Never thought that I would treasure silence and being left alone this much.
The week passed with a day spent waiting at the Mandaluyong precint, then jump into a cramped in a sweaty, smelly police car, being transported to somewhere someone thought the suspect maybe living or hiding. Or both. Stuck there with five policemen, the baranggay officials,all seems to give me hope. Hope at finding a killer. The rain seemed to add to the melancholy and anger and frustration. While the Marikina river rises, flood waters are filling most streets and alleys, I was getting cold from the rainwater, the aircon and the feeling of getting into something I’d prefer not to. The photo they found proved to be a close match, but the suspect wasn’t there. And the process of going back to Mandaluyong seemed to take forever. All the while I’m catching a glimpse of what police life is – the machismo, the womanizing, the same frustration everyone feels about not being able to do anything because of the lack of funds while generals and superintendents wnd their families enjoy and wallow in their posh living. Sometimes cops do, wish to find a suspect red handed, and do with him what we all dream of – executing with extreme prejudice. But all they can do is work within the law. These cops are very much like everyone else. Same gripes with authority, same simple enjoyments, same male aggression and lusts, same ideals that somewhat got trampled by the system. The only difference is they have guns.
And the media.
Sometimes I’m puzzled by the sheer diligence and determination of Alex Santos. I was in touch with Andrea Bautista, Macel halili and Alexa Reyes, but mostly only if I feel that I would not hinder anything with the investigation. I’m sure the news are only doing their jobs. Heck, I feel our own Tv5 News reporters have the sense not to badger me too much about it. Cops and Media? Not good bedfellows. Trust me on this. But I commend Macel and Andrea and Alexa for being sensitive enough to give me enough space.
You’d think we all know what life cops live? Not even close. There is a certain subculture, much like yuppies and lawyers and Archers and Eagles live. It’s a closed circuit not every person can understand. They find solace in finding kindred spirits, somebody who knew somebody. An affiliation built on military and police connections. Put them where I work and they would probably scratch their heads at what we in the graphic industry might be talking about. They pretty much cuss like everybody else. And they are human too.
But after that day where I couldn’t just drop everything and report to the police about a suspect they thought fit the description, and was otherwise proven not even a close match. I was battered by pleas from Mamu’s family. We all want to find Mamu’s killer, but if we get involved with the investigation emotionally, all methods get’s thrown out the window. I wish now, more than ever, for us, the living to stay focused and not aggravate those who may want to stand as witness but gets riled by the insensitivity of other people, relatives and friends.
Meanwhile, every stain on every wall looks like dried blood spatter. Every good looking twentysomething guy I see on the street I try not to stare. It got so heavy, I added a padlock hasp with a sturdy padlock on the door. I tread softly keeping an ear on sounds not familiar. Even with the subdivision gate now guarded closely, and Coronado Heights, being this close to the Baranggay Hall, I felt the need to keep a knife close when I sleep, with a single light on.
I need to be, yet it feels like sandpaper, scraping bits and pieces inside me, wanting to talk to someone, and yet the fear of friends and family getting caught in this conundrum keeps me still and just while my time with watching NCIS and CSI:NY. I watch now more than ever, to keep me company.
Hope that somehow we could have these kinds of technology and dedication. The hope that killers get what they deserve. And that cases like Mamu’s can be closed, solved. The optimist in me keeps on hoping. The comfort that maybe, just maybe, like a tv series, the case gets solved.
I’m keeping my hopes up.
So, it’s Monday. Work, while I take pride in what I do, seemed to be my only source of comfort these days. My co-workers, bless them, have the sensibility to not talk about the incident in heavy tones. I love these geeks. I’m one of them. And they have successfully kept me sane all this time, along with friends who are keeping in touch.
Have to work now.
[Please forgive my obvious typos and errors. I don’t draft posts. I just write what comes to mind. Often, rearranging the paragraphs so readers can find order in it.]