The Calm After The Storm

 

[ENTRY 68..✍️]


Greetings. I feel inclined to say "Happy New Year" since I'm presently posting this on the primary advent of 2022. But I have more entries left unpublished from the last days of 2021, for which reasons, shall be known upon imparting them one-by-one before proceeding to my reflection in regards to this fresh annum, or new years in general.


Fuck. Why do I sound so formal? Anyway, this note was written on the 23rd of December.


Where do I even begin? It's been exactly a week now since the highstorm has come and at this point, I have not a clue when I'll be able to use the internet again. No one has. Although I can say I'm handling this temporary far-from-but-sort-of-primitive situation better than most people around my generation, what with my books to occupy myself with, and my indifference to social media, so I don't really miss talking to someone online, nor am I itching to feed people the updates of my life. I do, however, wonder how a few of my friends are getting by. And I do miss it here on this app but for now, I'm writing this in my notes.


I felt I had acted like a complete brat about my room when in actuality, it's but a minuscule damage. At least compared to the state of the houses of our neighbours. The moment there was enough light the morning that followed, what greeted our sleepless eyes was a terrible sight after stepping foot into the open air. It was like the skies were trying to figure out how to wash dishes for the first time, broke most of the plates and glasses, and out of frustration, threw everything in a careless heap of garbage. Everything was a complete mess. Some roofs were torn off and landed in our front yard, walls ripped open, balconies shattered to the ground, tall and sturdy trees fallen or cut into two, surrendering defeat on top of unfortunate homes or cars.


In all my life, I've never gone through a typhoon as strong as this one. Even my mother said the same thing for herself. Our city has always been the lucky one when it comes to evading super typhoons because of our geographical location; perhaps that's why most citizens were complacent about it, rendering ourselves unprepared because we didn't expect it to be this powerful. We didn't take it with enough seriousness having been accustomed to always having the lesser impact. We've never had a taste of what the other cities usually suffer during highstorms, and now we finally do. Well, one thing is for sure: storm beats Covid. At least during lockdown, we had electricity. We had wi-fi. Houses were intact. And most especially, people had running water.


My sisters and I happen to be so lucky to be situated in this residence (thanks to the brilliant architect and the money of the rich owners) because the only damage we have is my window and the firewall, despite the abode being so old. So the moment the sun shone after the devastating night of the wind's wrath, everyone was so busy fixing their dwellings, retrieving the things of their belongings which had flown in other people's yards; whereas my sisters and I found plenty of time to sleep after a quick clean-up. Most importantly, we have a manual jetmatic pump which has now become one of the neighbourhood's source of water.


Which means a bunch of strangers have been coming in and out of the property.


Am I happy about it? Absolutely no. But what can we do? We can't be selfish in the middle of a calamity.


In all the years I've spent in this place since 4th grade, I've only come to know a handful of familiar faces in this neighbourhood because I generally hate everyone here and don't want to acknowledge their existence by paying attention to what they look like. I've only talked to a few in those handful as well. I guess you can tell by now I'm not friendly. To most people, I might appear snobbish, which is nearly the case because I am in no way interested in befriending anyone here. It's my little sister who is known around because she used to go to the school nearby, an educational facility that is a three or five-minute walk from our gate.


In all the people coming in and out of here to fetch water, I only recognize about 10%. So although they're my neighbours, they're still a bunch of strangers. Some even have the guts to just get in without saying anything. No greetings, no thank you, no nada, no nothing. And the worst kinds are the ones my sister doesn't recognize at all. It's when it gets to that I'm so tempted to pull off my bitchiest face and demand, "Who the fucks are you?" This is not our property, yes, but we're still tenants here. I know these are hard and desperate times but honestly, a little gratitude and perhaps politeness would suffice. They're basically intruding on private land and they're treating it as if it's a public place by how some of them have the audacity to bathe within the walls. The nerves! No permission or anything.. God, I hope the storm comes back and instead of roofs and other things, carry these shameless fucks in the middle of the ocean. We want to help and all but anything they do that annoys the shit out of me makes me wish the landlady was here because I bet my ass, not a single one of them could get in because that old lady is mean and evil. I have no problem with those who respectfully ask if they could fetch water. When they do that, your heart softens. But those bastards who just automatically get in because they see a flock of people coming in and out of here carrying pails or any water containers, I have no compassion for them. I don't care if they have no roof on their heads or they die of starvation or thirst. This is NOT their territory. They DON'T pay when the pump breaks. We were literally giving them water for FREE and even the tiniest amount of decency to introduce themselves because they're basically trespassing, NADA. I'm pretty sure a few of those fucktards are some of those fuckers who catcall me whenever I take a promenade around the neighborhood. It's disappointing those bunch didn't get severed by falling debris.


"What if we borrow Mr. David's Doberman?" I voiced out when my vexation was trying to come up with ways to get rid of all these strangers. Mister David is our neighbour. A tree fell on his house and he has a really huge dog that barks at everything that moves. He walks it out sometimes but even he himself struggles pulling it away. If the dog runs at full speed, the dog would be the one pulling him.


This idea sparked my younger sister's eyes, but we both know it was just an idea that remains an idea, the kind that's fun to imagine. People running away at the bark of that monstrous dog.. Shitting their pants the moment it charges forward...


On the afternoon of the first day, my little sister and I put up signs that say about handling the pump with care because it's already so old, and that bathing or washing clothes aren't allowed. Once someone catches someone doing either, see, others will follow and it will get crowded, an utter inconsideration to those who actually pay rent here because they'd be hogging the space. But some are just really stubborn fucks or just plain stupid. They thought we meant NOT to bathe or do laundry around the "marbled floor" of the hand pump, and so they did it on the external grounds, creating puddles of soil and water.


BITCH, WITHIN THE WALLS. WE'RE PROHIBITING IT ANYWHERE WITHIN THE WALLS.


Motherfuckers. I'm telling you, my heart is in a constant division of sympathy and utter damnation for these people. Turning our home into some public bathhouse or laundry place.. Gosh. I'm so tempted to spit "peasants" in the most disgusted tone of an aristocrat but I have no right because I'm also a peasant.


The day that followed, December 18th, the son of the owner came and consented to put up a donation box near the water station, convinced by the man he hired as the caretaker of the lot because the pump is already so ancient. It was only recently that it broke and has been fixed, in which my sister paid over. We refused to handle the money because it was the caretaker's idea.


I swear, the sight of these people within the vicinity of your home is a complete nightmare for a misanthropist. As much as I hate this set-up, we can't shoo them away because we really do feel sorry for some of this lot.


Anyway, when I said I couldn't wait for a blackout, I didn't know it would happen so soon. Who would've thought the candles I recently bought would be so useful? I went back to that store the day before I got my vaccination and purchased seven more along with a birdcage candle-holder because I couldn't stop thinking about the other colors even when it was 3am. And the birdcage, well, it was calling onto me. I didn't even know what drove me to buy them, I just had a strong impulse of having them in my possession because they were so cute and pretty. Such perfect timing it was because I didn't know there was going to be a typhoon.


One of the neighbours saw my younger sister carrying one of the candles outside and he remarked it looked like the ones for the dead. My sister told me about it and at first, I didn't know what made it so. They're enclosed in a jar with holes at the side of the lid, resembling a lamp.. Are those the kind they leave at the cemetery? Or the ones used during a wake… I haven't gone to a lot of wakes and the few times I did, I didn't pay attention to the candles. When I imagined it, however, it looked fitting. And it started to make sense to me. I did buy candle lamps for the dead! Gee, that's even better because now, the house is scarier! The scarier the house, the more it repels people away. The more it repels people away, the safer it is.


"You should dress in white, put your hair down, and put a flashlight under your face as you stand at the terrace," my little sister suggested when we talked about scaring the people who'd come here at night to fetch water. The water station is about 50 or so steps away from the house and has a full view of the eerie balcony just outside my window.


"I've thought of that but I'm afraid they'd throw rocks at me or something," I replied, realizing I was already in a white dress. This earned a laugh from her, her boyfriend, and mom. I'm really thankful her boyfriend's around to help us out. We're all girls here and it feels safer to have a man in the house with all these strangers coming to and fro.


Just the day after realizing the candles I bought are for the dead, our older sister came home bringing even two more of those and this time, picked out the very ones with a cross mark my little sister and I so especially avoided.


"These candles are for the dead," I informed her when she handed them to me, knowing she's the most scaredy-cat in the family.


"For the dead? How so?"


"One of the neighbours said so. Look at the crosses."


Younger sissie heard us and laughed, coming out into view to check the newly bought candles. "OMG! These are the ones we specifically didn't include because the cross is so creepy."


"The cross sign is for Christmas, idiots. 'For the dead' my ass," big sissie argued.


"But it's true!" Turning to younger sis, I asked, "Do you remember the urn jars just right in front of the candles' shelves?"


"OMG, yes!"


Big sissie frowned as she stared at what she bought. "Really?"


She still likes them, though, because the enclosed jar makes it safer and less prone in casting fire in case the cats knock it off or something. There have been a couple of fire incidents around here even before the super typhoon hit us and with everyone using candles now, we can't risk another disaster.


I guess it was on the 19th that mom and dad drove all the way here to check up on us because there hasn't been any signal since the night of the 16th to communicate with anyone from afar. Our family business suffered a major damage, like the rest, and they were worried sick of what had become of our situation here because even the entrances of some malls were shattered open. Electricity posts toppled down, blocking roads. The biggest Christmas tree in the city, ruffled to pieces. Despite the damage the tempest has done, we were still thankful it didn't rain very much so there was no flood.


It was a good thing dad used his motorbike because the traffic these days is absolutely awful. They spent a night here and as usual, when it comes to family gatherings that include my father, I'm as aloof as ever. It's just.. I've offered my parents more disappointments than accomplishments and I don't want to give dad a chance to bring it up by being around his view. I feel guilty for what I'm doing but as soon as the time comes when I won't have to feel this way anymore, I'll no longer resign to participate in family bondings.


The moonlight these days seems so much brighter because of the darkness the blackout has obscured all over the city. Younger sissie and I placed a sheet on the rooftop and stargazed. Mom joined us shortly. Her boyfriend had already gone home by then. It was the first time my sister introduced her lover—nor any gentleman—to our parents and the pair was nervous as shit, especially the guy. But he's a good kid and my parents like him. My sister was so relieved.


Just a little after mom left the rooftop, I went inside my room to continue reading a murder-thriller novel I've already read when I was younger. But I forgot all of it so it was like I was reading it for the first time again. It's amazing how many words I highlighted that seemed unfamiliar to me then. I imagined my younger self pausing once in a while, going through a series of interruptions in between paragraphs whilst looking those words up. You can really tell how much your vocabulary has improved when you no longer need a dictionary to read an entire book. Makes me proud of myself.


It was dizzying to read in a candlelight but there was nothing else to do and I was bored to death and wanted to resume where I left off. I wanted to paint but with the poor illumination I could procure, that would've been worse.


A couple of minutes that followed, mom came back up with dad and they hung out on the rooftop. My little sister, who was with me in the room, pulled me to join them but I shooed her away because I was busy. Not now. Of course, you and I both know that wasn't the main reason. They'd chat and one way or another, the subject of conversation would land on me. Especially now that my parents have met my little sister's boyfriend. I'm just depriving them of any opportunity to turn to me and ask: "How about you?"


I hate that question.


I could hear the three of them talking from my window and the next few moments thereat, mom entered my room.


"You're reading in this kind of light?" she demanded when she saw what I was doing, an objection apparent in her tone. "It's not good for your eyes, stop it right now," she reprimanded in that strict tone mothers do that intimidated refusal.


I literally whined like a child. "But mommm, I only have a few pages left." I showed her.


"No. You're ruining your eyes that way. Close it now."


Being the obedient daughter that I am, I did. When she got out, I opened it again and continued reading. Hehe. But I was almost finished!


"What's she doing?" I heard dad ask mom when she returned to them.


"Reading a bible."


A what?


I paused and listened for a bit. The fuck was mom talking about? Thing legit cracked me up. Lmfao. I was reading a James Patterson book.


A couple of minutes had passed and they got up to leave. But dad came inside my room first to check my "bible", while mom waited outside the still-open door, watching.


"This is not a bible," I told them with a laugh. I closed the book and showed him the cover.


"James… Peterson. Patterson," he read the giant letters of the author's name sprawled across the front. "You could still read in this kind of light?"


"Yeah…" I sheepishly answered.


They left a moment later and I was finally alone, at last. The book's title is "Swimsuit" and I'm telling you, it truly made me cum eight times. No, I didn't play with myself that night. And yes, the notorious killer entering his beautiful victims before brutally murdering them made me so horny. I also kept in mind that I got my menstruation on the 18th to record it in my period tracker the moment the wi-fi's back. We both know now what my period does to my libido. Combine it with a seductive book and kaploosh = very horny girl raised to the power of five. Maybe that's one of the factors why the effect of the first dose was so harsh to me..


Anyway, the book's ending didn't satisfy me but it was a fun read. It was just like "Squid Game" or the "Hostel" movie series. Rich people finding pleasure and amusement in watching others die. In Patterson's novel, they hired a talented psychopath to execute aesthetic murders behind a camera.


It's almost Christmas but it doesn't feel like it at all. Confounding typhoon. The idea of the sweaters I wanted to make for my family, it's dead now. I wish I had watched how to make them before everything went downhill so I could've at least occupied myself with crocheting every now and then. But without an internet connection for a tutorial, there's nothing I can do about it. Well, I could do a crop-top, but what of my father?


I think I've written a lot. Proves I have so much time to waste. I'll stop here for now. Toodles.

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