Friday, September 25, 2009


After Tom Victorino

Once there was a bloke, someone whose aged figure blends well with the younger folks at work. He was fondly called "Meyor" as a gesture of respect, and because without him, the team would be a little less bonded if not huddled among their own flock.

Like wine stored in wooden barrels to mature, this bloke acquired a distinctive taste different from those he shared the same age. He was the heart of merriment and was the guest of honor in every drinking spree his teammates had put up for different occasions. With his trade mark leather boots, long, white pony-tailed hair, a grin with a missing tooth, skinny jeans and dress shirt splattered with psychedelic colors, Meyor lived like he had never outgrown the Groove age. He was the last among the Hippies and wasted no effort to hide it. His true nature shone at every gathering and every small talk he was in.


He was hired soon after my uncle joined the company. They were best friends as far as we know, and with a third wheel to keep them merry, they were known infamously as the Oldies within the team. The two men - my uncle and the third wheel - live their lives very different from Meyor. They were reclusive; perfectly aware of time turning its back on them and they were cautious when dealing with kids for reasons that their antics were too strange for them. Meyor on the other hand, was different. He was a free-spirit whose openness and independence made him one of the most loved characters at work. The boss, whose eternal graciousness touches random people at the floor ordered a huge bilao of Pansit during his birthday. Agents from other shifts, who have known him through the years greeted "Happy Birthday Po..." to the laughter of everyone.

Our lives crossed when I was assigned officer-in-charge a few months back. The Assistant Team Leader will have her first baby and I was needed to take charge of her responsibilities. The ATL warned that the Oldies were the most difficult group to deal with. Telling short of being troublemakers, her impressions bore deep within my psyche. My female counterpart vowed never to deal with them and despite my uncle belonging to the group, I was afraid that familiarity may breed intrigue within the team.

Meyor had a history of being mischievous, if not downright naughty towards the people around him. During our swimming outing last summer, he showed his butt (and some claimed even his birdie) during a dare session with the ladies. The ladies were all red-faced of course, but they knew well that Meyor was just having fun. Being a closeted "ladies" man, everyone was assured that nothing untoward will happen during our extended work break.

As a colleague, I always knew him as someone who loved his job more than everything. They say old dogs find it hard to learn new tricks, but Meyor was a puppy whose glimmering eyes shone excitement when introduced to new things. I taught him once how to print screen an image and save it as a jpeg file. One time, I gave him hints on how to deal with difficult user situation from where he learned much.

For all the impressions that his stubbornness and playful attitude would cause me a lot of headache, the truth was Meyor acknowledged my authority more than anyone else at the floor. He was cool enough to ease the tension when the situation calls for it, and gave his selfless support at a time I needed it most. He was rewarded by the boss with a new account at the end of my term, which made him one of the fluctuation proof among the commission-based agents in his team.

Soon after I returned my duties back to the Assistant Team Leader, I left the Afternoon Shift to take higher responsibilities elsewhere.


"To the friends and relatives of [insert Meyor's name here] has passed away and joined our Lord this morning - [name of his wife]"

September 23, 2009

A week had passed since Meyor suffered a massive stroke. His doctors told that his condition was beyond recovery and that time was running out for his friends and loved ones to see him alive. His best friend - my uncle - was inconsolable. The mood in his shift was depressing. The same day the news broke out, I quietly slipped out - without telling anyone my plans to visit - to see for myself his condition. He was in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital in Fairview. Talking to his wife, I learned many things about him that only few people in the office knew about.

He was a year shy of being sixty.
It took him a decade before finding a job again.
His wife is ten years younger than him.
They were both into sales and that something tragic had forced Meyor to turn his back from his profession.
His 90-year old mother is a "psychic" and lives alone in another continent.

These things, I knew nothing before. I think not even my colleagues knew of these details. As Meyor's wife recalled how his last breaths gave way to expiration, his final hours played back, like it was the same story my father had before he passed away. The wife understood the predicament and knew that his husband was at the end of the line. Much as I would like to feel sorry that he had to fight for his life before being granted peace,

I should at least feel relieved.

Meyor lived a funky life.

I went to his wake yesterday morning, still unaccompanied and unknown to everyone. I viewed his casket and saw his lifeless remains wearing a pink long sleeves topped with a black vest. A velvet black tie runs down the entire length of his chest. His long white hair, which he often ties at work was now flowing freely behind his back.

In death, Meyor still grooves.

I departed the chapel unannounced like my arrival. His sole keeper, his son perhaps slept the whole time I was there. Only my name etched on the guest list served as a proof of my quiet presence. This is how our relationship was when he was still alive. We had this kindred connection; this distant yet warm ties that allowed us to walk the same ground together. Just like in death, where remembrances matter most in the days of grief. Our brief transit reminds us that young and old, lives crossed heed no bounds.


period said...

condolence po...

blagadag said...

what can i say? peace be with you, soulja. may meyor rest in peace.

engel said...

nice memoir.

my prayers to the family he left behind.

tim said...

hey there.. cool topic..

Ako Ang Lukayo said...

Hindi ko man na meet ang Meyor pero nararamdaman kong old soul din siya...

vaya con dios meyor!

Aris said...

may he rest in peace.

our lives are enriched by those we cross paths with.

Knox Galen said...

Aris: He is at peace. :) Ewan ko lang kung na-cremate siya today.

Lukayo: Hindi ko naramdaman yun, pero he lived an unconventional life.

Tim: This entry is a eulogy dude. :)

Knox Galen said...

Blagadag: Thanks.

Engel: The family he left behind might be in sorrow, nevertheless they're relieved the ordeal is over.

Period: :)