months into training, I still find myself frustrated: how can something so basic and simple as a proper stance be so difficult to memorize? I practice in front of the mirror and whenever I can. I get the feel of it. Then training sessions come, and my feet forget what it was supposed to do. Sometimes, I just awkwardly execute the footworks; most of the time, I lose focus and at worst, my balance.

At the end of each sequence, I glance at my feet, adjust them back to their proper places, annoyed. Ugh. I just want to swing my shinai like Kenshin Himura; why do I have to do this boring routine every time?

 

Even when I was doing Muay Thai, I had the same problem: my strikes were good (I think), my balance was bad. I’d get reprimanded over and over again about it— and for a good reason. No matter how powerful my punches or kicks were, it’s useless if I lose my balance and fall down whenever I move or block a hit. And the same was true with kendo: even though my swings were improving, I still trip on my footwork.

Practice at home, our trainor keeps encouraging us. Practice wherever you can.

I stare at my ugly toes, wriggling them into position. How can something so simple as standing become so complicated? I can’t help but remember that oft-neglected phrase at the beginning of Ephesians 6:14— Stand firm then. Continue reading

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