On the porch leaning against the wall with a cup of coffee in my
hand, I was wondering if I was qualified to refinance my home
mortgage at a lower rate. In the background the soft voice of the
weatherman on television echoed.
“Enjoy your sunny weekend”.
Nothing was out of ordinary that when suddenly the ground beneath
my feet trembled. I sensed an eerie force pressing down on earth, a
silent roar perhaps, a motionless storm. The long rows of enormous
trees on both sides of the street shivered in harmony. Every house
shuddered and every parked car trembled in a symphony of
devastation. Before I could react, the next door house crumbled before
The ground cracked open and entire stretch of houses in the
neighborhood drifted away. The chasm in the earth widened with a
furious blast and entire city block ripped apart. In a matter of minutes
the same calamity occurred as far as horizon. An invisible dagger
viciously slaughtered the planet in my dazed presence.
I witnessed the world falling apart. For no apparent reason, the
earth shattered in millions of pieces like a porcelain piggy bank fallen
off a child’s hand. The immutable law of gravity ceased to exist and
enormous chunks of the planet blasted in every direction and
scattered in the universe.
Shockingly enough, my house was the only structure left completely
intact. The Armageddon had only spared me and my possessions. I
was blessed to be the lone survivor so I thought. The apocalyptic
event didn’t even spill my coffee to stain my clean shirt and to ruin my
day. In a matter of minutes, I found myself standing on the edge of my
new world in the shape of a slice of chocolate cake decorated with a
house lurking in a green yard peppered with weeds and confined by
the wooden fence. My beloved lemon tree was now slightly curved
supporting its shiny lemons yet its roots now were all exposed.
A little confused by the incident, I dusted off my pajamas and
fanned the air before my mouth then gently put the cup down and held
on to the yard’s faucet, cautiously slouched and looked down to
examine the depth of the disaster.
The small piece of the chocolate cake I was standing on was my new
world consisted of an old 2 bedroom house with a high monthly
mortgage. My home remained intact fully furnished with all basic
amenities with the attached garage pregnant with a 1957 Chevy. Yes,
my entire world was built on a flat concrete slab. My shock was further
compounded to see the crack on the foundation; the one ugly
symptom of the structural damage that drastically reduced my homes
market value was now miraculously disappeared by the earth
movement. I also noticed a few shingles missing on the roof, those I
could fix myself.
After the initial shock subsided, I contemplated the impact this
catastrophe had on my life style. It was impossible not to be affected
by such an unprecedented calamity. Yet I welcomed the doomsday as
an opportunity to simplify my life. First I thought of the leaky junk in the
garage. Now I was so glad I didn’t pay the high cost of repair. I had no
use for transportation in the future. So, the first order of business was
to get rid of the clunker before it ruined my garage floor with oil stain.
The garage door was open, so I shifted the gear in neutral and
pushed the car back and it nicely rolled right out the garage and fell
off the edge of my universe; I took a sigh of relief. The disposal of the
old junk out of my life however disturbed the balance of my world.
The piece of chocolate cake suddenly tilted and despite my effort to
stay on top, I too lost balance and slipped off the edge of the universe.
Before totally lose my grip and plunge into an eternal abyss; I grasped
the roots of the lemon tree I had planted in the yard and survived the
never ending free fall.
The world teetered a few times and finally regained its balance but
now I was below the surface clinging to the delicate roots. The clock on
the wall had also lost its balance and fallen; it too was hanging to the
edge by its flimsy minute hand. The distorted concept of time and I
were the only persisting survivors of this apocalyptic event. Neither
one of us could reclaim our original state.
I managed to survive below the surface under such peculiar
circumstance for a long time by digesting worms and grains I found in
the dirt underneath my home. At nights I could see the gleaming moon
crescent like a ruthless sickle dangling over my lonely tree in the yard.
My beloved lemon tree was leaning forward to extend its fragile limbs
to help me with a somber gaze like a mournful mother sobbing for her
dying child. As the time deformed, I witnessed my tree wrinkled in the
losing battle of life; its lemons gradually lost their zest in grief.
My prolonged existence underworld altered my perspective on
life. The physical survival was no longer the main concern of mine as I
realized how absurd it was to relive my life as if nothing had happened.
Instead of perpetuating a futile struggle to resurface, I embarked upon
an expedition into the depth of the chocolate cake to its very crumbs I
was clinging. I had lost everything yet like an addicted gambler I took
a demented pleasure in the bitter taste of loss.
The deeper I descended into the crux of life, the more bizarre the
journey became. And in the process, I acquired a vision, a vantage
point I never thought possible. The mundane linear concept of time
disintegrated and the shattered particles reconstituted to form a
perpetual series of expansion and contraction of moments in which I
Hysterically I was propagating on the vibrating strings of a mystic
musical instrument feverishly strummed by the rouge flashes of my
memories. I could hear a melancholic melody composed by the
filaments of despair and delight emanated into the air by the fibers of
Inundated by a vague mist of memoir my recollections play a
vicious game, a devious trickery on me. At times a delightful haze of
reminiscence caresses me yet before I can absorb the essence of its
charm and savor its nectar it viciously fades into the blurred corners of
my past. I cannot distinguish between the past, the present and the
future as the time has lost its significance forever. Reluctantly I accept
a vague blend of dreams and real events as the present; and every
day I further plunge into the chasm of the future, yet my cloudy
tomorrow oddly resembles my murky past.