How does it feel to lose something precious which doesn’t belong to you in the first place?
The Gathering Mist
I felt the shudder as I rest my back on the cushioned seat at the beat of the rotors with the accompanying turbine whine. We took off at 0635H as the morning was just beginning to unfold the ravages left by the past evening. The world tilted a bit as the aircraft nosed down, gathered speed and banked its way to level flight. I had a glimpse of that piece of man-made enclosure which had encaged my life for the last 4 years of loitering the ground, the unit hangar situated amidst the vicinity of the General Aviation Area of the Domestic Airport. And farther still, higher, all the accompanying man-made cages in a neighborhood of that metaphorical urban prison. There are prisoners who get caged and jailers who live their lives watching those behind bars. If you are free but confined to look after those caged where is your freedom? There are criminals who get caught and those who walk scot-free with crimes committed only the Divine Eyes bear witness. There are guilty people amidst the multitude dressed in splendid, costly clothes living in abundance beside the innocent majority dressed in tattered clothing who were continually being deprived of their right to a decent life while enduring the blame. I was strapped in the seat of a government helicopter dressed in flying suit looking a bit innocent than the typical prisoner convicted to meet his creator on a death sentence strapped on a deathbed with a bountiful meal before getting lethally injected. Who could better guess who’s on the lucky side, I who gets on the flight with an empty stomach who still gets the time of my life loitering the planet in uncertainty or the convicted criminal sentenced to death with a full stomach who gets an instant access to get out of life’s portal freed from the guilt of the flesh? Life is uncertain as it is full of irony.
The atmosphere above the decaying, messed up metropolis was filtered in thin smog, I was reminded of a news column I’ve read the past week regarding Asian Development Bank’s research on air pollution yielding result that the national capital has prospered into being the third most polluted city in the world. So much that I’m getting the odd feeling of having been sentenced to death in all my innocence aside from the lucky criminal in comparison, I may have just a little freedom of choice to be gassed up living my life in a messed up city that is slowly turning into an enlarged gas chamber with a potpourri of all noxious scents. . . .the smell of discarded garbage, the stench of murky sewers, the carbon monoxide from car exhausts and a variety of other unnamable gases that assure a scented death to the average city dweller. Camp Crame was a little more than 5 minutes by air but it could have been longer if you are caught in deep thinking. Air Traffic was negligible at 500 ft. above sea level yet road traffic was a headache on the ground, a glimpse of the busy EDSA (Epifanio DelosSantos Avenue) on a Tuesday at 0630H in the morning speaks for itself. I had barely resurfaced from deep thought feeling the soft thud of the chopper’s skid when we landed on asphalted ground in front of the grandstand inside the Camp. Alighting to open up the doors for pilots to get down after the engine shut-off, I joined the wait for our passenger to arrive. I took the waiting making spot checks on the engine compartment taking a peek for a sign of fuel/oil leak along the lines yet there was none. I consumed the waiting leaning beside the helicopter at the average sight of officers and men on athletic attire taking the routine morning jog around the grandstand. There’s that odd feeling of being quite a celebrity getting off from a helicopter at the first hour of the day while the rest of the population was messed up at the day’s traffic.
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