Tag Archives: fiction

Mr. Nice Guy Versus Mr. Too Cocky For You

Standard

Mr. Nice Guy

Last Tuesday, at a salsa social in Bellini, I was sitting in my usual corner, having a cigarette break, when this familiar-looking guy, took the empty seat next to mine.

I have seen him at salsa parties on many occasions and yet I never danced with him. He never asked me to dance either. I remember him because he is one of those few guys that I always see at salsa socials, but never on the dance floor.

Between puffs of cigarette, he managed to catch my eye and pull a little smile. I smiled back. In my head, I was counting how many seconds it will take for him to say something.

One. Two. Three–

“Hi, how are you?” He asked after the fourth second.

“I’m good, thanks.” I said. “I think we’ve met before, but I’m sorry I can’t remember your name.”

“It’s Mr. Nice Guy.” He said, as he reached his hand out.

I immediately put my cigarette on the ashtray even though I was only halfway through.

“Jennifer.” I said, taking his hand, and making a mental note of how his hand feels warm and comfortable against mine.

“Would you like to dance?” He said in a nervous tone as though he was already sure I was going to say no. “I’ve only started taking classes, but I will really appreciate it if I can try what I learned with you.”

My heart melted with his honesty.

“Of course.” I said without hesitation.

He pulled me to the dance floor the moment Como Tiemba El Alma started playing in the background. It was a good start, and a good finish, and just like most of the beautiful dances, it was beautiful and unexpected.

Mr. Too Cocky For You 

Last Tuesday, at a salsa social in Bellini, I was sitting in my usual corner, having a cigarette break, when this familiar-looking guy, took the empty seat next to mine.

I have seen him at salsa parties on many occasions and yet I never danced with him. He never asked me to dance either. I remember him because he is one of those few guys that I always see at salsa socials, but never on the dance floor.

From my peripheral view, I noticed that he looked away from the dance floor to look at my direction.

“How are you?” He said in a very casual tone.

“Good, thanks.” I said. “I think we’ve met before, but I’m sorry I can’t remember your name.” I said feeling embarrassed.

“I can’t remember your name either.” He said in a very condescending tone. It was the kind of tone that was screaming are you kidding me? You don’t know who I am?

“It’s Jennifer,” I said reaching my hand to his direction.

“Oh, that’s right. I forgot that for a second. My name’s Mr. Too Cocky For You.”

Of course you ‘forgot that for a second’ because there is heaps of asian Jennifers who dance salsa in Cairo.

I immediately lit a second cigarette and rolled my eye.

“Are you sure you’re ok?” He asked. “You don’t look ok.”

Well who are you to decide whether or not I look ok? For one, you are crossing the borders of my space.

“I’m alright, thanks.” I managed to say instead.

“Are you sure?” He asked, raising an eyebrow that probably meant he was so sure that I wasn’t sure I’m ok.

I think I would be ok if only you can stop talking in your fake british accent for Christ’s sake! And that’s a big statement coming from me considering I don’t even believe in Christ!

“I think I would know if I’m not ok, thanks.” I said as politely as I could.

“What is the problem?” He probed.

That was just the nudge I needed.

“You want to know what’s the problem? You’re strange. And you’re so in my face.”

“In your face? I’m not too close, I don’t think.” He said defensively.

His arrogance only proved his ignorance.

“I didn’t mean it literally.”

“So, what do you mean then?”

“You suck at small talk. Usually, what happens is that you ask how I am and I say I’m alright. And I ask how you are and you say you’re fine. And that’s the end of the story. I keep my mouth shut, and you keep your mouth shut. Or you get up from your seat and move on to some place else where you can stick your nose in someone else’s business. You asked me if I was ok three times, and I gave you the same answer three times. Which is more than necessary. Usually, after I lit up another cigarette, you will take that as a hint that no, I don’t want to talk to you. And yes, my cigarette is a much better company. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m gonna go dance.”

Burn.

Advertisements

An open letter to writers who stopped writing

Standard

Nine years ago, we were all dreamers. We were enthused and inspired by some of our professors, and belittled and sneered at, and bashed by others. The point is, we felt feelings from sheer bliss to dread. We were so eager to start sinking our heads on piles of freshly photocopied reading materials. We were afraid to run late to that creative writing class because the professor is known to be a terror. We were confused and thrilled, at the same time, but mostly scratching our heads contemplating on how we will finish a three-page, double-spaced, font size 12, times new roman writing assignment with Michael Jackson as the main character and Cuba as the main setting.

We were raw, and ready to be cut open, and bleed for that 3.0. A 3.0 can mean a perfect mark depending on the professor, and we can sure be damn proud that we don’t have to retake that class. It’s more sacred than passing Math 11, that’s for sure.

We all wanted to be published authors, story tellers, editors of the most popular fashion and lifestlye and whatnot magazine. We wanted to be playwrights, and screen writers, songwriters, whathaveyous.

But what happened to that? Somewhere along the way, we got a little bit distracted of this, a little bit distracted of that. Most of us moved on to different directions, while some of us stopped completely.

Was it because there is no money in writing? Was it because of too many rejections and failed attempts? Or the lack of motivation and inspiration?

I still have the blogs we were required to write in our uni days bookmarked. I still check it once in a while, just in the off chance that some of you might remember it and update it one bit. But what I get is my heart broken once in a while. Nothing changes. The last post you wrote on your blogs are still dated 2007.

It seems that the closest way I can get to your writing is through your smart one liner status on facebook. Sometimes, it comes in the form of full-on, full-length, quasi-literature ranting about the daily chaos you go through. From the clumsy coffee spills, to how riveting Jennifer Lawrence looked, then back to how badly your boss sucks, to celebrating your 113th month anniversary.

And I must admit, when I read those status, those moanings, and whinges, and whatnot, I smile. Because it’s funny! Because it’s witty! Because it’s spot on! Because I can taste how vinegary your awkward first date went. Because I can feel the pressure you placed on the handlebar on that one hell of a bus ride. Because your words have texture and aesthetic! Because you’re still temperamental, and we all know that writers are meant to be bipoloar or something!

I smile because I know that you still have it in you, despite your corporate or academic attitude sometimes, no offense. I just wish you guys can tell me more, I wish I can read more of it, I wish you will write more.

Maybe some of you stopped writing because there was no material to work on. Well, experience is like Santa’s big red bag! Turn that trip to Nagsasasa Cove into a travelogue and I will be the first one to read it! Make a review about the last book you just read because I can use a good insight. Write a review about the latest blockbuster movie, or write a commentary about the Sundance Festival and I will read it all because I trust your taste in film.

Maybe you stopped writing because you’re going through a hard time right now. Maybe your relationship really really really sucks. That’s no excuse. Look at Adele and the tons of songs she has written! Maybe some of you stopped writing because you don’t have the time. Well, if you have the time to browse reddit and 9gag, please, shoot me now!

Maybe you stopped writing because you got pregnant or got married, whichever came first, but that’s no excuse either. Write children stories–stories that you know your little kiddo will love listening to before bedtime. That’s inspiration and experience right at your fingertips.

Writing is a state of mind. Although having that perfect cup of coffee and feeling the breeze on your hair while you’re sitting under the shade of a tree somewhere in the outskirts of India is highly recommended, most of the time, you will find yourself waking up at 2am in your cockroach-infested apartment, with a drool drying at the corner of your lips. Wipe it off, and pen it down, dammit! Or write it on your computer. Or phone. Whatever. You have no idea how many brilliant ideas get lost in ideasphere every single night just because we’re too lazy to try.

Kidding aside, just start writing again and make sure to send me a link. I mean it.

PS. If you’re reading this and you belong to the UPLB Com Arts 2004, yes, this letter is specifically addressed to you.