Bolacado

Ekow Manuar
3 min readMar 1, 2023

All it took was to throw my avocado seed in the bin and the world became a better place.

I couldn’t tell you what, but something in me went away with that seed. Soon, I would wake up at night and feel a movement. Then sometimes during the day, an itching. The days were bloody hot, so I thought it was that. But the itch grew stronger even with my AC-blasting.

In time, an energy sprung from within me. A surging manifestation of ‘something’. I didn’t know where it was coming from. But I was left feeling like there was a presence existing outside of me.

My nights became restless. My appetite completely compromised. And my mood constantly in disagreement with my surroundings. What the hell was going on?

In a dream one night, I saw an image of a tree sprouting from a mountain of rubbish. It’s leaves rustling under the rays of a morning sun.

When I woke in the morning, I took it upon myself to find this ‘something’. I checked my ‘Bola App’ for where my trash went from so many days ago. I pushed all my meetings to the next day and asked Alexa to ‘shut up!’ about my exercise routine. I was on my way to Pangtang landfill.

When my Uber pulled up by the dumpsite, I was shocked by what I saw. It was no mere dumping place, but a dense monstrosity of a mountain. As far as the eye could see. Left. Right. Up up and away. All of bolar/trash. There was even a map at the foot of the mountain to help guide people. The dumpsite was broken down into different segments of trash. Metals, Plastics, Compost, Other…

Where was I to go?

But before I could start my voyage, security men scrambled to me asking what I was there for. I didn’t know how to explain, so I went for my next best solution; Money. First problem solved. Time for the next…

I trekked the savage mountains, crunching into something indescribable with each step. Amidst plastic peaks, I trekked through billowing columns of smoke and waste scavengers, looking for value. Underneath the scooting of birds searching for their wants. At times I struggled out of smothered clothing. Matted down with filth.

From nowhere, a girl came up to me. My first reaction was to shoo her away, as was custom in the city. But her eyes told a tale of resilience. She motioned for me to follow her. We walked for God knows how long. She never faltered but walked with an assertion and authority I couldn’t deny.

Then she stopped.

I caught up with her as she pointed something out. I looked in the direction. And there it was.

I fell to my knees and crunched the trash beneath. Smoky smells stung my tearing eyes. I had seen nothing more beautiful, and smelt nothing more horrific.

My seed had grown into an adult tree. How I knew it was mine, God knows. All around it women, young and old, plucked avocados and placed them in their baskets.

With each avocado they picked a tear fell from my eyes into the trash. Somewhere beneath me, I could feel that movement starting again.

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Ekow Manuar

The stories we tell have a life of their own and they work between the realm of what is real and how we conceive that reality.