There are times when i am glad of this house. This house i live in. It’s not warm here. The sun seems to stop at its walls and it does not impose itself upon the house. The shadows comfort me in the morning because i sleep in the morning. I work at night. I haven’t gone out except to go to work or to buy the occasional groceries. I chose to do this. Because.
I like the quiet of the house…
Except when my next door neighbors start bustling around the compound doing weird inane things like shouting at each other, shouting at their dog, shouting. Shouting for them is a normal form of conversation. They won’t keep still. Keeping still will probably make them realize how asinine their lives really are. Full of anger at each other. When they start their shouting concertos, i put on my noise-canceling earphones. The quiet comes back to me.
I haven’t watched TV. Despite two television sets in this house, one in my bedroom and one in the living room, i don’t turn them on. They don’t turn me on. I mean in a non-sexual kind of way. I have not installed the Blu-Ray disc player i bought. I have not set up the printer i bought. They are objects. They are still. They are there. Waiting for me to make my move. But i don’t.
My laptop though is happy. She is always on. It likes that i play Ingrid Michaelson’s albums over and over again. In my noise canceling earphones. I sing and iTunes services my music needs. I forget to eat because of iTunes. My microwave oven and the stove probably hates my laptop. They probably taunt it to say : if Teki gets into one of her hypoglycemic episodes she will not come to you for rescue, you arrogant stupid aggregator of non-original things!
True enough. I got sick and hungry and sick. And so i cooked a meal. And ate and washed the dishes and opened the refrigerator and marveled at the wonders of ice. Ice cubes make me happy. They have this silent transformation that we all take for granted. I like it when i pour Coke into a glass filled with ice. They jiggle and make a clinking sound and the effervescent bubbling of carbon plays with the ice in an excitedly alluring fashion. It sizzles. In my wonder, you can’t help but enjoy the cool drink.
I am constant. I’ve continued to decline weekend invitations. Weekends are sacred. I don’t talk on weekends unless it is necessary. Silence is a stress-reliever. It’s like a prayer that cleanses the soul of all the dirt you accumulated for the work week. You people reading this would have a hard time imagining that i could be silent for days on end. This house makes me silent.
Here, i am my true self. I can wear my hair anyway i want to. I can dress in light clothes. I can shower for three hours or play with water. I can laugh just by myself without any one thinking me weird. (Then again i think the household appliances must have accepted that already. But they don’t judge me. I am their master. They are obedient.)
I can pray to God in this silence. Without the formal recitation of Catholic litanies. I pray inside my head in silence. I like it that nobody sees me pray. It is a personal thing, prayer. God understands. Jesus smiles. Mama Mary understands.
Internet news glues me to the laptop. I am glad at some stories. Sad at most stories. Hopeful for all of them, nevertheless. Some stories have haunted me and made me fearful. Like the other day, Friday, i was watching a youtube video of combined clips from the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. I was already dressed for work. It was so agonizing for me that i puked after. I felt dizzy and i cried for the people whose lives got broken by such an immense tragedy. How can a video trigger a hypoglycemic attack? Oliver was already there in the van waiting for me to show. Only to find out that he came over for nothing. I sent him back home. Poor him to constantly wait on me. But let’s go back to the video. It saddened me deeply. It saddened me about the comments too. Some people are fear-mongering freaks. Or worse some relish other people’s suffering. I pray that people will someday have the wisdom to be truly human.
I slept after. In the comfort of the quiet house.
Lately though, in an effort to get in touch with the outside world, i chat with distant friends. Peggy, for one has been a constant chat-mate. And i have this distant friend whose words i find strangely comforting to the point of longing.
And so my existence in the house is not at all pathetic. To the untrained eye, i will be branded depressed. To those who know me well, they will understand that there is a nobility in solitude. That this is not about loneliness. It is taking back what is truly essential. The comfort of being yourself.