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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