All my life I’ve suffered from motion sickness. Take me on a car or bus ride and I’d know right then what’s bound to happen. Once, on a van ride home, I tried to withstand it. A few kilometers passed and I started feeling weird as if the butterflies in my stomach wanted to break free. My throat went dry and the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. I thought I’d make it to ten but I was already throwing up at five. Experts said motion sickness is caused by mixed signals sent by our inner ears and our eyes to our brain. Well whatever it is, curse it.
There is a reason why I love long walks and hate the rides. But carousels are an exemption. For ours was a carousel ride. Your love took this heart round and round and round. You sent my butterflies flying in an uneasy state. My inner ears and eyes were sending mixed signals to my brain. My ears — they heard my scream and told my brain this needs to stop. My eyes — they’re drawn to you and told my brain it is time that needs to stop. Unable to comprehend, the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. But then you held my hands and I lost count of the numbers. The world stopped turning and the hour hands paused.
I love the carousel but I also want it to end. I want us to go north to see the beaches, south to hike the mountains. I want a destination not just a merry-go-round. I want commitment not just falling in and out of love. But if you ask me on a carousel ride, I’d still take it. I’d withstand motion sickness until you decide to make this a journey instead of running round and round.
Facebook reminded me that I wrote this piece two years ago this day. In 2017, I attended the two-day Cebu Literary Festival x Komiket event. Back then, my world was only limited to the four corners of my room or the pages of my books. It was a crucial year of existential crisis, all bottled up for so long. I struggled to find purpose and failed. It felt like I was functioning on auto pilot every single day and the only thing that would separate me from a robot would probably be poetry. Reading through my old poems, I could see how I was in a chaotic emotional mess. A hopeless romantic. An anxious human being trying to recreate her world through words. This piece is just one of those. I wrote it while listening to spoken word artists performing in front of me. In my mind I wanted to take the stage and express. In my heart, I just knew I can’t.
PLOT TWIST: Fast forward to 2018, I found myself onstage stuttering to the words of Pasabta Ko Palihug, a spoken word in my local dialect. Time flies! 😀