The Story Of A Boy Who Couldn’t Write A Story

This is a story of a boy who wants to write a story. He’s supposed to write a story by now while sitting in front of his laptop, but instead he just writes about how he’s supposed to write a story instead of actually writing a story because, apparently, he couldn’t write a story. How sad is that? “Well, that’s the whole story,” he thought to himself. “I don’t have any.”

This boy dreams about being a bestselling author someday. He dreams about making tons of money with this passion that he found one day when he was at work, alone and bored while waiting for the minutes to pass until the end of his shift. He was secretly browsing the internet and he found this blog site that shared stories about travel, food, arts, and more. Things he thought he could also write about even though his own life story just mostly includes going to work and going back home.

When he was in high school, the boy also once dreamed of becoming a drummer in a rock band after discovering that he could play the drums, when he joined his classmates who formed a band for a school event. He also thought he could be a guitarist, a front man, or even a pianist. Anything he tries and thinks he’s good at or even just has potential to do, he dreams of it becoming his career. Some of those dreams, he still dreams of today. He’s always quick to decide to switch from one chosen passion to another.

But time has passed and now he’s got bigger responsibilities. He thinks it’s crazy to even think of pursuing a passion and living his dream, whatever it is that he really wants to achieve, or if he even really has one. He thinks he’s being delusional to even think about living a dream. It’s just something that he wasn’t born to do, or born to have. He’s meant to live to be just another brick on the wall. A sprout that failed to grow and would eventually wither without anyone noticing. That as long as he’s working and earning to get by from paycheck to paycheck, he’s doing what he’s destined to do.

He sits down in front of his laptop and would stare at a blank page as he tries to come up with a story. He knows that he shouldn’t wait for an idea to pop up in his mind because he knew that he often cannot come up with any. If he waits for the magic moment, then he might end up waiting forever. So, he just lets his fingers run through the keys and type in whatever he wants to. He worries if what he’s doing is making any sense, but he just wants to write and tell a story.

How did writing end up becoming his new so-called passion in the first place? He’s dreamed of himself being a different person with different talents, but all those dreams were just part of his daydreaming. He likes those things that he daydreams about, yet he didn’t have any interest in putting them to reality. Even if he wanted to, he knew right away that he won’t get anywhere and he’d just be wasting his time. What is it about writing that makes him want to persevere? What makes him think it’s all gonna be worth it?

No. He’s not even that passionate about it. He’s read different tips from other writers and bloggers. All of them are advising him to invest more time in writing. If he really wants to be a successful writer or blogger, he has to put everything aside and make writing his top priority. He has to wake up everyday and create new stories. Stories that will catch his readers’ attention, that will want them to keep coming back to his blog in anticipation to his new posts.

He knows that he’s not as passionate as these other bloggers that he follows. He wanted to. He tries to read different books, but he loses interest so fast that he starts to read a different book before he could even finish what he was reading previously. He’s already read more than five books and hasn’t finished a single one. “Why couldn’t I decide on something? Why am I always bored so quickly?” This boy couldn’t decide on a book, just as he couldn’t decide what his dream really is. What his life purpose really is. Who he really is.

Writing, this boy realized, is not actually a newfound passion of his, but rather an escape. He’s a boy who has a lot of thoughts to share, opinions to be heard, but he chooses to keep mum about it. He wants to tell someone how his day has been, where he’s been, what he’s eaten, what he thinks the world should be, how he thinks people should behave, but it’s all pointless to him. He would just sit back and ask himself, “Why should I even bother opening my mouth? I’ve got hands to write with.”

For some reason- which only he knows, and which even he himself couldn’t understand- he believes that thoughts and stories are better written than said. What’s even the point in that? Yet, when this boy starts to sit down and attempt to write a story that he thought he had in his head, he’d usually just stare at the blank page and fail right away. He couldn’t tell if his mind was playing tricks on him, or if it’s even working at all.

After his failed attempt to write a story, the boy just ends up writing about his current sad situation. He didn’t even give it much thought. He just typed in out of frustration. He writes about how he failed to think of a story that would capture his readers’ attention. The readers who he imagined would give him praise and thanks for what he’d written. His muse failed him once again. “I’m such an idiot. I’m fucking hopeless,” he again thought to himself. Writing is not his passion, but just an escape from reality. The reality that he’s never gonna be able to live his dream, let alone find it. And today, he escaped another one.

I Jumped Rope to Burn Fat, But It Did More Than That (Repost)

This story was originally posted on one of my blogs.

I’m feeling upbeat today. I didn’t know why at first, but I think it’s because of what I did this morning. After waking up at around 6 AM and going to the bathroom to take a dump (a morning routine), I drank a glass of water and, shortly, started warming up for my workout. Waking up early is also not uncommon for me, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to put more effort in waking up early so I can workout and start the day with great energy.

This might also be the first time that I’ve had this much motivation to workout. First, it’s because I’ll be going to the beach for a vacation soon and I was hoping to get a beach body before it completely turns into a dad bod. But I might not be able to reach that goal since my vacation will be in a week from now and I’ve just started this new workout program about a month ago after buying more dumbbell plates, which is the second reason why I’m hyped. Each dumbbell now has 45 pounds of weight. Although I’m currently unable to lift that much, I’m slowly working my way there. Lifting heavier weights makes working out more exciting.

Another additional equipment I bought for (hopefully) achieving this long-term goal that has been long overdue- and the reason why I’m feeling so upbeat today- is a jumping rope. This may sound funny since I’ve been inconsistently working out for a long time but I’ve just recently thought of buying a cheap equipment that would actually be a lot of help in losing fat. The reason is because I’ve discovered the HIIT thing and I thought doing burpees would be a lot better since it requires lesser time, yet very effective in burning fat. The problem is that it takes a lot of strength and endurance to do it every other day, especially after lifting that I get kinda burned out and feel lazy to workout again for a few days. That’s why I never have any progress.

Today, I realized that a jumping rope actually allows me to have a more effective cardio exercise after lifting weights. I got totally soaked in sweat, I could do it longer, and it’s also a fun activity. I loved the challenge of jumping as much as I can and as fast as I can without tripping on the rope. I did it outside the house since there’s not enough space inside. I lost track of my number of jumps, but it should be no less than a thousand since I did it for about an hour with little rests in between. I could’ve done more but it started to drizzle so I decided to end it and get back inside.

It’s probably the jumping activity that made gave me this positive energy after working out. It’s normal to feel upbeat after working out and it’s actually one of the good reasons why people should always find time to do it. Today, I’ve discovered that jumping ropes can double that positive feeling. Burpees is good and involves jumping, too, but that exercise is too difficult that I find it easily detestable, which is the same for many other people. I found out that I’d rather jump rope for an hour than do burpees for five minutes. It gives me the same feeling as when I’m jumping to a happy song during a live band concert. It’s just so positive, fulfilling, and fun.

I don’t think I’d lose the stubborn belly immediately if I jump rope for an hour everyday starting to day to the day of my upcoming vacation, but I’m not really worried about that now since I know that it’s already too late and I still have a long way to go. I’m just happy about the fact that I now have a more organized workout program than I did in the past, and I also found a new tool that will make my home workout more enjoyable. It’s a good motivation to starting my life’s new chapter.

Smirnoff Is A Beer

One day, I was at the grocery store and I decided to buy a Smirnoff. Not too familiar with the brand but just for a change of taste, I bought this “beer”. I’m not a drinker- if your definition of a drinker is someone who lives to drink and rehydrates himself with alcohol even if it does otherwise. I just drink when I feel like it, which is not so often.

I was about to pick a local brand. The safe option, if I may say so. But the Smirnoff bottle caught my attention. Although this wasn’t the first time I saw and heard about this “beer”, and I may have had one in the past and got so drunk that I could no longer remember, I thought “Why not try something different?” So I did.

I bought two bottles and put them in the freezer when I got home. It was another impulsive decision to buy beer that I almost forgot I did when I was about to sleep later that night. I was checking the fridge even if I already knew there was nothing to snack on because I’ve already checked several times earlier. Opening the fridge to look inside for no reason had become my habit. As I opened the freezer, it came to me. “Whoa, I totally forgot I bought a beer.”

The bottles were already very cold after being inside the freezer for hours, but not iced. “Perfect.” Excited to try the new “beer”, I quickly opened one bottle and began to drink. I lifted the bottle and it touched my lips. The “beer” began to flow inside my mouth, freezing cold. What a thrill. I’ve always understood why drinkers exist. It’s this same feeling they get whenever a freezing cold beer touches their tongue and flows down on their throats that they just keep wanting more. I’m probably just disciplined enough not to indulge too much.

After my first shot, I quickly realized something. My thoughts reacted as fast as my body reacted to the “beer” I just drank. This bastard isn’t beer. I already knew it wasn’t JUST beer before I drank it. It was beer with Vodka, or kinda like that. When I looked at it from the grocery store, I read it, but not as clearly as someone who carefully reads the instructions for an exam that would make or break their semester.

When I read it, what registered in my head was “Blah, blah, blah, Vodka, blah, blah, blah, beer.” Didn’t even care what Mule means. I made my own assumption that it was beer with a drop of Vodka. Only then did I realize, whether it’s with Vodka or pure Vodka, that’s still fucking Vodka!

I took another shot, the second one, and my face already starts to get numb. The numbness brought a lot of memories. It threw me back to my early twenties and post-twenties, when I used to get crazy at parties by dancing, murdering karaoke songs, and throwing up.

You’re only supposed to drink Vodka at parties where everybody is expected to get wasted, not on a random night at home when you just wanna have a cold drink and relax while your family is sound asleep. Vodka creates chaos which is why it’s the best weapon of choice at parties.

There’s no backing out now, I thought. It would be a waste of money to just throw the remaining Vodka- yes, Vodka, not freaking “beer”- on the sink so I gotta man up and drink up the remaining half. It tastes good anyway, and it was still very cold. I just wasn’t expecting to get tipsy, not with Vodka, for heaven’s sake.

The last beer I bought before this was Heineken. It didn’t have much effect on me even after I’ve had two bottles. I thought it was because I’m an adult now and almost 30 that maybe my body alcohol tolerance has improved even though I don’t drink a lot, while the truth was because it’s just beer and it probably doesn’t even have too much alcohol level, and Smirnoff is Vodka with beer! I don’t care which one has more content in the bottle between the two- beer or Vodka. If it’s Vodka, it’s fucking Vodka!

As I thought about that, I felt the Smirnoff bottle staring at me with a smirk. I thought this bastard was called Smirnoff, not Smirkoff. Well, I still downed that fucker so hard I could hear the Russian National Anthem- because I searched it on Youtube and listened to it. I just had to. Best moment, ever.

That’s just how much I hate Vodka- or love it, I guess. Whatever. Vodka is a no-no at my peaceful home. I’ve always said this on my resume and job interviews, but after this experience I think I’d be taking paying great attention to details a lot more seriously whenever I’d think of trying a beer brand I’m not familiar with.

Oh, shit. I almost forgot I bought two bottles of Smirnoff. There’s one more bottle to deal with. That little bastard must be laughing inside the fridge as I write this. Well then, play the Anthem one more time! To battle!

The Poor Old Bastard With a Black Face Mask

This old man drives along the highway with his jeepney. It was a long one, and today it was more than half-full of passengers. This is how he makes money. Thus, whoever rides his ride is part of the reason his family is able to put food on the table. He does this everyday, this old man.

Going back and forth from one terminal to another, he drives along the highway, stopping every few seconds to pick up and drop off passengers. How many times, I don’t know. He sits on the driver’s seat for hours everyday, arms and hands in control of the steering wheel, gear shifter, as well as frequently reaching behind him to receive fare and give back change from and to people whose lives he also has control of, or at least his responsibility, while they were on his ride.

His health is his concern, this old man, the driver, as he wears a black face mask to block the highway’s pollution, whether smoke or dust, from entering his nose and mouth and down into his system. The last thing any hardworking person with priorities would want to feel is a little sign of cold or cough because they know it can only get worse.

The moment you get hit with flu, work stops, and so does the money. This old man knows that and being the provider of his family, it’s only natural that he makes sure he’s always in top condition.

It all sounds like a sweet and inspiring story.. until this old man slides his black face mask down to open his mouth, and smoke a cigarette. Yeah.. totally makes sense, dude. To himself and his family, he may be a good hardworking man, but to the people who took his ride that day, he was just a poor old bastard among other poor old bastards they have to deal with in different situations.

As he continued to drive along the highway, this poor old bastard calmly holds the cigarette between his fingers. Every half a minute, he’d breathe it in and blow out smoke, which then goes to the back of the jeepney and be inhaled by his passengers who were probably too awkward to call his attention because in return, they’d just get other people’s attention back to them if they were to try to make a scene, even though everyone probably felt disgust for what this poor old bastard had them deal with.

Not even the mother with a baby who seems to be just about a year old- and was breastfeeding during that moment this poor old bastard was enjoying his cigarette- could say anything. She was seated a bit at the front part, closer to the poor old bastard, and was probably afraid to complain or the other passengers might see her breastfeeding in a public vehicle.

Not a single word was blurted out during that smokey ride with the poor old bastard on the steering wheel, not even from this idiot writing this. Why not say anything if you could have done it for the sake of the other passengers, especially the poor mother carrying an infant? Why do I feel like it’s my fault for not doing anything? I’m just one of the passengers who took that poor old bastard’s damn ride. Did no one else feel like I did?

No, I can’t be the only one. We were all just afraid to say anything and would hate the attention, afraid to make a scene, and afraid how the poor old bastard on the wheels might react if any of us tried to say anything. Still, we could have at least tried to do or say something. All this idiot on the keyboard could do during that moment was get his phone out of his pocket and take a photo of the poor old bastard with his cigarette on his fingers.

What do you plan to do with that photo? Put it on Facebook? Put on a caption, cursing the poor old bastard on the wheels, and his family at home who were excitedly waiting for their provider’s blessings like he’s some good guy who does a good job at work and treats them well?

Thanks to this poor old bastard, now I feel like it’s my fault for not denouncing his act and letting everyone else- especially the breastfeeding mother- suffer the consequences of this poor old bastard’s actions. But who’s really to blame? The poor old bastard for his wrong actions, or this idiot’s inaction that didn’t help prevent the situation?

What was the point of the “No Smoking” sign stuck behind the front passenger’s seat? Did that only apply to passengers, and this poor old bastard is an exception? What’s the point of me having a mouth and a pair of balls if I couldn’t use my voice and my cojones to tell this poor old bastard, “Get rid of that cigarette or I’ll have you swallow it?” Why’d this poor old bastard have to let me live with this guilt when I don’t even have anything to do with it?

I guess the most important question here really is, what was the whole point of that black face mask covering the poor old bastard’s face if he was just gonna voluntarily inhale smoke into his system anyway? Was he really trying to protect himself from pollution? Or was he just trying to slay with his little Korean fashion trend look? It’s more like he’s trying to slay his passengers, goddamnit!

Screw you, poor old bastard. I’m moving on.

A Funereal Mood At the Supermarket(Repost)

Another story that I originally posted on September 17th on my other blog, The Hobby Blogger, which I also felt it didn’t belong there so I’m reposting it here.

What’s the exciting thing about buying groceries and other stuff at the supermarket? Well, you’d be restocking your fridge with food- real food and junk food alike- for the next week or two. Maybe buy new batteries for your Bluetooth headset, keyboard, mouse, and other electronics, some new magazines, toys, milk, and diapers- anything. You buy two to three weeks worth of provision, whatever is enough to keep yourself and your family supplied before the next payday. So, I guess that’s exciting, isn’t it? Is it?

Last Sunday, I went to the supermarket to do just that. I took a basket and we bought a few stuff, not necessarily for a couple weeks, but just to get a few things to use. It’s like buying a piece of bath soap, a pack of 30-piece biscuits, and a can of corned beef to get you covered just a few days before payday because your supplies fell short, so you use every remaining bit of extra allowances that you have to survive.

That wasn’t the case with me, though(I swear). Or maybe it is, except we rarely experience having to wait too long before the next payday to arrive. I and my girlfriend get paid every week. We’re lucky at least to be able to restock whenever necessary, or even when not yet necessary. We’re lucky, or blessed, to have a choice if we’d want to restock in advance or not. I guess, to us, a trip to the supermarket is indeed an exciting thing.

It was Sunday the 15th, which means workers were paid last Friday the 13th and have already started to bid their money farewell as they slept away in exchange of their provisions. As I waited in line to pay, I used this chance to look around and observe people and things to see what I can find and see what story I can create out of it, which is why I’m writing this now.

I thought I wouldn’t see much since it was just another weekend at the supermarket, but there was something that caught my attention. It felt like a contagious disease, that if I continued to look at it, I’d get it, too. I had to keep looking, though, because as I did, words were starting to come out as I tried to describe in my head what I was seeing. I still haven’t bought a pen and a notebook to write down immediately whatever I had in mind. A big mistake, but I’ll continue to write.

Was it just the “Lazy Sunday” effect? Was it the rain? Or was it the low-class rap music playing at the supermarket, which sounded like a gangster shit and was irritating the adults and elderly people who weren’t into this type of music? I’m not hating on hip-hop. There’s a lot of rap songs that I like, but this one’s of those rap songs you’d usually hear playing in urban poor areas. Whoever was in charge of the music at the supermarket clearly doesn’t know how to vibe the people and thought his/her cheap music taste would just go unnoticed.

Maybe that’s not to blame, either. Only to me, it was.

I observed further. My head was turning left and right as if I was looking for something or somebody but I wasn’t. I just looked at the faces of the people lined up to pay for their things to buy. They all had the same expression- it was expressionless. Everyone looked dead. Their faces weren’t pale, but they just looked dead inside. I only started to notice after looking at the cashier in front who I’ll be paying to. There were five people in line before me.

It had just been a couple of hours when the store opened, but her face seemed like she’s just about ready to call it a day. I used to have the same face when I worked as a call center agent. It wasn’t a shit job but the people I served were. Did she have a shit customer this early? Or is she just fed up with her job and wanted something else? Who wants to be a cashier, anyway? No, I’m not shitting on her job, but let’s be real- nobody would want this job as a passion. I mean.. come on.

It probably wasn’t the job because like I said, everyone had the same face that day, especially the customers. The only ones I saw who actually had an expression on their faces were the angry mothers trying to tell their kids to shut up and wait, and stop taking things they’re not supposed to buy. Taking your kids with you to the supermarket is never a great idea. Can’t blame you if you had to since no one’s home to look after them, so you just have to deal with it. But if you took them with you just to have a companion, what the hell is wrong with you?

I didn’t know being attentive can be this interesting, or rather disheartening in this case. What seems to be just another day actually has a lot more to it if you look closely.

So, why the long faces at the supermarket? Is it the separation anxiety everyone feels knowing they’re about to give away their hard-earned money that they’ve only had for two days? The gloomy weather? The urban poorrap song? The annoying kids? The fact that it’s Sunday and they were supposed to be still in their beds? Everything combined? Guess I’ll never know.

Her Father’s Old Habit

This story was supposed to be included in Mom’s Glitch In The Matrix Stories but this one is more paranormal so I decided to keep it separate.
WARNING: Might be a bit creepy to read at night. (Or maybe not at all, just thought I’d warn you.

My mom’s father(my grandfather) was a soldier during the Japanese era. He passed away when my mom was just a young girl. Now that I’m about to share this story, I kinda feel bad that I don’t really know much about my grandfather- his history or who he was as a person- aside from the fact that he’s my grandfather and that he was a soldier.

He was killed not in battle but he was shot from behind in their hometown. My mom said he had a very good reputation and was well-known where they used to live and was close to many people. Maybe someone didn’t like him getting all the attention, but my mom said his assassination most likely had something to do with his job.

Whenever he was at home, he would sit down outside their house to smoke. When he does, he had a habit of swinging his hand downwards and sideways while holding the cigarette, as if he’s playing with the smoke. They also had a pet dog who would always watch and play with him while he did this habit. It seems his old habit never stopped, even after he had passed on.

One night, my mom heard their pet dog barking outside their house. She could also hear the dog’s quick footsteps, as if he was playing around or chasing something. She peeked outside to tell the dog to stop whatever he was doing, when she saw something weird.

As my mom continued to look at the dog that kept moving around, she noticed that its eyes seemed fixed on something and was trying to chase it, moving back and forth. That’s when she saw it, a somewhat faint figure and a faint light, swinging sideways.

It was dark so she couldn’t completely figure out what she was seeing, but she said it looked really familiar, even for their dog. It was him, my grandfather, sitting outside, doing the same thing he used to do. And even his dog seemed to recognized it and played along like he always did, like he never left.

Some habits are really just hard to break.

Short-Term Memory Loss Is a B*tch

Back in 2012, I had a medical exam as a requirement for a job I just got hired for. You know the drill. Urinalysis, blood test, X-ray, stool sample(the most difficult one), etc. The clinic was a bit crowded but the process was fast with only a few minutes waiting time in between tests.

While I waited for my name to be called, there was this group of people who came in for their lab tests as well. I can’t remember how we knew that we were all from the same company, maybe they happened to ask me for help and found out that we were soon-to-be colleagues. I prefer to just be by myself, but it’s also nice to have some company, at least while waiting at the clinic.

We shared a few conversations. Very few since I’m not the type to engage in small talks especially with people I just met. Although the little conversations were enough for us to at least recognize each other’s faces in case we’d meet again. That didn’t happen for me, though.

I finished my tests when they were just starting theirs. My name was called at the clinic one last time, the nurse signed my sheet of paper as a confirmation that I’ve completed the medical exam. I bid farewell to these group of youngsters with a smile on my face, and they did the same. It felt like I made new friends for a short time.

Back at the company, I submitted my papers, finally all done with the application requirements. I gave out a sigh of relief. All the waiting was finally over and I was hungry. Excited to eat, I walked in a bit of a hurry in this concrete catwalk just outside the building.

As usual, when alone, I’m spaced out so I don’t quickly respond to what’s happening around me, especially that time when I was already hungry. A group of people walked towards me. I didn’t mean to overhear a bit of their conversation as I heard someone ask, “Are you done?”

I continued walking until I was just a feet away from them and I saw one of the guys smiling and looking at my direction. Whenever I’d talk to anyone, I would only glance at them from time to time instead of directly looking them in the eyes while talking. Might seem rude to some, but that’s just what I am.

I gave the same glance to this guy since I didn’t have any business with him, so I just continued walking past them. A few seconds later, I heard a kind of a surprised and confused reaction. Something like- “Oh..?” or “Whoa..?”. Then, the group started laughing.

It took me a few seconds to realize that that guy was actually looking at me with a smile and he was asking me “Are you done,” because that guy, that group of youngsters, were the same people that I met at the clinic, who I shared little conversations with and guided a little with what to do with their medical exam.

My memory started to work again but not after I was already meters away from them, so it was too late to turn my head back to them to respond. I didn’t mean to be rude, and I could’ve looked back and maybe apologize but, to me, it was already too late to do that so I just decided to leave it like that and continued walking like nothing happened. It was a funny and awkward situation.

I’ve known for a long time that I have bad memory for faces, but I’m sure it’s not face blindness. Like I said, I don’t stare at people’s faces when I talk to them and maybe that’s why. That happened a long time ago and back then, I thought I should start looking at people more not only when having a conversation, but just look at people- not stare, just look- just to be aware of my surrounding. I’m still the same, though.

There are other similar funny instances and awkward moments that were caused by my short-term memory loss and I’d love to share them with you.. but I already forgot about them.