I tried to find my sleep but couldn’t.
So I popped some pills and waited for it to slither into my veins.
The rays of the sun were rosy, it shone upon us as it descended into the marsh of the thick plum clouds.
I was looking for the cowboy riding into the sunset.
There was no cowboy.
Only the sun and its entourage of plum clouds.
I remember how warm it felt when the rays touched my face.
Many of us turned to look.
Then the pilot swerved for a better view.
We peered through those tiny holes, sharing the small windows of the passenger seats.
Everybody was still.
Some of us bashfully held our phones and took at least thirty-three pictures each.
The sun hasn’t changed at all; she was as beautiful as ever, I thought.
We couldn’t get enough of her.
I guess I could never get over her.
Sanshiro and Mineko.
The two stray sheep by the stream.
I reached up for the attendant button and beeped to order a beer. After the fiasco the night before, I still wanted one. I left the hotel room with my puke still warm on the floor and nabbed all the shower gels on the way out.
Some low life I was. I was up there with the greats.
I put on my earphones instead and ran lines with Bill Murray on my phone.
Why can’t these days be just like in the movies?
No, it won’t work. For we’d all be the protagonists. Everyone would want to be the good guy –
The center of the fucking universe.
I looked around and saw only strange faces.
Tourists were visiting a third-world country for the first time.
With their oblivious children.
And all the politicians who’d love them all when the time comes.
The manicured men with their man-buns.
All the protagonists.
I looked around me and belched alcohol fumes with my cigarette smoke.
I couldn’t believe I just lighted a cigarette inflight. I wanted to put it out but it was too late.
And as soon as the trail of smoke reached full vertical, I then heard the smoke alarm went off. One of the flight attendants came up to me and asked me politely to put out my Marlboro lights but I wasn’t able to respond right away — I was in shock of my stupidity and I was also distracted on how she had still managed to put a straight face on.
I did what I was told. It was just an accident, I explained. My heart was pounding. The flight attendant pretended to believe me. It was nice of her to do so even though she obviously didn’t. They informed me that they will hand me over to the authorities as soon as we would land.
I ran. They chased me. I made the evening news.
There was a hotel across the airport. I was flushed, my face was pale and at the same time pink when I saw my reflection in the lobby. I told the receptionist to quit the pleasantries and give me a room right away. This caused a bone on her right temple to twitch a little bit. This has also caused all the cheap rooms to be occupied all of a sudden.
I was offered the only room available that night which was the presidential suite.
The presidential suite.
I guess for the first time I was a high-roller.
A fugitive with the knack for self-indulgence under pressure.
There was no way I could afford it.
I asked the receptionist to just charge it but my card flopped.
I spent the whole night at the bar instead.
I was supposed to be the protagonist of this story.
The center of the whole fucking universe.