Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flash Drive

The week began by buying Korean Red Ginseng extract for my mom. She has this lump on her neck, which disappears after nipping small amounts of the thick, gooey substance for a week. So far, the alternative medicine hasn't failed yet so we continue to patronize the product. I pick up the small bottle from Dr. Lizada at her clinic in Santa Cruz. The bottle, fittingly snugged inside a wooden box costs a fortune. We get a big discount though. A discount worth of awkward moments specially when there are other customers around. We get the privilege however; the family has been a customer even before her product appeared in the market.

Next stop were the medical supplies stores in Bambang. Someone told me a bed pan is needed at home. The original plan was to check only the prices, but when I consulted my contact and she reaffirmed the urgency of having a portable toilet, I immediately bought the enamel variety for less than P500. It wasn't as pricey as the stainless steel or as cheap as the plastic ones which cost less than a hundred. The person who would use it deserve some luxury my money could afford.

The two things I bought immediately slashed my salary in half. Pity. I don't complain though. The thought of buying these things for loved ones already justified the sacrifice. Now I understand the reason for not buying the original Sims 3 expansion pack last week. Gut feeling was telling me to hold on to my cash reserves for the big spending happening this week. The money I saved was enough to buy some nuts and bolts for the broken toilet seat in my mom's bathroom. Sadly, I've learned that more spending was required after the car showed signs of break down halfway before weekend. We could not afford having no means of mobility - which is very essential for my polio-stricken mother.

Despite the shock - of having to use - my secret stash of cash, the engine overhaul began in earnest. The repairs and the succeeding test drive took an entire day to finish. I arrived home not seeing the aging car parked in the driveway for the first time this week. There was a lingering emptiness in the air. I guess despite the denial, it was a little difficult to accept that my savings dipped again.

The driver showed me the car parts that were replaced and told me how much the overhaul exactly costs. The staggering amount weakened my knees. I thought of shouldering the expenses alone but I failed. Lumbering to see the car for myself after dozing off hours before, I didn't bother asking the lesbian to start the engine. Her impressions were enough. Returning inside the house, I spoke of my wish of getting more time before another imminent breakdown occurs. In this time of belt tightening, I could no longer afford to indulge in unplanned spending like the one we did for the family vehicle.

Just outside my room lies a newspaper clip showing an advertisement for a broadband wireless Internet service. To get myself a postpaid service would be defying the rule of spending within means. I brushed off the lingering temptation after catching a glimpse of the cable and credit card bills pinned on the cork board beside me. What piqued my curiosity though was the sleek white object used for storing data; a device I denied myself of possessing for reasons only stupidity could tell. Yet, for the first time in recent memory; after gaining an upper hand over decisions which draw the line between personal satisfaction and the need for selfless giving, staring at the flash drive gave a sigh of longing I never felt in years.