06 July 2020

Finger exercise: The graveyard shift

I'm only starting to feel whatever form of anxiety one should be feeling during this pandemic. In terms of life being delayed, and the rest of our years to be spent on catching up. Making up for everything we've lost and failed to do.

In my late twenties, that's when I figured that I'm a late bloomer. Of course I only had my peers as reference. It's not that I was lazy or didn't have the same opportunities as they had, but my mind was simply elsewhere. I didn't value what they valued — having sex, getting a boyfriend (yeah, in that order, kidding), joining workshops, publishing a book, driving a car, travelling, et cetera.

What kept me busy then? I can't seem to recall. Daydreaming, I think. Gaining work experience. To be completely honest — and this might sound weird to those who know me as a carefree artsy person — I enjoyed the corporate life. That was one of my actual dreams-come-true.

I wasn't the "You can't tie me down in an office desk" type of person. Getting my first job is still something I'm proud of. It was in a prestigious country club in the communications department and a fellow candidate was a former high school mate. She was a top student in my class and I felt insecure, but hey, I was the one who got the job!

Now, I've changed. I want to do more writing and less office work. I work for the bare minimum. And now, already a hundred or so days into quarantine, I have this regret of not achieving my current lifestyle a bit earlier in my life; and by earlier I meant in my twenties.

But oh well.
The graveyard shift

Closed curtains to shield
the home office from neighborhood noises.
As if that will work.

Birds’ twitter gets into my head.
Dogs bark and bark and who knows who else
is joining the meeting?

The sky must turn now
from black to pink, and I will miss the show.
Instead I will dream in the afternoon

of buying everything back,
lost and taken, with the sum I receive
on a Friday paycheck.

—Razel Estrella, July 2020

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