Pep talk

I’ve always been approached by strangers - this time it was outside a convenience store. His first question was about the bus: "What time is the first bus?" He said he's been waiting for ages for a bus and couldn’t find any. It was 1AM, so I told him there are no buses at this time. His name is Lance. He reminds me of a friend, J: they have the same... awkward personality. Lance is really nervous and sweaty - he said he‘s in UPLB to meet a girl he’s known for a long time just to let out all his stress: "physically, emotionally, financially, etc." The trip from Manila to LB took him four hours. After what I imagine was a lengthy, diary-deep chat between him and the girl, he (kindly?) asked the girl if he could sleep over, but unfortunately he got turned down. So where are you planning to go? I asked. He said he has this family problem, so he’s not going home to San Pedro - he’ll go to his cousin in QC, and wait it out. He seemed troubled: after a disclaimer about his life choices, he said he’s in his fifth course already - he’s been shifting courses - and at 22 he’s going to get a diploma this June. Unfortunately, filmmaking is his passion - and everyone in his family seemed to belittle it. I told him you can’t have everything in life. I gave him a quick pep talk: I didn’t become a writer, okay, but marketing is fine, it pays the bills, it’s slightly creative, and at times it puts me in the shoes of someone else, which is similar to fiction writing. Then I mentioned a friend who had the same passion, got pregnant, decided to take some time off of college, but still persevered to finish at the UPOU. I told him about the film workshops out there that he can save for as soon as he gets his first job. He can apply for online courses. At this point I lost him - he was looking more worried, and he wasn’t listening anymore. I then led him to the jeepney stop and discussed his options: either he waits for the 3AM bus from Sta. Cruz or goes to the terminal in Calamba and, well, wait for the 3AM bus. He chose the latter; he said he'd better be going.