24 May 2012

Brave Face

He held his red canvas bag and swung it across his slender shoulder on the right and bolted like a Dalmatian found a good bone. Reaching the metal handle of the glass door, he strode in a haughty catwalk style. His jaguar stilettos hammered the concrete floor in a resonating sound at every even step he made. Random students in all-white, tucked uniform herded together at the Student Lounge glanced at him as if scrutinizing his stature. He is tall and lean, his hair almost gray, his lashes flutter and his voice shrills. He gazed at the uniformed students sternly. I rushed to the glass door and called for him before he could cross the pavement to the Techno building. “Kling, come back. Hurry!” he pivoted gracefully and went back, gliding like a punk on his skateboard. “Imbierna! I have a class at 3:00, it’s a quarter left. You’re keeping me late, you faggot!” he exclaimed. He’s always full of bravado and conceit when he speaks. Sometimes I take time to question myself how much backbone does this guy hold to produce such a scornful voice. He looks so different, almost unpleasant but he behaves like he’s on a platform and I on the ground floor. I met him last month when I joined the University Student Council. He’s from the legislative and I’m from the executive. Though I’ve been seeing him around since last semester, it never occurred to me that we can be this close like we are now. Those times I treated him like a grotesque thing to behold. His skin looks like that of a long-tailed reptile – coarse and oddly white-spotted. For some time I thought he’s a nauseous thing to stand close by. But recently, my treatment of him has become warmer and more civil. I learned that his skin imperfection is a disease – not a communicable so it’s safe to allow my skin brushes his. He suffered a huge deal of sarcasm and humiliation growing up but it didn’t get the better of him. Instead he stood still and proud, intimidating the boneheads who ridiculed him. “It’s just a matter of bravery and contempt,” he said once “if you don’t correct them when they upset you, they’ll never learn to treat you with respect.” True that. Sometimes you have to be brave even if it’s just pretended courage if that requires people to treat you their equal. The preamble did not speak of a humane society with savage people living on it. Life is not fair outside but you have to fend it off. Every time I look at Klein I think about strange things; strange but prevailing things. His guts hid his imperfections. It’s amazing how he did even that. I remember him telling me about his embarrassing tete-a-tete with a college dean last year. “You are so dumb!” She cursed him. That’s what he prized after creating a fiasco as a facilitator in a Quiz Bee during the Intrams. He was shrinking like a balloon belching all its air. I can’t tell whether he told me the real thing that happened between them or not. But during that moment, I lost one strand of respect from the ex-dean. Never before have I thought such a high paid teacher brand a student as dumb. Kling’s condition already decimates his confidence and telling him he’s dumb would crush even more whatever amount of hope he had all his life. She is awful and I’m serious about that conviction. I have my own share of embarrassment once when I consulted her about my overlapping class schedules. She hasn’t driven me bonkers when she told me I’m a nuisance. I didn’t despise her for that but she scared the heck out of me. Klein must have felt the same terror. “I gotta go. I’ll be back in a bit though. Bye girl,” he uttered. His eyes darted across the glass sliding window. He left the office; his stilettos hammered the concrete floor and echoed his steps outside the half-closed glass door. He is oddly-looking. He flutters pulses when he talks. Certainly, he’s one hell of a daring guy.
Fonzi Christ Web Developer

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19 May 2012

Boarding House Chronicles

I tore the Business Gazette cover leaf and fanned the embers in the coal stove. The motion disturbed the subtle ashes, scared it away like a swarm of flies whipped by a stiff twig. I added cold coals in the stove and set the rice pot on it. Then I went on a corner of the kitchen and sat on a wood bench beside the kitchen table. I watched the boys intently doing a rough workout with dumbbells. I could see the moist of perspiration running down against their brown skin towards their half naked bodies. It gave me a grave feeling of nausea looking at their bodies wetted by sweat. I couldn’t bear the sight of them so I stood up and approached the stove again to examine the ashes interspersed among the cold coals and crumpled papers.
Jake stirred the noodles in his casserole with a large and elongated spoon, resisting the hot water vapor ascending from the boiling water. In our boarding house or maybe even in other boarding houses here, Lucky Me Pancit Canton is the staple food of the boarding students. You won’t find a room here without seeing a heap of pancit canton in the cupboards. You might also find the bold cans of tuna, corned beef, sardines and beef loaf but pancit canton is the dominant food supply. Apparently, it is because it’s affordable, quick and easy to prepare. I grinned at Jake as he wipes out the moist on his forehead – a mixture of water vapors, perspiration and dead skin cells. I turned halfway around and intended to sit back on the wood bench at a corner when a boy – his name I didn’t care to know – approached me with a handled rectangular box.
“Mayor, do you know cheese?” asked the boy with excitement on his face.
“What? Is that a food?” I replied with intentional sarcasm.
“Hahaha! Are you deaf? Can’t you see I’m holding a cheeseboard?” the boy asked irately.
It took me a moment to decide whether he meant that I’m deaf because I didn’t hear him say cheese or I’m blind because I didn’t see him carrying acheeseboard.
“Silly boy! You mean to say, chess?” I retort with an evil grin rather showing a sneering response.
“Whatever you call it! Do you know how to play this game?” he asked again with a bit of indignation in his voice.
“I dunno… Sorry.” I answered bashfully.
He twitched his mouth showing an evident implication of frustration. He went to the rooms and looked for a willing playmate. I shook my head and went back to the stove. I lifted the cover of the rice pot to check the temperature of the water. It’s warm and there were tiny bubbles moving in random direction. I returned the cover and then looked at Jake with an expressionless face. He moved his head towards me and threw his arm around my shoulder.
“You are so mean.” he whispered.
I chuckled upon hearing the message because his breath created a ticklish feeling in my ear and butterflies in my stomach. I removed his arm from my shoulder and pinched him on his bare back as I let out a shrill giggle.
I cherish those moments – it happened just an hour ago – and while writing this journal entry, I am wearing a big smile on my face.
Fonzi Christ Web Developer

Morbi aliquam fringilla nisl. Pellentesque eleifend condimentum tellus, vel vulputate tortor malesuada sit amet. Aliquam vel vestibulum metus. Aenean ut mi aucto.