digital metamorphosis (a short story)

Makati City. 8:15 AM

The train stops and the door slides open.

Suddenly the empty MRT station bursts into a sea of people rushing amidst the morning rush hour in Ayala Avenue.

The sight has been the norm for Simon, whose brisk walk suddenly turns into strides as he hurries off to his 8:30 meeting.

Ironically, the chorus: "I’ve been working for the rat race…♫" echoes in the background as Simon, listens to The Specials’ discography in his IPhone, which was fresh-off his Torrent library.

After half a kilometer and 5 flights of stairs, barely catching his breath, he arrives to find his office complex, completely shut down.

As he tries to make his way to the door, he finds a young woman about his age and a man who could’ve been his father chained together whispering: “peaceful protest”. To the agitated security guard whose ego has been bruised by the sheer speed of the activists who were able to sneak their way inside Pinoy Power’s corporate headquarters.

He whispers: “fuck, I’m screwed.” Knowing that his 8:30 meeting for designing Pinoy Power’s new Corporate Social Responsibility site won’t be happening anytime soon.

Still hoping to make the most of the situation he gathers the courage to speak to one of the chained activists motioning them to let him saying: “Please I just want to do my job, I’m working on a deadline.”

“…And so are we.” Uttered the young woman who refused to let Simon, pass through.

Silently, they locked eyes knowing that they both knew that they had to do what they had to do.

Breaking the silence the woman introduces herself: “I’m Wanda, and I hope you’ll understand that we don’t have any intention of making your life miserable, but we are here because I believe our deadline is far more pressing and urgent than yours.”

"Don’t start that with me Wanda, you have no idea about the world of shit that I’ll be in if you don’t let me pass". He says with a smirk of arrogance, knowing that his sarcasm is one of the many charms that’s pulled him out of the-line-of-fire a number of times.

But Simon is not getting things done his way.

“Seriously, how does investing money in opening a 30-year old nuclear plant in a geologically unstable region become more important than you being unable to do your work?” She asked with eyes lit up in conviction as the police arrived to disperse the activists.

2 hours later…

Everything seems to be back to normal.

Countless fingers tapped battered computer keyboards pulsing a rhythm that compliments the ringing telephones and the robotic sweep of dot matrix printers creating a mechanical symphony that envelops the office.

Simon’s eyes are glued to the glare of the computer screen, unable to make the HTML codes work seamlessly to the style sheet that he developed the other day.

Unable to do his work, Simon, retreats to organize his thoughts. He types: “CTRL+T” opening another tab, which lands him to a blank Google, search page inviting him to the world of possibilities at the tip of his fingers.

On the search form he types: “Nuclear power, danger” and then strikes the Enter key.

The result was quite alien to him as his screen is filled with words, worlds and information he didn’t knew existed right in front of him the whole time: Chernobyl. 3-Mile Island. Fukushima. Openheimer. Cancer. Contamination. Toxic. Deadly. Extinction.

It was too much to take in for a 28 year old freelance designer who was just taking Pinoy Power, as a client so that he could afford to continue his posh lifestyle of Nike Dunks, iWhatnots from Apple, Bape Apparel and digital photography shit; while limelighting as a DJ in Cubao X and spending his weeknights playing Nintendo Wii games with his girlfriend at their penthouse condo in New Manila, Quezon City.

Hopeless and confronted by his affiliation with Pinoy Power, he seeks comfort and for a glimmer of hope in his reliable refuge –the Internet.

On the search bar he typed the name of the organization that locked down their office this morning, imagining the yellow banner with the slogan: “No Nukes! – Greenpeace.” He types the word

The search landed him to a website whose landing page displayed a photo of the incident this morning and interestingly there was an image capturing a photo of him with Wanda deadlocked in conversation, accompanied by a blog also written by Wanda, who by now he has already developed a crush on.

“A better world is possible. Together.” Is the phrase that ended the blog.

He was anxious, stoked and confused at the same time. However, that doesn’t bother him, he hasn’t felt that way in a long time. It was that feeling that got him to put his Gmail address in the form that says: “Join the energy revolution!”

After 2 minutes he pauses thinking whether he should click the orange button at the bottom of the form.

He thinks to himself: “Take action? Why not? It’ll be a party.”

He clicks: Submit.

Somehow, Simon, believes that tomorrow will be different.

No comments: