Convincing myself

I was already done with my class in Ateneo that afternoon. I hurriedly left the classroom but was ambushed by some students from that class for a quick consultation and questions about the scores I gave their papers. I quickly explained the reasons for the C pluses and the Bs or how to express their thought more clearly in writing. After that, I passed by the department to gather the books I left on my table that afternoon before I went to my class at 1:30. At exactly 4:00 after browsing the pages of a newly bought book by Neil Gaiman referred to me by one of my students, I prepared to go home. I crossed Leong Building, the road that opens to the third gate, and said hello to the old guard who always mistakes me for a delinquent student whenever I am in my torn pants or when I don’t wear my ID (I have never worn it, I probably have a phobia of being strangled to death by somebody with the lanyard of my ID card).

After struggling my way ascending that overpass that crosses Katipunan Ave, I found myself breathing heavily on the other side of the road waiting for jeeps from UP. I boarded a rusty Sarao-model jeepney, paid seven pesos, alighted at the terminal under the massive concrete flyover in the corner of Tandang Sora and Katipunan, and braced myself for two train rides home. It usually takes me an hour to reach the gloomy condominium complex I am staying in Mandaluyong. Although I think that the route I take every day is difficult as it is, relatively, this is normal for most residents of Manila; I’ve known of some who work in Quezon City but live as far as Las Pinas or Cavite. And I have nothing to complain about because I am living comfortably from what I am receiving every end of the month. What more can I ask from a job I really love doing? Calling it work is even inappropriate.

(Bitter smile.)