14 September 2007

The Mastermind and the Pawn

Life is strange. Life is weird. It takes us to different turns and curves and one should expect nothing.

I got to talk to my mother earlier today. Today was Rosh Hashanah so classes were canceled from 6:00 PM yesterday to 6:00 PM today. I was thus at home when my mom bid me hello.

I then learned that my sister will be moving here in the US to live with me.

I got word of that before, and getting word of it from a different person just suggests that this is more than speculation.

So, what is the deal? She will come over, and her mission is to find a job. She has some monetary means to support herself, but without a job, it will not last long. She will pay rent. But with regard to her other expenses such as food and utilities, I will be paying for it.

I am not whole-heartedly agreeing to the plan, but can I actually refuse? I guess my family does not realize how strong their pull is to me. In all honesty, I view my parents as demigods; I don't think I have "face" to say no.

I made it clear to my family that I am just a graduate student, and my stipend is not meant to support two people. Good thing that that is clear. So the deal is, my sister should find a job soon, or else she has to fly to the Philippines again since it is cheaper to live there.

Until yesterday, I was a mastermind. I lead my own life, designing it, and implementing it. I was free. I was independent. I was there where the wind blew me. But now, I am just a pawn. A player in a larger board game. I have to play my part so each of my family members can stand.

I find it similar to what the apes do in the wild: they scratch each other's backs. If they do not, then the ticks and the lice will get the most of them. I guess the baton was just passed to me this time. It's my turn to scratch someone's back for the whole group to survive. And maybe someday, I will need my back to be scratched as well for my survival.

(The trapezoidal monument that marks the equator, from my La Mitad del Mundo Series)

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