a short exercise in nostalgia

Constraint: Age-based writing prompt.

Age I was given: 12

Where I lived:
In a half-finished two-story house made of Styrofoam and cement in a hilly subdivision two kilometers from the home I grew up in. The walls still waited for paint. We walked on linoleum floors. In the afternoons my mother gathered broken ceramic tiles to build a fish pond in the front yard with.

What I did:
Finished reading The World Book Encyclopedia volumes 1 to 22. Started reading 18th century English novels tucked in between textbooks while pretending to pay attention in class. Spent most of recess and lunch in the library. Sucked at social dance and basketball, and loathed PE. Sang opera in the bathroom and soprano in the Glee Club. Watched a lot of anime. Spent weekends playing Monopoly and studying with the pretty girl next door for entrance exams to science high schools, which we would not pass.

What I drove: 
Most everyone crazy with my alternating modes of wallflower and bitch.

Who had my heart: 
A handsome brown-and-white mongrel my mother named Brusko, and whom I renamed Bubu. Also, Kurapika—smart, gorgeous, and angry—from Hunter X Hunter.

Now: 
I live in a university campus dorm, in a room at the end of a corridor, with a girl older than I am by almost a decade. The colors of our walls match those of my room at home, as do the curtains; but my dorm bed is much smaller and there aren’t as many books.

I still read books—indeed, do it for a living. But no longer the heavy, hardbound volumes I used to pore over on a table or the floor. I read from screens with a swipe of a finger, and switch between texts with Alt + Tab. I hardly ever go to the library, though I miss it very much. My sanity hangs on daily athletics, or a semblance of that. I sing indie in the bathroom, and in public only with karaoke and maybe a bottle of Tanduay Ice. Stopped watching TV. I try to spend weekends in the mountains, on a strange road or in a backpacker’s lodge, or by the sea.

I still haven’t learned how to drive, and try to walk as much as I can.

My heart is an empty room.


If you want to try this exercise in nostalgia too, comment on this post and I’ll give you an age. :3

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