Monday, February 25, 2013

When Walls Talk

Stained, blotched, faded
Silent walls, three decades standing
Now heaving heavy of only memories
Housing emptyness
Covering only remnants of everyday living
The leftover matter
Once considered valuable enough to store
Now discarded
Or just waiting for the next truck to fetch them
Walls sheltering no breathing creatures
Just ghosts and lingering scents
Of food and events and human beings

They stand, lonely, lamenting
Mocking me for moving on
After years of faithful protecting
From rain, heat, and bullets of soldiers rebelling
From a world so harsh and ugly at times
From the glare of the sun and scorching truth
From the stench of the city
From the poverty some call reality
They’ve done their best
To be a fortress, a haven, a default safety
Where masks, bras, and pretensions are removed
Where one puts on a bullet-proof blanket of comfort

How dare I leave now
Where is my loyalty?
But they oblige
They shrug shoulders they don’t have
And give in to the inevitable
They say go, go, move one
We cannot stop you from living
After all, you left a long time ago
When you married that man from the south
And the walls envelop me
Forgiving me for leaving
Trying to hide their weeping

But before you go, they say
Let us talk
And I let them
And they talk of a family too eager to move in
Bringing salt and icons in a home filled with dust
And furniture too few that the house shook
Then filling the house with dreams and plans
And stories, not all of them fun
Filling the home with people, even not their own
With all sorts of things and things and things
And things and toys and books and stuff and things
With love and love and love and love

The walls talk
Of new wave parties in the 80s
Of college buddies hanging, chilling
Of sleepovers too many to count
The corners whisper of sins and secrets
Of stealing daddy’s ciggies to learn how to smoke
Of playing hooky and getting a hicky
Of stealthy kisses
And experimental gropings in the dark
Of growing up and throwing up
Of grounded days and loveless nights
Of love or what we thought was love

The walls snicker remembering
Bad fashion and worse music
Of bawling teenagers thinking
That this is the world ending
Of emo moments and bad hair days
And angst-ridden diary entries
Of children hating parents
Who loved us even when they wanted to strangle us
Of two silly brothers fighting over briefs
Killing each other over nothing
These walls giggle about jokes and pranks
And Ogs’s many emergency room trips

The walls cannot count how many nights
A father waited anxiously
Inspecting rooms, doing a roll call
Praying for the safety of those not yet home
Of losing sleep worrying how the hell
He would find tuition for
These lazy, reluctant students
Who only cared about Saturdays
Whose expensive books remained unopened
Of children oblivious to the love
They speak of a mother always screaming frantically
But just us passionately giving all, loving us loudly

The walls confess of hearing confessions
Of people alone in rooms
Of pains shared in the stillness
When nobody else was listening
The walls sing of hidden joys
Of the smiles one hides
Of hearts being punctured
Egos being bruised
Of brothers and sisters fighting
Not talking, pretending not to care
Of love unspoken
Because it's uncool to be sweet to your sibling

The walls hush of family secrets
Of pregnant announcements
And embarrassing separations
Of family dysfunctions we thought
Nobody else had
Of dirty linen kept where they should be
Hidden, forgotten
The walls speak of heart-scarring hurts
And gut-wrenching breakthroughs
Graduations, weddings, birthdays
The walls saw the growing up
Of awful kids transforming into awesome adults

The walls remember
Parties, preparing for parties
Dreaming of parties
Parties that went too far
Of drunken people sprawled on the floor
Of cleaning up after the nights of reverie
The walls will miss
The people
People visiting
People overstaying
But more than anyone,
The people who lived, slept, breathed, dreamed, grew, gave, loved in it

And then the walls grow silent
Remembering a sister
For whom this house is just not big enough
To hold the love
To bear the pain of losing her
And maybe that’s why we have to move
Maybe this is where they outlive their use
This is when they say goodbye
One last hug, one last look
To let us move on for fresher air, for new stories
For more graduations, weddings, birthdays
For more love, love, love, and love

They're just walls
Concrete, immobile walls
But they speak
They witness
They remember
They cry
They confess
They love
They hurt
They die
Those walls did talk
And I am glad I let them


Anonymous said...

that was beautiful gege. :)

Maria said...

Gege, you have a way with words. I loved every single one.