Marls and Thoughts

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Friday, May 16, 2008 with 2 comments
It’s been raining the past few days that summer seems to be bidding its adieu as early as this time of the year. After having my lunch--dinner actually when you work in a call center--I went downstairs. My plan was just to drop by a convenience store and load up on cellphone credits. But with the cool breeze that Typhoon Cosme brings, I bought some cigs and puffed away some minutes of my one-hour break outside the office building.

I haven’t laid my hands after about two weeks on Red Marls. Before I decided to take a break, I was experiencing some SOBs that the simplest of physical activity would make me pant for air. I’ve also been complaining of pain on a particular part of my chest. The worst case scenario I could think of was that I developed a respiratory condition. This was before I had the annual physical examination that our company requires of us. Good thing I haven
’t received any email from our company physician or nurse saying that they’ve seen some spots or clouding on my X-ray film. They usually send out those sort of emails if a negative result came back on any of the examinations. But I’m not looking at this as a sign that I should go back to smoking. I haven’t quitted really, but at least, this shows that I still have control of my vices, that unlike others who are having troubles shying away from a cigarette puff, I can say that I’m not a smoking addict.

Sifting the nicotine that my Marls bring, the events of the week that shocked the world came passing me by. Seeing the people scurrying around, trying their best not to get wet from the drizzle that the rainy season brings, our Asian brothers and sisters in Myanmar are experiencing far worse than we could ever imagine. Most are on the tenterhooks of life and death, battling deadly diseases, the loss of livelihood, in need of even the necessities just to survive through the day. From the latest report, 120,000 lives were washed away, figuratively speaking, when Cyclone Nargis wreaked havoc in their midst.

With the power interruption in the pantry earlier while I was taking my dinner, thousands of our Chinese neighbors are left and lost in the dark, both for those who have loved ones missing or unaccounted for and those trapped under ruins and debris of a heartwrenching experience. All this because of a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that shook the province of Sichuan last Monday; 12,000 lives came down with the rubbles, and thousands more are missing.

I sift my Marls and thought that despite the simplest troubles I encounter each day, I still am lucky: that I have a home to go to, food to eat, people that care. With the last whiff of smoke that came from my red cigar, I tried taking a deep breath as I readied myself to return to my desk and finish the work of the day. But the thoughts, like the taste of nicotine, lingered still.

Our prayers are with you.