Young - and bloodsucking?
Last Wednesday at ATC I was looking for a cigarette stall when I remembered Fuma, which is located near Tony Roma’s and T.G.I. Friday’s. I politely asked the sales lady for a pack of Marlboro Menthol Lights whereas she looked at me with sheer perplexity and promptly posed my least favorite question on earth, “Ilang taon ka na?” I always forget that I’m already 19 because I’m used to always saying that I’m 18 years old. Anyway, since she inquired about my age, I retorted, “Uh, 18, ay 19 pala, sorry.” Then Apocalypse began. Well, almost.
The schmuck did not want to believe me when I said that I am 19. “Sigurado ka?” irking me further, at which point my blood pressure shot but I managed to stay calm. “Miss, I’m already 19. Do I have to prove it to you?” I said, keeping my voice down since it was only 11 am, and I wouldn’t want to see bodies lying on the floor.
“Patingin na lang ng ID.” I was off to a bad start. I should’ve walked out and bought my pack at the supermarket instead, but it was located at the basement. I didn’t have any choice – I produced my ID, but then butt-ugly wasn’t satiated. “Yung merong date of birth.” At this point I freaked out. Really. This is what I exactly told her: “That is so absurd! Alam mo, of all those times that I went to buy here, ngayon lang nangyari ‘to and you are the only one demanding for such!” I know, I know I was rude; I shouldn’t have done that but I was so freaking mad I could’ve burned her hair and it could only be an improvement. This is one specific instance when I’m unable to control myself; I am very unpredictable, and this same behavior has caused me a lot of trouble. I’m reminded of that song My Stupid Mouth, but in my case it’s more like My Impulsive Mouth. Also, whenever I’m confronted I’m given into speaking in tongues – no, in English. I remember Randy David when he was caught by the police at the height of the nation’s state of emergency. He said that in case any of us UP students are being harassed or caught by armed military or maybe the police, trumpet your rage at them in full English, like when they insist in grasping your arms even if you give in to interrogation, yell, “DON’T TOUCH ME (you disgusting lowly creatures – I added these; well, it can help)!” It would be likely that they’ll let go of you.
Some of you may be thinking that I’m harsh. Well, you first have to define harsh. Also, it may well occur to you that my reaction reflects my personal upbringing, especially because I’m from UP. For one, I was raised in a household that would most likely treat mosquitoes as pets, so that doesn’t count. Being a UP student does not necessarily mean that I’m bitchy, that we students are always on the opposing side of life. We do stand for what we staunchly believe in to the extent that certain rights are impinged, but that I think is the wrong thing to do. I’ve managed to become who I am right now entirely on my own, and I am not, as far as I could tell, impinging any human rights. Well, of course there’s this thing called influence, but the hell with that. Going back to the sales lady, I believe she’s just doing her job, which is to deny minors of cigarette purchases. I am definitely not a minor but she told me I was young looking that’s why she kept on cross-examining me. Young looking, I thought. Was that supposed to be a compliment?
You might construe it as a big deal. For a seemingly parallel story, it’s like this. You are about to enter an establishment at a mall. There is a security guard at the entrance. There are, say, five people ahead of you clutching their respective bags, and theirs is bigger than yours. They went to enter the store without having their belongings checked by the obnoxious guard – he waved them on. It’s your turn now, but then the guard asks you to open your bag for inspection. Wouldn’t you be appalled, much less annoyed? Out of six people about to enter the shop you’ve been singled out for inspection. Tell me there’s something terribly wrong with that.
I’d rather bitch out than to be a doormat.