Wednesday, September 08, 2004
This is not an unusual story.
This story is very much like that of any other man, who has just finished college and is presently working on his first job.
His first exposure or his “trial of fire” into reality as those post-modern poetic types would have said, if they were to write this story.
This story has a beginning, but of course what kind of story wouldn’t have a beginning?
It just so happens that every story is presented in different manner so to speak. Some would begin with a flashback; or with an introduction of the characters; or with a historical background of sorts; or with a theme that would lead you through the general tone of the story; or with the emotional climate of the story. But whatever beginning you chose it always falls down to where everything is described.
So from there I would begin…
“…I’ve been working for the rat race.”
That’s the tune that fills the head of young Carl San Juan as he runs the crowded sidewalk of Ortigas Avenue, he is trying to beat the clock, the Bundy clock that is. Ever since he’s started working there he has always been on the run, for it would cause him an hour’s pay if he arrives even a minute past eight o’ clock.
“I don’t deserve this.”
He thought as sweat started to moist his thighs and as pain started to settle through his legs.
But without any hesitation still he ran.
The clock ticked to eight o one as he set foot on the office.
He said but he couldn’t do anything.
“Life sucks and the you die.”
That’s what he always says for whatever means it is that he would like to justify.
His eyes are glued to the glare of the computer. The Microsoft Windows 98 logo reflected on the lens of his glasses as he restarts it. He always restarts that computer, it always hangs its Pentium II processor could no longer hold the array of programs installed in its memory.
As he waits for the re-boot to complete a smile cracks in the eye-bag infested face of his.
He remembers the good old college days when he used to sit on class and astonish his professors and classmates alike, with his intellectually stimulating discourse on a wide-range of topics.
He remembers those days when he would skip class to attend and ED, OD, DG or a Natsit or when he’d be out of school because of the mobilizations, lightning rallies, direct actions, teach-ins and picket lines that he would rather be part of instead of the boring pointless discussions of his economic professor who would always make them compute figures in order to solve his problem pertaining the country’s GNP, but never bothered to explain to them the meaning of GNP.
Time’s up. The re-booting sequence is finished. Again he sets his eyes on the monitor.
The continuous tapping noise of the countless fingers that tapped the battered computer keyboards seemed to create a rhythm that sort of matched the constant ringing of the telephones and the robotic sounding metallic sweep of the dot matrix printers mechanically compliment each other creating a mechanical symphony that litters the ambient routine that envelops the workplace.
But to Carl San Juan it is but a cacophony of chaos that irritates his ears. He’d rather hear a death-metal song by Slayer, or the Internationale, or Falco anything but that.
Search the Internet, then copy the spex paste it to MS Word. Do the layout in Pagemaker. If there’s a photograph convert it from JPEG or GIF to TIFF on ACDSee and then edit its resolution on Photoshop.
That very much is the nature of his work.
You see he is a researcher for one of those classified adds paper in the market.
It is a routinary job very much, the topics he is researching may change, but the activities are still the same, the deadlines never ran out, and this has to be endured for 6 days of the week and the only counterbalance he gets is the occasional muttering of his editor or the smart mouthing of the publisher other than that it is very much the same.
On his vacant time (which he rarely has) he’d write stuff on his ledger.
‘To write is already to chose.’
That’s what is written on the cover of his logbook.
“I’m a slave to the grind…”
“…To the corporate machine called free enterprise…”
“…I work for more than 8 hours”
And so on.
On and on he’d write as if it were the only thing that would preserve his sanity.
“Could there be anything left for me to do, other than write?’
“It is what I studied for in college. It is the only thing that my middle class family has ever been good at.”
Again he thought.
As the clock ticked to five-thirty again he feeds the Bundy clock with his dog-eared time card, and hurries of to his house and with anguish on his head he thought:
“Life sucks and then you die!”