Care packages of the damned.

I have been waiting for my Paper Ink Arts package
more than a month now. They shipped it on December 27. I suspect my Rubinato
copper nibs and Brandauer rose nibs have been melted down for scrap together
with the steel rods stolen from Metro Manila’s bridges.

Over the holidays, Kayen accompanied me
to the Makati Central Post Office so I could claim one package that did make it.
The lady who was in the same line at me at the counter was complaining her
package hadn’t arrived yet, because the sender (a relative working in Japan) had
addressed it using only her first name, and she was wondering why it was taking
so long. The counter attendant asked the lady for the tracking number. She said,
oh, the sender lost the receipt, so I don’t think she has the number. But that’s
why she called me. It’s a very important package. The attendant banged a metal
clipboard on the table which held an inch-high stack of mimeographed forms. We
won’t be able to find it without the number, he said. (Well, of course, I

Perhaps her package and mine
are commiserating with each other over their sad fates. Somewhere in the dust
and linoleum and shreds of packing tape, perhaps they are now