STILL

As the hagiographic accounts relate, as St. Teresa Avila (1515–1582) also called St. Teresa of Jesus, made her way to her convent during a fierce rainstorm, she slipped down an embankment and fell squarely into the mud. The irrepressible nun looked up to heaven and admonished her Maker, “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder why You have so few of them!”

Only a true friend of God could speak with such familiarity and temerity.

I don’t know if I am a true friend of God or not, but if He is indeed my creator, if He is said to know every nook and cranny of me, if He understands me beyond my own, if I am made of His image, He should have known He will get nonsense from me. Otherwise He didn’t make me that way in the first place.

I also don’t know if I am a true friend of yours or not, but, hey, come here and sit down a little bit, let’s have woman to woman talk, or woman to man talk, if you happen to be a guy, just don’t spray your coffee all over me when I made my revelation.

I am insane.

There. You spill your coffee yet? No, seriously, I am insane.

I start university at 17 years old. I have four degrees, speak five languages, and the last time I remember, I was sitting in this fancy office of my own, the personal assistant to President Commisioner of the third largest, textile corporation in South East Asia. I came into that company as a secretary to director, and ended up in that position in one year. Don’t laugh; one year.

I stayed in that position for five year. Then one day when my boss is about to tell me her plans of her future (retirement) and mine (handrail for her smart, forward thinking, technocratic, yet lack fierceness son), I submitted my resignation.

I am insane.

I told her I have a dream of my own. I told her I have a world I envision. She is a kind and compassionate, understanding, highly educated woman. She knows what I have been doing every weekend and after work behind her back, not that I ever deliberately hide it. She knows I want to be a writer. She knows my dream job is journalist. She knows I have been smuggling endless stream of kittens and raggedy cats I picked along the way to and from the office.

She is a polite woman, but I see through people. I see through her doubt, I responded to that veiled crinkle between her eyebrows.

I won’t delve into the backstabbing details of the Sundanese rottenness, but that day, the day I walked out of the spot coveted by many, not a single person, not a single person in that company, dared to stay seated when I come toward them, in my best suit, two inches heels boot, hair flowing like silk extending my hand.

Even if they flattened their decency to impose their depleting self worth, no one ever before in the history of the corporation has the company of President Comissioner when she goes around and say farewell.

And what did I do next?

I went into the sewer. I crawled into drains, I plunge and rummage smelly garbage. I went through flood, into the mud, through thug infested street and low life’s alleys. I fought thieves, deal with sex harasser, molester, animal abuser.

I am insane.

I have Typhoid relapses six times. Typhoid fever is rare in the first world countries, but it is the bane of the third world people. It is, in essence, Salmonella. Salmonella typhii, beautiful name. It went into their victim, no, it went into my intestine and eat my gut inside out. The literatures will only say intestine is perforated during typhoid. That is why people with typhoid cannot eat anything, and they have to lay down all the time because, well, who can walk around with perforated intestine and burning gastric? Doctors slammed them with antibiotics, but they are salmonella. They did not die. They hide in my pancreas waiting for the D day. The D day my life went out of control and I neglected personal care and my immune got the whack, and tada! second season.

Majority of people have Typhoid three times, and they either lost their lives, or hands up and walk away.

I have had them six times.

Doctors have warned me that I cannot have more than five because these little bugger will be resistant to medication every single time and they are running out of option and yet after a nasty year in September 2016, yes, last year, I ended up with Typhoid Fever + Dengue.

I am insane.

This year is the seventh. And you know what God paired it with? Cough. That freaking itch in my throat that makes me bark like rabid dog. The pain in my stomach, the burning on my chest, and the incessant cough.

Josie you’re insane!

I told you so.

You have to take care of yourself! You have to take a rest! Ten minutes of me time every day! Try not to think so much!

I can, if people stop dumping boxes after boxes of cats down my yard. I can, if people just freaking leave these animals alone and not try to abuse them. I can, if someone can help me worry about what we are going to eat tomorrow. I can if someone can help me keep my page beating and live on autopilot so I can take that ten minutes me time.

But you know what? When I ask, can someone help me with ten Dollars so I can take a break from one more job? They said I am whining. When I ask, can someone make sure there is one more bowl filled for these little babies? They said I should have humour instead.

Gee, what will they say if I just walk out of the house, leave behind 90 cats 11 babies, rotting laundries and everything and start a new life all by myself? Let me guess,

Am I insane?

I am insane.

That is why I am still here. With perforated intestine and coughing like rabid dog and I am still here.

I am still here and I am still going and I will be going until there are none. This is my dream: where animals and human can coexist in peace. For that I am going into the sewer, climbing sand dunes, crawling into drains, plunging into garbage, fighting thieves, kicking thugs, and put my life on the line.

This is the world I envision: a place of plenty, as my sister said. Happy kitties, happy people. For that I left all my worldly good, and live every single day, in richer or poorer, in sickness in health, till death do us part. I do.

When will death come? When there is no more to give in my hand.

When will there be no more to give from my hand?

You know. There is no need for a philosophical debate, no need for rocket science, no need for soap drama and sense of humor. There is no need for others. You know. The answer might not be pretty, but whether it ended up pretty or not, you know.

The beginning is with me, so I begin; but the end is not mine. Whose? you know.

Still guess who is this writing?

I am insane.

I am Josie.

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