Superficial (6) (Fiction)

It’s a tough balance trying to earn a living and maintaining the integrity of your own conviction with the skills and competence. On one hand, there is always the drive to do something creative. Something that will make a lasting impression. A groundbreaking of sorts to seal the relationship with a client and keep them projects coming because they like what you think and how you work. There’s that pride in knowing you have delivered what you promised – a well made, detailed work that met the expectation, probably more.

On the other hand., my financial status as of today is currently on a very pathetic state that I am tempted to accept and just do my workaround with bumps on the road.

Creativity vs. Selling out.

Damn.

Took a hit off of the Pall Mall menthol I carried with me in the bag. The sun was already burning whatever was left on the roofs of establishments in this area. Finally “Pusong Bato” was replaced with an equally despicable amount of noise – perya radio – you know the kind where semi-DJs talk too much, laugh too much and has a playlist limited to 10 songs the whole day.

“So, you gonna do it or not?” Asked Josephine.

I may have disliked her news about the script and all. But, got to admit, the woman is a looker. And I coul look at her neck and strong jaw all day.

” Hnh, I really can’t say. Everything else will be better if you have the script”. I tried to sound not too irritated. Because  I was stating the obvious and her firm must have thought of it but proceeded without the script hoping to move along.

She took a deep pull and let out a rather sensuous clump of  smoke.  “Name your price. I’m sure we could agree on the terms. Provided you can deliver. Will you do it for how much?” She asked again.

And there was silence as smoke wafted and swirled between us. Jeepneys were making a ruckus with its own music competing with the perya station. People seem to have shunned the sunlight as there are fewer pedestrians abound.  She waited gracefully for an answer, while looking hot and out of place. Her bag ridiculously big and lumpy. I was holding the papers and stuff she showed me, and it felt like I was losing my chance to have a decent meal on my table tonight, and my girls in the country side would be well fed and taken care of for the rest of the month.

Sweat rolled down my nose and dropped on my upper lip, tasting the salt ib it. I spit. Almost noon, and here I am debating between going hungry and earning enough to get more work.

“Will you do it for how much? Name your price you come with good recommendations”.” She asked again.

A 12-string Zeny Bandilla acoustic guitar with removable pickups and a set of GHT 12-string set would do just fine as fee, I thought. Or a box set of Lord of The Rings books with The Sillmarillion added would be very good indeed, I mused.

But I shouldn’t accept this job because it’s full of holes and it won’t hold water and I have been working such crappy deals with people who never say what they mean and would slit my throat just to make it look like it’s my fault they have no foresight of production problems that will come up again and again like rats you can’t get rid out of your house , and they never listen to my recommendations and suggestions, just enough nods to go on their way and maybe look intelligent for pointing oit revisions and No WeDon’t Know What We Want So Just Be Fucking Creative And Do Something We Can Shoot Down.

Ah. But I can’t say that. Instead I answered, in a rather clenched fist, eyes squinted shut tone ” 60% down-payment, 40% after completion, I’d do the storyboard for 8 working days. The Rate is 15K.”

I just sold my soul to the devil.

If I had one.

(To Be Continued)

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