28 September 2020

Muscle memory

Telling the Sky III

Sun-streaks. Music in solid state.


Afternoon above. Draped sheets
of blue and Afghan red.


Walking home and towards the moon.
Arriving at neither.

—Razel Estrella

At some point in my adult life I've realized how numb we can be. We laugh at the fast-food crew member who, in sticking to their script, asks questions we have just answered; but we are no less guilty of the same mechanical existence.

Consider the evening I clocked out of my Manila office then found myself, as if magically, at home. I wasn't exactly tired. It was simply another day at work. Retracing my steps, I figured that I hopped on an FX shuttle service, hopped off, crossed the street, walked towards my village, took several left and right turns, reached for my keys, opened the gate to the townhouse, climbed up three flights of stairs, unlocked the door to my apartment. All this done unconsciously, a single extended muscle reflex.

Home, however, is in constant state of defamiliarization. While there's nothing more I look forward to than going home after a forgettable shift, I fear it as well. Elswehwere I've talked about my bad feelings about my family and they often resurface once the house gets closer. My body weakens. I rush, if I could I would fly to my bed, so I'd get the anger over with.

When I pay attention, meaning if I slow down, I'm rewarded by clarity of thought and a clear view of the night sky.

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