Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why I Go Slow

"You've lost the Manila driver in you," Pierre kids me a lot these days, because I'm paying attention to all the road rules. I put on the warning a good few moments before I turn, never honk my horn, will only overtake if it's all clear, yield at all the broken white lines, and when I see the red sign, I make a full stop. It's the gendarmes, I tell him, there are too many of them on the road, I don't want to be paying any fines or losing my points. He chuckles, but perfectly gets it; these days, he refuses to touch the wheel if he's had a drink.

I lie though.

Driving in this country, I always see them. Pinks roses, white lilies, yellow chrysanthemums, bouquets of flowers on the roadsides. One time, on a bridge near Saint Bauzille de Putois, the blooms were accompanied by a plaque, "Pour Maman." I think of them, those to whom these offerings are left, lost sisters, lovers, fathers, and friends. I see Maman, studying her lilies because after the terrible accident she has nothing else to do, looking forward to when they are replaced every two weeks or so, until the day comes when they forget. The last of the lilies turn brown around the edges and wither away. She is left staring into eternal nothingness.

I see them, and I remember to slow down to 90.

7 comments:

jakedeleonramirez said...

Congrats po!!! Jerome told me about the Palanca Awards.

apol said...

Hey, thanks Jun. Sorry, hindi talaga kita matatawag na Jake ever. You'll always be Jun :) Didn't know you had a blog... Say Hi to Douglas for me, and your ex is a cutie!

mitsuru said...

congrats po pala. bow! :)

just passing by...

Apol said...

Thanks, mitsuru!

decorator said...

slowdown at 90. sige,,, mag nobenta ka dito sa edsa. holy week mo lang magagawa...
:)


kelan ka uwi atih?

Apol said...

Hey, Gwyn, I decided I'm too tamad to take a 20-hour plane ride just to attend a one-night thingie, and that I'd rather go to Belgium :) So it's going to be near Christmas, or a little bit after. See you soon!

decorator said...

Hi pol!

got na my UK visa and hopefully, the french on the 13th. with this, ill be in france most prolly on the 7th after spending a week in london. ill be at your doorstep the following day or the day after.

im so excited...