But there was a time when…
During summers, and living hundreds of kilometers away from friends, I came up with the idea of somewhat hurdling the homesickness and the feeling of loneliness when I decided to create my own magazine — all articles of my own composition from the cracked part of my brain. I also tried to be heroic and draw everything in it. To quell the palpable loneliness, the magazine had a posse of contributors, field crew, features writers, etc. who were named after my friends.
Thus, my magazine, Cereal Box(TM), was born. The magazine ran for at least a dozen issues, all pages created by hand. I often had to scavenge for black markers and sign pens all over the house so I could finish those issues before “deadline”. And eventually, the loneliness eased and I was in my element.
Then I went off to college. And had a boyfriend who couldn’t care for “kids drawings” as he liked to call my works. When I think about his derision of my magazine now, it dawned on me that he was uncomfortable with the fact that I could be missing friends whom he’d never met. He was so insecure about his role in my life that each time he had a chance, he would comment how childish I was, living in my secret world of caricatures and made-up stories. He felt he was alienated from my life. Or something like that.
So I guess I sold out. I left my magazine to rest in peace and discontent under piles and piles of old blankets and personal documents inside my steamer trunk. Somehow, some “issues” were brought out by relatives and friends and I lost track of the copies I had.
And so I tried to forget about that blissful part of my youth to be with a boyfriend who had the personality of a social-climbing leech in heat.
But this isn’t a story about that a**hole wanker so I’d move along to the present.
Three days ago I was in Antipolo to help an old friend pack her things up for her move to Dumaguete where she’ll start teaching this school year.
Amidst the rush and confusion of packing up, the anxiety of having a plane to catch and being in the airport in the middle of the night, there was a moment when the squall around me in that Antipolo house suddenly stopped — held back by a force, invoked by a powerful spirit of my past.
A copy of my Cereal Box peeped from a sheaf of documents I was shoving into a full briefcase.
And I cried. Amidst the packing boxes and the papers and household things which have to be displaced from their old home, I cried.
For the lost part of me… for the part of me that mattered most and I had thrown away for some worthless mortal.
But there is still time.
I am rebuilding who I am. Finding those lost parts of me. Strengthening. Reclaiming what I had been.
That boyfriend is gone a long, long time ago. Booted out of my life for being such a disgrace to humanity.
And Cereal Box is again open for subscriptions.