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
Life is vicious, like a rabid mad dog, I can tell you that. Didn’t use to be that way but it definitely is now. I think the world might be getting too dense, too suffocating, like everyone out there is getting pounded real hard, so they’re only three-fourths of their original size and, well, humanity. The air must be too condensed and saturated with microscopic droplets of sweat and blood and spit and oil. And I guess the grounds can’t be walked anymore because they’ve risen up, swallowing trees, plants, and every crawling green that’s fresh to the eyes and to the brains. They’ve now turned into tentacles of a gigantic toxic monster egging people to go to places that lead to nowhere. So the people are lost; and the sky must not be too much of a comfort for them too, because in its untainted innocence, it only serves to push down guilt and shame and senselessness into their throats.
That is why you get people who whisper “I love yous” to each other in the morning and throw murderous curses to each other at night. Blame them for my unfit body and soul. I got this guy Ted who’s always on my left ear — he’s generally a nice guy. Talks about .NET and CSS and HTML and other goddamn strange jargon all the time with a guy with a funny accent on the other line on my right. Harry’s the name, if I remember correctly. I think they might be up to something heroic to save the perishing world ’cause they’re always exchanging smart incomprehensible stuff about “problems” and “solutions.” I never did get what they mean but whoever this “client” guy was, he isn’t gonna be better off once Ted and Harry figure out how to save the world. So Ted — as I said, ideal guy, if you ask me. He takes care of his grandma Lucy from Mondays ’til Fridays, making sure she takes her meds ’cause she’s got a whopping lump ’round her neck. Which reminds me, that’s also the problem they got out there today: everyone has a fatal disease. 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
The morning after Gutson’s, she sent me a text message saying that I should never reveal her secrets to anyone. My heart almost leapt out of my body and hopped to wherever she was. And from that day on, this journey to chase her across the office, under the rain — guitar-swinging, on MRT platforms, in my mind, and across the world started as I smiled at the miraculous text message on my cellphone screen.
Miraculous. Maybe I wished for a miracle every day, another chance to talk to her as freely as we did back at that dark and dirty room while everyone drank their beer. After all, I needed a ton of luck to push my dreams to reality. Her boyfriend wasn’t going anywhere. Their photos on Multiply and everywhere else exclaimed happiness.
The last thing I wanna be is be an obstacle to someone else’s joy. The girl on the broken bench was clearly contented with her life. She seemed popular, outgoing, and had no problems with the world. I had problems with how my collar looked, how people spend too much money on coffee, and how everyone seems to wear cool sunglasses like the sun shined every day. She and I are too different and it would be laughable for me to barge into her well-written story. Continue reading
The girl on the broken bench just didn’t like me. But at the time, who could blame her? I was virtually nonexistent in the Blue Waffle building. The Cool Team used to have this award for Cool Person of the Month. Members of the team would vote by writing notes describing who the coolest person in the team was for that month. The person who gets the most notes wins the award. I got a note that said something like, “Marvin is Cool because he goes to work and gets off without anyone noticing.” And I retrieved this one from my wallet:
“Marvin is Cool because he may be quiet, but he tries to communicate despite having difficulties translating his martian language into english. hehe… Glad you’re coming to the outing.”
To say that I expected the girl to even pay attention to me was absurd. First, the Tagaytay Incident was only possible due to alcohol. Second, I was trained to go to work and come home on time five days a week. I had no time to do something “risky.” Third, I just didn’t have the guts to walk up to her and say that I liked her.