Thursday, February 19, 2004


I hate to be a stranger in my own environment. The campus is gonna be part of my life during the next two years. I retrieved the icons of a campus from my memory: students, books, pens, library, papers, assignments, lecturers, jeans, sneakers, shirts, music, friendships, hang around, demonstration and... romance. Some of them are not “me”. It is essential for me to understand which is “me”, or else the rest of those two years will be torturing me to death.

On my first day, the campus was crowded with people and food stalls. Valentine and graduation were held at the same time. An ensemble of musical instruments was ready on the stage. “Born Romantic”, printed on the white banner at the background of the stage. I smiled silently, asking myself if the term romantic is really for “me”. This is almost the autumn of my life.

During lunch hour, I bought a bowl of noodles and went to sit on the stone bench provided in the middle of the square. There were so many students around me, yet, I was all alone, awkward, and left out. I finished my noodles as soon as I can and went back to my class room.
The class room was probably the most comfortable space for me. It was the place where I really get what I came for. The lecturer, the books, the assignments, the night curfews are probably “me”. I will be lucky enough should most of the icons of the campus could be part of “me” again. (pssstttt..... romance is not included in the package!!!)

Welcome back old feelings!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


His bony cheeks take over most of the space in his thin long face. Two naive eyes rest awkwardly underneath the shade of his two thin eyebrows. A genuine childlike smile is permanently glued on his lips, revealing his teeth and pinkish gums. Exposure to the heat of the sun has turned his hair yellowish with twisted ends and his complexion was dark brown with spots all over.

He used to work at my office as a cleaning boy. I felt the passion to know him at the very first time I laid my eyes on him. I asked him his name. He spelled his name, instead, EN-GEH-A-DEH-I-EN-O. He spelled it the way my child did when she first entered Kinder Garten. I knew that we both would develop a good friendship.

As time goes by, he dropped by almost every morning to my room, just to make sure that he could be of any assistance. I began to rely on him for most of my errands. He had been in charge of almost everything, my phone bills, electricity, the kids’ school uniform, and even all my private documents. I told him that honesty should be his middle name; he looked at me with a puzzling gaze.

There had been so many times that I asked him to do a thing and he came back to me with a different thing in his hand. Though I almost exploded in anger, the baffled look in his eyes chocked me to silence and I was under his magic spell again.

One day he came to me, telling me that he’s out of his job. I was rather busy with my work and told him that I was really sorry for what had happened to him and dashed out of my room to catch up the next meeting that I had to attend. The meeting lasted for hours and finally ended around 7 o’clock. I walked back to my room feeling horribly tired. He was still sitting in my sofa, and staring straight to my desk. I felt so ashamed of myself for ignoring him. Everything turned to be so heavy. My heart was burdened with tons of guilt. I haven’t got a chance to express my apology when his eyes met mine. They were like pools of tears loaded with sorrows. His lips were trembling when he asked me: “What do I have to tell my wife and kids?”

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


The alarms blared and arouse me of my bizarre dream. “Shut up”, I said lazily with my eyes half open. I reached for the clock and thumped the button forcefully with the palm of my hand. I closed my eyes and tried to get back to sleep. I pulled the blanket over my face, hoping that it could take me back to my world of dream.

The unpleasant odor of my blanket and breath filled the private breathing space underneath the blanket. The need to continue the dream was stronger than the smell. I could care less about the smell and carry on to chase for the dream.

I was close to it…I was almost there, when suddenly “the lady who ruled in this house” knocked at my door. She has taken the liberty to wake me up every time she thinks I need her services. “Eeerggghhhh…..get lost”, I mimed the words silently, and pretending that I didn’t hear her. She continued knocking at my door for a couple of seconds before finally the silence was the only thing that occupied the space.

The desire to possess the dream was yearning inside. I glued my eyelids together hoping that it would bring the lost dream back to life. All my wishes, desires, requests and hopes were there, served in a heart-shaped-box. All the things that Pandora forgets to deliver to my life were there.

The feeling that I was engaged to brought back the picture of my childhood once again in front of me. I was standing there in front of the window, watching the beautiful long dark haired doll behind the cold glass window. My eyes were glazing with desire to possess the doll, an imaginary friend that could fill my days and nights. It was so close and clear to me, yet the unfriendly glass kept us both in two different and separated worlds. I couldn’t touch it nor possess it. It had absorbed all my attention until Mommy patted me affectionately on my head. As her fingers ran through my hair I felt the stream of love rushed off into my heart.

“Mom, are u all right? I don’t want to be late for school”. She uncovered the blanket. A reflection of worries intertwined with love and affections were carved on her her face. The look in her eyes brought me back to the reality. “Give me fifteen minutes young lady and let’s beat the traffic of the city. Good bye, dream…”, I muttered the last statement voicelessly and noticed the puzzled look of my daughter as she watched me dash off into the bathroom.