chapter 11 

zadie smith quotes her husband, nick laird's poetry in her latest novel:

time is how you spend your love.

well, i've been a bit of a spend thrift during the past few years and i'm currently undergoing debt consolidation. i'll keep you posted.



for my uncle cesar 

my godfather passed away last night at home. we found out through a phone call. i immediately thought of my godmother and wondered what their house looked like right now. when i visited him in the convalescent home before he left the country for the last time, he played a DVD of last year's christmas in the philippines. he liked to collect christmas miniatures of lighted houses and people in snow-covered village settings. in the video, my godmother would just set up a fixed camera that just captured the two of them doing mundane things like winding up some of the miniatures to play music, or arranging them on the table. nothing more elaborate would happen on this video, but i knew why she recorded it. it's sometimes the most mundane and little things about a person that you miss the most, since they're the things you see the most often--more so than special occasions you shared, anniversaries, etc.. and maybe that's what she wanted to make sure she kept as a memory of my godfather--him shuffling around in slippers, a tank top and pajama pants with his chemotherapy bald head.

i wondered if the house was all set up again like he liked. my mom told me to say three prayers each night for him, "it might help him, you know." i used to be terrible at memorizing catholic prayers. i would always mumble through rosaries and fake it to my catechism teacher when we would have to say anything in unison. over the phone today, i tried to retain the words my mom wanted me to say for his passing spirit. hopefully, i can overcome my fumbling and help send him somewhere, anywhere that may put him to rest in peace.



without a church or a bible, i have my own faith 

I believe that things happen for a reason. I would love to believe in a god and I believe that my late grandparents and my brother watch over me. I think I’m given no more than I can handle, even when it’s so difficult to believe so. I still believe in love.

I believe that it is worth it to take a stand when no one else will and when you’re all alone. it’s like voting… even if the count is corrupt, I’ll be swearing otherwise until my dying day. I believe we’re all connected and that’s why we must stay on our toes. there are always consequences, even if we don’t see it for generations to come.

I believe we all possess each other’s memories but have lost the ability to remember each other. I think the heart is more accurate than the mind. I believe that truth is the real history and fact is just incident. whatever that means.

I believe when two people love each other… they’ll do whatever it takes to stay together. but, it has to be two people, and they have to know how to love.

I believe the present is the only place where we belong, with the past informing our way and the future inspiring it.

I believe the universe will give you things you need at a particular time.

and I believe all of the above is much easier for a second grade, later-to-be-catechism-dropout to remember and hold closer to her heart than any other creed.