A woman I unexpectedly bumped into inspired awe in me as I looked into the deeper side of her derangement. Now she lived in my mind.
How could she banish from my thoughts when she unfurled to me the Beloved’s Magnificence even in a dull lamplight? Should I remain tight-lipped about my heartening encounter with what some of the “devotees” called her as an “insane” woman?
Nobody seemed to put much attention on her every time (accordingly she visits the mosque anytime) she attended a gathering or snatched a sleep inside the mosque. She must have accepted the people’s treatment as if it was no more than she deserved.
Now let us take a glimpse of the menacing but powerful stroke of her insanity.
Albeit I missed the company of my fellow moms (vacation mode), a mentally unstable woman had perked me up five years ago three days before my birthday, a Thursday night during the monthly activity at the Blue Mosque (Taguig City): Mi’raj (Prophet’s Ascension).
As I wended my way out after my night prayer, the presence of a giggling woman, seated alone in an armchair alongside the hallway of the mosque, caught my attention. She was of small build in her thirties with a bony facial feature. She was dressed in a colorful striped shirt and old slack.
I stopped for a moment and greeted her. She flashed a warm smile, murmured to her right side and giggled with sheer delight. Suddenly she raved about many things and talked incoherently. I failed to comprehend what she said but the book (The Torah) in her armchair did not escape my watchful eye.
She murmured and continuously peered upward at the wooden carved design of the main entrance, facing her. Then she looked up at me, smiled and murmured to her right side as if she was in a conversation with someone else.
Did she pretend to be insane? I wondered.
But if she was out of her mind, she seemed to be a harmless deranged woman. So I dropped myself in an armchair beside her. She talked absolutely nonsense as I heard her murmured continuously.
“What is your name?” I befriended her. “Marissa,” she smiled and murmured non-stop to her right side. Now I was convinced she was not normal.
“My husband is just around waiting for me. I will be getting married,” she pointed her finger to the left side of the mosque. Again she murmured non-stop.
This puzzled me.
“I will show it to you,” as her hand tried to scribble something.
I requested a young boy beside me to get a pen and a paper.
“I believe in God and the prophecy of Muhammad,” suddenly she uttered this line.
“Who is your God anyway?” I asked.
“The one,” she replied.
I invited her to use the table near the dining area to scribble what she meant. We sat down while young boys cluttered together and joined us. When we handed the pen and paper to her, she refused to write.
“No, I do not know how to write. The figure is at home.” She said.
I gazed at her in confusion as she laid her back on the chair. She seemed to be tired and weak. She closed her eyes and murmured to her right side.
Did she experience a trauma?
I wondered what affected her mind as I requested one boy to get a glass of water for her.
“Thank you,” as she took a gulp and stood up a bit away from the table.
“There were three hundred prophets (maybe she meant thousands) but prophecy has no end.” She began to speak.
“And who was the last prophet?” I asked her. “Me.” she answered as she pointed her thumb on herself.
Does she deserve a bravo for her mind-blowing answer?
“I believe in God.” She declared this phrase again.
“Who is your God anyway?” I asked her for the second time as she roused my curiosity.
“The one, the one.” She answered back as her index finger steadily pointed upward.
“Subhannallah, Allahu Akbar!” She uttered this phrase twice.
Now she flipped through her book and told me to read the verse she pointed out. But I could not understand. It was written in Turkish. Then she looked at the message (written in English) at the back cover and read every word correctly! She even gave the synonyms of other words. This shocked me!
“What does it mean?” Though it was a clear and comprehensible English, I asked her to explain the paragraph she read. “No. I have no right to explain it.” She refused.
As she faced towards her right side, she murmured again. From her chest, she took out some stuff: a small pocket-sized Bible with a rosary inserted on it and took out two pocketbooks from her shoulder bag.
“Do you have a cigarette?” she demanded.
“No. I think no one is allowed to smoke here.” I replied.
Then she dug in her bag for a lipstick and applied it to her lips and murmured.
Now she smiled and gave a piece of admonition.
“You need to remove the hatred here,” as she pointed her index finger to her left chest.
“Why?” I asked and pretended innocence.
“Because if you won’t, there will be no wilderness.” (?) She answered.
Her answer was somewhat self-explanatory.
“Love must remain. And yes I love you all.” She seemed to preach to a large crowd. Now she laid her back and murmured.
How could she blow away the cobwebs with her unexpected phrases? I was dumbfounded by her words.
Few minutes passed, she went into a rant about her condition. She was out of control. She began to look annoyed and angry. Suddenly she raised her voice as if she had an argument with someone. She talked fast, non-stop.
I was a bit scared. So I stood up, and left the group for a while and look for my hubby.
I was glad to meet him on the hallway after his lecture. As we wended our way to eat our dinner, I saw Marissa walked opposite our way. I swiveled and peered in her direction. She bent and wore her rubber shoes near the entrance door, walked away and sat by the stairway near the gate. She bowed her head, hugged her bag and murmured as if on a fight.
“Go home now.” A young boy approached her.
“Yes, I will go out!” she stood up, became hysterical and hurriedly made her departure.
On my way home, this question ran around my head: How can I return the favor granted to me by a drunkard who had quenched my wine sickness with a drop of her crapulence?
What a birthday gift! Marissa was right. Love should remain. –JoyWadi
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