(an entry to an essay writing contest)
Admit it. You’ve fantasized about it. You’ve lustfully longed for that single moment of pure exhilarating glory. You’ve always wanted to win the lottery.
But God said, “My child, you need to work your **s off and reap the fruits of hard labor through the annual Christmas bonus and 13th-month pay and through SSS, Pag-Ibig and Philhealth upon retirement age.”
So off to work you go.
The fantasy ends and reality begins.
The alarm clock rings at five thirty in the morning, and you drag yourself out of bed because you have to get rid of the disturbing pile of laundry and cook a hearty breakfast and sweep the floors until they’re spotless and bathe the dog and feed the kids all before eight thirty in the morning. Married people are superheroes in disguise.
You work all day, slaving in front of a jurassic computer, sorting out layer upon layers of government documents, feeling like a silly demi-god who approves and disapproves and delays and expedites. The workforce is tough. But this is your world.
You go home at five o’clock, lustfully yearning for the comfort of your middle-class bed with bargain bed sheets and buy one take one pillows. You’d like to take a bubble bath but you don’t have a tub so you’d settle for a cold shower in your cramped bathroom with cracked tiles. You think of bumming in front your eight-year-old non-HD 21-inch television with a pack of peanuts and cold glass of soft drink but you can’t because the kids, the grandmas, the house help and the next door neighbors are dying to know the next plot in the telefantastic primetime series.
Because this routine of yours is like clockwork, you relentlessly pursue your lottery dreams. Your future lies in the random numerical combinations that sprout from your heart and head. Your chances of winning big are calculatedly slim. And yet, it gives you a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, life could be better than this. . . That maybe, just maybe, lady luck smiles upon you.
Still, mid-month harsh reminders of reality get delivered to your door.
Electric bills. Insurance. Water bills. Groceries. Phone bills. Appliances. Cable TV bills. Credit Card bills. Bills.
You get sucked into an abysmal vortex of lifestyle redundancy. Romance begins and ends in your imagination. Passion is overtaken by habit. Spontaneity is overshadowed by responsibility.
Department store raffle draws give you that welcome surge of adrenaline amidst monotonous day-to-day living and lottery picks are tiny specks of colorful fantasies in your black and white reality.
This – – – this gives you hope.
So why pick this? Why pick me?
Pick this because this is the story of two ordinary people who have unselfishly devoted their lives to their families. Not one, but two families. Not one, but two households. These people have given up their dreams just so others could fulfill theirs.
Choose this because you might be able to give two individuals a chance to momentarily leave behind their middle-class domestic lifestyle and immerse themselves in a world that truly defines comfort and luxury. So that they may fully enjoy high quality memory foam beds with goose feathers comforters. And watch high definition cable on huge LCD screens. Solo ownership of the TV remote control. Tranquility at its finest.
This story could be about you. You waking up every morning, thinking that this day is seemingly no different from the last. Ordinary you, hoping and wishing that maybe, just maybe, life could get better than this. You – – – who would like to enjoy bubble baths and hot showers in a squeaky clean ginormous bathroom. Or eat breakfast food that you didn’t cook yourself. Rest and relaxation.
Pick me. Because I believe that ordinary people deserve extraordinary surprises. Even for just one day. Even for just awhile. Even for just a minute. To play fairy godmother or genie or quasi-DTI representative for just one time because you believe that good things happen to great people.
Pick me. Because I have a dream.
To make them feel like royalty.
To make them believe that some dreams do come true.
To show them that their reality could be far more better than their fantasies.
But most of all, to say Thank You in an entirely unconventional public way for all their selfless acts and countless sacrifices for the family.
To the two people who have always dreamed of winning the lottery.
To two individuals who have taught me how to dream. And to hope. And to pray. And to write.
This one is for you.
Love, your daughter.