Doubly red

It is Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year and an hour before I have to leave for the office I think I have found my spot. I am seated beside a pond and some greens in air-conditioned comfort, Sinatra getting a kick, singing in the background, all courtesy of the Starbucks at the Sky Garden, SM North Edsa.

I had lunch earlier with the boys (Sophie is with her father while Bea has some other ideas of a meaningful Sunday, and I don't want to exert an effort to change her mind), Josh treated himself to his favorite, coffee jelly, while Elmo and I shared a no-whip mocha frap – a costly version of Ovaltine.

Now the boys have gone home and I'm supposed to be working here, except that I am much too soothed to get any real work done. For now, for this next hour, I think I will just...chill.

Refuse to allow my many concerns to pressure me. Manage Bea's adolescent whims, inspire Elmo to take care of his things, finish the third draft of my book because we really should be dealing with the publishers this month already, keep the “emergency” expenses down, build my savings so I can get at least a second-hand car and avoid dealing with unsavory elements of Manila on my way from work every night, lose weight, fix my teeth, peel my face, double my earnings, enroll in the UP development economics graduate program, move into a safer neighborhood, get nicer things for a neater house, the list seems endless, I get tired making lists... I really just get by believing that one day I will get all these things I deserve, because I. Work. Damn. Hard.

I really must be leaving soon. The dragon dancers and the accompanying drummers are muffling the coffee-shop music anyway. And isn't work a form of love?