nightcap

I’m posting my ROW80 progress here along with my last piece for the week.

My goal is to write 500 words a day toward the completion of my novel. Since my last check-in post, I’ve produced 4 posts (including this one) related to my novel. The first three were as follows:

The piece below has 603 words, giving me a 4-day total of 2,037 words. A slow start, but already much more prolific than usual! Most of the writing came today, though, which only tells me I can still do better at managing my time.

Anyway, here’s Nightcap, told in the voice of Ed (see more of him here):

————————————————————————————————————————

Her voice rang through the entire cafe and she didn’t even seem to realize it.

“…so these farmers end up with almost nothing, not even enough to feed their families!”

“Annihilation, then.”

“Ha! Yes, annihilate the hacienderos, who also happen to be the politicos, and the large business owners…They own everything and everyone, basically, you know? They own the sugar lands, then you step into a mall in the city and it’s theirs, you stay in a hotel and it’s theirs, too. They even own the cable and the telco.”

“Okay. Let me get this straight. You go there and become one with the farmers and stage your protests, and you talk of inequality and the excesses of the rich and the powerful. And then you come home and sit here drinking your 200-peso latte. How much are those farmers earning again, you were telling me? 50 a day?”

Her face shifted in a split-second, all seriousness gone and replaced by that sheepish grin that often made my insides turn.

“Well a freedom fighter needs her break and her caffeine fix, too, you know.”

I wasn’t gonna let her get away with it. I leaned closer and stared her down. “Boo. Hypocrite.”

Her mouth formed a perfect “O” and her eyes squinted precariously. I tried hard to keep a straight face, lifting my eyebrows just a tad bit.

“Okay, I’ll sound really defensive here, but I have to explain to you how my advocacy goes.”

“Convince me.”

She rolled her eyes before launching into another speech.

“Seriously now. One thing I’ve learned throughout the years, doing this work, is that one can only go so far if he’d limit himself to marching in the streets, and violence in any form is really counter-productive, if only the people doing it could take it upon themselves to admit the fact. So really, the way to do it now is not to fight anymore, but to engage. And that’s what we do, we engage with different stakeholders so that they can come to an understanding of one another’s positions and come up with solutions together. And yes, doing that can involve sitting in air-conditioned conference rooms and sleeping in cozy hotels.”

I was about to respond, but she wasn’t finished.

“Hey I wouldn’t ever pretend to be a farmer. They, we, all know I’m advocating on their behalf, bridging the gap between the community people and the powers-that-be. Who I am is part of why and how I’m able to do my job in the first place.”

I snorted. “I don’t buy it.”

“Seriously?” She slouched back into her chair with an exaggerated sigh. “Well then  I’m done explaining to you.” I couldn’t help laughing at her annoyance; she was always such an easy target.

“You really enjoy vexing me. I hate you.”

“Is it my fault that you’re always taking my bait?” I was laughing harder now, and I swore I could almost see smoke coming out of her nose. “Look, I was just teasing, okay? I actually get what you’re saying. Not that I’d ever even think of doing what you do, but I get it. And I really admire how passionate you are about this.” I was done laughing, and made sure she saw in my eyes that I meant what I was saying. “I know you can make a real difference, I know you’re really able to make change happen with what you’re doing.”

A five-second pause. Then,

“Okay, fine, it’s a truce then. And now,” She began to stand up, smiling again, “I need another latte. Tsk, another 200 pesos. Thanks for the emotional blackmail!”

She smirked and proceeded to the counter, leaving me snorting again.

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