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A Few Images Illuminating the Difficulty of Being a Young, Talentless Writer in Manila


by P.R. Mercado


“A ten-ton bus with ill-manners going slow because people are about to get off, so you go left, but it also goes left, so you turn right, and it also turns right, and when it stops, it starts moving just as you pass it, and it almost hits your car.”

“Telling a taxi driver you're going this way, and he says, ‘No. I can't. Not on my route. I'm going this way, this way,' and you're thinking, then go the fuck back when you drop me off, before finally just closing the door.”

“An MMDA officer pulling you over for no reason, and you wave a hundred peso bill under his nose and suddenly you're the Dalai Llama.”

“Some politician illustrating his lack of intelligence or compassion on the radio, with the radio newscaster refusing to ask the obvious questions, especially about the politician's IQ, which is apparently a bit low.”

“Going to a theater play at the Greenbelt 1 and some old Korean woman looks at you like you are an animal because you are wearing a shirt and jeans when everybody else is wearing their semi-formals.”

“Taking money from your ATM with a bunch of street kids waiting for you outside the booth; and when when you go outside they raise their palms to you and beg, ‘Please… We just want to eat. We just want to eat. I know you have money. Please, sir, I'm very hungry. We just want to eat.”
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