Biting Mouths, Bitten Hands

During the day I am an employee of a budding fast-food chain, the one on Magsaysay Street. I deliver orders to tables. I appease complaints. I attend to trivial requests, things I thought customers could do themselves, but I guess their listless bodies hinder them from doing so. Sometimes I think the customers just want to exercise that little power they get at restaurants, an asking of convenience, fully knowing that we are just there at the corner waiting to be ordered. At night I help tend the small stall my father set up at our local food hub. We serve drinks, mostly liquor, and if it is a forgiving night, an occasional foreigner would drop by for some glass and pay us an extra amount. This has been the cycle of my everyday ever since I got out of prison. My father reminded me about doing good in both of those jobs, told me to behave if I really want to help the family pay the debt I caused. 

Some say we haven’t earned our rage yet, people like me, people who tire their body in abusing ways. I remember my workmate, her uniform stained by the day’s busyness, asking about the impossibility of it all, Di ka pa ba kontento hit kaguol dinhi? Are you not contented of the weariness here, she asked. I knew the bareness of her question, how it did not ask for any response, but I still did respond. I wanted to tell her this is all it ever does, but part of me wanted to spark her passive rage; I mean it was easier then since we were both tired. I told her how our wage is never enough, and how the owner likes to keep it that way so we still find ourselves in this same job tomorrow. She smiled, acknowledging this. Upaya la magyaman ka hito, make sure you become rich doing all these, she said in her dry humor.  Read More