Vignette:In the Moment

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In the Moment
611 Avenida Calentón, Cagayan City, Confederal Republic of the Cagayan
October 13th, 2018

ufemio sat in front of the monitor, as he had been doing for the past seven hours. On the desk in front of him, a thermos half-filled with coffee, the keyboard he had been typing on the whole time, and the mouse, amidst what seemed like the aftermath of a typhoon passing over a pile of documents.

However, though his body was essentially on autopilot, continuing to type numbers into a spreadsheet unending, his mind was elsewhere, already checking his mental schedule for what he would do once he'd clock out. He would cook the Yeosani ramyeon pack he had been saving and watch TV. But he would also do something special later.

This had been his routine for seven years without change, and he'd affirmed it internally. He was alive, after all, and kept alive by the god of luck, Posadas, whose face smiled back at him from the 1000-peso bills in his salary, whispering, ‘a house and a trip to the beach will soon guarantee your happiness!’

And so, after six long years, he bought a house in San Carlos, and he saw that it was so-and-so. Yet now a voice within him, as if it were the devil itself, began to raise itself in rebellion, protesting that his happiness was elsewhere. And for the most part, the devil was right. He had come to realise it himself the past few months.

‘Waking up at 6, to go to the office by 9 to clock in, to stare at a monitor for the next third of the day and maybe more, to clock out by 5, to get home by 7, to sleep by 10, to wake up at 6 to go to the office and start all over again...’

His time was not his anymore, and with it, his life ceased to be his. That much was clear, and no amount of sertraline or beer was able to change anything. The first simply made him number–and softer–than the office drywalls, and the second gave him a pulsing headache whenever he woke up. He tried office romances for a while, but they never worked out beyond a month or two whenever it was clear they were both only looking for diversions and not something serious.

So he was back to square one, and he never went beyond it again for as long as he toiled.

But as he had planned, he did something special once he clocked out, and the next day, he filed his letter of resignation. Of course, he was not fully out yet–he can only leave after 2 weeks. But his HR supervisor did ask about it.

“Is there any reason in particular why you want to leave?”

Eufemio simply sighed and smiled, as if a load was taken off his back.

“It’s not you, it’s me. I simply thought I might need more experience elsewhere,” he said with a corporate buzz. Inwardly, he was thinking about what ‘experience’ he would first gain with his newfound emancipation.

And when he went home that day, he was happier than ever.

He turned on the TV, sat on the couch, and opened a bottle of Yarovar Standard. Miedo con Amor was on, and for today’s episode the vida was finally getting her revenge. He couldn’t miss it.

“Nas darobi,” he muttered in a poor imitation of Yarovar before chuckling and drinking straight from the bottle.

He had no troika, and will have no money. But the concerns must come when their time comes; for the moment, he felt he was the God of his own life. He was free, he was unbounded, and he was ready to get shitfaced.

And that was all that mattered.

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