Thursday, December 26, 2013

In this world that never stops talking

Disclaimer: Please read with an open mind. I don't mean anything in this post to be offensive and please bear in mind that this post is written with most innocent intentions.

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Earlier today, I went to SM to look for a Christmas gift for partner. It's better late than never as the saying goes. The mall was filled with people and the surrounding sounds created a cacophony still full of Christmas cheer. A salesman trying to sell a videoke product can be heard singing at the top of his lungs, the laughter from a group of high school students euphorically filled the air, and the crying of kids asking for their mommy and daddy the toys they want danced along the toy-filled stalls. The mall was filled of the holiday spirit and the jolly good ol' me was infected by it. I didn't feel alone as I swam through the sea of people looking for the perfect gift. I really had a hard time looking for one. Given that my partner's a lot older than me, earning better than me, I had no idea what to give him. I don't want something that's easily spotted in a mall so I settled for the least possible section he might pass through: bags. So, I bought him a bag perfectly fitted for his iPad as he usually carries it around by hand only.

Happy with my purchase, I went to the gift wrapping section to have my gift wrapped (so unromantic of me) and I decided to join in the noise. I called my partner to check up on him and happily chatted with him over the phone. I realized I was a bit loud but no one minded as everyone was busy themselves talking. After having my gift wrapped, I went to the jeepney terminal bound to city proper and happily seated. I took notice of the last three young people, possibly in early years of college, who got on the jeepney as the jeepney went its way.

Holidays entail traffic and the province is no exception. While stuck, two of the three people, one was sitting beside me while the other one was across her, started gesturing towards each other using their hands. Sign language. I watched and I stared at them. I know it was rude of me but I can't help myself so I stared at them. They were smiling and having fun and yet the jeepney was filled with silence. No one was talking. No one was laughing. But despite of it, two people were conversing to their heart's content. It was somehow peaceful knowing that words were not necessary for them to be able to express their deepest.

Sitting beside the person across me was a young effeminate gay guy and my attention shifted towards him as I watched him put on his lipstick. To my surprise, he joined in the conversation and started gesturing with his hands as well. The other two smiled genuinely, their eyes full of glee as they watched the hands of their friend. Silence still filled the air.

I didn't know what I felt but there was something with that gay guy that pulled of my heart's strings more. I realized that maybe because he must have gone through tough times. I, as an effeminate gay guy as well, had to endure what life throws at people like me and I can imagine what he has gone through. On top of that, he's mute. I know it may sound judging but let's face the brutal fact that life is more difficult for them. There's a few opportunities that I could only think of available to people like them and if gays had problems looking for a welcoming environment, what more for the mute gay guy?

"Bayad po," the silence broken by the girl who had her fare passed from the back of the jeep. The mute gay guy took the money and stretched his hand out. 

The jeepney driver was unaware of his hand so he said in garble as loudly as he could, "Ngayad ngaw po."

The other two gestured hands and I think one of them took notice of me watching. They laughed. The gay guy laughed as well. They reached their destination and the one nearer to the driver signaled that they needed to get off. 

The jeepney was still filled with silence, my consciousness, on the other hand, left the jeepney and went with the three young people. My heart was with them and I came to a realization that what I felt was not pity but rather admiration. Admiration because these three people braved the world full of prejudice and judgement and yet they still can laugh not only with their smiles but with their eyes as well. I admired them for being resilient, no matter what life threw at them, they were still able to lead happy lives. They had every reason to tell God, "Why me?" and yet they seem grateful for what they have.

I sat there in further silence, the noise that I left at the mall seemed so distant in time and in place. I further contemplated what I have witnessed and realized that they are the blessed ones. The mute and the deaf are blessed in a way. They may not be able to hear but their sense of touch has heightened. They can only hear silence which made their eyes more open. They had peace behind all the noise we make. They have more time to reflect genuinely. They may not be able to speak but in silence they can communicate. They may not be able to express themselves verbally but they express themselves through action. Through touch. They became more sensitive and more receptive, maybe even selfless, and it made me want to get off the jeep and look for the three young people who made a mark in my life this holiday season. I want to get to know them better. Especially that gay guy. Bless him. What does he feel being part of a minority of a minority?

I got off the jeep but try as I might, I have to accept the fact that I may not be able to find them. My feet dragged me towards home, to the comfort of my room, my own little world. A little bit of noise downstairs can be heard, partly because of my family, mostly from the television. I closed the doors and once again I was filled with silence.

Sometimes, words are overrated and silence is under appreciated
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in this world that never stops talking.


*****


Credits to Susan Cain and her book title, The Power of Introverts in World that Can't Stop Talking (2013), for giving me the idea to perfectly end this blog post .

24 comments:

  1. God read... i was kinda watchful because of the disclaimer.... nothing offensive naman...

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    1. Thanks, Senyor. The disclaimer is my safety net in case a statement is misunderstood since it's kind of a sensitive topic for me. A huge relief at least one found nothing offensive. Thanks! :3

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    2. I second the motion! nothing offensive. just surprising.

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    3. this, this is surprising :)

      "I, as an effeminate gay guy as well, had to endure what life throws at people like me..."

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  2. Interesting :) All our posts these week seems to be so Christmas-oriented haha :) I guess the spirit of Christmas is working its magic by making us all feel warm hearted :)

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  3. nice post. :)

    alam mo ang galing nga niya. minsan iniisip ko rin kung anong pinagdadaanan ng mga mga beki na may kapansanan... parang doble doble pa sa pinagdadaanan natin.

    nakakaproud nga si ate. :)

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    1. Diba? It's like you're part of a minority of a minority? 1% ng 1%? Minorityception?

      Thans, kalansay. :)

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  4. this just touches my heart. :)
    feel so blessed. :)
    Jo here

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    1. Nice to hear that. Thanks. Happy holidays, Jo. :)

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  5. Silence is a pill for the confused, a sanctuary for the broken, and a beacon for the lost.

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  6. I dont think that this is offensive.... like you I admire this people who can face the world with courage and they dont mind even if they are not capable in speaking in a normal way.

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    1. Thanks, Rix. They're strong and courageous and those are the qualities I most admire about them. :)

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  7. Nice post. I am in awe as well with the spirit that they have. There's usually a group of deaf teenagers as well in the food court of Glorietta and I find it peaceful to sit near them. Not just because it is quiet but also I am amazed by how they have adapted with what they have.

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  8. Whats offensive about the post?
    Sounds like you are a guy that values silence.
    That is a good thing in my book.

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    1. Thanks. I was just afraid some statements may sound condescending for those who are deaf or mute. I guess I could put the disclaimer down now. :3

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  9. it must have been a double burden. and if he's not well off too then that makes it triple. I really wish him well.

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    1. Yes. I agree. I wish him well too. Only if you've seen his smile, you will be amazed. You will see how strong he is and how much life has given him. You will melt.

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