Has it ever occurred to you when you wake up one day and you feel this kind of separation anxiety with some certain events, places or people of the past? Perhaps, you keep on dreaming the fragments of memories of your childhood or adolescence years and as soon as you wake up; eyes are wide opened and you can’t stop thinking about it, you keep replaying some events in your mind and it gives you a roller coaster emotion . You just lie down there in your bed and sentimentally remembering the past.
I was running in a backyard. A lot of smoke. Smoke. Smoke everywhere but it wasn’t a kind of smoke that can suffocate you. It didn’t come from the burning leaves or anything. Perhaps fog? I was happily running like a kid then I stopped I saw the very familiar old and tall mango trees that served as my shed when I wanted to have a rest. I would lay down on the hammock that my cousin made under the big mango tree. The air was swinging me; it felt like it was singing me a lullaby until I fell asleep. I continued moving but this time I was walking towards my uncle’s mini vegetable garden. Wow! tomatoes, string beans, tamarind, sweet potatoes, saluyot, cabbage… I was trying to remember every vegetables that my uncle had planted but the tall guava tree that full of its fruit caught my attention. I saw my cousins gathered under the guava tree while Ellaine was climbing and getting the riped ones. “Ate, would you like one?” She asked me. I smiled and kept on walking and I saw my cousins, Kuya Ervie, Kuya ER, and Jang Jang standing by a coconut tree.Jang Jang was climbing the coconut tree. I smiled at the thought of having monkey cousins. They really do have a good climbing skills, don’t they? He started to shake the tree and my heart skipped a bit for he might get hit by a coconut on the head but you see, my cousin is an expert then one, two, three coconuts fell on the ground. I chuckled. “Kim, come and get a pitcher. We’ll put the juice in it.” Kuya ER uttered. I just smiled and kept on walking around. I went on the other side of the backyard; my feet brought me in a small l rivulet. I gasped when I saw a lot of catfish wiggling in it. “Would you like catfish for lunch? What about grilled catfish?” my uncle appeared behind me. I was startled. He took his fishing tools and went in the murky rivulet. I moved. I was walking outside the backyard when I heard my grandmother shouting from the distance saying “don’t ever play on the hay!”. It was harvest season. I was outside already and I inhaled and exhaled thoroughly the fresh air. I saw the beautiful scenery. The color yellow-ish, gold-ish rice fields. The sound of rice harvester machine was deafening. It was such a fine day. I heard my cousins calling me inside. I felt a drop of water on my skin. I looked up. The sky was gray. It looked like it’s gonna rain. I wrinkled my eyebrows. Weird weather. I looked around and I was suddenly in our house. I saw my parents fighting over the same thing; as usual my father’s mistress. High voices. Cursing. Swearing. Hurting. Crying. My siblings were crying and I saw myself comforting them and screamed at my parents to stop. My father went outside, still cursing. My mother was left crying with bruises on her arms. I wonder how could she live that way. The images were suddenly distorted. I saw my 6 year-old self, learning how to read. My parents used to call me kabisote, there was a time I could read everything and then the next I couldn’t read the same text properly anymore. The only people that I would like to impress were my parents, especially my father. I studied hard and read and read and read until I could read aloud in front of him. That time, my father’s praises were everything. I smiled when I saw myself drawing a stick family and naming them our names. I walked out the door and everything was blurred.I saw myself running excitingly. I took off my school uniform and changed it into house clothes. I was standing by the window and sharpening my pencil when it suddenly fell down. I ran down the stairs. Barefooted. There was a sharp object pricked my delicate foot. It stung. I rushed upstairs. Red fluid started dripping off the ground and on the stair step. I immediately looked for cotton, alcohol, and betadine. I cured my own wound and wiped the stairs as fast as I could before my mother could see it.
I turned around and I saw my school, I was playing marble on the ground with my friends, when suddenly my thumb accidentally bent, I could feel an excruciating pain in my thumb nail. It was almost removed. I look at my back and saw my young self running and tripping off the ground. I went home with skinned knees and elbow with dry tears on my face. I shook my head. I was such a clumsy boy-ish little girl.
I closed my eyes and I was high school, I blinked and I was college. I saw Johnrey with another girl. I felt like I was gonna burst at any moment. Hot fluid were flowing on my face. “Silly girl.” I murmured watching at my awful face. Out of a sudden, I heard Nikko calling me “Yam…Yam…” then there was an echoing sound, a man standing in the corner calling me “Baby..Come..Hug me..” I couldn’t see him clearly but I saw those familiar brown eyes. I gave him a confusing smile then he started to fade slowly.
I walked around.The surrounding started to get cloudy and cloudy when suddenly, I saw all the memories flash like a lightning; from my childhood to adolescence to adulthood; the happy and sappy memories. I’ve heard a never ending contagious laughter, howling, and crying, then laughter again… I was confused for a moment. The sunlight was passing through the window right onto my face. I was sweating. Then I woke up catching my breath while staring at the ceiling. What a dream!
You might be thinking that I was having a near-death experience. I’ve read about it in an English textbook because super natural thingy does interest me a lot. As they say, when you experience this: all the memories of your past will flash right in front of your eyes. All memories; from infancy to childhood to adolescence and up to the recent ones. Have you ever felt this kind of deja vu in some certain events? You might think that you have been here and there or you met this person in the past but you can’t remember when and where or perhaps you think that you’ve experienced the same situation before but you can’t reach it in your memory bank.
Do you believe in reincarnation? If you were to ask me, I used to believe in it but now I’m not sure. Since when we were babies; when we were still unaware of our surrounding. We were already dreaming. Perhaps the people, places, or events that you think are deja vu—we have already dreamed of them when we were just innocent children. We weren’t just aware. Mind f*cked, right?
But no, I wasn’t experiencing a near-death. I was visiting the past through my memories and no matter how much I try to bury some memories in the past, I just can’t because my brain has its own way of reminding me how past can be a nice place to visit once in a while.. I also get to realize that as you grow older, it is easier to cure skinned knees than a broken heart and damaged faith.
I put all these memories in a safe box with words written on it
“Visit me if you feel you want to..”
and I wouldn’t mind to have a trip down memory lane again.
Would you dare too?