THE JANITOR

Let’s call him Johnny.

Johnny grew up in a laid-back town down a countryside that teemed with fresh bounties from its seas and farms. He was born to a poor family that struggled to make ends meet with what meager profit they earned from a tiny eatery they owned at the marketplace.

Back in college, in the city, Johnny woke up at four in the mornings. He had to make it to a 5:00 AM part-time shift at a then-renowned company he worked for. He walked his way from his rented home to work since there weren’t several jeepneys or kartilyas (horse-drawn vehicles) by the time he left his place.

His office wasn’t one with computers or any cool electronic devices at the time. His station was the company’s entire perimeter. His work wasn’t much of thinking but rather of keeping the place neat and — fresh. His teammates 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 – a very good one at that.

After his early morning shift, Johnny would run back to his place for a quick wash, a nonsense breakfast (sometimes), and on to 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 at the marketplace.

Life demanded too much from someone who barely had enough.

After morning class, Johnny would sprint back to janitorial work. He picked up his brooms, dustpans, and bins over and over again and cleaned up all there was to get rid of. The job was neither anything complex, nor was it something easy. Johnny would sweat all over and melt under the heat, with only a quick rest every now and then.

He would sit on his tiny low chair holding his broom, dustpan and bin beside him. Sitting there in a corner, watching company employees walk the grounds, coming in and going out. Johnny formed a habit of following them with a blank stare while smelling different scents of perfumes as they passed by him.

“Will I ever get to wear a good perfume?”, he pondered. He would give out a heavy sigh, looked up at the nothingness of the heavens, and would soon go back to sweeping away leaves and other pieces of matter that didn’t seem to matter anymore. Once done with noontime shift, Johnny ran back to school subjects again and then go back to his part-time station in the afternoon for the last shift.

Johnny graduated with a degree in commerce from a public university, however, ended up performing as vocalist in several bands singing at hotels and resorts. Since then and until now, he’s always been a music figure in his small town.

Now a retired musician, Johnny sings at the church on Saturdays and Sundays. He still wakes up at four in the morning every single day, this time to comply with his jogging routine. At home, he has a total of twelve brooms, some of which he promised to give to the janitor at the marketplace.

And as if he never had enough of the job before, Johnny still sweeps the grounds surrounding his home and his neighbors’…morning, noon, and afternoon. No longer for a meager weekly pay, but merely because he thinks there’s no better thing to do than…well, clean up!

Right now, one of Johnny’s kids is fondly thinking about him, so she wrote daddy’s story. In fact, it just ended.

Johnny’s daughter,

Ayna

 

 

 

 

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THE JANITOR

19 Sobering Truths About Friendship You Need To Accept In Your 20s

This is just about everything I’ve been feeling. I am normal. Lol!

Thought Catalog

1. The people who you thought would be there for you when it counted are not always going to be there. Sometimes because they quite literally cannot be there, other times because they just don’t want to (anymore).

2. The same will go for you – you’re not always going to (want to) be there for people who need you too.

3. Some of your friends will be more successful than you. And you will be more successful than some of your friends. And this will change over time depending on everyone’s life situation, path, and sheer dumb luck.

4. You will feel like people you’ve known for years don’t know you at all anymore (and you don’t know them either). You will also feel like people you’ve met for five minutes just “get you.” And it’ll be a strange, complex feeling you’re not quite sure how to handle all…

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19 Sobering Truths About Friendship You Need To Accept In Your 20s

Quarter Life Crisis on the Brighter Side

…and finally.

It’s been a fairly lengthy layover since my last post and it feels awesome [and a bit strange?] to be back! I’m sorry to disappoint myself though [and if anyone else] that nothing much has happened except for at least four vivid and vague circumstances:

  1. I am now officially a slave of my corporate designation, which I kind of expected.
  2. It took me by gigantic surprise that my very good old friend, who’s been away for like 13 years, came knocking on my quarter life door and asking me out to explore possibilities of spending time together for like a period of forever.
  3. And just when we were about to kill the annoying distance between us, like a hemisphere far, he went –errr– gone?
  4. I’m turning 25 next week, be officially vested with the rights and responsibilities of womanhood – and I’m taking it like a severely ridiculous joke.

But how does it feel to be turning 25 anyway? Ha, the same question I asked this very good old friend slash short-time long distance lover. I never got the answer anyway…’cause that was supposed to be discussed on mornings over coffee. Which never happened. Don’t ask why. So I’ll try to answer it for myself at least. And I thought I wasn’t going to talk about turning 25 here. Gah!

Default feeling – scary. “Both scary and exciting,” so to complete the cliche. I have been swayed to believe by whatever force that those are somewhat “required” emotions from anyone experiencing QLC (quarter life crisis). Otherwise, you will be thought of as someone who doesn’t care about plans, timelines, goals; doesn’t care that you’re not getting any younger and you could be exhausting your life span anytime soon. But the question is, is the pressure @#$%^&* real?

Precious YES. For myself at least. Career. Education. Relationships. Acquired skills. “Nice” hobbies. Lifestyle. Health. Promotions. Degrees. A place to call yours. A car to drive. Engagement. Wife, husband. Family. Kids. Investments. Insurance. And the list just goes on and on, you surely know. Drives you nuts!

But then, of course, I make my escape from the mental and emotional riot, especially when all these are becoming inhumanly overwhelming. As if it’s torture, yea? Well, believe me, if you don’t handle these thoughts well, they can do for you a bloody imaginary hemorrhage.

On a more serious note [and this popped up just now], to be turning 25, for me, is taking advantage of this little time to recap, reevaluate, and reorganize your plans if necessary.

  1. Recap – How has life been since the farthest past you can recall? What did you do with your 25 years? How did you do coming along through all these years?
  2. Reevaluate – So, you think you made the right turns, right decisions so far? Did your decisions make way for you to a better future life? Were you right at choosing this and that person to let go?
  3. Reorganize plans – If necessary, why not? Plans are plans, not curses you sold your soul for. If you realize you suck at making life decisions, ask for help. I swear you will die bored figuring your own life all by yourself. You need your family, friends, and perhaps a few more strangers to mess up your life a bit more. LOL! If you realize you’ve hurt someone, don’t go on pretending like you aren’t feeling guilty at all. Pick up your phone or drop a message. A sincere “I’m sorry” won’t bite. Right, it’s not easy but it’s not like you’ve got to find the end of infinity first before you say it.

And all that I’m saying to myself as well. 🙂 Those three Rs (recap, reevaluate, reorganize) make me shiver, at the same time, giddy – scared and excited. Well, that’s how it is I guess. Life is meant to be imperfect, otherwise it’s just one monotonous …boring… something. So embrace yourself for who you have become – either you celebrate it or forgive and make peace with yourself. Acknowledge your being part of a universal system and be grateful that you’re a part of it. The universe doesn’t exclude anyone nor anything. In fact, we don’t have a choice but to join it, dead or alive. You know, no one is given the right to be so alone.

So how do I conclude how it is to be turning 25? Well –[thinking]– I’d say, “I’m throwing one helluva grandiose party and the universe is my crowd.” 😉

Oh yes, you are cordially invited!

 

See ya! Love,
Ayna

Quarter Life Crisis on the Brighter Side

A Love Long Overdue

I lost my best friend to the decision we made long past – to gamble such a one of a kind friendship for a love we thought we could survive. We made a pretty long run for it, and all seven years of giving up and fighting for it again, gone now and not a piece of that past seems repairable. Like every broken piece could only hurt.

I am uncertain as to what point I have for writing this. What’s undeniable though is that I miss my best friend [badly] and it hurts to realize that time, and perhaps all of the universe, has buried our friendship that was witness to a very lovely story in the past. I wish we could talk again the way we did, without inhibitions, just frank, but with hugs kept ready in case one had to cry or lose temper.

It’s safe to say that I was everything to my best friend and I liked it, only that I had most of my decisions shadowed by fears, hesitations, and my unacceptance of the reality I was faced with. I lost grip, gave up, and left my best friend fighting alone for nothing. I loved my best friend but this was often tainted with my doubts about the future, our future. I used to imagine it but each time I did, I would end up losing engine at a crossroad; from there I would stop. I chose to.

Now, what more could I ask for my best friend than the happiness deserved. I didn’t stand for what my best friend was fighting for. So maybe this time I could do good in wishing well.

I hope you are happy now. If we meet again one day, you might never hear the same words I used to say. You just have to remember that I loved you in some special way.

A Love Long Overdue

Goodnight World!

Isn’t it very frustrating to just feel the keyboard of your laptop, your fingers wanting to type in beautiful words you just can’t find, then you end up telling how you feel about that instead? Like what I’m saying now. 😀

Nothing really. Just wanted to drop by and try some brain-teaser in hopes of coming up with something sensible to talk about but —errr—clearly, my brain is NR. As in “no reaction.”

So let me wish you all goodnight and sweet dreams. Tomorrow, may my brains find some sense in thinking. Otherwise, that’s bad news for me. Haha!

Goodnight wishes with love, Ayna 😉

Goodnight World!