12 november 1999 | back | archive | forward

one of my mother's friends is dying of cancer. god, i say, "dying," but what if she's already dead? that's not meant to sound morbid, but she's literally that close to death. and the idea that her life could end any second now boggles my mind.

what do i know of death?

my father lost his parents when he was still a child. at the last funeral i went to, my 5-year-old cousin socked a boy in the face because he was making faces at her. my mom sends mass cards to those she knows who have just lost a loved one; filipinos usually follow this up with a rosary and lots of lumpia and pancit.

i have not known death as others have known it. i have never lost anyone i love.

when i was 12, i was in the philippines when my lola, or grandaunt, died of cancer. i remember floating in and out of the house, where her dead body was being viewed. people were breaking down and consoling. i didn't even know her. i took a walk in the garden outside and shut my eyes so tightly trying to force tears out.

i get these dreams. it's this recurring pattern. deceased parents of friends come to visit me in my sleep. once, at a party, mark's mom asked me to fill her cup with ice. she was wearing a yellow dress. another time, i met chris's dad at his theater space. he told me how proud he was of his son. he had an infectious smile. the parents sit and talk with me for a while and tell me things, almost like secret messages. when i awake, i can never remember them.

i used to be so afraid of what people would think of me when they read my journals long after i died. i even wrote some messages on the book, asking the readers to respect my privacy or at least not to read into my words too much. i sometimes imagined my own funeral and wondered what kinds of things people would say.

death and fall seem to blend well together. the leaves outside are brown. they never quite got golden or orange, because that's not what fall is like out here. it's gotten chilly, though, especially at night. i walk outside to near pitch blackness, pull my coat closer to my body and walk. i'm not too cold or afraid, but it's awfully dark and i don't know what lies ahead.

am i the luckiest girl in the world or what? i met yet another one of my heroes tonight! brian andreas, an amazing artist/writer. his story people are wonderful, and so is he.

my other hero encounters: ray bradbury, margaret atwood, aimee bender and francesca lia block.

i caved in and went to burger king, just to see what kind of pokemon toys they were passing out.

cia, one of the cofounders of generation rice, has a kickass website of her own. also, i promised billy that i'd plug his band, sebastian. they have a website. (hi, billy!)

"let's be boys for a moment," suggested tonia, as a way to figure out the male species.

i'm going to a mexican border town tomorrow, and don't you dare make any taco bell jokes.

send all e-mail to christine@maganda.org. i write back.