“You got berated by a—whaaat?” asked J.A. Romualdez, not related to Philip Romualdez, when I told him about the chauvinist pig. “Verbally abused,” I corrected. “No wonder!” J.A. sighed. “What can you expect from those people?” he continued. “They are stupid, mean, ignoramus, they think like machines. Unlettered. Bastos. Couldn’t appreciate the simple things in life. Oh, yeah? An engineer, eh? You know some people, their minds are like engines, and more often, a screw or two loosen/s up, and that’s what you get from them: loose tornillos, malfunctioning engines!”
This was the first time that J.A. took my side in my protracted battle against the Dork, another name for the chauvinist pig. For in all other things, Ja and I always took opposing sides; from the war on Iraq, VS Naipaul, to GMO; from Davao Death Squad to mono sodium glutamate.
Even when I used to rant against the chauvinist pig, JA would often offer irritating remarks against me in favor of the pig; because every time I speak ill of pigs, JA felt he was being attacked.
But I was not attacking J.A.. Not at all. I was only talking about the Dork, another name for the pig, whose number on my phone I had accidentally pressed the dawn that my boy ran away and I was in panic. I was supposed to send a message to my sister but I still had an unsent message for the Dork at noontime the previous day. I had tinkered with my phone for far too long looking for my sister’s number when I accidentally pressed the unsent message to the Dork, and so it happened; at 12:05 midnight when everyone was asleep, my message was gone out of my outbox with hardly a poof! Afterwards, I heard a soft tinkling sound from my phone.
“Hoy, na’y mga batang nangatulog diri, pagka-wa gud nimo’y batasan!” It was the Dork. I was shocked and awed by his manners; so gruff and low, if my mother had to describe it. Yet, I also wanted to laugh! The Dork sounded really upset and troubled, he must have been having a hard time with the one-year-old baby. I wanted to laugh because finally, it was the Dork’s turn to be in trouble. I felt like rejoicing. I wanted to dance.
If the pig had only known what I had gone through all those years he dumped me and left me alone with the baby to survive. I was numbed and dumbed sterilizing bottles and doing the laundry, I hardly had enough sanity left to write a sentence at work, where my editor used to wait for my story. Now it was the Dork’s turn to lick the toilet bowl, God is Kind and Full of Mercy, Halleluiah!