Sunday, October 21, 2012

Slice Of Life

The third week of October will likely be remembered for certain things - like the permanent transfer to the morning shift, and the string of tardiness that would shock even the most reasonable of superiors; the nights of wild abandon, whose libation flow brought my feet to Trip's pad in Mandaluyong, then to Malate and Timog the next night; and the solemn observation of days, that mark my departure from the tender arms of the other. 

But life isn't just these stories. It's most interesting and poignant slices are sometimes encapsulated in 140 characters - in an online medium that intends to capture our most intimate and thoughtful moments. Borrowing the idea from Tipz, here are some of the highlights of the past week.   

A very good-looking friend gives up chasing a love interest. They were already becoming an item on Twitter, when the guy suddenly went cold. Friend lingered for a week to make sure his instincts were pointing at a known direction. He shared with me his travails and small, but important victories to win the hunk's heart. And then on the fortnight, he surrendered. As he poured his heart out over the phone, I said the words above to soothe his wounded pride.

In love and romance, everyone gains a mortal foothold.

Heard stories of laborers taking their own lives after their work shifts in industrial complexes in Southern China. The repetitive tasks to assemble electronic gadgets in exchange for low wages, the long hours in the assembly lines, the harsh working conditions under taskmaster tyrants, the madness of shrinking a human mind into a subservient drone. Even the thought of it can make a person insane.

To familiarize myself with the tasks I assigned to my team, I did their work for an entire shift and the monotony of it partially cracked open the guarded repository of my self-destructive thoughts. 

I remember my father, and how he orders me to peck him on the cheek even when my own seeds can already gift him with a grandchild. And he would sometimes demand the cheeky kiss in front of others. Those days, all I could think was the humiliation while other people hid their amusement. That is why I would always grudgingly follow his command but never bothered to find the reason for his need of affection.

Then, I went home one evening after counting 10 hours at work. The sleeplessness and exhaustion of forcing myself to work out after my extended office stay, left me with barely enough strength to travel from the gym to my place. The thought of my nephews, their squeaky voices, their amazing words, and their sweetest smiles kept me going. I said to myself that I would ask a kiss and hug from Baby Lenin when I get home - even at the cost of bribing him with a sweet and chocolate-y papay (bread) to get what I want.

A solitary pilgrim yearns to see places outside the world's field of vision. He seeks the road less traveled. For this reason, intrepid pioneers prefer the fringes over the heartland. The more difficult the trip is, he finds the experience worth taking.

I see myself as an urbanite who seldom leaves the city. Admittedly, I am in no condition for bumpy roads and day-long hikes. It's been ages since I boarded a plane, or a boat to cross the seas, and telling the matriarch of my travel plans requires a sugarcoated approach.

Because in reality, I am still guarded like a ten year old kid.

But there are destinations I would like to see in this lifetime. Forget travelling abroad, for it hasn't cross my mind. But to step foot in the peripheries, where the land across is a world apart - that I would love to put in my bucket list. Perhaps, in some future - when the Bangsamoro project becomes the beginning of the end, I will see Sitangkai and indulge myself with experiences I've already claimed as mine. 

To deny my sovereignty used to be my way of coping, so I may never fall apart while embracing the realities of being the vanquished. The upheaval still scares me. I am no longer used to doing and thinking things on my own. But once I had a glimpse of what lies ahead, of the millions of choices that could break or make me happy, this new-found freedom might not be as bad as I once claimed. I just have to live with the cycle, and hope it won't take too long before I get tired of the open road again.


♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔ said...

Wow. You had a really great week. Congratulations XD

bien said...

Batanes muna, pero ang mahal yata.

MEcoy said...

agree much ako sa first twitter post mo

Alter said...

We are often re-defined at crossroads. I've always thought of you as a man who has a good sense of direction, so stay as the same good navigator you are Mugs.

Come to the sea. suggestion ko yun. :)

Kane said...

I love this entry Mugen. It has been ages since I last heard you speak like this.

I, well, I'd like to think I know a little bit of life's cycles. One day, you're headed somewhere, the next, it feels like you're back to where you came from.

But .. we do what we must. And it looks like you have things to look forward to. A smile from Baby Lenin. Maybe sometimes, there is no better thing.

I hope you are well.


mikel said...

noong mas bata pa ako nahihiya din ako humalik sa tatay ko lalo na pag may ibang mga tao. pero nung (mas) tumanda ako naappreciate ko yung idea na may tradisyon kami na hindi ginagawa nang maraming kakilala ko.
wala lang.

wala kang kupas.