Nowhere else to go

Out of boredom on Christmas eve, I was telling Jackie, who was by then already on leave and is happily in Cagayan, that I imagined her writing for the local version of Marie Claire than a teen girl magazine such as Candy. That was a sincere comment, but I didn't expect her to be so surprised.

"Niko, reading Marie Claire?"

I can't remember what I exactly said. Maybe something like, I read everything anyway, before the discussion somehow shifted to the copies of FHM and Playboy lying around in her office. But we all know we're frustrated in this regard. We've taken the first step, but somehow we feel we should've taken another. Or, at least, taking the next one.

Well, she is moving to another job - dang, I forgot to ask her if it really is for the National Press Club, as Jenn told me - and I, in my famous fit of frustration, am staying put. I had a conversation with my new supervisor, Sir Cyrus, and as if it wasn't any obvious to me already, he had to reiterate it.

"By personal experience, you'll have to stay here for a year before people will even consider you."

To think that I used to think that waiting for six months before sending out new applications is enough.

You can imagine how frustrating it gets, really. I enjoy my work - all the other factors are, of course, a totally different story - but somehow it feels the way it feels like. Just like that. Of course, we were taught to go out and actually use our heads, and although I am managing to do a work-around with the things I do, somehow, being static on the television screen isn't a good experience.

"So, Neobie," Glenn asked again, "kailan ka magre-resign?"

"Hindi ko pa alam," she answered, while I squirmed at the possibility of losing a lifeline and having someone go before I do.

"Ang funny, nauna pa ako sa'yo," Jackie said earlier.

I figured I'll stack up on credentials, although right now I'm worrying about whether those credentials will actually work to my advantage. Last Saturday I was with my mother at the parlor - yes, you read that right, although I was merely flipping through copies of Preview and Marie Claire, and while I was thinking of what I might be asked to write in the future, I was wondering whether I really am going to be up for it. Oh, I really regret being five years too late in the game.

Seeing that editorial assistants for those magazines actually get a prominent place in the masthead scared me even more. I might not really have a chance.

But I'm just turning twenty. Maybe I'm not too late. I still can't help but feel that I'll miss the net, and there's no acceptable option beyond that. Oh, and optimism isn't a good choice for this one, either. It doesn't just take good writing skills, or whatever amounts to it nowadays. I might just have nowhere else to go. Oh, she's smiling in glee...

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