I am a very punctual person. As much as possible, I see to it that I arrive at my destination at least 30 minutes earlier than projected. Unlike others who are afflicted with a severe case of chronic tardiness, I seldom get lagged behind schedule. I don’t know, I’ve been like this since the time being. (I’ve probably assimilated this from my parents.) For instance, during the iBlog3 event last 14 April, I was the earliest human being to arrive at the façade of the School of Economics Auditorium – I set foot on the grounds roughly 7 am. I got there way, way much earlier than the organizers of the event who arrived one and a half hours later. There was no one around to talk with, except for a couple of people who asked for a light, and some religious being who attempted to dissuade me from my Christian beliefs. The corollary to this positive attribute is, unfortunately, drastic and most of the time infuriating. I am the one who always wait until my eyeballs desiccate and fall out from their sockets. Friends trickled in one by one, and by the time we were almost complete it was already a few minutes past nine. The curse of the perpetually on-the-dot.
But then pernicious adversaries are always present to rile me. Aside from extreme tardiness, events conspire to intervene with my daily activities, thus preventing me to go about with my plans. Last Friday I made a brutal mistake of traversing the sidewalks of Ayala Avenue in Makati instead of taking public transportation. I have already stretched out 400 meters when suddenly my feet refused to take orders from me, and instead gave me warning signals. They poised a sit down strike if I didn’t stop moving. I thought, if I so much bend at their will I would be considered a loser, but since I was sensing pain in my ankles – and I was going to meet a friend at SM MoA a few minutes later – I tried to hail a cab. I tried. Isn’t it amazing how every time you feel a little less than sluggish and decide to flag down a cab, they would pointedly avoid you, pretend they didn’t see you even if the whole planet saw the cabbie roll down the window to ask for your intended route, or simply refuse to ferry you to your destination for unknown reasons. And when you have ample time to kill, those same evil cabbies present themselves, even honk furiously and stop right in front of you – and you don’t even need them. It’s a fact of life, isn’t it? I went all the way to SM Makati and made an effort to summon a taxi. I must’ve looked like some important personage for there were exactly five cabs that stopped short even if I didn’t actually call them. I chose the white Toyota Vios for aesthetic reasons. Tell you what, you insatiable cabbies, we all know that times are hard but karma strikes to bring out the worst kind of life you can possibly imagine on the grounds that you were choosy with your passengers in which case how dare you. Serves you right, scums.
Yesterday was one of the most horrible days of my life, not counting relationships that went kaput and pimple breakouts. This has nothing to do with cabbies, by the way. I went out at exactly 5.30 am to avoid the rush hour traffic. I hailed a van plying the route to Baclaran, and seated complacently at the window side of the first row seat. When we got to this certain point in Bacoor which is notoriously known for traffic, we all got stuck in, well, traffic. But it was not your ordinary kind of traffic. I’ve been totally immersed with the concept of traffic, but I cannot say that I’m absolutely immune with it. For the first 20 minutes of pure potential energy I was still enjoying – the stereo was blaring Love Radio – but when 30 minutes had elapsed I began to feel annoyed. My butt was beginning to get numb, a part of my head was pulsing due to migraine, and I was getting late for my 8.30 am class. I was virtually helpless; I couldn’t do anything because I’ve already paid my fare, and if I so much got hacked off and decided to descend from the van, all the more it would be hellish because the road was covered with mud due to heavy rains that befell the night before, and there’s no other available means of transportation that could accommodate me. The concept of free will is totally void in traffic. So I decided to stay and wait for Godot.
Two grueling hours of stationary position is not a pleasurable experience. At 7.53 am I was still in Cavite. And my school is at Quezon City! And my Shakespeare subject starts at exactly 8.30! I couldn’t bring myself to get intensely angry for it would be extremely pointless anyway, and the amount of outrageous emotion I burst out is directly proportional to the length of time I need to be pacified. Then for some streak of the unknown the van started to accelerate. For a total stretch of 20 meters. All I wanted to do was to laugh then cry then stamp my feet. I thought I was going crazy. I tried to doze off, but it didn’t work. The woman beside me was fully unaware of my concealed rage; she was sleeping so soundly I feared of being vacuumed by her nostrils. Then the guy at my back joined forces with this noisy lady, and together they blasted the morning away with an earsplitting duet with lyrics of unknown descent for I could barely understand what a snore is all about.
An eternity later I arrived at Baclaran, and took a jeepney to the MRT Taft Avenue station. After 35 minutes, I was at the Quezon Avenue station and hurriedly went to get a cab. I landed on UP 9.10 am, perfectly unscathed but totally boiling with rage.
By the way, I was absent from my English 23 class.