Entering my Lola’s House

It’s been years since I’ve visited my ancestral home at Tomas Mascardo Street. I had lived there as a little boy and now I’m finally returning as one. Things look so different with her now making me feel more like an intruder than her favorite son. Yes, time the barbarian has mercilessly drawn the scars of pillage on her face, yet she still carries that dignified gaze of a captured queen. But lo’ she is quiet now…resigned to her fate it seems. There is no barking to be heard even as I fumble to reach for that creaky gate lock from the back. Bandit, the dog who protected me as a child as I played with my toy soldiers under that big guava tree on her backyard, Bandit, who licked my knees after scraping them against her pebblewashed floor is nowhere to be found. Just a silent breezy welcome…a blank stare, a cold embrace. The warm sound of laughter of those who once cared for me now cruelly replaced by some distant muffled videoke singing…staccatos of joy that can only be heard not felt. Inside as I enter I can only see darkness and sadness mixed with fond memories. Memories, yes memories…the only thing I have now…the only thing I can play with, like those little toy soldiers under that big guava tree. Suddenly the gate slowly whines as it closes outside. It is fine I tell myself…it is well.

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