After the Great Flood, container ships were turned into floating ship-cities. Nanay and I live on the largest one: the Maersk Triple E-class. My lolo used to work here during the Time Before, and he was able to find a spot for us once the Big Storms began. Nanay and I live in a #FFC0CB Toyota Vios, which is the most common house model in the whole ship. She still calls them cars, sometimes vans, depending on their size. I just call ours bahay.

The last time we met another city we performed the usual exchange of goods; they had some extra clothes that we exchanged for house-cars. The weather has been very warm since the last Big Storms, so we use clothes from the Time Before to make flags for our intercity language. Yesterday, as I was weaving a new flag, I found a metal box under the house that I had never seen before. It was marked with a sign that read “I wish to communicate with you”. I opened it, and found a blue book full of old photos and a stained letter written in my mom’s handwriting: 

I love pulling out the blue album, with photographs of places around the world that you have been to, and of your workplace. I see you in front of a landmark or a monument, a statue or a building. Most photographs all looked the same to me: images of the ocean, ships, harbors and seaports. You, standing on the deck of a ship with piled up cargo containers in the background. Some photographs were labeled as Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Venezuela, Moscow, Copenhagen or Suez Canal. All sounded so far and strange to a child. I remember how every three or four years, you would come home with all of these products from different countries: perfumes, jewelries, clothes and toys like Barbie Dolls, Lego, Speak & Spell, and Game & Watch, to give as presents for all the birthdays and anniversaries you missed. Sailing through such memories and thoughts while stuck in your ship… is this how cabin fever feels like? Am I seasick?

A loud noise takes me out, the emergency siren is ringing: “you are running into danger”. I close the box and put it back under the house. It’s dark out. I look overboard, and I see a flashing light over the horizon that I had never seen before.