Atmospheric pressure


Oftentimes, we say that life has dealt us bad cards, we got a raw deal or simply we’ve been given much, way too much, than is humanly possible to bear. Some people live predictable and semi-charmed lives, unchallenged so, unscathed by the thorns of living, struggling and scratching one’s way up the surface. We see them driving their neat cars in their tidy and fashionable clothes, on their way to their respectable offices and back again to their sturdy, elegant and paid homes with a lovely garden, to their healthy, decently-shod and smart children. Ah, perhaps the picture is too postcard-perfect to imagine without feeling a tinge of jealousy in our little, envious and sensitive hearts?


larawang panglagay sa postcard  ng isang pamilyang Pilipino,

Postcard perfect image of a family/


And we get mad why others have it easy and why we have it hard. Or, why they seem to have it easy and almost effortless, while we fumble our way through each day with little confidence and with nary an assurance that it won’t end up a disaster.  Our slips are showing, our cool – hah, we must have misplaced it – nowhere to be found and, our day-to-day efforts prove little to show.  We ask ourselves if it’s really just a matter of guts, of projecting you’ve got it all together even if you don’t and, of being a bit more adjusted to a public or corporatized setting. In short, a tad more adult-like, flexible and plastic, in a sense. Somebody said that it’s just a matter of being able to take in, juggle and live through layers and layers of lie on an hourly basis. Of being able to take in more shits than usual. After all, life is that – crappy.


And some even go further to say that living as a winner is a matter of method. Time management, they say, is one sure way to go about it. Multiple tasking is another (networking while doing lunch is always a famous suggestion). Do-it-yourself is another tip that ranks high up the ladder. Going organic when it comes to food and back-to the-basics  also strike many people’s fancy. Live green, live lean and on the ergonomic side – chic posters in posh shops proclaim. And hey, it’s no longer hip to go around and about doing your business (whatever it is) without exercise so, go – build those muscles, tone that skin and invest in a spa membership.


Kartong larawan ng isang babaeng nagmamadali sa umaga

The morning sprint could make one lose her cool/

Remember to always do your hair or have it done – your mane talks volume about you and your capabilities – and to wear make-up that looks like you got no make-up. Sure, that takes four(4) hours to achieve, but care should be taken one does not appear like a newbie mall saleslady or that flirtatious secretary you have in the office. Or, in the neighboring office, for that matter. Live it – walk the walk and talk the talk, project yourself like you know where you’re going. Don’t forget, many would want to step in these shoes we’re wearing or sporting or stumbling with. And, democracy is not the great legacy of the Americans – competitiveness is. It is easy to achieve perfection at your own level – the boss, the magazines and the online news –  all shout out, loudly.


Or, is it? Are we really capable of achieving perfection at our own level – on an everyday basis, in this digital age, in the modern and rather unequal setting? Look out for yourself, no one else will. Grab the opportunities. Dance with the times (read, buy the latest gadgets) and claim your fortune before others do. And most of all, appear smooth. It won’t do any good to let the seams show – speak softly while radiating interest and enthusiasm. The days of rugged and loud advocacy is decidedly over. It is now time to fake it. And fake it like there is no tomorrow. Like how? Like it could be mistaken for the real thing. Remember, you are awesome and you will be, if you can make yourself believable, to as many. After all, people are aware, many of the things we see, buy, hear about and listen to, are fraud. The rule seems to be, you can lie as often as you want, as long as some, or, many, would believe you.


And oh, learn the tricky art of ignoring. Ignoring everything that will not help you advance your cause, your cause of being the first in the pack. That and being among your equals – the other focused, competitive souls who have tastes and able to recognize the beacon light of success from afar. At times, this would necessitate a lot of forgetting – where you came from, with whom you formerly hanged around and where you previously spent the best and the worst of times of your life. But hey, History, at least the ones we studied in school, was itself full of erasures, up until on its way to the press.


And perhaps, it won’t do any good to be fastidious about how we get to the finish line. If the Vikings and Columbus and Magellan and Alexander the Great were squeamish about their ways and accommodation, it is highly probable there wouldn’t have been any discoveries  – continents would still be uncharted and tribes wouldn’t have gone further than forging federations. Conquest has always been a messy business, yes. But one need not make things a little too public. As with crimes, success tracks must be covered. They stand a better chance of preservation that way. Plus, the public at large could always use some mystery, some secret, some chance to be bedazzled. Mystify it – it does help. When the euphoria of triumph has cooled down, one could always turn to publishing an easy-does-it- manual that’ll make it look like – a child’s play.



So, where were we? Yes, it’s about gearing up and fitting oneself for success and wearing the prerequisite attitude sans the usual envy for the Joneses. That it’s about being open to the load of crappy shit thrown our way and swimming our way through it and emerging the winner. And it involves a lot of trappings and projection and yes, a healthy dose of hypocrisy. But it’s only hypocrisy and forgetfulness to those who are not tuned in to it. It really is about negotiating one’s way through the jungle while calling it a maze, all the while being conscious that there’s an exit, a door, if you will, where a prize awaits you. And you need not be very surprised if at that end, there will be very few of you who made it.  It’s a long and hard road and not a few were cast by the wayside. Dreaming is a privilege, although the myth informs that everybody harbors one dream, at one time or another. A curious lie, one that’s worth a place in the records.


Image of a modern veranda

The so-called success is won after so many battles/


It’s raining cats and dogs and you can hear the droplets falling on the roof. The room has started to be cold and the children have gone to their rooms. The spouse goes to the kitchen to get you a cup of hot chocolate. You begged to make it coffee, instead. You are without doubt successful in your field, so your colleagues claim. The glossy copy of your office’s newsletter in your right hand confirms this fact. There’s a version of it uploaded on the internet by a guy from your department. So, why do you feel a quiet pain in your chest? You have made it, you look the part – unquestionably so. You were given a deck of cards and you dealt it like a maverick. You breezed through the process, a phenomenal achievement. Are you perhaps afraid that you might have gotten things too easily?  What is it? What is that insignificant detail that is bothering you? What gives? Ah, but it is too late for regrets. Too late, you decided.


larawan ng isang middle-age woman nakasilip sa bintana

The rain sends us back down the memory lane/



The falling rain began beating harshly against the walls and the rooftop. You stood up to close the glass door leading to the veranda. You wonder if the pain is real or imagined.






19 comments on “Atmospheric pressure

  1. J9 says:

    We’ve returned to the 50’s! A version of the 50’s that includes TMZ. Blecch. Btw, in that “perfect family,” the kids look nothing like that man. Where has Mom been sneaking off to?

    • hello, J9. 🙂 welcome to the blogging world and thanks for stopping by. haha, i like your reference to TMZ. the story sounds like that, huh? oh, the boy probably took after the grandparents, lol ;). regards… 🙂

  2. haribon says:

    i’ll leave a foot print first, then take a sip later 😉

  3. bagotilyo says:

    nakarelate ako lalo na sa first part ,haha..

    pumunta ako sa isang village kahapon tapos nakita ko na ang gaganda ng houses lahat ng maid nakauniform pa akala ko sa teleserye lang talga may ganun and what i saw prove me wrong. may mga tao pla tlgang nabubuhay sa ganoong antas. Unreachable.

    di ko alam kung nainggit ba ko or nainggit ba ako? hahahahha ..

    basta nakakadepress na makakita ng mga ganung yaman at nakakainsspire in a way. basta ganun. oo magulo ako alam ko. :p

    • haha, salamat bagotilyo… 🙂

      oo, mayroon talagang villages na pang-mayaman as in… parang sa ibang bansa ang itsura ro’n. iyong tipong hindi ka/tayo na kailangang itaboy palayo, haha, mararamdaman na lang nating hindi ka/tayo pandoon, hihi. 😉

      yes, they do live differently from us. iba ang mundo nila, ‘ika nga. ^^

      ah, oo, naiintindihan kita. on one hand, naiisip mong pwede palang maging gano’n kaganda ang bahay and gardens and pamumuhay ng isang tao, pwede pala. on the other, malamang, may parte ng brain mong nag-compute at nakwenta agad na mukhang mas mahal pa ang isang paso roon kesa sa isang karitong pwede nang gamiting pantinda ng isang ordinaryong mamamayan. ahaha, mga gano’n ba? ^^

      para fully ma-appreciate mo ang aesthetics, haha, i-turn off mo muna ang critical part of your brain. 😉 pasaway kasi… ^^ hello and regards. 🙂

  4. ladyfi says:

    Thanks for your comment. A quick reply: I used to live in the south of England so yes, Sweden is a lot colder and darker in the winters!

    I was in the mountains of Norway, so that was very cold compared to where I live now, just outside Stockholm.

    • hey, lady fi, very thoughtful of you to drop by and answer my queries. really appreciated. thanks, i now know you were not a Londoner.^^

      and oh, I asked you those because I’ve met several Norwegians and Swedish already at work-related activities. they speak English better than the Americans (at least, the ones I’ve met) and they’re very warm for people who come from the cold part of the hemisphere. ^^ there… thanks and cheers aplenty. 🙂

  5. “Dreaming is a privilege, although the myth informs that everybody harbors one dream, at one time or another. A curious lie, one that’s worth a place in the records.”

    This post somehow is depressing especially during the rainy season.

    • sorry naman, kapatid. i’d say it is cynical, more than depressing… ^^

      actually, this was written three weeks before publication. my reservation about publishing this piece was something else – the content maybe too profound and the pitch of the composition is too high. but i had nothing in my drafts folder so i did give it a go. there… regards 😉

  6. krn says:

    You’re my idol in writing indeed. Haha. 😉

  7. hala, nag-blush ako ro’n. salamat. 😉 magsulat ka lagi para makapagsanay. kahit di mo agad i-publish. basta, masanay mag-organize ng thoughts in written form, kumbaga. happy weekend! ^^

  8. ladyfi says:

    I don’t really agree that life is crappy – but sure, it has its bad – as well as wonderful – moments.

    I agree about the hair – having good hair always makes me feel better.

    • oh, this piece is a social commentary of sort, ms. lady fi… 🙂

      personally, yes, i agree with you that life has its good and bad moments. and yes, having good hair kinda lifts up one’s spirit. yes, me too…

      thanks for coming by and reading. my regards… 😉

  9. This is just outstanding! Beautifully written biting satire. I love it. Such merciless insights told with such lovely prose and flawless rhythm. This was meant to be read out loud and I did and it was a pleasure. I’m sorry I’ve been away so long but how delightful to find this gem when I come to visit again. Thanks for sharing it.

    • gee, your comment just made my day, fork in my eye… you write so well and so sharp yourself, am starting to believe that the post above is something, lol.^^

      ah, this piece is an attempt to revisit success in the modern days. it’s a sequel of sort to an older post – there’s always a rich relative – published last May. it’s a joy to see you around, your visits gladden…

      you’re welcome, many thanks and regards to you and your loved ones… 😉

  10. cage3 says:

    Reblogged this on Counting Fence Posts and commented:
    I had to share this excellant read.

  11. Thank you very much, Cage 3, so glad… Visited your sites and subscribed, too – hope you don’t mind. Cheers! 🙂

  12. […] Atmospheric Pressure – am not sure but I guess, this was an attempt to copy the writing styles of Kerima Polotan-Tuvera and E.L. Doctorow combined. […]

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