At a swanky bar serving chilled little bottles of white wine, I was about to talk to a Latina waitress who looked like the sidekick of Dwayne Johnson in Furious 7 when my son wakes me up, saying why are you still sleeping, Daddy? It's about 5 P.M. I told the waitress we'll talk about work--but as soon as I said that her face scrunched a bit--so I said I meant anything but work. Then I woke up and remembered my dream: for an internal event at my former work in the ad agency I was in a film-viewing about a compendium of stunts and scenes from different films, and that the only thread binding them together was that it was made in a single modern house, glass and metal and minimal, a bit like a documentary. Our Creative Director was there, our Strat, a couple of Creatives. Outside were booths, one of which serve good cold-brewed coffee at Nishiko (and I had to ask where?) in Navotas, of all places. The owner's mom was manning the booth, and upon learning that I'm currently working for a non-profit organization she mentioned that her son invested for five years in one of our Shakespeare-related campaigns. Really? A hundred thousand pesos, to be exact, she said. He was just nuts about it, she said.
I'm sorry. It's virtually impossible to stay away from social media because that's my job. I'm paid to do just that: monitor Facebook and Twitter accounts every day, even during the weekends. A day without access to the Internet is unthinkable. I'm paid to not miss out on the latest hashtag trends or the newest Facebook features. Just when will self-help material for social media professionals proliferate? If there's one job where the use of social media is strongly obliged and incentivized, it's that of a social media professional. You're licensed to use Facebook all the time. Yet the job is widely misunderstood because, to be honest, it's not as easy as being logged in on Facebook all the time. The only feature that has kept me from going nuts is the option to disable notifications: no WhatsApp messages from my Hong Kong-based boss, no urgent pings from Facebook chat, no DMs on the corporate Twitter account. Instagram is cute. Snapchat is entertaining. Soundcloud is amazing. I'm glad I don't have any reason to go back to Tumblr. I could go on and on... But it's still at the back of my mind, one swipe away, these notifications that kept on piling up. Most often the lines between work and play is extremely blurred. I have my Mom's old iPhone now, and compared to a vintage iPod touch, this gave me more apps to choose from. I initially thought it was heaven-sent--I imagine all my backlog on reading the older New Yorker issues would magically disappear--but it gave me tons of options: not only can I read all those older issues, but there's a lot of magazines to read on: Little White Lies, TIME Magazine, El Pais, Le Monde, NME International, Kenyon Review, MIT Technology Review, New York Review of Books, Pitchfork, Lucky Peach, you name it. I haven't read a single page from Austerlitz in months. I've never used a DuoLingo app in five straight days. What have I been doing?
From the FX a man was walking by the sidewalk, exhausted by the scorching weather, the kind that’s humid even after sunset. He found this kitten that's about to get through the grills on the foot of a bungalow gate, and he used his feet to slowly shove the kitten back to its place. Then he moved on; he walked slowly past the house. His face had a palpable sense of wonder about the kitten, as if he’s considering the options of taking care of the kitten or petting it for a few minutes.
On the same afternoon, about thirty minutes apart, the driver had to hit the brakes, step down from his jeepney, and after a moment, disappeared as he squatted by the bumper. We first thought that maybe it was a mechanical problem, a case of radiator overheating, simmering and chugging out smoke? until he gently whisked a feeble kitten away from McArthur Highway, plopped it along the sidewalk, crossed the road back to the jeepney and sped as if nothing happened.