The List

So things at the workplace are becoming more complicated. The longer you stay, the harder it is to leave. Added to this some unexpected tasks and issues I have to face. It didn’t help that some people are throwing those half-meant jokes on me. Yesterday, everyone at the workplace had the chance to leave early. Office work has been suspended because we attended the funeral mass of the former president. It was supposedly a sad and gloomy day. In my case however, my sadness arises from other reasons.

We were brought to a place I rarely visit. In order for me to reach home, I have to passed by this huge shopping mall and if you know me well, you know what happened next. Swipe! I took home a new polo shirt. Although I spent the entire afternoon hopping from one shop to another. I needed a channel to vent out my angsts in life. And the powers of shopping can temporarily cure everything. If the male populace are known for their drinking sessions as temporary escape, mine has always been a new blouse, shoes or bag.

I came home very exhausted as a result of the excessive hours of walking. I thought sleep would be enough to save me. I woke up very late and there’s no way for me to catch my 7 am classes. @#$%^& Nevertheless, I still reported for work. I was tired and irritated. It didn’t help that I forgot to charge my favourite commuting buddy, my iPod nano. I thought my agitation level would further accelerate. Everything changed when I noticed something from a fellow jeepney passenger.

I notice the male passenger beside me. He is probably in his late teenage years or early twenties. I may not know his exact age, but from his looks and frame, he should still be going to school. What caught my attention was this huge scar around his neck.  I maybe wrong but it appeared to me as traces of serious burns. In the middle of the trip, he took out a pen and some pieces of paper from his backpack. He was about to write something. It wasn’t my intention but I was able to glance on his handwritten notes. I saw a list of items.

Cellphone –

Watch –

Savings –

There were corresponding figures behind each item and my short glance didn’t provide me enough information. But it was a relatively long list.

It was a short list of items and expenditures. I have a feeling it was his wish list. Or maybe, it was a list of itemised debts. Although based from his looks and age, I was leaning to the fact that it was his Xmas wish list or maybe, a bucket list of needs and wants. My initial response then was to utter a silent prayer for this kid. I asked God to grant the kid’s wishes.

I may not personally know the kid but I felt that rare pinches in my heart again. I saw my old self in him. Ten years ago, I was the same college kid who was just starting to earn. I have my own share of wish list for myself and family. I also had that habit of listing down everything. I used to have a notebook that contained all the items I want to buy for myself and family. I have estimated costs and I still had that habit of setting aside part of my money. Gradually, I will be able to cross out some items after all the needed money has been pooled.

Ten years after, everything changed. The process actually reversed. Blame the evil rectangular devices. I purchase the items I like, and list them down as payables in my credit card. LOL It’s no longer a wish list. What I’m currently writing is a list of debts and payments. I set aside money to pay for past purchases.

But seriously, I’m trying my best to clean up my own mess. Though recently, the workplace issues, weight gain problems and all the quarter life crisis attacks are not helping me eliminate this evil habit.

I wrote this post for the kid who reminded me of my simple yet fulfilling life 10 years ago. I hope simplicity and hard work will remain  and thrive in him 10 years after. I hope he doesn’t end up like me. But at this point, what I really wish that someone can play Santa Claus for him this Xmas. I hope he will be able to cross out items from his list. I hope he will be given the gift he truly deserves. As for my grown up self, I have to endure that bitter pill of paying everything.

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