Ang Djana Sang Manhattan

 ETCS along Libertad Street. Ballpoint pen drawing on Moleskine pocket notebook.

I was told their names were Mercurochrome, Iodine and Paregoric. They were so white and they looked like the sun was going to melt them as they squinted in the daylight. I never saw them play with the neighborhood kids. I think their father was a foreigner. He owned  the big band club along Lizares Avenue. I remember being awakened at four in the morning when the band marched along Libertad Street playing John Phillip Sousa. As it circled the block, the sound became faint until it finally faded.

Sometimes when our mother was already awake, we would hear her stirring in the kitchen. My sisters and I got up from bed and ran down to her. We begged her to let us get out of the house in our pajamas to watch the marching band. The day was dawning. Nanay let us walk down to the edge of the concrete driveway. The marching band was called "djana." Some days they wore their dress uniforms. 

The faint light of the breaking dawn silhouetted my sisters' faces. They were talking, smiling and giggling. They shared a joke. I was too young to join. My sisters Beck, Leah and Freah were frequently together, always laughing. I remember looking up a lot.