THERE will always be times when you would just want to wallow in self-pity. But no, the world will not allow you to do so.

Just when you're feeling so down in the dumps and ready to give up, your friend who is valiantly fighting cancer shares dinner and stories with you. And so you jump back, guilty for feeling so hopeless.

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But these down days, they will persist and they'll try to beat you down again. But just when you're down again, you bump into a former athlete who now goes around the world on a wheelchair, showing to the world that wheelchair bound people still have a lot of life left in them. You jump back again, guilty for feeling so hopeless.

In between, you have acquaintances who think they are helping along by dropping words to cheer you up like, "Kaya mo yan." In return, you glare back at them, biting your tongue that wants to shout, "Get out of my way, I don't need you."

And just when you are ready to strike anyone who gets in your way, your dive buddy kids you about your "aggressive pose" and never lets you hear the end of it until you just go home tired and sleepy.

Haha. If you think the world will leave you alone to wallow in self-pity, it won't. It will pester you, it will get in your way, it will want you to scream (and commit) murder, but it will not back off. But only if you do not lock your doors to the world. Otherwise, the world might not be able to come in time.

Finally, you are home, all alone in the quite of the night as the radio plays a song of broken hearts, broken dreams, frustrations, and death. And you realize, many have been there before, you are no longer original. And so you jump back again, feeling so outdated, so jologs, so baduy, so emo.

How many songs have been written, indeed? Too many to count, through all generations at that. From the deeply moving crescendos and pianissimos of the classical singers to the honk-honk, eek-eek-eek of the rapping budots, as the world stares at you as if chiding: Been there, done that, been back again, and still there. No, little one, you are absobluminutely not so original.

With no room for self-pity left, you walk right back, this time on the 'getting used mode'. Getting used to being chided by the world as yet another child sifts through the garbage bin, unbathed, barely clothed, unshod as you pass by, wearing that sad face, inside an air conned taxi, snorting at the damp smell of the taxi rug. "How petty can you get?" the world chides again.

Yes... there is no room for self-pity. The world will make sure it will be there to flash you images of real hopelessness and sadness and forlornness and everything else blue, that will rival whatever it is has been driving you down the rut. But only if you don't lock the world out.

"Isn't that chicharon, you are chomping on?" world asks, just as you noticed the price tag saying P27. "Guess how many have to eke out a living just to have P27 to share with one whole family?" world persists.

You slam the virtual door on world, click on YouTube to browse with unseeing eyes until you are enticed by the beat of a single guitar strumming downward an introduction to what could be a marching song. You stop to listen and get caught up in the lyrics...

Kahit kay haba ng lalakbayin

Daang tag-araw man ang humagupit

Kahit ilang libong tag-ulan ang sumapit

Hinding-hindi tayo titigil.

You look around to see world peeking out from the virtual door, grinning... It wasn't locked out.

You give up, put on your most loose shirt and shorts and do your daily exercise for the chi. Endorphins, endorphins, I need lots of endorphins. The world just won another round. saestremera@yahoo.com