Sa Gilid ng Alanganin (At the Edge of Uncertainty)

 Biboy Delotavo, 12/4/14, Antipolo City, Philippines

Biboy Delotavo, 12/4/14, Antipolo City, Philippines

Coming from an overnight job that morning her bag packed hurriedly after biding goodbye to the employer. Pulling over the hood and glancing at the walkway a blanket of snow showing up on the sidewalk, she sighed equally glad that the winter storm is over, but still wondering what’s forecast for the day. If she has the right outerwear for a trip to the mall four blocks away to pick up her shoes, whatever, she is taking this risk relying on the vest and parka to protect her up to 30 degrees of temperature. Turning right on the corner she’s trotting the street like a needle among two elderly ladies talking and strolling, kids on headset not paying attention, while others heads’ glancing left and right except looking at the traffic light. She thought of friends from northern jersey when they came over, their mouths open, eyes staring widely at the volume of people coming and going never have they seen this pack of humans a horde coming this way, a flock going that way, the sidewalks teeming with vendors, dvd, fruits, tamales. She finally got to the mall unscathed and intact. Once inside she pulled down her hood and a faint sound streaming in the air …I’m dreaming of a white christmas…”She felt a pinch in her heart, tears starting to well ….
It was a snowy day, two to three feet on the ground, on a bus going to work, in the city major roads are cleared before the morning commute, there is no reason to not work. The once carpet green grass park, with proud and tall pine trees secretly guarding it, further down the road used to be the colorful roofs of houses, but now everything is white and clean like stacks of sheets covering the earth. She could feel the sluggishness of the bus or is it the monotone color in everything she sees, it’s like taking a tourist bus, the guide announcing, “ladies and gentlemen, you are in New York, as you can see there’s snow everywhere..” Even if she’s been there for a long time scenes like this one summons nostalgia. When she was younger her father would badger them about dreaming of going to America. She wanted to ask why, but there was no room to ask, he orders, it comes with do what I say. Couldn’t she make it right here? She went to school studied hard, employed in a big corporation and worked hard yet deep inside her a conflict of why go to another country or America for that matter. Until one day, she found herself at the edge of uncertainty, on a fourteen hour flight to the other end of the earth, still asking herself, couldn’t she stay and make it there? There is no more room for questions. She made that step heading for uncertainty, accompanied by apprehension, dreading for the worst, hanging by a thread.
“May I help you today?” , a smiling store clerk in his blue shirt met her by the entrance, suddenly she flinched from her past. Looking back at the clerk smiling, “Yes, I need the shoes” was her response. This is all I need and I’ll make it anywhere, whispering to herself.
Make It Anywhere

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