Archive for October, 2008

Inconvenience, Stored.
October 21, 2008

By Pol Arellano, 2008

Hello, sir. Fine morning isn’t it?

Hm, yes, quite.
Will it be cash or card sir?

Card. Here.
[BEEP]
I see you’ve found the new 17-in-1 coffee. It’s all the rage nowadays. Haven’t tried it out yet, though. Is it any good?

Uh, I really don’t know.
Oh, good, good. That’s okay, sir. Good. Trying out new things is good. That old brand must have taken it’s toll, huh?

Hm.

[BEEP]
[BEEP]
[BEEP]
[BEEP]

I’ve actually tried this brand of shaving cream and let me tell you sir, it sucks mightily. I’m not punching this in sir. To buy this would be a crime, a heinous crime.

Wait, that’s my favorite brand! What are you doing??
Believe me sir, I’m doing you a service. I’m here to serve sir. It says right here on my button, sir. See?

Yes but please put it back.

Besides, I know for a fact that you’re sick of this shitty thing’s smell anyway.

This is pointless. I give up. Don’t punch the damn thing in.

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

Ooooh, I see you’ve got the missus’ favorite bubble bath. She hates it when you buy the floral kind. Says it reminds you of your old secretary. Yep, the one you spent ten fun-filled days with on Bo-raaa-cay! That’s her alright.

HEY! How the hell did you know that?

That’s why vanilla’s her preference. It reminds her of your first date.
Who are you? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

Well, to be honest sir, I was there.

HOW COULD YOU HAVE BEEN THERE?

Sir, you may want to keep it down a bit, my manager is eyeing us. Can’t have the big boss snooping in on us, can’t we?

How could you have been there? What are you talking about?

You see, sir, I was there. Like I told you.

[BEEP]

I was the pavement you fell on when you crashed your neighbor’s bike when you were 13. I was the ice cream cone you threw away because it leaked and it didn’t look too good on your first date. The matrimonial bed, that was me, and let me tell you sir, I didn’t enjoy that all too much.

[BEEP]

I had been your sink, where you lost your wedding ring, while trying to wash away blood on your hands. You killed a small boy when you were out hunting for geese. By accident, of course. You hid him underneath the velvet sea.

[BEEP]

I was the pen you used to sign illegal documents. I was the desk you made love on with your sexy, exotic-looking secretary. I was the sea, the one you skinny-dipped in with her too. Five out of ten days, your dangling sex punctured my aqua.

[BEEP]

I was the second-rate bouquet of roses that you got for your wife when a girlfriend of hers saw you feeling your mistress up. I was the bathroom door you waited in front of when she refused to talk to you.

[BEEP]

To appease her, you gave her me, for I was a pricey diamond ring. You bought another me and gave it to your secretary/mistress on your anniversary.

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

[BEEP]

You owe me P 2350.50, sir. Let me swipe your card. Ooh, that tickles.

Thank you for shopping at [BEEP], have a nice day!

The Long Trip to Itay’s Heart
October 20, 2008

By Pol Arellano, 2008

Inay woke me up early today.

She wiped the sand off my eyes and told me to get up. She went to my wooden closet and took out one of my prettiest dresses, the ones I wear to special occasions, like when lolo died last summer. My dress is so pretty, so red, like a mad asteroid. Or that yummy-looking apple in Inay‘s old recipe book.

She told me to get up, and stop pretending to sleep already, because she wasn’t “in the mood”. I was a good pretender. She just won’t admit it.

Get up, she yelled, we’re going on a trip.

But I’ll ruin my pretty dress on the trip, I mumbled. Our old car has very lumpy seats. I sometimes think that all my lost things ended up underneath its icky green seats. Like my striped fat cat, Ninglat, and my pink and purple spin top.

It also smells bad. Like bagoong, pandan, eucalyptus leaves and Inay‘s cologne gone wrong.

No worries, the trip won’t be long, Inay said as she pulled me out of my three-legged bed. Get up, she said, her nostril slightly dancing.

Where are we going? I asked.

We’re taking a drive to your Itay’s heart. We’re going to look for something there. Inay said as she fixed my blanket.

Okay. I said. But it sounded like Hohkhaay because my yawn got in the way of my okay.

We got in the lumpy car and drove for an eternity. Inay lied. I guess she was a better pretender than me.

Our car moved like an old man, walking with a stick in one hand, on the bumpy, crisscross road.

Inay gave me a plastic bag just in case I had an “accident.” I made a face and pretended to make puking sounds but stopped when I almost vomited my pan de sal and salted eggs.

After singing “Bahay kubo” a hundred thousand trillion times, Inay told me to knock it off. She said we were near Itay’s heart. Finally. But Inay was a good pretender, so I started to sing a made-up song about pretending. In the song, a black, furry and gassy dog named Jun-Jun was peeing everywhere. In the end he married and got kittens for kids. Inay laughed and told me that I could be the next Lino Kamo. I told her that it wasn’t a very funny joke.

We’re here, Inay said.

I stirred. I fell asleep. I was about to say something but my throat felt scratchy. I looked out the window and saw nothing but darkness and outlines of willowy trees. Their branches seemed to be dancing to the tune of some elegant music. I wish I were a tree. So then I could hear.

Inay went out of the car. I went after her. She held my hand and in the darkness, I saw her eyes. They were luminous than fireflies, fierier than the sun. Inay has very pretty eyes.

We walked. And walked. And waaaallkkkkeeeeddd.

I hate walking.

We saw giant roosters, three of them were dead. The living ones were making noises like a backed-up toilet.

We passed by a row of beer soldiers. Thousands of them lined up the path, with cold piercing stares. But it wasn’t too long before they softened up to us. Their eyes smiled as they sang a song about a man who’s celebrating his birthday. They weren’t good singers.

We went inside a house made of cards. In it was a dog made of chips. The dog was cute but he made too much noise.

After walking, and walking and waaaallkkkkinggg, Inay stopped.

She announced that we were going home.

She pulled her hair back, smiled at me, and led the way back to our lumpy car.

I wish I were one of the trees. I wish I could hear the music. I closed my eyes to make the wish come true. I read that in a nursery book. In school. I closed my eyes. I promised not to take coins from Inay’s wallet. I promised to do all my homework. I promised to eat yucky ampalaya.

I opened my eyes.

But I still can’t hear the music.

The trees, they were still moving lines in the darkness.

But Inay’s eyes looked like dead fireflies. Like a cowardly sun.

I closed my eyes and wished that I were never born.