End conversation

They say talk is cheap. Well, I beg to disagree.

Think about it. You made friends when you were a kid, and you'd talk about what you saw on television, in which case your parents had to buy a television to sustain your burgeoning social life. If you're in an upscale neighborhood, your parents would have to pull out a cable subscription, so you can discuss whatever's on Cartoon Network with your Upper East Side protégé friends.

You also probably made friends in school, which wouldn't be possible if your parents never paid for your tuition fee. But you probably entered public school, in which case the expenses would have been smaller, but you still paid for the stuff you eat during recess, which always keeps the conversation going.

That trend would continue as you grow up. Not that you're that materialistic blah who can't start anything without showing off anything - then again, it would've helped if you had a PSP or an iPod, in which case you would've been able to (hopefully) attract the attention of the girl you've been eyeing for the past semester or so. Time would pass and you'd be going out with friends, progressing from video games at the Internet café to all-out dates at the mall. You wouldn't go on a date without paying for dinner, or for movie tickets, or for anticipation of what could possibly happen after curfew.

Of course, practicality dictates that you can't always go out and have fun at Embassy, so you have to have a mobile phone. But by this time it's already covered - besides, it's as ubiquitous as television - but you'll make sure you can be seen with the phone. If yours has a stubby antenna, you'll probably save up for a clamshell or a slider. You'd probably buy a copy of T3 to guide your decision, and once you have it, you'd definitely stock up on phone credit so you can text your girlfriend endlessly while doing stuff that could possibly happen after curfew.

As you grow, you'll have a sense of what you are and what you want to be, which means you've probably gone to college taking up a degree program of your choice. You team up with newfound friends while keeping up with old ones, sharing the burden of school requirements and spur-of-the-moment drinking sessions, while trying your best not to tell anyone that you've been cheating on your girlfriend with someone closer to home. You'll be in adventures, hoping that your stuff don't get stolen, paying currency for when your friends ask for burgers, either at McDonald's or Burgoo.

After graduation, and the accompanying drinking sessions, you get yourself a job. Finally, your chance to recoup what you have lost for the past twenty years or so! You may have not gone to that advertising agency only to make friends, but supposedly it's inevitable, so every time someone in your team celebrates a birthday, you see someone pull out wads from the wallet for lunch. Or you do just that because the team you've led had scored a major account, and you wonder whether it's all a team effort or not.

Your relationship with your (legal) girlfriend is probably going very well. You probably proposed to her, with that expensive diamond ring that you splurged on, because you can't propose without a ring, right? The wedding reception sees you reuniting with all your friends, and you proceed to catch up with them, and you realize that Donny is now a television reporter, and Alicia is finishing medical school, and Claire is a call center agent (by the way she turned down your invitation), and Joey was killed by a ten-wheeler truck in Antipolo.

But, as with life, you don't recoup whatever you spent on for the past three decades or so. You have children, and you spend for their education, and it becomes a talking point amongst drinking buddies at work, the way you brought your children to De La Salle Zobel with matching stroller bags. You continue snagging major accounts and you bump into the girl you had a fling with back in college, and then you pay with your credit card in anticipation of what could possibly happen after work.

With your marriage in tatters, your children gone and your friends against you, you find yourself in front of a door that says, "Marco Dinglasan, psychiatrist." You're paying your closest friend in elementary school just to be able to talk to someone. Or, to have someone listen to you.

Feeling hopeless, you buy a box of pills at the drugstore and commit suicide because of an overdose. You get three minutes in the evening news, and you have all of your old friends together, talking, for one last time.

And they say talk is cheap.

And your responses...

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