Burning Of Memories (I Hate Termites!)

It has been two years since Ondoy devastated our country. Fortunately, our family didn’t experience what most people did, though the flood was few centimeters away from our door. But we felt Ondoy’s aftermath several months after it. 

Because our house wasn’t affected by flood, the termites from the house next to us moved to our place since it’s only natural for them to find some place dry. We weren’t aware of this until Mom discovered them in their bedroom. To our surprise, they were already all over their room even on the ceiling. And what’s worse is that they already destroyed some of Dad’s stuff which were two large boxes full of books and magazines. I felt sorry for Dad because I know the feeling of losing things that you collected and kept throughout the years (as for him, it was decades), and it’s one of the things that I hate the most.

It took us almost a week to clean all the mess. One thing that’s really annoying is that, termites’ saliva were hard to remove and nasty to look at. Another thing is that during the first day of cleaning, some termites already turned into moths and they were surrounding the lights that made it hard for us to see clearly. To ensure that they were not coming back, we removed all the lower wooden parts of the walls because that’s where they were hiding. Moreover, we also put solignum (a chemical that kills termites and prevents them from coming back) to all the affected areas. We even put it on the cabinets. 

I also checked our room because it is located beside Mom and Dad’s room and as expected, they started destroying things there, fortunately it wasn’t my stuff and it’s not that severe compared to my parents’ room. I cleaned all the mess, removed the lower wooden parts of the wall and also put solignum. Alas, the termite nightmare was over… or so we thought. 

One day, it hit me to find some of my old magazines. When I opened the cabinet it seemed normal until I saw a familiar stain. “No!”, I said to myself but my instinct was right, they were back. They didn’t come back to my parents’ room, but they transferred to our room AGAIN. I know I mentioned that I put solignum  on our room, but this time they nested on the ceilings and attacked downwards. How could I forget about it? I put solignum on the lower part but totally forgot that the ceiling is made of wood too.  Argh! But there was no time to whine, I had to move quickly. I removed all the books and magazines from the cabinets. I thought there were only few things that were destroyed and to my horror, they already destroyed my fashion magazines and several books! There were some that’s still in good condition, some were partly damaged, and those that were hopeless and there was no other choice but to burn them together with the termites.

So I was back on that feeling, the pain of losing things that you collected throughout the years. Actually, I think I am more attached with my stuff especially those with sentimental values than with people. Maybe because things are not most likely to change if they are taken care of properly compared to people.

Anyway, I watched as I burned my things. I burned them together with my memories of them. It pained me to see them that way but that’s the best thing to do. The only thing that ran through my mind at the time was that maybe it happened for a reason. Maybe this is nature’s way of reminding me to let go of the things in my past, things I don’t really need. Maybe I need to let go of them so that I can make room for more great things to come and maybe to connect more with people.  

After burning, I was so enraged that I put solignum on everything that is made wood in our room. I poured it all over the bowl and applied it through a paintbrush. (This method is easier compared to putting it on a spray container which has the tendency to get on your eyes).  I painted it to my heart’s content. And oh, doing that was quite a torture for me. I haven’t mentioned that solignum smells like hell. It has a very awful smell and it makes you suffocate and dizzy at the same time. I made a very strong mixture that one can smell it from all over the house and some of my cats even vomited because of it but I didn’t give a damn. I did what I felt was right even though it literally meant inhaling and breathing it. 

Today, I already moved on, but there are still termites on the ceiling and the only thing that’s keeping them away is solignum’s hellish smell (people can no longer smell it once it dries, only the termites do). Sometimes, I can hear them buzzing like they’re planning for another attack. We can’t remove the ceiling because that is pretty difficult, and besides our landlady has no budget to replace it. Perhaps, the termites already started destroying the second floor and it wouldn’t surprise me if the second floor will fall on us one day. It’s not that I’m asking for it, I’m just being realistic.

For now, I always check my stuff from time to time especially my collection of books and magazines. I’ve been more careful and vigilant after that. By the way, I returned them to the cabinet since there’s no place else I can put them. I just want to rest on the thought that solignum lives up to its promise. I put a lot of it anyway.

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