So I was told that I had won third prize in the annual Barangay Manolo Bingo Bonanza. Now I am here in Baguio smoking a pack of Marlboro a day. Big fat deal. Things could have been better if Agnes would have come along. What really drives me nuts about her is her skinny yet circular ass. It’s always a nice butt that gets my attention when it comes to girls… women, I mean. It suddenly hits me that I just turned 23 last month, so I might as well look for women instead of girls. Specially with this RECLUSION PERPETUA thing my lawyer cousin keeps on mentioning over large mugs of San Miguel beer. Mines View Park gets a little boring after 3 hours. I’m better off jerking somewhere else.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” I suddenly dropped my half-finished cigarette. What the fuck was that? “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” Like a karaoke microphone overkill.”WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN? Is this one of those Charlton Heston movie, where a booming voice starts asking about life and starts giving orders like kill a sheep or tell the world about his teachings? Is this who they call God? Why me? Does He have a great cosmic chore for me? A message for the world maybe?
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” There it goes again with the divine question. How am I supposed to know? The truth is, I haven’t given it much thought. We are not that rich. A little maybe. But dad always told us that they started out small, mama and him. Even bought their first set of dishes when kuya was just a baby, and he-dad-always told us to be humble. Well humble my foot! He was never humble.
What is the meaning of life? Don’t ask me, I’ve been asking myself the same question since… since… since mom and dad’s separation. Can’t really blame dad for leaving mom and living in with Tita Bless, our so called family friend. I just realized that this is all Tita Bless’s fault-not our miserable family’s, I mean. It was bound to crumble down. What I mean is, for my trip here to Baguio, since she’s the one who gave me those bingo tickets. This great voice should ask my mother about this meaning of life shit; she always has her way of being on top of everything. Always letting people know how great she is. Or maybe ask it of my father, he’s the macho guy in the family… in fact too macho for my homosexual big brother.
My kuya is not your typical shoulder to lean on, he’s more of a shoulder to hang your beauty parlor robe on. I always thought there was something wrong with him. He was always quiet and never played with my G.I. Joes. He’d rather stay in his room or talk to girls on the phone. When he was about to graduate from high school, he talked dad into letting him study in Manila to take up engineering. Until a couple of years ago, when he graduated,we found out he took up fine arts instead and went into the fashion business. Dad went ballistic, of course, but soon forgot about the whole thing when he saw how much money kuya Santino was making. Mom, on the other hand, was pretty cool about it. Even her amigas were a bit impressed with kuya’s creations. But Vanessa is the most frequent customer Santino has ever had. Not that Vanessa made him rich. How could she? She never paid him. It’s because she’s our half-sister, my half-ate, as a matter of fact. I couldn’t believe my father was already screwing around with this real estate broker even before I was born.
She’s a nice girl, not too bad for a half-sister. Well most of half-sister stories I hear involves murders or public cat fights. Banny, as we call her, is a relaxed individual. I could never recall a moment that she panicked or freaked out over something. One time dad bought her a new car. When she saw it and when dad handed the keys to her, she simply took them and gave dad a very simple and brief hug, whispered “Thank you,” and drove off. And while all this was happening her face never changed. Like giving a robot a new space ship. She was like a piece of pebble, cold and lifeless. Or maybe it was due to too much drugs. Banny, a great laid-back junkie.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” This voice is beginning to annoy me. Maybe I’m too young to answer that question or maybe I’m too stupid. Can the meaning of life be found below these cliffs. This could be the turning point of my life. But that’s what I said when Banny caught me masturbating in front of the TV while watching Iskul Bukol. Luckily, it was no surprise to her since she knew already that I often did it. Actually, she watched me anytime she got the chance. If this voice must insist, I’d say the answer is as silly as the question. There is no definite meaning to all of it, if there is then we don’t need such voices in our lives… we shouldn’t believe in them.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” How could you do this to me? Is this some holy joke? Are you trying to be a God with a sense of humor? “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” I don’t care anymore! If you would’ve asked me that question a long time my life might’ve been easier to live! If I knew all along that you could make me feel that you are there, then I would never have pretended that I am strong. All those college books, all the Nietzsches, all the Schopenhauers, all the Freuds, and all the Kafkas mean nothing to me right now.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” Shut up, God!!! Maybe the only time a person gets the meaning of his life is when it ends. So here, if I jumped off this cliff would I find the goddamn meaning? Answer me, oh dear Lord! Omnipotent piece of shit! Will I see the answers before my body slams against the boulders below? Or maybe sex is the meaning, the holy trinity, the holy threesome, fuck! Maybe sex is the answer! I know! I’ll call Agnes so she could come up tomorrow and we could fuck like stallions and mares.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” Stop!!! “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” Fuck you, God!!! I’m sorry for everything that I have done!!! So please stop! “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE FOR A RICH MAN?” I don’t know! This is not fair! You were never fair, not to me, not to my brother, nor to my sister, and especially not to my parents! So I’m gonna tell You straight out, I don’t know the answer! You miserable excuse for a god! “TIME IS UP!!!” What in Zeus’s butt hole did you just say?!?!? “I SAID, TIME IS UP!!!” Don’t do this to me! What do you mean time’s up?! “TIME IS UP MEANS YOU DON’T KNOW 27-DOWN, NOW HELP ME ANSWER 34-ACROSS… WHAT IS A 7-LETTER WORD FOR….”.