Let’s call him Johnny.
He grew up in a small town living a laid-back country life but which teemed with fresh bounties from the farms and the seas. Johnny was born to a poor family that struggled to make ends meet with the meager profit from their small eatery in the marketplace.
In his college days (in the city), Johnny would wake up at four in the morning every single day to make it just in time for his 5:00 AM working shift at a huge company. He would walk his way from home to work since there weren’t several jeepneys or kartilyas (horse-drawn vehicles) yet by the time he left his place to start off the day.
His office equipment weren’t the likes of computers or any electronic devices. His work was nothing prestigious. His work buddies were neither professionals nor fellow working students. Johnny worked with his brooms and dustpans in the morning, at noon, and afternoon. He was a janitor.
After his early morning shift, Johnny would run back to his place to quickly wash up, eat, and get ready for school. There was barely time for study. His college days weren’t about “being in college” but coping with life as much as he could. Weekends also meant going home to help out at the eatery back in the marketplace.
Life demanded too much from someone who barely had enough.
After his morning classes, Johnny would rush back to his janitorial work, picked up his brooms, dustpans, and bins; and would sweep all of the grounds of the company’s vicinity. The job was neither anything complex, nor was it something easy. Johnny would sweat all over and would need a quick rest every now and then.
He would sit on his tiny low chair holding his broom, dustpan and bin beside him. He would sit there at a corner and watch the company workers walk the grounds coming from either the building or from the gate. Johnny would follow them with a blank stare while smelling the scents of their perfumes as they passed by him.
“Lucky of them, they can afford to smell good.” He would give out a heavy sigh, look up to the sky, and would soon go back to sweeping the grounds. And once done with his noontime shift, he had to run back to school again and go back in the afternoon for the last shift.
Johnny graduated with a degree in commerce but ended up performing as a vocalist in several bands, singing at hotels and resorts. He’s always been a music figure in his small town.
Now a retired musician, Johnny sings instead for the church choir. He still wakes up at four in the morning every single day to do his morning jog. And at home, he has a total of twelve brooms, some of which he promised to give to the janitor in the marketplace.
And as if he never had enough of the job, Johnny still sweeps the grounds surrounding his home and his neighbors’…morning, noon, and afternoon. But no longer for a meager weekly pay, but merely because he thinks he has to…clean up.
And right now, one of Johnny’s daughters is fondly thinking about him, so she wrote daddy’s story. In fact, it’s now done.