I chanced upon the Devil one day, talking about "the environment" inside an air-conditioned room full of people and I thought he made some sense.
He said something like if the law only worsened the human condition, then we have to ask why that law had been there, in the first place.
He kicked off his slippers under his chair and because I was at his back, I marveled at his unwashed soles as he kept crossing and uncrossing his feet while making his point. Right there and then, I began to like the Devil.
When the talk was over, it was lunch. I happened to fall in line next to the Devil, who turned around half way when he got his plate and saw the identification card on my chest. “Are you from the Philippine Daily Inquirer?” he asked, surprised.
“So, are you going to write about this?” he motioned to the hall where we just came from. “Maybe, yes,” I said, and was about to ask him why but he already turned away, mumbling something I could not make out.
The Devil was very tall, and surprisingly, a Caucasian, but the way his face flushed, I suspected, he must be saying something like, “Be sure you understand what you’re writing about,” or, “I hope you won’t add something to what I said,” or, “Don’t you misquote me, you should not be allowed to write anything here,” or, “No media is supposed to be here!”
Things I used to hear from other similar gatherings before.
It was such a pity that he was already moving away and I could not make out exactly what he said.
I was already seated at the table when a servant sent by the Devil told me to get out because the event was not supposed to be for the media.
So, I got up feeling so stupid, lost my way trying to find the elevator, then, heartily took the stairs down seven floors as I pondered upon the power that betrayed the basic fear and weakness of the Devil! He had the maze of structures to surround him, he had the power to employ (and exploit) people and control their minds—and yet, how pathetically insecure the Devil was! [Anyway, why would someone wall himself up behind horrendous physical and psychological structures if he were not afraid and needed to feel protected, in the first place?]
I came up with several hilarious conclusions about the Devil as I finally reached the last flight of stairs:
The Devil was paranoid.
The Devil was afraid of the media!
Because he was afraid fo the media, the Devil must be very obsessed with his image.
I conjure an image of the Devil looking at himself in the mirror, worrying about his looks! Something must be terribly wrong with the Devil!