Manila, Manila

Dearest Friend,

It’s gotten better. I’m better. There are still days when I get random mini-panic attacks – mini, because I’m still able to function for the most part, although this ‘functioning’ mainly involves walking around like a zombie and eating for the sake of – but I’m so much better. Being able to go out, I think, after six months of staying at home and only getting sun through glass-walled windows, helps. When I feel powerless, I grab a cup of coffee. When I feel panicky, I go for a walk. I still have unbelievably low limits, most of which I’ve imposed on myself, but I’m freer. I feel freer. That’s what counts, right?

makati_at_sunset

I moved back to a city I lived in for eight or so years. It’s still unchanged. The traffic still sucks, the skies are still polluted, but everywhere, everywhere, the buzz of life is the same. You don’t get the same chaos – utter chaos – anywhere else in the world. I was walking by the side of the road earlier today – and the literal side of the road it was, too – when I looked up and two feet next to me towered this huge bus. All the passengers, some of them hanging out of the wide-open doors, were staring back at me just as I was staring back at them. You don’t get that anywhere else but Metro Manila.

Or maybe you do. Maybe I’m just biased, maybe I only think this because to me this place feels like home. It’s alive, it’s exciting – it’s not cold, and it’s not regimented. D told me last week that you only know where home is when you leave that place, and you realize that nowhere else compares. To me that is Metro Manila. Witness to so many tears, so many fears, and so many frustrations that I hope I’ll be able to genuinely laugh at one day.

A.

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