On the Fortunes amidst Calamities


Of course, I didn’t even know there was a typhoon coming until it actually hit.

I woke up to the sound of the wind howling, the trees whimpering and the chimes clattering. By the time I glanced out my window (at the predictable hour of 8:00 am), enough damage had occurred for me to come to the rapid conclusion that a storm was underway—and a severe one too.

(The last time I belatedly realized that a typhoon was in full swing, the warning had come in the form of an early morning call from the lobby guards of my previous flat:

“ . . . ‘lo . . . “

“Good morning, Ma’am. Si Bryan ‘to.”

“Yes, Mang B?”

“Ma’am, kelangan mong bumaba.”

“Bakit???”

“Lumulutang kotse mo e.”

Pause.

“Seryoso ka?”

“Opo, Ma’am. Kelangan mong bumaba ngayon na.”

That typhoon was Ondoy, of course, and the subsequent damage to my car was nothing compared to the losses other people endured. Of course, the point of this little trip down memories-of-calamity-lane was to simply underscore how oblivious I was, even then, to events of very serious natures.)

As if to validate my already drawn conclusions, Abbey added later: “Classes have been suspended.” And if that confirmation wasn’t enough, the power promptly died.

“Brilliant,” I sighed. “Just when I thought I had an entire day to work.”

“Tell me about it,” Abbey replied. “At least you’ve got a laptop.”

One hour later, at the Starbucks ten minutes away, the barista asked me if I wanted to switch my warm Caramel Brulèe Latte to a Frappuccino version instead.

“It’s really hot with the air-conditioning down,” she explained.

“It’s okay,” I smiled. “Lamigin namen ako eh.

Two hours later, in the oddly sweltering heat (odd in the sense that just five feet away, through the wide open entrance, the rain was thoroughly gusting), I realized that the barista had been absolutely right.

“You’ll need to come get me,” I told Abbey via text. “I’m dizzy from the heat and from staring too long at my laptop.”

Fortunately enough when we returned, we’d gotten our power back.

Hopefully, our fortune extends to everyone else.

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2 thoughts on “On the Fortunes amidst Calamities

  1. Ryan says:

    Hon, you really need to teach a class on sailing through these calamities “Patsy-like.” I really wish I had your sangfroid. I am hopelessly still an Edina when it comes to these things.

    Like

    • Eileen says:

      Ryan dear, who wants to be a Patsy if they can be an Edina? She gets to do all the cool things like puffing ten cigarettes at the same time or screaming “Abort! Abort! Abort!” at a best friend.

      Like

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