The good life

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By Arnold Alamon

Wrapped in Grey

Friday, December 13, 2013

I KNOW you are very busy and you have tons of work to consider. Everyone’s got to make a living you say. But all work and no play makes a dull ken and barbie, right?

So you look for the cheapest airline fare, and visit the best of the 7,100 islands with the barkada. Once, there you have good fun. There should be Red Horse, a pack of cigarettes, and your best mates who will be the captured audience to your whining about the latest in office politics, social climbing progress (or watch, or both, depending on what type of yuppie you are), and the inane discontents of the upwardly mobile set.

Occasionally, the conversation would steer toward the amount of taxes you pay. And the one with the most free time in work will update you about the latest in the Napoles, Tacloban, and the Roxas-Aquino-Romualdez-Lacson debacle in that order.

The group will nod in unison about the hopelessness of government. But someone will interject about the good heart of Justin Bieber and Megan Young and what they did for the people of Tacloban. There is hope yet for the world with the kindness of these superstars.

How sad it is that Paul Walker died, someone would interject and a pall of heavy sadness will fall upon the group. The one in the group who has an old civic handed down to him by an uncle will take a deep drag from his Marlboro lights and feel sad for the actor and also for the yet unrealized dream of turning his car to the drag race and drifting machine that he always wanted.

And then someone will open up about his and her heartaches. How someone broke his or her heart, sharing the intimate details of the affair that is now no more. All the while, scanning the group for the person who will relieve him or her of this pain, if not forever, then just for tonight. The silent but equally on the lookout will consider this the chance. Then a few glances will be exchanged and everything is set of what will happen.But not before everyone makes an ode to true love.

A toast is then shared for the future, glimmering in each of their eyes a vision of a condo unit, a car, and a husband, wife, and children. For the gay set, at least, a long-term partner with the same condo unit, car and maybe a dog.

If there is a subliminal desire wafting thick in the atmosphere of the local airports and commercialized beaches, and the many Fitness First and Gold’s Gyms and gimmick places where the throng of yuppies congregate all year round is the quest for true love. But in the age of disposable interests and instant gratification, a one-night-stand, often times, will do.

And demographically-speaking, many will find true love. There is something about the desperation of the number 30 that will convert the unromantic to be all of a sudden head-over-heels in love which is just a step shy of getting married. And they get married first on Facebook through the spunky prenuptial photos and then on real life.

And then they would have families and they will realize that the true love they had hoped for would easily be overshadowed by the bills, endless list of inadequacies they would have of their partners, and the difficulty of climbing the corporate ladder. But life is good especially when one hears of this good news from the modern prophets who preach this with impeccable diction and spot-on middle class references in their air-conditioned halls most of the time within the vicinity of malls.

God will provide for the newest smartphone and plan upgrade paid for through credit card. God will provide for the vacation with the young family so that the children can brag about their trip to their equally well-travelled classmates also through credit. God will provide through credit card for the hospital bills of an ageing parent.

In the meantime, the haciendero class that runs our country has stealthily passed on the baton to a fascist in preparation for the 2016 elections. Coal plants pushed by big business are sprouting under their very noses after having been conditioned by the rotational brownouts they were made to endure.

Saddled by such a myriad of social burdens to achieve the good life, what is the middle class, the so-called thinking class, to do?

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 13, 2013.


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