It would have been worse with coffee jelly

It was a bit surprising when I realized that, fifty minutes after I met with Chex at Starbucks, I still haven't received a text message from Misha, Fran or anybody else. It was already two in the afternoon, and after having two-thirds of the mango frap my guest (if you'd put it at that) treated me, because she apparently owed me a Krispy Kreme, I left for the second floor of the Miguel building. Back to the scripts, to the headlines, and to then-unimaginable stress.

The day before, Mae wanted me to become the technical director. I was okay with it, but I decided to open the issue on the story conference the morning after, since there was just no way I'd raise that without disturbing everybody from whatever it is they're doing. Eventually, she became the technical director and I handled the graphics - she got the hang of it, she said, just as I started getting lessons on how the key-ins worked. I was also hanging the curtains and rechecking the script.

And Misha was doing well as, as Arlene put it, the "captain of the ship". Despite apparent aversion to anybody that's out of the circle - I still think I'm a lame duck of a producer - things still somehow went well: I decided some things and Misha was doing others; Arlene was setting up the set, with Meh's bar table working solo because of miscommunication on Fran's part; the anchors (Fran and Nadia) were reading through the script I made the morning earlier and were rearranging everything; John was rehearsing doing three things at one time - you can imagine the shuffle.

So I don't know what went wrong. Somehow I sensed it when I was placing the photos on the slide show Mae created - the one we can't key-in, but somehow managed to use thanks to some ingenuity - because they were rushing me, and Butch's group was already taping their ten-minute morning show. When I got to the control room, things seemed to be back to normal - until synchronicity paid its price.

We finished shooting fifteen minutes after we were supposed to end. Mae and I can't seem to make the graphics and the key-in happen at the same time, and I understand that she needs to destress - Misha was reassuring her once in a while, although she was getting more of the pressure after Sir Doy suggested things in a different mood than usual. We scratched DVDs, slides and camera angles, and yet at the final taping I fumbled, they fumbled, we fumbled - and it was over.

And they thought we'd be told of bad stuff when Sir Doy met us at M208.

I don't know how we'd put it. Is it called a SWOT analysis? Something close, I figure, and we were talking about the production, and nobody was feeling animosity over anybody, or over anything for that matter. But as producer and self-installed leader (since, well, I wanted to be director, and yet Misha swapped places with me the Friday before) I can't help but feel bad for everyone who felt they buckled in a way or another. I can see it in their faces, especially Mae's and Misha's.

I thought to myself. I don't want to see anybody crying.

Eventually it's hard to glamorize terrible fumbles. People look down at those making mistakes, but as the saying always goes, that's where we learn the most. I think we were too ambitious on the project, and along with that, I think I could've been more assertive and had things done more my way, but it's too late to do that now. I was talking to Karla the next day about that event - turns out they did it much worse than us, to put it objectively. But we submit. We're bound to fumble technically, Sir Doy said, but it all boils down to the concept, and he's applauding it. (Or I'm just not thinking straight when he was talking. I just looked at Mae then. I can't look back since.) Already the video switcher is an intimidating piece of equipment, and the shortcomings of the school television studio is another thing, but I think we did well, "except for the hitches, of which there are many".

By now we have probably moved on from that. I know. Most left for the movies and went home late. Some just went home, since it is a Friday. It probably wouldn't matter if I spend my time appreciating everyone's efforts to stay up late and let up with my bitchiness (especially Arlene, to whom I apologized after all has been done, although I don't think she knows why) because, well, nobody replied to my last text message, but Meh, who simply smiled, and nothing else.

That image is still stuck in my head, though. I got paid for the photocopies that went nowhere - that "security blanket" that was of no use - and I took my headphones and left. I knew we'd break down once. I plugged the song and it played. It's so hard watching you fade away, it went. The equipment failed for a second, and I don't recall anything that's been said, but I remember that voice, still. Misha has started crying.

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