"This. While the world is busy falling in and out of love, you're sulking here basking in your own solitude."
"First of all I am not sulking. And second, I have no choice."
"Yes you do."
"You don't know me."
"And you do?"
My five-year old niece, Miel, had those birds she bought during our last barrio fiesta. The two were just ordinary mayas, but were cruelly painted in colors of red and yellow to look extraordinary.
My uncle built this small cage for them because my niece adored them so much. The two birds live together for a few months, three if I remembered it correctly.
At some point, one of them died. The one left behind went gloomy and so we convinced my niece to set it free before it suffers the same fate as its partner. It took us days to convince her before she finally gave in.
So we opened the small cage anticipating for the bird's glorious flight to freedom. But the bird just stood there watching curiously, confuse of what was happening. Slowly it approaches the exit, still unsure, before it took its flight straight to the blinding brightness of the sun without looking back.
It's always a curious thing for anyone who's been held captive for so long. Free him/her from those locks and he/she will get baffled of that freedom. Is it a trick? Hallucination perhaps? The new found freedom is just too overwhelming to embrace.
There is another thing. After years of incarceration, one can learn to love those chains. The cold metal cuffs can turn into warm armours, a comforting nest away from the madness of chaos.
It is not difficult to embrace, solitude. Of course, I'm talking about a certain kind of solitude, the one, as Murakami told us, of different variety, the one that can swallow you whole. It is not difficult especially when you have no choice. To ask about it is the same as asking a family of five living in a make-shift home of a wooden push cart under the open night sky why they chose to stay like that. Not only it is cruel, but it just doesn't make any sense.
Am I happy? Sometimes I ask that myself. When I'm surrounded by my impoverished dysfunctional family, or my retard best friends, I always feel content. There I no longer feel the need to go out, search or welcome the proverbial love. Did I give up this early? Too scared to take another leap? I still don't know. But sadness is so comforting, I wonder if this is my place to be.
You know how the sages would often say there is a place for everyone. It used to bother me. It used to scare me, not having my place to be, or that my place to be is this infinite edge of nothingness.
Last night, coming from the gym, I was having a hard time carrying all my things: my huge bag, jacket, and some stuff I bought. As I was heading for the escalator, two guys, obviously a couple, went ahead of me. They too were carrying loads of stuff. The other one was obviously having a hard time, limping, almost dragging his bags. His partner, he himself carrying a lot, seeing what was happening took one of his partner's bags and walk along. He looked back at his partner and smiled sweetly.
It was a very beautiful scene I had the fortune of witnessing. So surreal, so heartwarming it left me teary-eyed, nodding absentmindedly
I used to envy such kind of scene, despair myself to bitterness for never getting that. But I am old. And now I feel nothing but genuine happiness to see that the world, after all, is still ruled by love. That in someone else's story love is not absent, love thrives, and love is kind. That someone else's story need not be broken like mine.