Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the devil haunting me

200512130647hrs: T

Emily Rose is powerful because it leaves you dreading demons long after you’d gone out of the cinema. I have friends who tell me that they’ve been waking up at 3am for whatever concern after watching Rose. I always tell them that they shouldn’t worry because they don’t have names compelling enough to become movie titles.

Emily Rose is scary because it reminds us of Hell and its population of demons. That we are entirely helpless- we can’t put up any defenses against the Devil to protect us.

People will say that Faith in God is a defense. But this wasn’t even implied in the movie, with the exorcism failing.

Or it didn’t exactly fail. The whole point of the movie is that God allowed the possession to happen so that we may be reminded that we should be perpetually mindful of our spiritual state, and to impress upon us the existence of the Devil.

I met my own version of the devil two nights ago. It was just little past 3am when the doorbell started ringing incessantly. I woke up and thought, how rude. What kind of emergency could there be to merit this? My mind was still in the shock of being brought to an untimely consciousness to consider the possibilities.

I ran to the gate, looked through the peephole, saw no one there, and went back into the house.

Then the doorbell started acting up again.

I went back to the gate, flushed with anger, yet this anger was also tinged with fear- I was in the midst of the muddle of interrupted sleep. I opened the gate but made sure that I was blocking it with my foot, just in case I needed to close it quickly.

I saw a man hunched over in the darkness. He was bald. By that, I mean that he had no hair. The scalp was clean. That was evident in the dark.

He had on a checkered polo, with a white undershirt.

“Sino ka?” (“Who are you?”), I asked, indignant, at having been woken up in the middle of the night.

He stood silent. I glared at him, not sure what emotions were registering on his face.

“Si Aguinaldo, sir.” (“I am Aguinaldo, sir.”)

I must have looked perplexed because he added, “’yung dating guard sa opisina, sir.” (“The former guard at the office, sir.”)

At that, I looked closely at his face. He was telling the truth. At that moment, my mind was a blur of thoughts. What is he doing here? What does he want? Why is he here? What does he want with me? Why is he bald?

I didn’t know what to do, but anger welled up from somewhere deep inside of me and I scolded him as I said, “diyan ka lang, ah, ‘wag kang aalis! Babalikan kita!” (“Stay there! I’ll come back for you!”) Then I slammed the door on him and walked back to the house in annoyance, while I debated what to do. Once I’d calmed down, I walked back to the gate and opened it. He was gone. I went back to bed and slept.

That was two nights ago, yet I’m reliving the experience in my dreams. The bald man hunched over in the dark. He was once our security guard in the office. He was always smiling, he always looked happy.

He was the best dressed security guard I’d ever seen in my entire life, with shoes polished and hair moussed up with gel. He was always glowing.

That image of him is now replaced with that of the bald man in the street, ringing my doorbell with a sense of desperation. Till I came out to glare at him.

He lost his job. That’s how it is, we’ll say. That’s all it is. But for him and others like him, it means that there will be no more food on the table. No more.

That’s the devil that’s haunting me now.


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