In the future, when people can’t close their eyes anymore without the external services of a professional, Mac dreamed of becoming the best Eye Shutter in the world.***
His older brother was a licensed Toothbrusher. His sister was a Belly Scratcher living with a man who was a Burp Inducer. Mac’s mom and dad were really proud of them all but more so with Mac since he dreamed of pursuing such a high-profile career.
Being an Eye Shutter requires tremendous passion and skill for people simply can’t close their eyes through normal means anymore, not even with the anesthetics and tranquilizers of olden days. The career requires a 4-year college course plus 4 more years in an Eye Shutting Institute to learn all the technical skills to shut a person’s eye tight. Even the best Eye Shutters who had attained celebrity status like Brandon E. McDonald sometimes encountered almost insurmountable challenges in their field. There was this time when McDonald bashed a patient’s head against a wall to make him fall asleep, resulting in the patient’s skull and jaw cracking in 54 different places and his left eye permanently going blind. The case was much publicized until the patient–waking up quite sadly from a 23-day coma–finally corroborated McDonald’s statement that the “therapeutic” move was done with consent.
But none of those kinds of stories had ever deterred Mac from studying rigorously to become the person of his dreams. And so he became a legend in his Eye Shutting Institution for raking in honors and prestigious recognitions from organizations like the Neo-Insomniacs Club and government agencies like The Commission on Forced Unconsciousness.
Time passed and Mac graduated as the most promising student in his Alma mater. In 2 years time, his genius successfully transferred from his campus to his clinic and to the TV screens of people all over the country and the world over. Continue reading
There was once a rat who tried to understand the world. It was a philosophical rat, a rare kind of rat for its issues were not limited to when the folks around the kitchen table would leave. So this rat, coming to the conclusion that their little scrappy hole couldn’t foster deep thinking, scurried along the rusty water pipes and finally came out on the roof. It was above the neighborhood blanketed in darkness. It was below the glowing yellow ball in the sky and the tiny lights that always looked down.
And the rat asked, “Why do we rats suffer?” But it couldn’t answer its own question because it didn’t know why the folks around the table used a cane (caked in the blood of its relatives) whenever its rat family would go out to get their share of food.
It looked up at the clouds and wondered, “Is there really such a thing as love?” But it couldn’t answer its own question for it couldn’t delve into female rats’ minds and, were it a gay rat, it also couldn’t know what male rats thought. In fact, when it pondered the question more, it didn’t know what love consisted at all. Continue reading
What is the right way to your heart? Is it a cliche first sentence to catch your attention, so that you’ll listen to me because I have more things to say, way deeper than my opening line? Because I might seem to you that way — cliche, ordinary, so commonplace you tend to forget my face in a day. I know you see hundreds of faces in a day, some smiling, some frowning, all trying to swim into your mind like schools of silver fish heading out deeper and deeper into the sea. If my face is one of these countless numbers of fish only slightly different from one another — can you even notice me? Do my scales even shed out, from time to time, a more striking glimmer that pierces your crystal-like eyes? Do my fins, even occasionally, move so elegantly and gracefully that you have to drop that important thing you’re fussing about and look at me? Oh, how I wish it were so. How I pray it were so! For I’ve been improving myself for you, overcoming a reflection of myself each day to get so far away from my old self that you’ll never recognize me when we magically bump into each other in a school or in a mall. You’ll say, “You look familiar.” Those three enchanted words! They’re so much better than “I love you” or “I like you” or “You love me.” They’re better because they symbolize our eerie strangeness and closeness at the same time. They remind me of how I want desperately to get near you by running away from myself as fast as possible. How I wish you can squint — your eyes turning into divine rainbow arcs — before saying those three words to me: “You… look… familiar.” And my god, the whole school, the entire mall full of people or faces or schools of silver fish will come staring at us, both of us in the center of an impenetrable realm of strangeness and closeness, our heartbeats failing to beat in synch quite dreamily. Then I’ll walk two steps closer — farther away from you — and tell you my name. You’ll also tell me yours, though I know it already for I tuck it underneath my pillow every single night. We’ll fall into a useless conversation about bargains and bands and bouquets. I’ll feel so lucky I’d force you to line up with me for a lottery ticket. Squinting so irresistibly again, you’ll ask me why: why I act so weird, why I’m shaking at times, and why I look so sad even when I am smiling. I guess I’ll tell you the reason is that all of this, compared to you, is still so ordinary. It’s so ordinary and predictable, I know where the two of us will soon end up, missing each other. All of this is still as cliche as your first memory of me and my first question to you: “Oh dear, do tell, what is the right way to your heart?”
Kyle almost jumped out of his seat. The private messenger’s window popped up on his screen.
“Please see me in my office immediately.” The CEO’s words.
“Ok, Sir. I’ll be there in a sec.” typed Kyle.
He’s had brushes with the CEO several times during his three-month stay in the company and he considers it a sign that he picked the right people to work for. Many employees today never see their CEOs face-to-face, he mused while rummaging for a pen and a piece of paper in his drawer. Their companies are so huge that they get fired before the year-end meet-and-greet party. iEventCentral makes it possible for your average clerk and security guard to chat with the CEO at least two times a month — kind of makes everyone feel special and appreciated, theoretically boosts their production. This guy is much more special, though. He’s known to randomly pick 9 employees in the building every April to celebrate his birthday with. He only picks guys and they go to a bar where he provides every single one of them with their own whore smack on their lap.
But he hasn’t tried that. Once, the CEO rode the elevator on the 43rd floor with a bunch of Israelis who scraped the elevator’s ceiling with their heads. Kyle was in a corner having gone to the ice-cold Finance Department on the same floor to manually submit some names. The CEO turned his head, noticed him gulping and looked at him for three seconds before smiling and nodding his head a fraction of a millimeter. Kyle heavily sighed and smiled and nodded, too. It was a fantastic experience being recognized like that.
As he pushed the up arrow alone in the white marble hallway, he can’t help but grin a cheshire grin. It’s the 26th of March and everyone knows the CEO’s birthday is on April 7. It’s about time for him to choose his next lucky pals for that special night. Kyle reviewed their encounters in the employees’ bathroom, their unexpected meeting at a showing of “Avatar,” and just recently at the building’s pantry. The bald bespectacled man in beige coat glanced at him once and told some skyscraper Italians, “See that over there at the condiments? One of our excellent employees here, Kyle.”
Doors opened on the 43rd floor and Kyle stepped out, his trousers hiding the tremors in his legs. The CEO’s glittering silver office came nearer and nearer as he walked toward it — he felt his eyes were like a hand-held camera and he’s about to witness something awesome. He watched as his hands grasped the golden doorknob.
He was in. Continue reading
“Should I tell her I love her in the poem?”
“Yes. You’ve already made the ridiculous decision of writing a poem for her, telling her about your feelings. So why stop short and not say that you love her?”
“Yeah, I realize that. But everyone says ‘I love you’ and this is not a high school kind of poem. Like I’ve told you, this poem is an adult poem, an adult love poem.”
“I somehow have this feeling that all love poems are childish. Ask her out. That’s what adults — men do.”
“But I don’t wanna be just like any other man. I want her to understand that I’m intelligent and creative and deep and I can write good love poems.”
“You can also achieve that by buying her a drink and then talking to her.”
“Yeah, but this is still much more special. If I get lucky and she allows me to date her and we get together, we’ll always have this poem written on a piece of crumpled yellowish paper. And whenever we feel like lying on the bed on idle weekends, cuddling, kissing, she’ll stand up, get it from the drawer and read it to me. It’s so cheesy that we’ll both laugh and remember how good were those first days.” Continue reading
He got up from the chair and did some jumping jacks. The morning people stood up when he walked briskly in front of them and did the robot dance followed by a slick moonwalk. His boss, cussing, ran outside his office when he stood on his table and did a tapdance, then consequently screamed his name to the blank blue ceiling.
He ran as fast as he could toward the elevators, pounded the arrows until one of them broke and his palms were raw. The doors opened and he leapt inside to the shock of everyone. There’s a harrassed pretty girl inside and he winked at her saying, “Fuck yeah!”
Off to the other floor where he kicked the first monitor he saw and sent it crashing to the ground. He ruffled every hair with his excited hands. Someone tried to stop him but he turned around and bit his arm. Then he grabbed someone’s bag of chips and poured it into his mouth.
Before the guard could catch him, he escaped by pushing everyone aside, grabbed a colleague’s boob in the process shouting, “Good morning, woman!” A split second before he held the doorknob, he spat on the guard’s record book and slid down the hallway on his knees. His saliva blotted the record books’s cheap blue ink.
His feet went down the fire exit like two cars racing against each other. He tripped, fell down two staircases and busted his lip. Blood gushing out of his mouth, he discovered he left something behind. His yellow tooth was on the dirty cement as well as his troubles.
Behind him 10 people tried to catch up. He burst open the ground floor door and threw some coins at the scandalled receptionist’s head. Through the screams of terror and dread, he let out a joyous laugh, which led him to the door and to the street outside.
So he ran and he ran and he ran and he ran. He ran until he remembered he hasn’t drunk one drop of water since last night. He fell on his back, surprising pedestrians, looked up to the blue sky then wrote the name of his love in the air.