Straight from the airport to a three-project interlock with client.
Currently finishing revisions for tomorrow morning's presentation to their Big Boss and a slew of sales personnel.
When I get home later tonight (or early the next morning, God forbid), I have to do two storyboards and collate documentation for the projects airing over this coming weekend.
Shooting for another project immediately after tomorrow's presentation, interspersed with work-in-progress interlocks for other ongoing projects.
Nine more storyboards for three upcoming projects to be done, then meetings the morning after, recording voiceovers in the afternoon, more editing way, way into the evening.
Release materials early the next day, secure clearances for airing by lunchtime, then spend the remainder of the day (and most of the night) for offline edits for one of the three projects we just graded in Hong Kong over the weekend.
Spend Saturday doing offline edit for the second project, Sunday for the third, in time for Monday afternoon's interlock with client, after I spend the morning stuck in even more meetings.
Another shoot the next day, interspersed with offline revisions, and then five edit-downs for previously-aired projects have to be discussed with my editor.
Day after shoot, we fly once again, this time back to a battered and battle-weary Bangkok.
Variations and permutations of this dance till the end of August - for now.
A couple of blog friends who I chat with occasionally (you know who you are, bitchez) once asked me for my cell number.
I had to decline.
It wasn't a rejection or a rebuff, not at all. I could always use a new friend, considering the few remaining ones I have are either flirting with death, already in its cold embrace (read: married), or trying to sell me overpriced things I neither want nor need.
Thing is - as all my friends know - there's a little problem.
I hate texting.
When I'm not spinning off my axis at work, I like to spend my free time masturbating. The urgent beep beep of a cell phone signaling a text naturally interrupts this favorite pastime of mine. Moreover, it would require that I remove my left hand from tweaking my nipple, or worse, release the family jewels from the comforting grasp of my right.
And more often than not, my reward for this herculean effort would be to behold a message that says :
I'm confident my blog friends (you know who you are, bitchez) didn't take it personally. I don't believe I've ever concealed the fact that I am a grouch, especially while I am working - which is like, 18 hours of the day on average. So, chances are any social texts would come in at a bad time. Even while I am sleeping would be an especially bad time. You'd have more chances winning the Lotto than your text catching me at a good time.
And, as my real-life friends so keenly know, if it's really something important or urgent (like, if they're dying or something close to it) then they should be calling, not texting. Even then, I'd probably snap that they should be calling God, not me. The only calls I don't pick up are from unknown numbers, my ex-bff, and Citibank.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: while cell phones are certainly useful communication devices, their very ubiquity and indispensability in this wired and increasingly-wireless world turn them into veritable tracking devices. If I wanted to be reached at any given time, I'd have had a microchip implanted under my skin, thank you very much.
Not that I don't like you, I'm just kinda busy. And I am sick and tired of my phone b-beepin' Sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station And I cannot be texting back, 'coz I am busy.
I've often been fascinated by tragic short stories, and I remember them for years and years. Guy de Maupassant's The Necklace; The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs; and William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily, just to name a few.
One of the most bitter yet poignant ones I remember is Nick Joaquin's May Day Eve. In this tale, as a plot device, Joaquin uses the old superstition that if one were to hold a candle and look into a mirror at midnight on a certain night of the year, one would see either the person one is destined to marry, or one would see the face of the devil.
"And it was May again, said the old Anastasia. It was the first day of May and witches were abroad in the night, she said--for it was a night of divination, and night of lovers, and those who cared might peer into a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry..."
It's like playing Candyman or Bloody Mary, and I've never had the courage to try it myself. The same way I've never played spirit of the glass or flirted with a Ouija board, despite a childhood full of occult occurrences.
Maybe I have enough trouble with the living not to bother toying with the undead.
Anyway, back to May Day Eve.
Even as a teen, I appreciated how Joaquin's characters manage to see ...well, read the story to learn what they ultimately saw in the mirror.
Many of us have had our May Day Eves. But unlike Joaquin's characters, we had no need of mirrors. We had eyes that danced and sparkled at the sights before us. But what we needed were eyes that could perceive what lay beneath the visions we beheld.
"...those wicked young men and their handsome apparel, their proud flashing eyes... so black and vivid in the moonlight..."
Suffice to say that the story's denouement I often recall when, over time, a love transmogrifies into something else altogether.
"...while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tile roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wile sky murky with clouds, save where an evil young moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable childhood fragrances or ripe guavas to the young men trooping so uproariously down the street..."
On this May Day Eve, alone in an old and silent house, I need no mirrors to see my own demons.