A bright blue peacock runs in circles in the middle of a busy mall in Quezon City. Big brown eyes reflecting the shocked people all around it, the majestic bird threatens to stretch its wings and fly toward everyone’s dumbfounded faces. It’s a proud male of its species (albeit clearly stressed with the present situation), decorated with brilliant gems and beads of light only nature can so creatively invent in its random biological musings.
People carrying their green shopping bags are cheering, laughing, clapping their hands, whistling, telling spontaneous peacock jokes to each other. An old man celebrating his 75th birthday with his 6-year-old granddaughter heard the commotion from a floor below and told his most favorite person in the world that the Eraserheads are having a show above. The befuddled security guard runs to the scene and starts to crouch to catch the harassed animal. Seven men, 3 of whom wearing moustaches, one’s a stereotypical Jamaican with dreadlocks that seemed to have been dipped in tar, thought that they would like to be heroes of this most curious moment, so they began to crouch too, carefully moving toward the bird, clucking like chickens.
Obviously, they thought what works with runaway chickens also works with bright blue peacocks in the middle of a mall.
Thunder Spike is the “gin runner” of his gang, the Marikina Maniacs. His task is to procure a bottle of gin for his group every night before 10:00 PM or else his scalp risks losing a few more fertile areas of follicle because of angry cigarette butts. It’s 5:00 PM and Thunder, wearing his oversized black shirt with Pacquiao’s sweaty face in front, is strolling through the mall, heading to no particular place as of the moment.
The mall’s speakers suddenly roared that the cast of an upcoming primetime soap opera is in the mall’s big dome, ready to dazzle everyone with their charms and talents. Admission is free. The first 1,200 gets to see the stars live. Upon hearing this, Thunder Spike cocked his patched head, turned to his left, surprised a French couple behind him, and dashed toward the big dome.
After patiently waiting in line and then squeezing through the dense loud crowd inside the dome, Thunder Spike miraculously managed to go to the very front of the glamorously decorated stage with pink balloons everywhere. Or perhaps it wasn’t that much a miracle to him because conjuring a bottle of gin every night with only Php 20 in his pocket is certainly a lot harder.
The beautiful actors and actresses are already onstage, waving at their fans, many of whom have just freshly ridden the bandwagon at precisely 4:00 PM because of the free admission. “We love you!” said the main star, a gorgeous teen with long straight hair and finely shaped boobs that glowed because of the light’s reflection. “I love you!” she said, as she suddenly looked into Thunder Spike’s big eye balls. Her gaze somehow lingered there for exactly 3 seconds before finding another madly excited face on random. Needless to say, Thunder Spike masturbated on that smiling image for the next 7 years of his life at approximately 8:00 PM every night before he went out to get a bottle of gin for the Maniacs.
Big sale. Everybody hurrying because others around them look like they’re hurrying as well. The cute purple step-in with Hello Kitty at the tip crisply snapped as Charles’ black leather shoe pinned it helplessly to the ground. The girl with big brown sunglasses would’ve fallen facedown on the dirty white tiles of the mall had her short, stout boyfriend with spiky hair failed to grab her shoulder on time.
“What the fuck? Look at what you’re walking into you stupid faggot!” the boyfriend yelled at Charles who was holding a big cone of strawberry ice cream.
Charles has a problem with the word “faggot” or “fag.” He doesn’t like it because his friends tell him all the time that they hear other people think Charles is one, a faggot or fag, that is. Tommy himself, his best friend since elementary, just told him yesterday when the two of them reached the height of drunkenness that Ms. Luevano, their ancient Math teacher back in Grade 4, told him last month that Charles was definitely a closet fag. His father, last year, on Christmas Day, screamed at his face to get the fuck out of their house because he didn’t give a single fucking penny for the Noche Buena, and that he was a secretive selfish faggot. And just this morning, at work, someone messed with the local computer network and so every computer screen displayed “Faggoty fags should die a horrible death with a carrot up their a**!” So Charles, having been reminded of all these, in a matter of 3 seconds, turned into one hell of an ugly monster with impossibly large nostrils. He then squashed the cone of cold strawberry ice cream into the spiky hair of the angry boyfriend.