Patient

To love is to wait for something to happen.

For over an hour and a half I stared at the screen without getting any headway. I could have slept by then but I kept hoping.

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Dense

Second part of the condensed version of Charged (Collection of Short Stories titled Love Is All Around)

– 0 –

PO1 Granada parted through the crowd like Moses dividing the Red Sea. Her uniform did the trick this time, her stature quickly accepted especially when they saw her caress her holstered gun.

“People! What’s going on here?”

“Loverboy there is decimating the flowers!”

The heckler was popular because he knew how to sew up the right words to create laughter. Known in the world as the ever-smiling race, he proved his claim to be the perfect example.

“Sir,” PO1 Granada wondered why on earth the man sat there like a fool, unperturbed by the loathing he repeatedly received. “You have to stop that. Park regulations prohibit people from destroying public property.”

Roger stopped suddenly, the phrase ‘she loves me’ his last. He sensed that the new arrival was different from the people around him.

He turned around casually, ready to defend his actions for all to hear. However, when he saw the police officer who admonished him, his eyes widened.

PO1 Granada gasped, her surprise total. Dispersing the crowd was the first option that crossed her mind. She would lose her credibility if what she feared occurred.

Shut up! Don’t do this to me!

Roger telepathically received the unspoken message, bowing his head to avoid eye contact with anyone. He was a portrait of a criminal, caught in the act of a senseless crime.

“Enough people! You have your entertainment for the day.”

“What about him?” the heckler asked, stopping the crowd from losing interest. “He should be punished.”

“He will be,” the policewoman agreed. “I know my job.”

“I am curious,” the heckler would not leave unsatisfied. “What will be his punishment?”

Roger did not move. He started blaming himself for the stunt he initiated.

“I know,” the heckler roared. “He should gather all the petals on the ground and make a crown. That way we could make him the King of Wishful Thinking. Yeah, like the song.”

The crowd clapped heartily with the suggestion. They began preparing their cellular phones and other gadgets. The scene could be uploaded in YouTube and other social networks.

“Enough!” PO1 Granada had to pronounce her authority. “There would no mob judgment. This is police business now.”

– 0 –

Handcuffed and herded like an ordinary felon, Roger was mum while the policewoman kept her distance. Onlookers watched them, most in a state of bewilderment on what happened.

“I am sorry,” he coughed out.

“Have you lost your mind?” she shot back, walking ram-rod and straight like a proper law enforcer.

They reached the Japanese garden, which was tucked away from the main grounds, unusually free from visitors.

“Give me you hands,” she produced the key to unlock the cuffs. “You do this again and you’ll be more than sorry.”

“I was really desperate since yesterday. I could not sleep. I had to do something to let my mind at ease.”

“Are you at ease now?” she mellowed her delivery.

“It depends on what you’ll decide,” Roger looked like a lamb, well, a bearded lamb who was on the verge of tears.

“You’re the most sincere man I have met,” she clasped his hands. “As a woman, I am supposed to follow the routine, you know. I have to keep you guessing. But …”

“But what?” Roger did not want to hear the usual parting words he heard so many times. Still, he bravely waited for her final say.

“with what you did today, I have to make sure you won’t try other silly performances.”

“So?”

“You’re not a bright person,” PO1 Granada, a.k.a. Sally, jested. “Do I have to spell it out for you?”

THE  END

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Sharp

A fresh start. It seems everything is in order: the sun is shining, the current is flowing, the connection is holding, and I am awake. 🙂

Here’s a condensed version of one of my short stories in the collection Love Is All Around.

Charged

Roger was ecstatic.

Walking briskly toward the park he frequented, he could not help but paint an almost permanent smile on his bearded face. His emotional bliss was brought about by the prospect of acquiring a girlfriend for the first time in his life.

Sally gave him the hint, that most important word to present him with hope: maybe.

There was a long, long list of female names he stashed somewhere to remind him of his heartaches, his forays to courtship that had gone sour before they even started. He was not the type to attract outright the female species: he was effeminate with a muscular built.

– 0 –

Strollers passed him by with most of emotions and degrees of surprise. One homeless male distinctly uttered the word ‘crazy’ behind his back.

“She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, …”

The petals of assorted flowers were scattered around him: they were the victims of his whim, his faith to the old thought handed down through generations of lovers.

He could not pick it correctly. Every time, his performance ended with ‘she loves me not’ and he would repeat the process again.

Two teenagers lingered for a while, an arm’s length distance from his sitting position, observing him like he was a specimen inside an imaginary cage in a zoo. They whispered to each other, giggling quietly lest he could be offended.

A biker, rested from his early-morning round, parked behind where the teens stood, joining the onlookers. From his curled lips, a mocking grin formed.

More spectators milled around: oddities were hard to come by, especially in a public place.

– 0 –

PO1 Granada was not amused by his superior’s antics. A neophyte and a ‘girl’ (the same word spat out with a smirk), she was stationed in the national park to patrol the grounds. Without a partner to converse with, she looked like an ordinary woman in uniform. It was a joke.

Often, she would be accosted by strangers, thinking all along that she was in some kind of a masquerade, a hanger-on of Halloween, costumed all year round.

“Back off,” she warned. “This is a real gun.”

Reciting the same dialogue over and over again made her feel less confident. People did not show her the respect she deserved.

When she saw the crowd, she abruptly banished her distressing thoughts, recovering immediately to perform her sworn duty to preserve the peace and uphold the law.

“Thank heavens!” she sighed. “Something.”

– 0 –

“She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, …”

“You’re wasting your time!”

The loud comment hurt him a bit as if truth was a realization he had to surrender to. The heckler summed up the conclusion of most of those around.

“Let me be!” he shouted. “Go on! Leave!”

– 0 –

(to be concluded)

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Prick

There’s always a reason to leave the air unexpectedly, like a ghost vanishing into thin air without indications of its disappearance.

Take my case for instance. I was totally engrossed blogging that I failed to realize my battery indicator blinked for a long time. It was too late when I found out I would be given no more extension to my quality time. To think that the connection was unusually smooth, then in a few minutes, it could not be fully taken advantage of.

What a life!

We were so blessed. After midnight, we were ushered into complete silence, given the opportunity to sleep soundly while the dark surroundings gratefully welcomed the natural noises till the early morning.

We woke up, expectant that we would begin the weekend without hitches. But, it’s a quiet Saturday to experience, unplugged from the world outside ours, isolated from the worries of people elsewhere.

Some people were too preoccupied how to prepare breakfast. At least the dependable firewood stove was nearby, solving the issue of cooking.

Overall, we love the switch back to the basics. We were grateful to be given the opportunity to ponder what was wrong with us, being too dependent on modern appliances and why we were selected for the honor to have an electricity-absent morning.

More than thirteen hours of savings from our bills. Hurrah!

P.S. If this post sounds sarcastic, so be it.

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Accessible

There was a small task that required my attention a few hours ago. It was not part of my daily routine but somewhat akin to what I mentioned in an earlier post about information dissemination.

A teacher imparts knowledge to students. I am not a teacher per se but I could entertain young people whenever they approach me concerning assistance about their studies. Frankly, I do not charge a fee as a tutor simply because I am no tutor. I regard myself as someone who can help when I can or if I can.

You might recall a story I told about some Trigonometry problems brought to me by a Civil Engineering freshman. Lessons of long ago come back to my mind as if they were stored in a vault and opened in a flash when the need arises. Even I was amazed at how easy for me to adjust to the situation which at first terrified me if I could not explain the matter in a satisfactory fashion. At least, after a while I calmed down to extend the help I was asked for.

This time, much to my relief, I was shown a short report to proofread and edit. I would give my student A plus for effort. However, the revision was total, cutting most of it and rewriting what was left on paper. It would be unjustifiably harsh (for one’s grade) if I let my student pass the report as it was.

One thing I make sure when I assist students is to see to it that they understood what I taught them. I often tell them that I could answer their homework but I could not sit in class and take the test for them.

I am always relieved whenever they come back smiling. That’s worth the short time and effort I spent to show I did care.

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Semblance

New Year passed by while I was sound asleep. It was the first time that happened to me, at least as an adult. My marathon viewing of Games of Thrones exacted a toll on my wakefulness. I did not even hear the loud fireworks most merrymakers exploded at midnight. I was somewhere else, in the dreamworld to be exact.

Hours later, I found out that the first day of 2015 was no different from the last day of 2014. I woke up as usual, almost the same minute of the same hour every morning (due mainly to a changed sleeping habit) and back to my unfinished field work. It would seem nothing changed a bit in our part of the world.

Yet,  things changed elsewhere, events we were no aware of, occurrences that might or might not have any bearing to our simple lives. Unless it is Armageddon happening in a global scale, we would have not known of it. We would continue to exist the only way we know: subsist on a daily basis.

This seeming ignorance of information outside our locality is the main reason why I want to stay connected, be online everyday. In an important way, I could impart to others, those who are interested, vital facts that are not necessarily reported on local news. Yes, I could withheld the same information and keep it to myself but that’s not the genuine use of received information: it is dissemination.

It’s unfortunate that I missed several important news the past days I was off the Net. More unfortunate still was what actually reached us were the terrible and horrible events that claimed lives because of the continuing conflicts in the world.

People elsewhere should try to negotiate for peace. They will absolutely love it like we do.

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Given

Have to sleep, guys and gals.

Goodnight!

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Reactive

We eat. We feed our minds.

I’ve always wondered why bad news generate more interest than good ones. It’s rather surprising that in general we all want the positive sides of life to reign in our world. Yet, we see more of the negative, often sensationalized, bled dry of inside information and analyses till we are all consumed by all the ill effects to our minds.

I am not an exception to this generalization. In fact, when I watch the newscast I could not help but be glued to my seat, oblivious of what’s happening around just to hear every word reported about an event. I am not glad to listen to accounts of accidents, natural calamities, political or social turmoils leading to deaths, or any other unfortunate incidents. I simply want to know the information.

Like eating, we feed ourselves to feel satiated physically and contented emotionally that we are not hungry. Could it be true that we fill our brains with information to be mentally active and emotionally contented that we are not ignorant about what’s happening around us?

Like eating healthy, we choose foods that benefit our bodies.. Mentally, we acquire positive thoughts, meaningful knowledge and good news.

On the other hand, more often than not we eat junk food, too. We know they are bad for our health but since they taste good, we still continue to consume them. We also have other vices that negatively affect our bodies but still we readily give in to their promised pleasures.

So, in some way bad news, which are not probably good for our mental health, continue to be included in our daily fare. We absorb every bit of details, tune in to updates and follow them up till the end. Subliminally, our negative emotions are aroused, our sense of fair play skewed and our logical thinking set aside.

We eat what we are. But we sometimes think what we are not.

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Gentle

People will remember us for what we are in life.

Of course, no one would like to be a villain.

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Vigil

Before the year ended, another godson, my constant chess opponent, presented me with an alternative to television. He loaned me the CD-ROM version of the HBO series Game of Thrones, all four seasons for my viewing pleasure.

“I have a lot of work,” I said plainly. “I’ll probably watch it later if I still possess the energy to open my eyes.”

“I have a lot of questions, Ninong,” he confided. “I am sure you could answer them when you’re finished with all the episodes.”

“You understand English, don’t you? What’s the matter?”

“Yes, but I have trouble following the dialogues.”

“I see.”  Nuances could be tricky.

I could tell that he was very interested. His enthusiasm showed on his boyish face.

“I will check it out during my break.”

Frankly, I was as ignorant as my neighbors about the series. Even though I was online most of the time I was not too keen to preview even the short clips on YouTube. I was more of a music video enthusiast.

I went back to the house to take a quick peek.

After screening the first episode of season one, I was glad I was spared watching the spoilers online. I felt a sense of heightened suspense, not knowing what would come next as the story unfolded. It was riveting.

Instantly, I decided to stop my field work. I had ten hours on my hands: everything went on hold. 🙂

I was not surprised why the series earned a large following. It possessed all the drama and mystique of a great legend.

I have not read the books yet. I am aware that most adaptations somewhat veered away from the original, with the author’s blessings, of course. Still, the core of the story was intact.

Like my godson, I have questions, certain matters that needed straightening out. For starters, in the first episode, how did one of the rangers escape the White Walker? My guess: cowardice could be the answer.

I am hooked so I am waiting for the fifth season installments. 🙂

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