The Guard*

He has eleven hours and forty-six minutes in his hands.

Eleven hours and forty-six minutes left, and he has already paced around the restaurant. Twice.

So much time to kill, but with what? As far as he knows he is only allowed to people-watch, or else stare purposelessly out into space.

Eleven hours and forty-five minutes.

What’s there to defend? The baked mac? There must be a couple thousand pesos at most in the cash register. He has often caught himself questioning, if only in his head, why it’s become standard procedure for even small restaurants to hire security personnel. During peak hours he tries to make himself useful, bussing tables. Once in a while a harried customer trying to find someplace to sit grants him a nod of appreciation, but most times he just gets a nonplussed look or a giggle. A “bus-guard,” and a “guard-in-waiting,” he’s been called. The rest of the day he preoccupies himself with daydreaming, brows pulled down together and eyes squinting in feigned alertness and intense concentration. There really isn’t anything else to do, though he’s never saying that out loud.

He shakes his head almost imperceptibly. “Gotta stop these nonsense thoughts about purpose. This feeds my family, pays the bills. Don’t need any more purpose than that to keep me at my post.”

*Resurrecting this character vignette-in-progress. Still needs a lot of work; I wonder where he will take me🙂


Whimsy waxing poetic

There were countless things I wanted to be:
A doctor, engineer, singer for a fee,

Absolutely nothing that I couldn’t do,
Even feed alligators at the zoo!

I thought I’d be an astronaut and dance ’round the moon,
Or maybe a magician who could eas’ly bend a spoon.

A chef, policeman or pilot perhaps,
Or maybe a nurse who gives babies their naps?

As I became older all these open doors
Got fewer and fewer as I charted my course.

More and more, too, I came to learn
That it’s not about what I could do or earn,

But there is a master, the One above all,
Whose pleasure truly is my greatest call,

And so here and now it’s plain to me,
As clear as crystal I finally see

That there really just one thing I ought to be:
A faithful and humble servant of Thee.



From my other blog — On notebooks…

t a s t e & s e e !

It’s show and tell time!

I just realized that I have quite a lot of notebooks. Here are some that I use for journaling:

My Little Book of Blessings

I started keeping this one in early 2006 (yes, you read that right, it’s more than ten years old!) to note down each day’s blessings. Oh, the things that are written here! It’s amazing how a huge chunk of how God kept me afloat and joy-filled through some of the most difficult years of my life are chronicled in this tiny notebook. Only thing was, I’d always stop after a few weeks or months, and have just recently resumed writing on it again, so half the pages are still waiting to be filled.

My Faith Walk Journal

Now this notebook used to contain the highlights, or the briefest possible summary, of my every day. (See the very old entry above? Yup, this notebook’s been…

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Why do I write? — A question revisited

Five years ago — yes, five — I actually published on this blog a four-post series that explored the reasons I wrote. I called the posts, “The Whys and Wherefores of It.” (See Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.) This time I enrolled in a course over at Blogging University, and Day One has me facing that question again: Why do I write?

I’ve decided to answer the question on free-write mode, and later compare the consequent post to the ones I wrote in 2011.

I write because I believe I have something to say that is worth “putting on paper,” so to speak, and possibly even worth reading by others.

I write because it’s therapeutic to me to document my thoughts, and helpful (on top of being nostalgic), cathartic, even, to be able to read and relive later the way my younger self processed and understood things and life. Recording myself through writing is in itself a way for me to thresh out and make sense of my world. By my writings, too, I am able to chronicle and track my growth as a person.

I write because I simply love putting words next to each other, I love weaving small and big pieces of me through words, and I love how with the right words I am able to create material that is of consequence to me and that may reach and affect another human being (in a positive way, I hope).

I write because I need to.

I write because I believe I actually express myself much better in writing than in speech. I am hardly articulate, am not a good conversationalist, not a quick thinker who can spew witticisms at the snap of my fingers. I can write without inhibition about how I think and feel about anything, though. In writing I can dive into the farthest recesses of my introspection and return to the surface with pearls I never even realized had been forming. Or something of the sort.

I am my truest self when I write. So I simply cannot not do it.

A to Z Challenge: Jealous Janet (very late post for April 12)


St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Janet headed straight for the bar after having freed herself from that Cathy character. For the life of her, Janet had no recollection whatsoever of having known anyone named Cathy in high school, but she’d kept insisting they were friends! Goodness!

Poor Karen, Janet thought, shaking her head. Cathy had been firmly holding on to Karen’s arm when Janet pulled away and made her quick escape, mumbling vaguely about her tummy being upset.

Halfway across the hall Janet caught sight of Freddie, leaning on a wall, looking back at her. She began to smile but realized as she got close that he was eyeing somebody else. She looked behind her and saw Melanie, chatting away with her usual sidekicks. Some things haven’t changed. Janet took another look at Freddie and felt just a tiny bit sorry for him. He did not age very well. His hair was probably his one remaining asset.

How could you still be into her? Freddie and Melanie had probably been together all of two months in junior year, but he had pined for her all the rest of their high school days. Janet had seen it all. She had been pining for Fred, but he’d hardly ever even looked at her.

Janet decided to approach Fred. She silently stood beside him, and it took minutes before he turned to her and gave her a vague, unrecognizing but polite smile. Then he promptly turned his attention to Melanie.

“The picture hasn’t changed much, huh? Me, looking at you, looking at her.”

Freddie frowned and turned to her again, his eyebrows scrunched. “I think I remember you. Um, Janice?”

“Janet. Never mind. I’ll leave you be.”

She walked away as fast as she could.



A to Z Challenge: Immaculate Isabelle (very late post for April 11)


St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Leo saw her entering the hall, radiant as ever in her white dress. Isabelle floated in the midst of the chattering, shrieking, hugging mass of bodies around her, smiling earnestly yet reservedly at her old classmates.

“Quit staring. Your eyes look just about ready to fall off and roll on the floor.” Paul was chuckling.

Leo continued to watch her with a dreamy expression. “You know how it was, man.”

“You know she never got married, right? Apparently no one could meet her standards. Not that I have to tell you.” 

Leo kept silent, choosing not to address Paul’s mocking tone. It still stung him though, the memories of having been turned down repeatedly. She’d just preferred “to focus on school.” She never did have a boyfriend, but back then, and even now, she always just seemed…happily pristine, somehow.

“I never did get her. And I don’t think I’ll ever understand. I mean, who walks like that? Damn, she’s still awesome.” Leo couldn’t keep from blurting his admiration.

Paul’s chuckle turned into a guffaw. “Man, you need a drink! Just drown your decades-old sorrows in gin.” He dragged Leo to the bar.