I was looking Death at the face. With its spark crawling on the power line, it almost looked like a falling star on a cold night. And I would’ve been happy, instead of being terrified to death. Everything seemed surreal, and my life was suddenly re-evaluated by whatever fate that brought me here.
I sit alone, hugging my legs, on the chair in the terrace, crying like a baby. Once the little spark crawled its way down one of the roofs, and if fate is so good that it starts raining, then our neighborhood would be barbecued to death, including everyone. Everyone.
That seemed final. I cry harder. I look down on the streets where the people are still buzzing, panicking about what to do with the spark. Someone was calling Meralco, but no one would answer. This is it, I thought. This is really it. Someone from the crowd of people surveying the horrific sight just a few feet away from our house said, “Kapag gumapang na yan sa bubong, sunog na tayong lahat. Tsk.”
Fucking hell. Everything was suddenly in slow motion. Some people were shouting, but they were suddenly silenced by the unspeakable terror inside of me. One minute we were watching TV, next minute, it was pitch dark and everyone was praying for their lives.
Images flashed before my eyes—fire, embers, dead people, gore. And I suddenly had the urge to run to my room and look for a pen and paper. I stopped in my tracks. We are about to die, and I’m looking for a pen?
I went back to the terrace to survey the sky, to see if any moment, heaven would be cruel enough to open its gates and shower us with acid rain—which would then turn the spark on the power line into a fire, crawl down on one of the houses’ roof, and swoosh!
Why no one was packing, and why we can’t contact anyone—Meralco, or the fire station—was beyond me. I wanted to run, to shout to everyone that that was the only solution I can think of. I was probably afraid of dying… probably not. But I was terrified of being burnt alive, and not being able to do anything. I didn’t want to see all the people I love—including myself—go to ashes. Helplessly. I needed a shower. It was senseless, but I needed it.
The water was cold. Such an irony. I sat down and cried. The reason: I wasn’t sure anymore. It was dark in the shower room when I went in, but when I looked at where the door is; it was outlined by a thin line of light (I don’t know where it came from). Oh God. I didn’t feel any heat, nor heard people shouting. It was very quiet, but I can see the faint thin line getting brighter. I got up, and naked, opened the door and readied to face Death.
Then I woke up to see my mother’s smiling face telling me to eat breakfast.
(original post date: June 16, 2005)