It was like love in that way: Look at this! What’s going to happen here? “Unless the volcano erupts,” became a joke, like “See you Friday, unless the volcano erupts,” or “I’ll love you forever, unless the volcano erupts.”
At that point, bothered by something blurring my vision, I stopped reading. I inspected the smudge on my glasses and tried to wipe it off with my shirt but that only resulted to a bigger mess. It shouldn’t mean anything significant (except perhaps it’s about time for me to go get the piece of cloth specifically designed to clean lenses?) but, you know, unemployment does things to us humans, like give us all the time in the world to exercise our right to treat every non-event as a metaphor. Case in point:
Mudra: Ano ba ‘yang buhok mo walang direksyon.
MG: Parang buhay ko.
I recall what one of my favorite writers once said, Pag pilit mong nilalapatan ng metaphor ang mga bagay, ang tawag dyan sa fiction, heavy-handed. But that is beside the point. What I’m trying to say here is that the message is clear: Nobody’s to blame for the mess I’m in but myself and the more I try to fix it, the more I put myself in deep shit. In the end, I give up.
I gave up. I stopped reading the book altogether. I guess I enjoyed Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette so much that I’ve had trouble with Daniel Handler’s Adverbs. I got too comfortable with Semple’s writing style that the attempt to digest Handler’s lengthy sentences, which I’m no stranger to, has become quite a chore. It’s like being stuck in the comfort zone, trying to get out and failing miserably.
I’ve groomed myself to pursue a career in writing but with years of working in the hellhole of customer service, I feel like I cannot do anything except give instructions to troubled customers and pacify irate foreigners over the phone. Sure, I send applications to writing-oriented job posts online and I receive invitations for interview in return but, more often than not, I second-guess myself. In the end, I give up.
I’ve always believed that people get what they want if they try hard enough and this is the problem: I don’t know what I want anymore.