The Boy on the Q Bus

Sometimes life can be cruel in a funny way. When you thought your past is only in the past, turns out it’s following you to the present day. It was like any other Wednesday, I went to downtown to do one of the routines and I needed to catch a bus. I love taking Q bus, because its route takes me to the beautiful part of the city where old houses line up nicely. I would be imagining living in one of those Victorian houses. After getting down from the B bus that took me from home to downtown, I walked towards the main bus stop next to the Green. Lo and behold, I saw someone whose face similar to a boy I knew long ago. My heart skipped a beat! That face was the face I once missed so much. I walked towards where the boy stood with a group of his friends. He was a high school student, maybe 17, just like the boy I knew. Suddenly I felt the rush of nostalgia filled my mind. This boy, who only stood some feet away from me looked similar to him, the 17-year-old boy so dear to me. He was tall, maybe a bit taller than the boy I knew. He’s not skinny, in fact the opposite, quiet hefty but not chubby. His hair was brown and he had plenty, like the boy I knew who one day let me stroke his hair. 

The bus came and I approached it still paying attention to this stranger who resemblance the boy I knew. It turned out that boy also rode the same bus. He sat not far from me. I could hear him having a lively chat with his friends about movies, comics etc. I reminisced to the days I had with the 17- year-old boy I once loved. I remember his voice and the way he laughed. How he loved messing up my hair and because he’s way taller than me, he did that many times . One day he pinched my nose and he said I had a funny looking nose. Maybe he meant I have cute nose. I would try to get him after he messed up my hair and tried catching him when he ran away. On the bus, I stared at the boy. When he suddenly turned around and I could see his eyes, nose, lips, mouth even his eye brows and I could’ve sworn he could be that 17-year-old boy’s son. They looked so much alike! This boys’s eye brows are thick and with distinct shape just like the ones I loved to look at on the face I so dearly knew well. 

The Q bus moved along the streets going to the park where in the Fall looks spectacular and  where the beautiful old houses are. I still had my eyes on the boy on the bus. I listened to his joke which was not funny. I listened to his story about his grandpa. My mind was still reminiscing to the other boy who took my heart away. Then after passing the park, the stop bell was heard. The boy got up, said ‘goodbyes’ to his friends and got off the bus. I remember when the other boy and I rode the same bus home from our high school. My heart fluttered. Though our journey was a short one and he would get off first, every time he said ‘later’ and waved when he got down the bus, I would memorize everything. The way he walked with a bit of spring on his steps. The way he put his hands inside his pockets and carried his backpack. Gosh, I missed him!! I could feel my eyes watered. I would’ve never thought that I would meet his doppleganger here, in a far away land thousands of miles from him. 

Another Wednesday came and I hoped to see that boy again. In the midst of people waiting for buses, I saw him. He wore a blue jacket and baggy jeans. We got on the same bus and he sat at the back. I was listening to my playlist and there were songs that had memories from my high school years. I remember a 17-year-old boy who loves blue, whom I gave a blue colored t-shirt with an image in embroidery one day. I especially spent my allowance for his birthday gift. The song that was playing on my phone was ours. All of sudden, I felt sad. It’s bittersweet. There he was, a boy who looked like him, sat not far from me and my mind would reminisce. Life has a funny way indeed to play trick with my heart. On Wednesdays, I kept on wishing to see that boy who looked like the boy I knew, once more. That 17-year-old stranger had given me the stories on board of the bus. The memories I kept about a boy I once loved came up every time I saw that boy. I wanted so much to stare and look at him closely. Maybe I could find something that I’ve been missing, the love of my youth.

(For November 13th)

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Women’s March NYC, A Day to Remember

Saturday, January 21st, was a special day for my oldest daughter. On that day, she had an audition in New York City with a music college that she applied for. We, my self and her sister, accompanied her to NYC. We took a train from our town and departed about 8:30AM. When we got on the train, a lot of seats were already occupied. That Saturday also marked a very important day for a lot of people, most of all the women, who live in United States, because that’s the day the Women’s March(es) were held all over the country. Many women, young and old, from many different background and race got on our train to go to New York City to participate with the Women’s March NYC. Some women who boarded the train later a long the way to New York brought along signs and posters. Between them were also some men who were as enthusiast as the women. Our train car felt very energized by the present of these people who chatted and became acquaintances for they shared the same thoughts and opinions relating to the new president. The atmosphere was really invigorating.

We reached our destination, Grand Central Terminal, around 10:30AM. After we went to the restroom on the lowest floor at the station, we went up to the main floor which is where the main lobby is and were surprised to see so many people who would participate in the Women’s March NYC flocking there. Some were children, mostly girls, who were beaming proudly putting on a show of their posters and signs for anyone who wanted to read them. It was fascinating! Of all the times I’ve been to Grand Central, that was the first time that that I felt the place was full of energy. My daughters and I passed by several people who were getting ready for the march. A woman with pink hair sat near one of the pillars while holding on to a poster, while on the other side two young women busy preparing their posters, writing some words with capital letters. Some women wore pink knitted hats that shaped like kitty’s ears. The hats became the symbol of the Women’s March movement. We then continued our journey to the building on West 54th Street where my eldest would have her audition. While we were walking from Grand Central towards the audition studio, we passed by several streets that were being cordoned for the march. New York City was getting ready for one heck of a celebration.

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After the audition ended around 1:30PM, as I promised my daughters, we walked towards the lower 50’s street to see the march. But then a chance arose when we saw the street in front of us wasn’t closed and so we blended in with the crowd that already started the march. It seemed my daughters and I started around West 52nd Street and walked towards West 54th Street. People in the march were in a very jaunty mood. They yelled and shouted but not in an angry manner, even though they spoke of disappointment, fear and sadness about the country’s predicament. People were very engaged to one another, saying ‘hi’ and getting acquainted. It was beautiful to be in the crowd.

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When we reached the last post (around West 54th Street), the march organizers asked us to disperse and go on our way to the street they showed us to go. So along with some people who stopped marching, we walked to the end of the street and had to walk further because a lot of streets were closed. By the time we got into the 49th Street, we met more people who were still marching. To get to the other side, we had to blend in again with the crowd and made way to cross the street. It was more like a celebration happening rather than a demonstration. It’s a democracy celebration for sure! On and on even after several hours have passed, even after my my daughters and I had a late lunch, when we walked to Grand Central to go home, we still met more people who were still marching. It was 5PM when we stopped by the New York Public Library and saw people gathering on the sidewalk next the building, looking at the signs and posters that some people brought for the march that were laid down just like an art exhibition. We walked through another crowd of people and amazed by the amount of people who participated in the Women’s March NYC. It was surreal! We certainly had a wonderful time in New York that day and had an experience and memories that we can share and cherish for a long time.

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The Poetry of Women’s March NYC

The year of 2017 begins with a ‘bang’! The anticipation from the US election in November 2016 became reality on January 20th 2017. A new president was inaugurated. But wait… Listen to the voices of women who moved together to resist, revolt, fight and speak up for social injustice! My daughters and I happened to be in New York City on Saturday, January 21st, when the women all over the country marched together with one purpose to be heard by the new government. We managed to be in the procession many times, because of the length of the march. Hundreds of thousand came and we witnessed a history. In this blog journal I only post the pictures I thought worth to show. The pictures of words upon words and illustrations of protests, disappointment, anger, anguish and fear that were written or drawn on pieces of papers decorating the streets of Manhattan. They were the poetry of a country in distress. Another journal will follow about our experience participating in the Women’s March NYC.

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