Monday, April 05, 2004

The Cleft, the CAR and an Angel ? (angel stories 2)

Dear Mouse,
When I was a child, I was wondering why our ears are at both sides, our nose is in the middle of our face and there is a cleft on our upper lip. My playmate and I used to think that it was a canal for our nasal watery discharges. But why only one ,instead of two passages and why in the middle?

Then I heard from the old folks that to recognize a supernatural being like an angel, we should look for that cleft . If there is none, then he is an angel. They cannot explain why. They cannot tell what their sources were. They did not read books. So I presumed that these information were handed down from generations like our local fairy tale stories. (Yes we do have our own stories about dwarves, fairies and goblins). If you miss them, you failed to talk to old people in the province. They were more colorful than the Towers.

Then while reading about reincarnations and stuff, I read this:

--It is said and it is true that just before we are born, a cavern angel puts his finger to our lips and says:

Hush, don’t tell what you know”. This is why we are born with a cleft on our upper lips And not remembering of where we came from.

This is my own story. My older lady friend asked me to accompany her in Manila Hotel where her mother was billeted for one night courtesy of the airline company. Her flight going back to the US was cancelled due to engine trouble.

She was driving and she had to drop me home. It was past midnight and we just got past the US Embassy when the car engine coughed, chugged and slowed down and finally stopped. We looked at each other and as if by instinct, we chorused…paano na yan? Paano tayo makakauwi. We were deciding whether to call a cab or to walk back to Manila Hotel. Pero marami kaming abubot sa kotse. The moment we leave the car, lagot ang laman. That was the time when cell phone was not yet as popularly used as today; it is not only heavy to the pocket but it was also heavy as in HEAVY and bulky.(Ibig sabihin niyan, wala kaming cell phone).

Wait! There was a shape coming near towards our direction. My friend said. Baka ito yong angel na sinasabi nila noh?

He was one of those “ want-me-to-fix-ur-car-that –would cost you your arm, leg and thigh/ Isama na pati ang kuko-mechanics." They ride in bicycles and wait for driving ladies in distress.

He offered to fix for “I cannot remember” pesos. He gave as a guarantee that if the car did not start, we would not pay a single cent. My friend, desperate to go home in once piece with me as her responsibility, agreed.

He removed something from the engine of a car. I do not what it was. He replaced it with a “new one” and asked my friend to start the engine. Nothing.

He tinkered again and asked my friend to restart. Nothing. He gave up. He got a match and told us. Ito, pinakamadali and then sped away. Ayyyy...Bastos.

We decided to wait for a cab. You know taxis. They are like cops, when you need one, there is no one around.

Then two enormous headlights shone right in front of us. We did not notice when the truck came to park a few meters away in the opposite traffic. My friend whispered, saan nanggaling yan. Kanina pa ba yan? (Where did it come from and how long was it parked there? ).

The driver emerged from the truck and started walking towards us. Ngiiii, baka serial killer o kaya psycho?. My friend put up a brave demeanor while I was trying to visualize what would be the headline in the newspaper if ever. (Paranoid ako noh?).

He apologized for the blinding light but he said that it was dangerous to be in the dark. (Naku, kami pa ang kinatakutan).

He took a look at the car engine, pulled out something and instructed us to get inside the car. He told my friend that we should take the risk. He said that the moment, she started the engine, we should not stop even in traffic signals, just slow down and continue driving. Anyway it was early morning and there was a nil traffic. The moment, she stopped the engine, it won’t restart. He added that what he was doing was some sort of temporary relief.

My friend asked, how much. He smiled and waved us away. I thought I saw that he was missing a cleft.

The traffic lights were cooperating. It was all green lights. We reached my place, the engine sputtered and gave up the ghost. My friend stayed with us for the rest of the night(dawn)?

The next morning, we summoned the village mechanic to see the car.

He asked my friend…where was the…a part of the engine system. She said, it isn’t there ? No, was his reply. How were you able to drive the car without that? Did you fly? Niloloko yata ninyo ako.

Sabi ko na nga ba. Wala siyang cleft. My friend said…WHAT ?

The CA t


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