Friday, October 1, 2010

Tramps like...who?

"In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run"

My friends and I were drinking a couple of weeks ago as a post-celebration for my birthday. We just kept laughing and reminiscing about how our lives were when we were in high school.

High school really was a good part in my life. Lots of fun memories, and I think it was the time when we all started to think about what we wanted to do in the future.

"Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
And strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
Well run till we drop, baby well never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
`cause baby Im just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild, girl I want to know if love is real"

But of course, plans that you make when you're in high school won't really happen unless you win the lottery or you're willing to make sacrifices for it. Thinking about it, those dreams that we had back then are what we really want in life, but sadly, life doesn't go that way.

We're a tight-knit group of 6. One's a law student, two are involved in their family businesses and 3 of us are in the corporate workforce. So much for the connected dreams that we had almost a decade ago. So much for running a business together lol. We got caught up in our own lives and though we still talk about those plans up to now.. That's all they are to date: plans.

"Beyond the palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rear-view mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss"

Later that night, after several bottles of beer and a shot too many of vodka, one of my friends who's in their family business told us that he wants to become an employee. He wants to experience what me and our two other friends experience being a corporate minion: the deadlines, the crunch times, quotas (if there were any).. He wanted to know how it would feel like being in the workforce.

Me and my other friend (the third one's absent) were looking at him as if he told us he built an actual, working time machine. And we asked the one question that made him speechless: "Why?!"

"The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight but there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy well live with the sadness
Ill love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when were gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go and well walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run"

Then came a tirade of why his life (being the sole heir to their business) was so much better than being an employee.

And we came to a realization.

Not to put ourselves up on the pedestal, our lot? we're not poor. We all went to private schools whose tuition fees grant it its status as one of the most expensive schools in the Philippines. We travel to other countries. We still live in our parents' houses and we don't pay a single bill (and our parents don't ask for money). Our necessities - food, clothing, transportation - our parents still shoulder those.

Yes, our full salary belong to us only. We blow our money like there's no tomorrow and we don't have to worry if we run out because there's always a house we can go home to where there's water, electricity, internet (yes, I did include that) and food.

So in all honesty, we don't know what it's like to work for a reason. We work because we don't have anything else to do and we need money to buy our stuff - I use my money to buy my toys and for my dog's vet fees (my dad shoulders my dogs' food). We don't know what it's like to do overtimes like crazy just to earn the extra peso. We don't know what it's like to work our butts off so that we may provide food on the table. Our lot, we're ignorant to these things.

So whenever our nannies tell us how it was like for them to grow up.. I can only understand what they're saying but I cannot empathize because I do not know what it's like to be in their shoes.

Sad? Probably.

(Lyrics: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen)

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