Friday, October 29, 2010

BHH: Re-cap?!

I had never been the first man on the scene, so I thought it would be memorable. Indeed, it was, for I was shocked! As I wondered what had become of the 'brethren' the ever-friendly Lulu joined me in my wondering. So, as we wondered whether we'd missed some communication, we were 'saved' by the sudden appearance of Dante. Yes, he actually walked in like he runs this town. He even shooed away the bouncers with their ka-metal detector. And that wasn't the last they heard from him. We hurriedly put together tables and a few seats lest he'd turn on us, but being the generally calm guy, our fears subsided soon after. So, we sat down and he regaled us with tales of his days past.

A few laughs later, I caught sight of Tipsyalcophobic and her friend Victoria tiptoeing past us. They went inside. As I wondered why, my eyes fell on the 'sharply' dressed young ladies at the entrance. Then I stopped wondering, for I knew they were up to something.

The inglourious Baz came in (more like rushed in, like he had hell's hounds at his heels) and quickly took his seat. I guess he's taking this 'celebrity author' thing a little too seriously. As he settled down, he kept sweeping nervous glances around. His fears were confirmed shortly afterwards. Tipsy and Vic came running towards him. I think they fell into his reluctant embrace. They were saying a lot of things, but the most repeated word was 'autograph.' I learned that they were peddling his new book for him, and that he had ammased an impressive number of fans, mainly campusers. So, he signed a few books and let them go. The greetings came later; much, much later.

Then the good part, rather, the 'good' person came. We were told that she's Samalie. We believed it, even clapped with joy! She looked so prim and proper that for a while I was concerned about whether I'd greeted her right. My concerns were calmed by a sip of modified Coke.

Dante took a photo. The bouncers reacted to the sudden flash by walking to our table, complete with the furious, intimidating look. When they saw that it was Dante with the offending item, they softened on their approach. They begged him not to take any more photos. Said something about privacy concerns. He said he'd take a few more and that would be that. They were more than happy to agree to those terms. They left without further resistance.We listened to rantings about how politically incorrect Avatar was, the new law that considers a phone as a computer, and older ladies. Not necessarily in that order.
Yeah, we were missing a good number of regulars... Perhaps they'd taken the month off. Hope to see them next time.

Kudos to Tipsy, whose antics kept us glued to our seats when we felt like giving up. Her friend Vic kept fanning the flames, so she may share in the spoils. Lulu showed off her 'awesomeness' and Dante had to say his name a dozen times. You can ask him what that was really about.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I used to joke with my cousin Nev about how fun it would be to work in a telecom company. Well, it sounded fun at the time, since we would be in the much-publicized 'corporate world.' I wasn't totally right.

My fortunes took a crazy (and welcome) turn when I found myself being employed by a telecom giant. Hahaha... My 'dream' had come true! I looked up to the sky (of course, after I'd recovered from the shock) and thanked the Good Lord for this blessing. Then the realities set in. I lost many assumptions about the fantasy world I thought was 'corporate.' I was surprised to learn that people do seem to mind their own business. As such, that mentality gave me (arguably) the best blessing I could get out of the 'world,' my own dress code!

Now, as most people who know me will testify, I'm no friend of formal garb. Ties only end at those special functions, specifically a close friend's wedding, if I'm nice. I don't like tucking in, and I don't like those sharp shoes! Misonso, as they are fondly called.

I was told that since I'm an 'engineer' I'm expected to look the part. What more could I ask for? I had the bright eye of a kid on his first bike... So, I have not held back since my first day. Even the day of the interview, I didn't pull my punches. Great is the Lord indeed, for I have been wearing jeans, t-shirts, shirts and khaki slacks day in day out. So much so that recently I had to attend a farewell party of a close friend, and I almost couldn't find my formal attire! Some of my peeps wonder if I'm just kidding them. They should know better. I'm living the dream!!! Now, time to find a new dream. Here I come, Nev...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wounded pride...

Why didn't you just let me be? You had me cornered, helpless, and wide open. You could've dealt me the final blow and ended this, but why did you not? You would have saved me all this pain, not just physical, but also psychological. How could I have lost to you so easily? Did I rush into this fight without proper knowledge of my opponent? Did I misinterpret the signs? Perhaps I didn't think through my actions well enough. It's because you did something that strange it's got me thinking about that day ever since.

That day has forever been engraved in my mind and my heart. The day my adversary spared me from certain doom. The reasons are still basically out there, but I must admit that it was honorable of you. You are not as bad as I thought.

I almost thought it was because you had mercy upon me, but I learnt later that it wasn't the case. No, you're not that compassionate, otherwise we wouldn't have had this fight. You must be quite honorable to let me go like that. Anyone else would have relished a chance like that, and wouldn't have missed a beat in doing me in. This was different. You just looked at me and smiled. I thought it was ironic when I found myself smiling too, but it wasn't. I was caught off-guard by your hesitation. I failed to understand it, and you didn't care to explain it.

Is it because after all the battles I've taken part in, my heart has been hardened towards compassion for my foes. I never hesitate once I've raised my sword to strike. Whenever I'm in a duel, one of us has to remain standing, and that has always been me. No one has stood against me and lived to tell the tale. I don't have recurring foes, just new ones. In battle, I'm decisive. I move swiftly and slice surely. But this, this is unnerving. It goes against everything I stand for.

Nevertheless, you stand over me, your hand reaches out to help me up. When I get to my feet, you smile and walk away. I look down in shame and as I do so, I see something I hadn't seen all this time. In my hand, I hold a shattered sword...

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Wanderer: Pawn takes Bishop

1540hrs - Alley behind Post Office.
Four men in dark suits and sunglasses. Odd. He expected six men. Where are the other two? One of the men steps forward. Slight build, 6"2' with hawk eyes. He has a peculiar tie pin. Golden with a green amber set in it. Leone Salgado.
"Eh, Bruce...Good to see you, finally."
"To what do I owe this disturbing pleasure, sir?"
"I'm here to make a proposition. I'm sure you won't refuse it."
"I'm not interested. Those days are way behind me."
"Yes, Bruce. But your skills are the best. Quite remarkable, yet unbelieveable. No one thinks there's a guy as good as you are in this 'trade' today."
Bruce shrugs.
"Just cut to the chase, Salgado. What does a high profile marketing manager want with a guy who spends his days playing video games and sipping Novida?"

A beefy guy in black suit hands him a parcel.
"Get back to me if you're interested. Same time, 3 days from now."

1700hrs - Quiet house on outskirts of city
Bruce stares outside the window, watching youth play, or rather, attempt to play the beautiful game. Their laughter rises and hangs in the air like a fragrant mist. Things he missed growing up. It reminded him of his time in Japan when....

(Encrypted Phone rings)
"Did you see him?"
"Of course I did. He gave me the stuff. Said I should get to him in 3 days."
"Good. We'll have time for rest and relaxation. And I need you to do something small for me in the meantime."
"Anything for you, bro."
"Meet Janice. Take a load off. She's quite nice."
"Yeah, I could tell. Will think about it."
"You know you work too much. And when did you start taking that much Novida? It's non-alcoholic, you know."
"Yeah. I guess some habits just rub off. Learnt too much from you."
"OK. Brief me on the proceedings."
"As usual, Max. Later."

Max stands up from his workstation and walks over to the wall filled with newspaper clippings, red marker in hand. He goes to a particular photo and draws a circle over a face. Salgado, Leone Salgado...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Red March...

After the events of 'the other,' he's less than pleased when she asks to see him.
What could this be about now? Ah, well... he makes the appointment and heads over there. Nothing extraordinary. A number of successive visits yield nothing more, until one chilly saturday evening.
He's tried and failed to make any meaningful conversation, so when she suggests they watch a flick, he's quite thrilled. They decide to watch some obscure epic movie. One of those can come in those obnoxious 100-in-1 discs. How he hates those things...

Ahem, anyway they watch the movie in near-total silence. She's lying on the carpet quite a distance away from him. So much for quality time. It seems he lost this fight long before it even started. He glances at his watch (9:45pm), then at the clock (9:42), then at the dvd timer (01:08:26). He thinks he'd better be on his way by now. After enduring for about 12 minutes, he resigns. There's no way he's going to enjoy this movie. He gets up and heads towards the door. She gets up, surprised, and asked what he's up to. He replies that he's leaving (in an indifferent tone). She asks why he can't at least wait till the movie ends. He claims to have figured out the ending, seeing that he's watched the plot develop. She whispers, "Ok."

He puts on his socks, then his shoes. He waves a goodnight to her. She almost responds. He almost cares. He turns and leaves, closing the door behind him. As he walks to the gate, a portion of dark ground peels away to reveal a pale yellow light. He gets to the gate. As he opens it, he turns around. She watches him from behind the steel and glass door, one hand holding the curtain, the other gently resting on the glass pane, a look of longing in her eyes. He turns and disappears into the night...

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Wanderer...

0300hrs - Obscure room with lots of books.

"Max, listen to me, for I don't have much time left. You have to stay strong. No matter what happens to me, never think of life as unfair. Yes, things happen that are beyond your control, but you are made out of stronger stuff. Follow the map, it will lead you to where you need to go."

Knocks on the door turn into bangs, then hammering, and finally the door gives way. George is lifted harshly off the ground, where he was trying to shield his 4 year old son from the harsh claws of mercenaries.

The mercs leave a shaken Max weeping uncontrollably, amidst his father's screams of mercy. One of the thugs points his 9mm Berretta at young Max. Max is too frightened to even blink. Thug laughs, reaches into his side pocket and fishes out a shiny object. He tosses it at Max. Max makes no attempt to catch it. It lands with a pinging sound. Thug shrugs and walks away, leaving a tearful young Max staring into the distance, at nothing in particular. When he awakes from his trance, he heads over to where he thinks the object landed. After a short search, he finds it. A bit dirtied, but shiny nonetheless. He wipes it with his shirt and holds it up in the light. He can barely make out the shape of wings. He turns it round and the same image presents itself. He pockets it and cries some more...

20 years later...

1516hrs - Small restaurant in dusty suburb

Sun is blazing mercilessly, as though to discourage any and all daytime activity. The restaurant is just as warm. No air cons and the fans have long since developed cobwebs. She waits, still. Takes a sip of her Tusker and glances at the wall clock.
She's been waiting for 8 minutes, but it feels like an hour already.

She spots a guy walk in. Looking quite amused at the lack of activity in his favorite restaurant. He sees her, smiles sheepishly, and walks over to the counter.
Asks for an ice-cold Novida. He gets it promptly. He turns around and makes a beeline to the maiden in waiting.

"Black and green make quite a match, don't you think?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I mean our respective bottles. Your black and my green."
"Oh... So what's your point then?"
"I can bet that whoever you're waiting for will order a Tusker when he gets here, just to 'show' that you have similar interests."
"Actually, he does that a lot."
"Ah, where is he, if I may ask?"
"He's around. You should probably get moving."
"If i wanted to, I would have. But how can I return to a normal life after my cosmic state of balance has been so pleasantly interrupted?"
Eyes gleaming with pleasure... She smiles.
"Well, since fate has decided to entwine our strings of existence, we can as well make the most of it."

Phone rings. He answers. "Post Office. 20 minutes." Line goes dead.
He gets up and walks to the counter, says something to the bartender and returns a number of minutes later.
"Where were we?"

"You were about to tell me your name."
"Janice. Nice to meet you, Bruce."
"I perceive it is a mutual pleasure. I need to go now. I'll keep in touch."
"I already have your number."

He smiles, nods, and walks out. She gets her phone and dials a number.
"He's on his way." She looks again at the photo in her hand...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black Monday

You'd think that when you have a certain level of interest in a lady, everything seems to point to her 'interest' in you as well. That wasn't so this particular day.

Being a holiday, he decided to go check on his 'lady of the lake' and try to progress in his quest to capture her heart. Sure enough, he finds her there. After the customary pleasantries have passed, they settle down to watch a movie.
Everything's going on smoothly until he decides to get up and go sit right next to her. But in that instant, there's a knock on the door. Enter Derrick. They hug, he sits next to her, still holding hands. In better/bitter words, 'the other.' She actually has a boyfriend! This kind of, well no, it actually throws him off-balance. And she knows it...