There was only one period of my life when I talked to neighbors. I was a kid, and we had neighbors named Valerie and I forgot the other one. They were the only neighbors that I played with. After that, whenever my mom would encourage me to play with the neighbors, I would say, Ma, I don’t have to befriend the world. I still don’t talk to my neighbors these days, and now I’m wondering why.
On January 7, 2013, I wrote on Facebook:
Why do people die? Obviously you can explain it medically. His heart gave out. Her lungs collapsed. But why do people die? Why now? Why her? Why him? Why?
When I wrote that status our long-time driver Ka Saro died, but I was also thinking about my lola who died the year before. Long before that my nineteen-year-old cousin died in a car crash, and I was one month away from my tenth birthday. Now, I found out that my other cousin who is around 20 years old died.
As I have said countless of times in this blog, I want to be a great writer. When I die though, I don’t want people to talk about my achievements, but I want people to tell stories about how I lived. As much as I love writing, and it is a big part of me, I find that there’s something cold about discussing a person’s achievements at a funeral.
I want to be remembered for the way I laughed. I want my cousin to tell a funny story about how I tripped over a slosh of sago. I want a friend to recall our crazy adventures walking around Quiapo. I want a lover to tearfully describe our first kiss.
What is your dream job? I realized that I want something intelligent but not too intellectual, useful but not too utilitarian, solitary but collaborative, silly but serious.
Janelle wasn’t my family’s first maid, but the others were either maids that I don’t remember because I was still too young, or maids who didn’t take care of me because they were in charge of other things like doing the laundry, cooking, or cleaning the house. I asked my mom what happened to the other maids who took care of me. She sad they left. That’s the thing with maids these days, they always leave, she said. I saw a picture of me being carried by a maid, but I was too young to remember who she was. I got scared that Janelle would leave. Continue reading “Maids Always Leave”