The meaning of longing and lack gets more frightening and terrorizing as you prepare for the trip to another city your heart will have to learn to like and love.
As in the case of the Los Angeles of your early im/migrant years, you will have to find a way, find the hard way to liking the place and loving it as soon as the heart begins to beat the beat of love. To prepare for that trip, you buy the Los Angeles Sunday Times because it is Sunday and in your mind, this is always the day that you have reserved for grabbing some downtime for yourself, only for yourself.
There are the rituals, of course, some familial obligations that have something to do with securing the bridges between miles and miles of distance, these miles and miles keeping you and your family apart.
You buy that phone card, and you do not care if you get the one that cheats on you in terms of time.
Only one thing is certain now: the voice of your youngest that cross-examines you each time with so many questions a four-year old can think of: When are you coming home? Have you sent the Dora dolls? Did you buy the Dora clothes? Did you find the stethoscope so I can cure Dora when she gets sick? Why are you not coming home often? Why are you staying in America for so long you do not see my handwriting and how I write my name and the numbers that we are studying in school?
Ha, I get past the possible interrogation. The issues have been the same for the last several days and I know these will be the same issues that the youngest will bring out when I call.
I look at the paper, flip through the horoscope page, finds Aries: "You're the sign of beginnings, beginners' luck and being first. Every new thing you try renders you more energetic."
Tough words, sweet words.
Tough thoughts, sweet thoughts.
I like them.
These are ominous signs of good beginnings, grace-filled beginnings.
Or so I pray.
So Hawaii, here I come. Have come, am gone, but here I come. Welcome me in your arms with your benediction and love.
A. S. Agcaoili
June 10, 2006, 1:30 AM