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Have you ever found yourself in a few, nuanced seconds of the day, feeling like you’re not really present and in the present; as if you were floating, drifting to some past, some memory which though rooted in what has happened in your life, appears more an amalgamation of everything: yesterdays, today, tomorrows?

Looking outside the bedroom window, there’s a warmth in the afternoon, a character in the way the sun’s light is filtered into aqueous shafts by the trees, a light auburn nostalgia hovering over the city which reminds me of my childhood but also of the recent joys and miseries in my life, and the anxieties wearing me down thinking about tomorrow.

I remember childhood friends and wonder where they are. I remember elementary school, the after class free play in the quadrangle, the joy of being called by the guard to know my mother had arrived to pick me up. Sensations and even scents are recalled as I peer into the hazy translucence of Manila’s impermeable time.

I remember the smile of the old lady begging outside church this morning, how full it was of promise, and how it melted the apathy that had begun to cover my soul. I remember the plans which make me look forward to a new day but find myself to equally possess a deep desire to stay put, to stretch the anticipation, savour every morsel of the clock that threatens to move faster.

My lungs are hollow. I seem to hover over time and I cannot even feel if “I am”. I pinch my arm, pluck the skin, test if I am really here, writing, wondering, questioning and expressing, as if the very vitality of existence depended on minute pain, while I continue in this weightless hour meditating, pausing. It seems odd, this feeling—this moment. Even writing about it, I question what I truly am experiencing. Almost like saudade but not quite.

A bittersweet feeling that everything is right.