Silly fight over a garment rack September 14, 2013Posted by Arvin in English Studies.
Tags: flash fiction
I usually see the garment rack i bought from hardware store in Cubao, standing next to our screen door, each time i get home from work.
The mere sight of it gets me “started” and jazzed-up for a day of mindless scolding and incensed chattering about keeping-the-house-in-order, sense-of-responsibility, what-the-future-holds, and other favorites topics a parent blabbers about before an unyielding teenager.
But today, i saw no garment rack. The door was not locked, and all the kids are asleep. I checked the perimeter of our apartment unit for any sign of that darned metal rack, only to find it perched on a rung in the middle of the stairway that goes to the rooftop.
Now i got someone new i can shout at.
So i leapt through flights of stairs, bolted my way to the Building Admin Office and asked for Chris and Collen. I’ve always known it is him and that sunnovagun who moves the racks to the rooftop stairway.
I began my litany of complaints, yakking about how annoying enough it is that the sun has not come up for days and all i’m getting for my wet clothes is the damp draft that probably carries with it some countless spores of mildew and old apartment dust.
Then some elderly man living three doors away from my unit popped from behind me and interrupted my raging speech:
“Aha! So you own those clothes rack. Good thing they carried it up the stairway. It was a nuisance and an ugly sight to see in the hallway. I could barely get my butt through each time i pass by with that rack blocking the way”.
“And what am i supposed to do with my clothes?” I answered back. “Dump them back in my cabinet? I got no other place to dry them? It’s not like i have any other—”
“—You know young man, It’s not my problem” cut the surly old man. Why don’t you go and look for a laundromat somewhere. That way, i won’t have to put up with your stupid clothes rack everytime i go here or there.”
“Hey hey there mister. Don’t go about strutting you senior citizen card for an excuse to boss around and impose your convenience to my inconvenience. Your rights end right where my nose starts! And look, we all live in this cramped apartment space and we don’t even have a provisioning for doing the laundry. How in the world am i gonna dry my clothes with such a small living space?”
“And what about this garment rack? There is a reason why these contraptions exists— and are sold in every department store in this country. These are space savers. In fact, they were designed for small living spaces. These wonderful inventors—thank God for their gift of innovation and ingenuity—foresaw that one day, these wretched, average-incomed families will end up crowding in rickety apartments all across the overpopulated Mega Manila.”
“And each of these extended families will need to hang their clothes dry after a long day of washing.”
“Where else can you hang these clothes, in this congested apartment that has nothing but walls of brittle concrete. God knows which walls would fall apart if we dare hammer a couple of spikes to put up a make-shift clothesline. Would you rather have lines upon lines of clothes dangling above your head. Wouldn’t that make us look like a world-class third-world apartment complex?”
“And seriously, you can’t get your butt through with this damned metal rack? Go get yourself a pair of dumb bells and start shredding fats off your fat fat ass. And stop eating mounds and mounds of pork fat and rice!”
The old man stood speechless, stupefied after hearing this.