My former officemate Tin Man has a problem. (Well, it’s not exactly a problem. A problem is when I wake up at six in the evening and I cannot muster the will to drag myself to the bathroom to prepare for work. A problem is when I get home from work and I am too tired to even just take off my shoes. A problem is when you go through this routine every day. But he claims his dilemma is a problem and he is entitled to choose which things qualify as a crisis for him.)
His problem is that he likes a girl and the girl likes him, too—but not as much as he wants her to. (Tin Man is someone a vast number of people would call attractive. Having quite a good set of genes, he says he is used to lavish gifts sexual favors stalkers being the object of girlish adoration. Those are not his exact words, but I am not dumb.)
I have plenty of strategies at my disposal. (Yes, these strategies have not exactly worked for me so far. But I suspect that, if staged by someone like Tin Man, at least one of them might just work.)
But I kept silent. Tin Man’s problem is not a problem. It’s not a crisis. It’s a disaster. It’s beyond any rescue. (He is married.)
I have been trying to draft the next translation in my Quasi-Plagiarist project, but again and again, I am stumped. The blogger I am trying to cover, Nyl of Citybuoy, proved very difficult to translate. I would start working on one of his posts, then I would give up somewhere in the middle because his cultural references are simply impossible to phrase in Filipino. There is often a sense of urgency, even a hint of crassness, when one tries to put words in Filipino—and I always thought Nyl always writes with a comfortable distance between his words and the real story. I should find a way to work around that. Hopefully.
I had an interesting a beautiful dream a few days ago. In the dream, I was on the road. On the passenger seat beside me was a little boy. Four, five years old. Blue baseball shirt. Number 9. The backseat is empty. Except a gym bag and a toy Wall-E.
I think I was humming a song. Which means I was happy in the dream. There was also no LTO sticker on the windshield. Which also means I was really in a dream and that the words “happy” and “dream” often really come together—at least these days.
Then the little boy was tugging at my sleeve and was asking me to stop at the ice cream parlor a few meters ahead. I humored him, and inside the store, people were smiling at him and telling me that I have a handsome little man.
I looked at the boy, licking his cone of ice cream happily, chocolate stains in his cheeks. I picked him up and carried him in my arms on our way back to the car. I wish I hadn’t woken up.
*photo is from the movie “Little Children,” starring Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson