Plan of the Apes

Plans that actually work feel like finished homework: they’re a relief and an accomplishment at the same time. What’s frustrating though is how little homework actually gets done — how few plans actually work.

If I were really organized, I’d have made a table of plans I devised all through my life. There would be columns to check: “success,” (green) “failed,” (red), “scrapped” (yellow), and “in progress” (blue). And while it’s easy to remember successes in life, I’d bet my stinky wallet that the red column of fail will be busiest of all.

Pick a random day during my third year at the university and I’d probably have a plan inside my head to become a teacher of Sociology. I was gonna become a teacher, whether in UP or in Miriam College where I can grade gorgeous girls while intellectually discussing Sociologists and philosophers. (Call it pervert but you gotta admit grading gorgeous girls beats writing Web content anytime). That plan however was scrapped (yellowed) because it takes too much time, effort, and money to survive as a teacher. I need my dough fast so I became a broadcast transcriptionist.

But that’s old news. One recent plan that also got shelved is to have some exercise with Chemae by playing badminton. We always had some plans to acquire rackets but those elusive sports implements seem to run away from us. Whenever we’d pass by flabby badminton players at parking lots in SM North, we’d say “Sarap mag-badminton no? Wala na. Wala na yung plano natin.” Then she’d say that she’s good at badminton, but really how can I ever know for sure if the plan is forever doomed to be placed in the red column?

Then there was that genius senior writer plan. That plan was supposed to make me so filthy rich I’d be a criminal in the eyes of everyone who felt the global recession. There was this source of income and that source of income, and then there was this strategy to save massive amounts of money while investing in education for a future high-profile career. One week as a senior writer though, and the genius plan proved so dumb that it disintegrated into a million pieces of dumb debris that fell on my head, and I was left staring out the window of the MRT, “What the f*ck happened?”

What the f*ck happened? Why are plans so fragile these days? Were they really like that when I was young? They’re like T-shirts made in the US before but are now outsourced to China. They’re made of cheap fabric that tears at the armpits with the tiniest of movements. Or maybe I wasn’t just planning that much when I was young. Yeah, that must be it. Children don’t plan because that’s their parents’ problem.

I think that’s precisely it. Plans are symptoms of problems. If you don’t have plans, then you probably don’t have problems or life is so simple to you that plans are a waste of time and energy. But god, this life is chockfull of plans. Plans move this life like sweaty rowers row a boat across the salty sea and against malicious waves. Plans litter the past, present and future, suffocating any desire for spontaneity and creativity.

If you’re planning to do something else, go ahead because the next paragraph’s too long and unplanned.

I have a plan to finish a comic book. The plan should be realized by this month or the next. There’s a plan to attend a comic con after that on August. I’ve never been to a comic con before so I bet I’ll look like a noob but that’s part of the plan. On Monday, there’s a plan to write a blog entry about love. That plan’s happening by hook or by crook. Yesterday, there was a plan to go to the sunken garden and read “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “Para Kay B” with Chemae. Too hot and rain kept falling on a summer day, which meant the plan was as crazy as the weather. Scrapped. On Monday too, there’s a plan to go freelance on something. I’ll also be freelancing on Tuesday, and on Wednesday and days after that. The plan is to keep eating until there’s food and I’ve got an esophagus. Last week, I put into action a plan to get myself employed in the same company that virtually kicked me out. Yeah, that’s exactly a plan to be a loser. But that plan is just another plan to be near my biggest crush and love again, so I couldn’t give a flying f*ck about what people think. And of course, it also pays to get a regular pay on payday. And above all these plans, there are overarching plans to see every face in the family wearing a smile for longer periods of time, and to become a better writer and artist than I am today.

But man, I’d hate to take a peek at the record book to see just how big the possibility of all these plans succeeding. I planned to finish a project just an hour ago and that plan’s shattered now because of this nonsensical blog entry. Planned to finish a comic book panel a day ago but I fell in deep sleep the instant I wrapped my arms around her. I planned to cross out a bunch of debts in my long mental list but most of the entries erased themselves to save me from too much shame. I planned to make this one funnier but the freakin’ thing’s better at lulling me to sleep than a Carpenters’ song. And it’s too long. Not part of the plan at all.

So here’s the plan. I’m gonna make sure this one will actually work and be finished like a well done homework. This entry is supposed to end after I type the “k” in “plans suck.”

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