Where’s The Bolo?

Ganahan na jud kaayo nako patyon ni’s
Madame, pisteng gi-atay.

I don’t like her anymore. Why does she still barge into my room with a bowl of oatmeal and hot coffee?! Ingon bitaw ko’g AKO ra’y muhimo sa akong kaugalingong breakfast! Nyewe re


“Put yourself out there!” she exclaims, loud enough for me to flinch.

Oh God, I hate flinching. It reminds me of those many years ago at home — a time when I was always on edge. An awkward and insecure kid who was bigger than most of her classmates, always on edge. Struggling to make sure that she didn’t get more than four questions wrong on her exam. Trying her best not to knock over some house decor, or change the channel when she wasn’t supposed to — or even breathe wrong for that matter. Otherwise, the uptight captain of that ship full of emotional lassies would put her in a world of…

ay, basta.

Madame hums a tune from a far-off time and place as she irons a white collared blouse I knew I had, but never minded. The tune was familiar, as was the blouse. I think I’ve only worn it once. Heard it once.

“Madame, please.” I said, “Di man ko mulakaw, ‘ron!”

Madame hums louder.

…where’s the bolo?

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