Elections

It's quieter here. No wind at this hour, no birds, no dogs, no crushing sound of waves or opinions being formed. One jeepney sputters across the main road, the only road, every 30 minutes, and if you miss it now, you'll have to withstand the sun, the sickle of summer, until the next jeepney arrives thirty minutes later, men and women guarding the top load of fish, with children hanging on to the steel bars to free up more seats. There used to be shade here, but it won't be until another couple of calendars until the branches regrow their leaves. It is hot but it is quiet. Nobody has a phone in hand, nobody complains. There is only one reality, this, and even this could be taken away by another surge. It could happen in their sleep, or maybe it has already begun. They are mere catchphrases now, household names in the media stronghold, the media whipping up storms, the media making it rain and rain until we forget how to think because we are told and shown how to think yet again. Vote wisely. Don't vote at all. Obey the rules. Watch your mouth. Pray to God. Save yourself. We demand so much so we can mask how we have given so little. We forget learning how to be one, because others keep reminding us that we are different. We decry what we hate, and yet we do not know how to show love. There will be no peace if the platforms do not teach us kindness. Instead, it is the first thing we forget. Meanwhile, inside the jeepney, an old lady gives up her seat for a man carrying two kids. A thank you is grunted, a smile is given, and you wonder if it takes a tsunami to teach people how to be good to each other. That, if you escape death this way, you are washed of all evil and only what is pure remains. Or maybe it is what the certainty of catastrophe does: it takes away the point of being bad. Before anyone sins, an image of a raging mountain of water appears, because you do not just forget having seen something like that. Your eyelashes still have traces of its salt, your ears never completely flushed of the floodwater. You clutch your heart, how strange that it beats this way, because it is fear that taught you how to love.