She calls at 5 A.M. to tell me a story.
“Today, I woke up bothered by my inability to correctly spell out the word ‘announcement’. I scrabbled at the edges of my mind, grappled with the word that suddenly became so inconveniently unfamiliar, and fumbled on the letters whether it had double ‘n’ somewhere or where should I place the ‘e’ or something. Then, my mind was giving up on me when a thought of having sex with Gael Garcia Bernal struck me with a kind of feeling I had never felt before. A very strange one as if, when I was struggling with the alphabet, I accidentally dug the thought out somewhere in the spread of my subconscious. It’s like a mix of fear and pleasure and comfort and discomfort that ransacked all that I knew as my ‘self’. I hate it. I hate having emotions I cannot explain. Perhaps, it’s like that day – your birthday last year – when you stood at the edge on top of a 28th storey building and all you got were numbing chills and the frightening sense that your balls would break apart any minute if you didn’t pull over.”
“No, I guess, it’s different. And, please, let’s not talk about my balls at 5 in the morning.”
“Okay. It’s an odd day for me at the very least. You see, I woke up from a dream around 1 A.M. and never had the chance to go back to sleep. Sorry, I had to call you. I can’t forgive myself I had to cheat and see the auto-suggest. Am I 90 years old already suffering from Alzheimer’s?! It’s crazy, right? And, hell, I still have to witness before my eyes the end of the world this December!”
“Alright, alright. Don’t panic. What was your dream about? Do you remember?”
“I wrote it down. Wait, I’ll get my journal. Give me a sec.”
From nowhere, the cool breeze bangs into the door screen and gushes inside my bedroom like a horde of racing horses in the wilderness. “How many times now have I forgotten closing the balcony door?”, I ask myself. Then, I remember I was patiently waiting to see the blue moon last night. My head held up, I surveyed the skies many times but not even a single star offered a glitter of hope. On this side of the planet, the night was dreadful. The heavens were covered by nimbus clouds. It rained hard thereafter. Then, a 7-point-something quake hit a region in the Visayas. Not to mention that a few days ago, a high-ranking government official died from a plane crash. Four men drowned in a septic tank. A woman committed suicide by jumping into a railway. And now, here’s G who can’t spell a word in the middle of the night, having sex fantasies with a Mexican icon.
“Sorry, it took me a while. By the way, didn’t it dawn on you that we had no luck into seeing the blue moon last night?”
“I waited for it. Nothing really special though.”
“Me, too. Until I got tired and just slept. Well, I think I had a nightmare.”
“Okay, tell me.”
“I dreamed of butterflies.”
“Wait, can you turn off your music first? I love it but I will really have a hard time following you if Deftones is screaming out Root in the background.”
“Okay, turning it off.”
“So, I dreamed of butterflies. I was home in the province, one afternoon. Our house there was still unfinished – floors had no tiles, ceilings half-done, walls unpainted. I was with my family, all the 4 of us.
“There were jumps or cuts in between…”
“No worries, just go on.”
“I suddenly saw myself roaming around. Then, I stopped and stood at the main door. From afar, I saw a huge brown butterfly – a size of an adult human head – hanging on a branch of lanzones tree, flipping its wings sporadically. I saw another one, a yellow one. It was flying aimlessly, moving up and down and sideways and back and forth until it rested by flopping on the ground. I went outside and examined the yellow butterfly. No, it’s not examined but just to see it closer. Its color was not ordinary, as I supposed. It was like a firefly emitting some static glowing light. I was so attracted that I offered my hand and teased it to move and touch me. Indeed, it maneuvered its wings like a plane taking off and, without a doubt, lied on the back of my left palm. It didn’t hang on me that long as it went off quickly following the trail of the low-lying river. Somehow, without anything to do next, I wanted to see our backyard. I hopped on the sparse bricks a little drenched in mud. And like in a movie, my point of view panned into left and the place that was revealed to me was nothing less than a paradise. It blew me away my jaw literally dropped. There were hundreds of butterflies of different shapes and sizes and colors. There were blue ones and purple. Some had two colors, the others got more. There was this kind which was the loveliest of all. This butterfly had wings with pink color, but mostly translucent. The translucent area had lines like a fabric of a leaf, radiating faint neon lights. The pink color was glowing at the sides.
“I noticed it was dark already. And so the radiant butterflies became all the more revealing. After my last look of this magnificent view, I decided to go home. I was about to turn my back away when the pink butterfly innocently glided in the air and sat on my head like a crown. As if it was a sign, all the rest of the butterflies clung onto me. I indulged without fear and, slowly, I felt being lifted.
“In the air, about 20 feet high, I was floating, slightly slanted. Gazing into the moon, kissed by the butterflies, in that moment, I found peace.”
September 1, 2012