May 13, 2002

The Fire Trees of Rizal Roads

The trip to my province in Quisao was essentially a grim errand. When I got there, I was angry that the Godfather postponed the face-off. It's not fair, really, because we're losing time and money going back and forth at his leisure. A thousand forms of retribution swam yet again in the stream of consciousness. But I had better things to do. Besides, if I'll be playing on the side of the angels, I must follow their rules, however damn noble, impractical, and tasteless these usually seem.

On the way there though, I saw fire trees aflame with their red blossoms. They were emaciated along the dusty byways of Tanay and adjacent towns. Yet, even that way, they were lovely, dignified like the determination of the downtrodden. They were so beautiful that I forgot to curse my errand. My own haste began to peeve me. They were so grounded, so earthy, as loud as anything red on green. But they have their silent quality as they sway to the breeze and the rush of PUJs, tricycles, and busses. In the way that something that mourns is always both deafening and soundless.

I grew to love even the heat that oppressed me then because it was the character of the very season that brought the fire blooms forth. The fire trees here are different from those I see in UP, in that path I walk from the Faculty Center to the Post Office.

But the flowers there will have their time if my designs bear some fruit. For now, there is the postponement, work, some editorial jobs I got on the side, and some meetings I have set-up with people I sorely miss.

And the memory of the petals I espied, fortunately once more, in the morning I made my way back home.