Saturday, May 31, 2008

You're Fired! (Or so I thought I said)

While the perfect timing of my shift from the UK to US track proved advantageous (a fast-tracked promotion that only took three months from Supervisor to Team Manager, when it usually it takes about a year minimum), I was also thrust into a new world of cutthroat statistics to be met per team, people management (i.e. managing people in their thirties and sometimes forties, while I merely turned 23 that year), work politics, deadlines, progress reports, punishing schedules, and more deadlines. We had Verizon as our major client; the US office had also just signed a contract with Sprint, which meant the call volume would skyrocket. Everyone braced themselves for the impact; it was going to be a crazy 3rd quarter.

I was barely even finished settling down my things on my new station, after the contract signing, when I was given a barrage of things to attend to. One, go to the Training Dept. to meet some of my future CSRs. Two, shadow a Team Manager as she went about her tasks, and at the same time orient myself on the processes and SOPs of the company. Three, activate my Outlook and set my trackers- QA, CPT, Attendance. Four, learn Kronos software, TCS, and AVAYA all in the same day. By lunchtime, my head was spinning. I felt nauseous, and I seriously considered quitting. I took a sip of my coffee, which had gone stale in my mug.

“Thad, ok ka lang?” A friend asks, as I stare blankly at my PC screen.

“Ha?” I said distractedly. “Yeah, I’m on break. Jen, I really feel like going on sick leave today. I feel sick.”

“Gagah, kaka-promote mo pa lang! Haler, just suck it up. You have a few hours to go before the shift ends.”

“Beyk, I’ll go to the sleeping area and close my eyes for a while. Windang na talaga ako.” I said as I made my way to the 12th floor. Even years later as a TM, it would become my daily habit to nap during my one hour break (I’ve mastered the art of stuffing food in my mouth during 15 minute breaks).

Little did I know that most difficult part of my job had yet to come. Three days into my being a TM, I inherited several CSRs from a Team Manager who resigned. I was backtracking and ironing out their records when I realized the previous TM had left a lot of work to be done. The CSR’s records were last updated months ago, and as I filled in the Attendance records from TCS, I got the first feelings of dread.

Nina was a CSR on probationary status. Her Quality scores and Call processing time were satisfactory, but her Attendance was far from pleasing. She had incurred enough occurrences to merit a Final Warning. Per the probationary contract, it is stipulated that a Final Warning automatically disqualifies them for regularization; ergo they are to clear out their lockers and pack their bags should that day come. I consulted with an ACCM, since the CSR was not informed of her status nor was she coached or issued the preceding Verbal and Written warnings, I was able to initially get her off the hook. I prepared her written warning, to be served the following day.

I was able to go through the process without trouble, and persuaded her to work on her attendance. But fate must have had other plans, because the following day Nina called in sick again. Upon her return, I had no choice. I approached her and asked her to log off the phones.
“Nina! Why were you absent yesterday?”

“Sorry boss, I was really not feeling well.”

“We just discussed this days ago. Nina, you are aware that you are already on written warning, and just days away from your regularization date. Do you have a Medical Certificate to support this? I can file it as an LOA if it’s supported by a Med Cert from a Medicard-accredited physician.”

“No, I don’t have a Med Cert.” She said, sitting up.

I took a deep breath. “I will be serving you a Final Warning for absences.” My heart started to pound, I swear she could hear it. Oh dear, I thought- I’m about to fire my first CSR! I heard through the grapevine she was two months pregnant, and this added to my apprehension.

“Unfortunately, this effectively disqualifies you for regularization. Sorry Nina, but you are already- ” I squirmed in my seat.

“Termed?” She said, looking me in the eye.

“Yes!” I sighed with relief. (Gosh, I was really an amateur!) “I’m really sorry but you have to surrender your badge, and clear out your locker today.”

I went back to my station and collapsed on my seat after that episode. EJ, a fellow TM, walked by and looked at me sympathetically. “Rough day? Let me guess, you fired someone.”

“Tell me about it.” I said.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rite of Passage

My brother’s testimony in Friendster, and my reply:

Tye: “You’re soooooo gay!”

Thad: “Of course I am, freak. At least I’m pretty!”


Spending time at the beach with my bestfriend, reminiscent of our Puerto Galera escapades back when we were both employed at Infonxx, brought to light two very important points: 1. we both gained weight, and 2. we were no longer 23. Those truths were as real and as unpleasant as the small pooch threatening to form on my abdomen.

“Tat, when did we stop being thin?”

“I’m guessing somewhere between quitting jobs, quitting gym, and staying home most of the time.”

“Ugh.”

“Let’s diet and exercise again!”

“Sure.”

I give that resolution a week. It was not just, however, our weight that has changed. Tatat is now the breadwinner of her family, and she has to maintain a roof over their heads and bring food to the table for her siblings. My own responsibilities at home had widened in scope since my family had migrated and I was left to manage the house in Tacloban and care for my 82 year-old grandmother.

Back in 2003, our main concern involved filing for Vacation Leaves together and conspiring in an effort to “find the right guy”. Frequently, we played chaperone for each other’s dates (weird ‘no?)- and when it goes well the other would find some excuse to leave. We still chat over the phone nowadays about the people we date, and the Anilao trip was for Tatat to meet my guy.

Other than my first boyfriend (the EDSA dos guy who lasted 2 months), I never had a relationship till now. It still feels a little strange, since I’m an independent person and I’m used to doing things by myself. Now, I would wake up early morning to feel an arm around my waist and I’d go- “Huh?..” and then I’d remember I am in a relationship now. I guess the days of EB, online personals, clubs, and all that frivolous dating tactics I used to engage in are long gone.

I’d be in the third level in Nursing school this semester. A day after the Anilao trip, I went to my second treatment for the laser tattoo removal. Two more sessions and it’d be like they weren’t even there. My tattoos were actually one of the remaining reminders of my impulsiveness as a young adult (imagine I got them so that I’d look sexy haha!)- and now it is in line for purging.

The removal of the tattoo was not entirely because Nursing school forbids it- I also felt a change in myself I guess, and somehow the image of who I was five years ago doesn’t fit me now. I used to think like I was immortal, and life was overflowing with possibilities and that I could do everything and try anything- but now I am more aware of my limits: resources needed, duties and responsibilities to family, bills to pay, etc.

Maybe I’m still me, just a little tempered with reality. I have no idea why I was so struck with the changes that have occurred in me and my bestfriend… Perhaps, it’s part of a rite of passage to adulthood.

Monday, May 26, 2008

anilao

sunbaked...







Friday, May 23, 2008

diary of a madman

What is real?

The blood dripped from my wounds and stained the paper I was writing on. Gleaming bright red, it almost looked fake, like an obscene smile painted on a clown.

Drip, Drip.

It spread on the paper like a crimson tide, extending its arms, engulfing the words I just wrote. The blood was real, and I felt myself weaken.

The stillness of the room allowed my thoughts to float freely. If I die today, would it matter? How do I know this isn’t just a dream? From my window, I saw the clouds drift in an impossibly blue sky.

I had gone to a different world in suspended animation. Everybody else seemed light years away, and certainly out of arm’s reach. The photographs on my table shone like dead stars- I was looking at the past, of happier times, which were long gone.

I’m dying. I thought. This is real.

The sickly sweet coppery odor of blood filled my nostrils, suffocating me. I scrambled for the telephone, and as I did, I knocked over the blood-stained blade.

I saw it fall, forever, in an endless pirouette. It never hit the floor.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

the origin of blue balls


I met my first boyfriend through an EB, and our first date (and my first kiss ever) happened in the middle of EDSA dos rallies.
I remember sneaking out of my boarding house near UP Village to meet Jon in Philcoa, so we could attend the evening mass at EDSA. There was hardly any room at the MRT trains and we were squeezed in like sardines with everybody else who planned to attend the rally that night. Jon and I spent most of the night on the street sometimes joining in the chanting (Erap resign! Erap resign!), chatting with other students, and checking out news reporters as they televised the latest developments of the rally.
At some point we got hungry and decided to grab burgers at a 24 hour Wendy’s somewhere. It was really dark and to me it was all a blur of incandescent lamps from the Meralco posts, the constant blinking of traffic lights, and the glaring neon signs of establishments.
“May I take your order?” Said a bored cashier at the counter.
“Two shrimp sandwiches, fries, and large cokes.”
He paid for our food. I remember feeling giddy at that time- it was the first time a guy, a goodlooking one at that, took me out on a date! I was a late bloomer and never really explored the whole dating thing till I was a senior in college.
Jon was a student at FEU (fascinating for me because I rarely get to meet people outside of my campus). I forgot what his major was because I wasn’t really listening to his words, I only watched his lips moved as he spoke. Like watching a VCR, I put it in slow motion so I could see the shape of his mouth better. Really cute, even with a bit of mayo on the side of his lip. I wouldn’t have minded licking it off.
I excused myself. All that naughty thinking got me so excited I already pitched a tent in my jeans.
“I’ll just go to the washroom.”
“I’ll go with you.” He said.
So we made our way to the tiny restroom at Wendy’s where one can’t even swing a mouse without hitting the walls. I turned to face him (there was only one toilet and I thought, should I pee first or maybe he wanted to go first and I go after?).
Just as the door closed, he grabs my shoulders and kissed me on the mouth. He was a lot taller than I was, so he bent his knees and leaned over.
It was a long kiss, and he knew how to work his lips and tongue. I, on the other hand just stood there. I’ve seen how people kiss in the movies, but to have your first one happen unexpectedly, I was caught by surprise and was completely frozen. I just half-opened my mouth , but I didn’t kiss him back. Simply because I didn’t know how to do it.
“Uh.”
“Are you going to use the toilet?” I asked, a bit flushed from arousal.
He shook his head and smiled, took my hand, opened the door and led me to the table again.
I was too shy to make another plea to the toilet, so I just sat there, clutching my abdomen hoping my bladder won’t burst, while enduring the pressure from my erection.
Jon took my hand, held it gently and said:
“Let’s go back to the rally.”

Monday, May 19, 2008

our secret

It’s selfish, I know. When you say “I love you” and I don’t say it back. Just because I want it to be special when I say it: not on a whim, or in an effort to be sweet, or because I’m caught up in a corny moment with you. I say it when I mean it, but you do know I do love you anyway, even when I don’t

say it out loud.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sexual Capacity (or an attempt to write erotica..Dabo had the orig idea)

My Bartholin’s glands started to secrete mucus as Dr. McDreamy palpated my vagina.

Ohhh! I exclaimed, sounding like crackles on a stethoscope.

The fluid was viscous and the liquid reduced the friction on my 8cm thin-walled tube. His tongue percussed my perineum at an increasing rate. Endorphins elevated my mood.

“Take me!!!”

His erectile tissue was engorged with blood, and he forcefully inserted it into my 8cm canal.

I applied direct pressure on his scrotal sac, and felt him tense. He was ready.

The pace quickened to a fever pitch, and his seminal vesicles suddenly pumps 0.5 CC of semen through his urethra and out the glans.

The walls of my vagina contracted rhythmically.

Oh yes!

Parang script ng Grey’s Anatomy leche. Erase, erase, erase!
----------------


Tinanggal ko ang aking T-shirt at naka-brief nalang nang biglang pumasok si Coach. Natigilan siya at tinitigan ang katawan ko- malagkit na titig na para bang hinuhubad nya yung brief ko.

“Coach, kayo po pala.”

Tinakpan ko ng kamay yung harapan ko. Namumula ang aking mukha sa magkahalong hiya at libog. Tigas na tigas na ako at halata yata sa manipis kong bikini brief na suot. Kinuha ko ang aking twalya at iniwan si Coach sa locker area.

Pumunta ako sa isang stall at hinubad ko ang brief ko. Nagsimula akong maligo. Hindi ko alam kung bakit nag-iinit ako kahit malamig naman ang tubig na bumubuhos sa katawan ko.

Kinuha ko ang sabon ngunit dumulas ito sa aking kamay at nahulog sa sahig.

Splat!

Lumabas ako ng stall upang kunin young sabon nang bigla na lang tumambad sa aking harapan si Coach. Wala na itong suot. Malaki at brusko ang katawan niya at tigas na tigas na ang kanyang burat.

Bigla siyang lumapit sa akin at lumuhod.

“Anong..”

Naramdaman ko ang kanyang maiinit na dila sa aking hita at dinilaan niya hanggang singit. Itinaas ko ang aking paa para maabot ng dila niya ang ilalim ng bayag ko.

“AAHhhhhhhhh. Coach, anong ginagawa mooooooo? Ang sarap nyan, ang saraaaaap!”

Dinilaan nya ang kahabaan ng aking alaga bago isubo ang ulo nito, dahan dahan hanggang ang buong alaga ko sa nasa bibig niya.

“Shiiiiiiit saraaaaap!”

Kakaibang sumuso sa Coach. Walang sayad. Mainit ang kanyang bibig at malikot ang kanyang dila. Hindi ko na namalayan na may mga matang nagmamasid sa amin…

Ayan! Alam ko na kung paano magsulat ng erotica. Ganito lang palaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

truth serum


it could've been a trick of light. your eyes always lie, and not a flicker of what you think shows. they are as opaque as windows on a winter morning- frosted and always sullen. i wish you'd stop speaking to me in riddles, because my puny mind can't seem to decipher. your words are thick as syrup, sweet but lacking clarity. nourish me, not with sweet lies, instead with the purest, untainted, unclouded truth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sweet Addiction

Of my many addictions, writing was the one that stayed. Video games and cigarettes came and went, seemingly fluid-like and leaving not a dent or any reminder in my life. But my compulsion for writing, about anything and everything, sensible and otherwise, stuck with me like an awful song that played repeatedly in my head.

Oh yes, such a sweet addiction. To be powerful enough to create a reality you can shape, however briefly, and existing only in the mind. My blog is as pliable as clay, and I can shape it in any which way that is pleasing to me. Perhaps it is also an attempt to seize beauty as it happens in life- to paint with words the wonders that one sees, to expose truths, or to record flashes of brilliance in unsullied ideas, or simply bear witness to everyday dramas and insanities.

To the vengeful, writing can inflict to enemies as much damage as a regular pistol shot right to the heart. Terrible, but I am not innocent of such sin. Nevertheless my lack of courage and general flakiness prompts me to remove the literary assault shortly after it is done. (But not of course until after making sure that a certain amount of damage had been inflicted.)

Words, like swords, can be a thing of beauty as much as it is a thing of power. I love, I weep, I delight, I scream- each emotion stains my writing with vivid hues of purple, indigo and red: it becomes as unique as a Picasso abstract, and as powerful as a Goya black painting.

Each time I promise to quit blogging I turn into a liar shortly thereafter. Writing is as addictive as Morphine, and I need a shot everyday to dull the pain. I write to stay alive.
Or...


Ewan ko sa inyo pero KSP lang siguro talaga ako.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Samar Solstice


5/10/08


She was as coy as a veiled bride. Hidden and reclusive, revealing only bits of her- just enough to entice, yet never betraying the mystery that surrounds her.

The sun had almost reached its zenith, and the rays stung my skin. I was traveling alone. The rusting vehicle bound for Guiuan was filled to the brim, and I was squeezed in a corner right above the sacks of dried coconut. I felt nauseous, and every time the bus would suddenly stop to let passengers in, I’d take deep breaths willing myself not to vomit.

But I consoled myself each time I’d haphazardly poke my head out the window (amidst the curious glances of other passengers) - the views were worth it. The landscape of karst formations, thickly-wooded mountains, mangrove forests, coastlines, and swamp lands were interrupted only by the seemingly endless, winding, and frequently dusty highway.

After hours of traversing the road which snaked through Samar’s mountains, the canopy of trees suddenly parted to reveal her splendor: white sand beaches with waters that sparkled with an emerald brilliance. I held my breath.

It was not long before I found myself walking barefoot on the sand, tickled by tiny crabs that walk their funny way. The sun’s disk slowly sank in the horizon, coloring the sky a bright pink. Waters around me shimmered and beckoned for me to take a dip.

As I waded into the deeper waters, the warm tide embraces me slowly like a lover’s caress. I am now one with the emerald sea, and she cradles me in her arms as dusk turned to night.


-------------------

I’m totally going against my doctrine “keep you kikay kit and stay indoors”- I will be starting a blog (which I hope will someday turn into a coffeetable book) called “Samar Solstice”, devoted of course to my travels to the nearby island Samar.

Consisting mostly of photographs (in the meantime I’ll be using my old ones already in my PC) and a few anecdotes, the blog intends to solely show off Samar’s amazing beauty.

I will be meeting up with a BS Bio graduate based in Catbalogan, Western Samar to arrange for a tour of some of the most breathtaking spots in Samar, including Biri Island- where the rock formations are considered to be among the most beautiful (and according to legend is haunted by spirits!!). Now that’s what I call an adventure.

Son, I forgive you.

To learn that you’re gay, I admit, came only as a mild surprise to me. To learn that my eldest son is a bit of a slut, well, that’s another story. Obviously you are no longer that little angel who joined the choir and got good grades, and made your teachers and other parents glance at your Mom and I in envy as you beamed to your appreciative audience after your performance at the Christmas party.

Well, I suppose it’s not a total loss considering you’ve had more suitors than your mother. Now, unless you are planning on IVF or some other artificial means of fathering a child, sayang ang genes mo. Tsk tsk. You’ve chosen a more difficult life, but if you insist on your freedom I’ll respect that. I’m not a bad guy, I’m just looking after you. You and your brothers have grown up so fast and your old man is proud of all of you.

Hinay-hinay sa guys, and remember, I may not say this often but I do love you.

Papa
---------------
Echos lang!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm Sorry I'm Gay?!

It’s been weeks since I’ve last spoken with my father and I know he’s not too thrilled with me right now. When Mama left for the US, she carried with her Papa’s copy of my book. I knew it would only be a matter of days before he gets hold of it. I know he called twice already these past weeks, and usually he would ask for me. If I’m not around, he leaves a message and calls right back as I get home from school.

One afternoon, I passed by Nanay on the upstairs sala as she was speaking with my father on the phone.

Papa? I mouthed to Nanay, and she nodded.

Perhaps he needs time to digest the contents of my book (after all it took me nineteen years to make peace with my sexual orientation) and besides, I wasn’t ready to speak with him yet. I walked past silently and went into my room.

My father and I used to be buddies. Before they went to the US, and way back in college while I was in Diliman, his visits were always a treat. We’d got to St. Jude Parish and go visit our relatives afterwards. The thing about Papa, he was such a joker- he’d make fun of everything that you can’t help but laugh at his jokes. I speak in past tense because the last time he went home for his surgery he seemed like a different person. He was hurt and withdrawn, and he became really bossy and strict. One of my brothers even remarked once that they haven’t spoken in years because Papa had the tendency to “power trip”. Whatever it is that took place in the US, I have no idea- I would ask my brothers each time they go home about what happened because it seemed like a big black hole, the events that took place just before our father moved out to work in another city, I never got a clear answer, just bits and pieces of incidents.

To a man with three boys, who learned that his eldest son whom he invested so much in, is gay- that’s got to be tough. I’d understand it Papa feels distraught. But before actually deciding on coming clean to my parents I wrestled with the idea for a long time- my freedom at the price of getting their feelings hurt.

Wait a minute. It’s not like I planned to be gay. I certainly don’t recall falling in line somewhere as a child where they would sprinkle “gay powder” on those who wanted to be different.

“Wanna piss off your parents? Tired of their nagging? Here, sprinkle yourself with Gay Powder, it’s the best revenge.”

There is nothing I could do now except wait- the ball is in his court. At one point I got a little desperate I had this urge to e-mail him, or send an SMS, or message him at Friendster. But wait, how would I begin?

Pa, I’m sorry I’m gay?!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

si motherhood, hehe miss ya Mama!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Boys Don't Cry (But They Do Get Contusions)

[Rocky soundtrack, este Wannabe ng Spice Girls playing in the background]
When I was about ten, one particularly homophobic uncle, who was disgusted of my “mahinhin” ways, plotted to humiliate me. He had brought two pairs of gloves for boxing (a sport he always bragged about, which he said he was good at, aside from basketball and track and field) and gathered a small crowd of kanto boys and onlookers for his impromptu sparring.

I was playing Chinese garter with my female cousins and minding my own business when my uncle unexpectedly called my attention. With an evil grin on his face and a piggish glint in his eyes, he asked me to come over.

I was puzzled because he never really talks to me except to call my attention when I sat the wrong way (“Sit like a man!” he would yell). One of the male neighborhood kids about my age also donned a set of boxing gloves. “Put this on.” He said.
I was dumbfounded, and a little scared I guess. I was never into rough play like the boys were, but some of the people started cheering and calling my name so I reluctantly put on the oversized gloves­ on my tiny hands.

Pow! Pow! Pow! The other kid hit me surprisingly hard on the face and my saliva flew out of my mouth. I daintily wiped the sweat off my forehead, which was starting to pour. My heart started to pound wildly. In the corners of my eyes I saw a hint of satisfaction on his face, like he thought justice was being done or something. Ok, now that ticked me off. I knew then I had to win...
Uh oh, seventeen years later:



It was another one of those bad ideas of mine which sprung from my philosophy “I’ll just try it once to see what it’s like.” I was packing an extra five pounds or so, and the idea of monotonous weight lifting to lose the extra weight didn’t appeal to me as much. So I climbed five flights of stairs to Guiseppe’s Ringside to sign up.

The trainer, Allan, was a rather robust young man who looked like a clone of Manny Pacquiao. He oriented me on the beginner’s program (complete with that manly or rather sinister expression on his face) and it sounded simple enough: warm up and stretching, followed by footwork and basic moves in boxing like jab and straight punch. Fine. I forked over Php 1,250 to get started.

Session 1:

After a strenuous warm up, Allan and his assistant teamed up to teach me how to box properly.

“Raise your fists and make sure the right fist covers your cheekbone.” (But of course he said it in the vernacular, with a bit of Cebuano twang- I gather they were both from Ormoc or Southern Leyte).

I put on the meanest face I could give (and tried to control my hip swagger, hello Thad this isn’t the runway!) and positioned myself.

“Jab!”

I twisted my body and extended my left arm quickly as instructed, to gather more force and power to my punch.

Bam!

Wow, I thought, didn’t know I could punch like that. Then I had to mind my footwork. I was really starting to feel it.

“Jab straight!”

I punched with my left fist and then with my right.

Pow! Pow!

This is for you, dear uncle.

Pow! Pow!

This my Prof. in Math who failed me twice in UP.

Pow! Pow!
This is for the dutch guy in Puerto Galera.

Pow! Pow! Pow!

Oops. I got a little too carried away and hit poor Allan on the face.

I wiped the dripping sweat off my brow. Next up: the sand bag, then jumping rope.

Damn, I did fairly well with the sand bag except the times when I would stop momentarily to try to figure out what Allan’s assistant said. He kept screaming “Stret! Stret!”

Oh, he meant “straight”.

And the jumping rope- that was a lot of work. I used to be the best among all my playmates, practically dancing “I love you Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” and skipping to the rope flawlessly. Seemingly hovering like an angel, saving all my clumsy teammates. Now, twenty seconds of jump rope made me feel tachycardic. I swear.

As I headed to the showers, I smiled to myself. This certainly beats sitting around at home, plus I get to kick ass.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Struggles of a Schemer


I was fixing my tie, going over the things I had to do for the day. Meeting with MAD (our director) and the managers, call monitoring for five CSRs, submission of QA analysis, and coaching with a really cute new CSR I had, whom we will call Jon (after my hubby Jon Mullaly haha!). My heart skipped a beat. The first time I laid eyes on him was when the new batch of CSRs were introduced by the Trainers to their respective Team Managers, and damn, he was fine. He was taller than me (which I like), with a boyish face, and chinito eyes. He had a great accent and was a Thomasian student at that time. There was only one problem: he had a girlfriend, also a CSR who was going to be assigned to another team.

“Bakla!”, a female friend (who was also managing a team) tells me, “Ang swerte mo, sa’yo napunta yung guy!.”

“Korek, Mother! Kanino napunta yung girlalu?” I asked.

“Kay Mavic ata.”

“Kausapin, ko kaya si bakla, dapat maging harsh sya para mag-disappear si girl.” I added wickedly.

“Kaw ha, for more conspiracy theory kayo. Ma-HR ka pa nyan. Be good ha, Thad.”

I welcomed the three new additions to my team: Jon and two other girls I barely noticed. I put on my most charming smile. “Hi guys, so you passed training! Congratulations! You can call me Thad; I’ve been handling this team for a year now.” I went on with my spiel, explaining how it works on the floor, my expectations, rules, and answered their queries.

That was about two months ago, and as I made my way to the silver elevators of RCBC Tower 2, I smile to myself- it was going to be an interesting day. I proceeded with my usual tasks with automation, but at the back of my mind was the anticipation of my coaching session with Jon.

My watch read 1:25. I call the Queue Desk. “Hi, this is Thad. Can you arrange for time off for my CSR Jon, probably 20 minutes for coaching? I’ll be using the conference room at the 11th floor, call me there if you need me.”

“Done Thad.” Said the metallic voice on the other end of the line. I run to the male restroom to fix my hair and put on cologne (hehe!). I take a deep breath, and with a smile fixed on my face, I approach his station. “Jon, log out at 1:30, for coaching. Meet me at the 11th floor.” He smiles and nods his head, and proceeds to close his call.

I was weak in the knees, and tendrils of excitement worked their way up. Good thing I had my jacket, or else the tent situation would have been visible through my slacks. Ok, before you judge me, I’ll just explain what happened as I finish my story:

The sensor beeped as the magnetic strip of Jon’s ID touched the surface. He opens the glass doors as I wait for him with folders and papers in my arms. He opens the door to the conference room for me.

Thad 1: “Ah, such a gentleman.”

Thad 2: “Girl, pagkakataon mo na!!”

Thad 1: “Shhhhh..You are here for a coaching session. Behave!”

The room was dark, with only a few lights from the opposite building and Makati Med filtering through the drapes. My fingers feel for the light switch. Click! The room brightens as the fluorescent lights bounce off the glass-and-steel interior.

“Have a seat”, I said, indicating to the comfortable swivel chair. I close the door and pause for a moment to inspect him. He was even cuter up close. He needed a haircut, his hair was a little unruly, but it only served to enhance his chinito eyes. He wore a black polo top which hugged close to his body, and the front of his tan slacks showed promise as it draped nicely over his lean legs.

I pull a chair close to him and I place the folders on the glass table. For a moment, our thighs touch.

Thad 2: “Ayyyy! Sarap naman. Shit, kinikilig talaga ako, as in!”

Thad 1: “Gagah, ingat ka. You might get fired for this. Say goodbye to your apartment, your vacations, your gimiks, and your credit cards.”

Thad 2: “Hmmph!”

“Jon, you are nearing your three month mark, and as you know, we have to evaluate the performance of each CSR prior to regularization.” I was suddenly shy. I found it difficult to look into those eyes, baka matunaw ako. Ching!

“I’m very happy with your performance (in bed! Squeals Thad 2, giddy with his nearness); in fact, you have one of the best stats in the team, even compared with tenured CSRs.” I open the folder and take out some trackers.

“Talaga Boss?” He smiles with those teasing lips, and his chinito eyes get even chinkier.

Thad 2: “Sheeeet ate, ‘di ko na kaya to! Love ko na sya! I love you, Jon!”

I try to focus my thoughts. Talk about his performance; stop looking at his crotch, you fool!

“Yes, I really think you have potential to be one of the leaders in the group. With consistent good performance, I bet a promotion is just around the corner.” I blabber some more as I sit there drinking the sights. With his ego pumped up, he sat straighter. Nice shoulders, I thought.

Thad 1: “Stop looking at him like he’s meat, perv.”

Thad 2: “Girl, hawakan mo ang kamay!!”

“I’m really impressed.” I say, and then I softly pat his arm. “How did you find the experience finally taking live calls on the floor?” I asked blinking my eyes flirtatiously.

Thad 2: “Eeeeee! I bet he likes me. Didn’t he just give me signals?”

Thad 1: “You are imagining things. He is straight and he has a girlfriend.”

Thad 2: “Still, make a pass. Malay natin diba? Maka-homerun tayo dito!

My internal struggle continues as my conversation with Jon progresses.

“I encounter some difficult calls, but I try hard to handle them before transferring it to a supervisor. Other than that, I enjoy my time since we actually have a good schedule.” Jon said. He unconsciously runs his fingers through his hair.

Thad 2: “Aw cute! Cute sya talaga, ate!

“And the only way we can keep a good schedule is if we improve our performance as a team- and that always comes with each individual’s efforts.” Should pat him again? I asked myself.

Thad 1: “No!”

Thad 2: “Ate, go na!”

I glance at my watch. 1:47- the exception time was about to end. Damn! “Jon, I think that’s all the time we have. Obviously, I’ll be recommending your regularization, given your excellent performance.” I stand and collect the papers.

Jon, happy with what he heard, puts his arm on my shoulder (I’m melting!). “Boss, thank you ha!. I hope you spend more time doing side-by-side y-cording with me so I can do better with my calls.”

Sigh. He towers over me, I glance up to him and smile. “Sure thing.” I switch the lights off as we leave the conference room. Thad the goody-goody won this round (or maybe it was the fear of having my credit cards taken away?), and I didn’t make a pass. But with his arm still on my shoulder, I still felt the warmth of his closeness.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

in dependence


i have something terrible to say:

a restitution is what i need;
bring back my senses,
bring back the spring in my walk.

many moons ago my feet were calloused
as i have always followed my own path,
i took no comfort in easy street.

don't hold my hand,
for a hardy peregrinator i am.
let me instead

fly as a mettlesome eagle,
and rise to heights i've always dreamed.
oh it's easy

now that you are with me. but my feet
require no cane, and my wings, no wind.
so let me walk, and let me fly.

Edna's Avarice

Edna was a young girl who came from a poor family. She was the eldest of eight children, and considering the fact that she was also eight years old, it wouldn’t be a far off conclusion that her parents took the divine directive “go forth and multiply” too seriously. Her mother, a laundrywoman, spent her time hunched over a big basin of dirty clothes (and was again pregnant), while her youngest child- a year-old baby- clung to her bosom. They lived in what is referred to as “squatter’s area” or in some countries “the projects” or “ghetto”. Her father specialized in drinking and getting her mother pregnant.

But Edna wasn’t your typical girl. She was mean and deceitful. She thought: God have given us so little and others so much that it should only be fair for me to steal. She bullied little brats in kindergarten and stole her classmates’ lunch money from their bags.

She didn’t spend the money though- she hid it under the floorboards at home when no one was looking. She wanted to buy a cell phone just like what some of the kid’s parents at school were using. Oh how shiny they looked! It had a tiny television and one could listen to music at anytime. It sure beats watching black-and-white television from the neighbor’s window. She knew she had to steal a lot to be able to afford that. Early morning, she would get up before her mother, tiptoeing past her siblings who were asleep on the wooden floor of their stilted shanty. Dawn barely broke that day when she went to a corner and held the money in her hands (some of them were crumpled bills and some, coins) and counted them three times. She unconsciously hummed a song.

“Fifty five, fifty six, fifty seven…” Her tiny fist gripped the money tightly.

One of the coins rolled towards the kitchen. She quickly crawled after it before it could fall into the spaces between the floorboards. Then she noticed a round, flat object on the ground just below the sink. A coin purse!

She picked it up. The worn zipper was stuck, but inside there were two folded one hundred peso bills. It must be her mother’s. Mrs. Morales had paid her mother for the laundry. She glanced cautiously at her mother’s sleeping frame before slowly trying to pry the coin purse open and taking the hundred peso bill.

“She’ll probably think she had lost or spent it.” She then returned it to where she had found it and carefully hid all her money, wrapped in cellophane, between the overlapping floorboards under the boxes where they kept their clothes.

The next morning, she awoke with the voices of her parents screaming like sirens. Shit! She thought.

Her mother hurled a volley of insults at her father while her siblings cried and gathered behind. Her father looked ready to hit her. Edna rolled her eyes and pressed her face against the pillow. Fucking drama so early in the morning.

-to be continued-

Friday, May 2, 2008

breakup blues

the silence swathes me in a thick blanket and distant worlds begin to fade. these thoughts float lazily

like cirrus clouds dotting a blue sky, and they sail towards you. a lover's unkiss left me wanting. i loathed how i lingered for you like a fool when you've already left.

but the hail of anguish had ceased and i have long absolved you.

do you still watch old movies on that broken screen? are you seeing her again? i hope you are happy, because i am.

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