A friend’s Facebook status made her pause
it said, “What do I want?”
it was easier to answer then –
it wasn’t as abstract as it seemed in her later years
flipping through the pages in her mind
she searched for the answers she had to the question then

she wanted toys on certain days
to get on the seesaw and swing on others
to have Dairy Queen ice cream at Cubao most of the days
half-way between being a child and a teenager
she wanted her Daimos, Mazinger Z and Voltes V back on air
-          its “violent content” irked the despot who fancied Martial Law instead
and time to read when she was still walking around
in ruffled socks and a dress with puffy sleeves

caught between university and the world
she desired to score a goal for the team
make it to the university honor roll
get through her Shakespeare class – her professor didn’t take kindly to her
have her favorite banana fritter
ogle Johnny Depp in 21 Jumpstreet
and time to read

out in the real world
she wanted to travel around Southeast Asia, Bali, London, the US
drink at Clarke Quay, Brix, Bar None
collect boots and stilettos
salon pampering
professional colleagues
competent bosses
steadfast friends
a family
a house with a garden
and time to read
until her bubble world unraveled

still out in the real world
her life no longer in disarray
she stops and recites her mantra:
“inhale, exhale…think…simplify and breathe”
what did she want?
it was back to basics was what she wanted:
palabra de honor, hindi kasinungalingan
delicadeza, hindi kagaguhan
pakikisama, hindi pagiging makasarili
sariling pag-iisip, hindi walang pag-iisip
freedom to think
respect for differences
sense of safety
true friends and relatives
and time to read

That’s what the woman wants

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