The Sunbaked King

Single Guy Eats Breakfast

“It all began in Manila,” the menu in front of you starts to say. It does not finish its spiel, because your hand immediately flips the page to check the restaurant’s offerings. Your mind does a backflip, though, wondering what began in Manila– was it the first toasted bread? the first chocolate shake?– but your stomach groans to remind you who’s boss. You succumb to hunger. And there is a world of hunger.

When faced with choices that spell pleasure either way, the mind rarely hesitates. However, when faced with an objective restriction, say, finances, the mind steps back and assesses the situation. Once an assessment is done, and a choice is definitively chosen, the mind rests, but only for a second. It wonders what a particular choice would have felt like, what a particular choice would have been like. And if this line of thinking triumphs, a sense of depression sets in. There is a word for this. It is regret.

You regret that there are a lot of things in the menu that you can’t afford. Others, like the steak, are too fancy for your taste. Some, like the shakes, are too weird to even try. You want something simple, and clean, and delicious. You want something that can give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. You want something that can excite your senses and stir your emotions.

You settle for the breakfast sampler.

After having given the waitress your order, a group of girls catches your eye. They’re young; some of them may not have even experienced the tender claws of puberty. Not that the mess would matter, especially to these kids. You are pretty certain that their entourage of servants will be there by their side when that happens. 

You are about to return to your peaceful waiting when laughter suddenly erupts from their table. It’s refined laughter, the sort one hears from the Upper East Side girls of Gossip Girl. You glance over their direction. Their attention has been captured by something on the table. A picture. From their giggling, you immediately conclude that it’s a boy. Perhaps a kid their age, living in their village. Perhaps the next-door type, always ready to flash them a handsome smile.

Taken away from its solitude, your mind swerves into a different corner altogether.

You begin to wonder, what if you were that boy? What if one of the girls hosts a party and you get invited? What if, in that party, someone has spiked the punch? What if, at the end of the night, you find yourself face-to-face with the little hostess, tipsy as hell? What if you tentatively kiss her and she doesn’t let go? What if your hormones slam into overdrive? What if she leads you to her room? What if things happen that only the inside of your journal will learn about?

What if, a few months later, you learn that she’s pregnant? What if you and your parents are invited to a conference with her and her parents? What if they decide you should marry? What if you’re just barely in your teens? What if you don’t love her? What if she doesn’t love you? What if you just don’t want to be stuck with one sexual experience? What if she feels the same? What if, in the course of all this, you learn…

…that your food has arrived? You smile at the waitress in front of you, assure her that you’re okay, and thank her for the food. Holding a fork and a knife, you glance at the girls a final time.

Riiight. Not in your world, not in your lifetime.

When faced with an objective restriction, the mind hesitates. It begins to assess the situation to find a suitable answer to the problem. In this case, the mind has decided long before the restriction was faced. In fact, the restriction IS the decision.

Those girls aren’t in the menu in the first place.

With a smile on your face, you begin to devour the sausages and eggs in front of you.


Filed under: Fiction, Yes?, Sunshine

7 Responses

  1. makmak says:

    First off – I love your use of metaphors. 😛 Assuming that those things (that I won’t be enumerating anymore unless you want to have a lengthy discussion) actually stand for something else.

    I don’t like fancy nor heavy dishes. I guess it’s just a matter of preference. I don’t care if it’s simple as long as it’s filling/nutritious enough.

    Also, I noticed from this post as well as your previous ones that you have a lot of what if’s. 😛 Hmm…

    And, ask me what my fave part is, come on, come on. LOL.

  2. kerwinray says:

    Metaphors? What metaphors? Hahaha.

    I like delicious dishes. Period. The yummier, the better. 🙂

    I’m an addict for “what ifs.” Remember the movie “The Butterfly Effect”? I got obsessed with it because it dealt with those possibilities.

    As for your favorite part… haha. Sa chat na lang.

  3. makmak says:

    So this is really all about food? Interesting. Nice. Ahaha.

    The Butterfly Effect – one of my all-time faves. It is one creepy movie. I love how it tackled the idea that minor alterations in one’s past can or will consequently cause drastic alterations to his present/future timeline. The chances of having “the perfect” outcome is really bleak considering all the factors involved – meaning even if we know the exact point in time when we should have said yes instead of saying no, or turned right instead of left, it doesn’t mean that we’ll, for lack of a more suitable phrase, be better off.

    As a personal rule, I try not to dwell too much on “What Ifs”. They’re fun to think about every once in a while, but somehow, they can also be a hindrance (and nuisance) to life.

    What Ifs will forever be what ifs.

  4. kerwinray says:

    It IS about food. Promise.

    For me, the fun in thinking about “what ifs” lies in the thinking itself. I don’t necessarily wish for certain possibilities to happen because, as you said, it can be a hindrance to living your life, to living in the here and now. But thinking about it is harmless enough, methinks. 🙂

  5. heart2heartear2ear says:

    Sometimes thinking of the what ifs can keep you from makingdecisions that will afect you in a bad way…If only you could think of all the what ifs in the split second before you make a decision…”What if I turn left at the next street instead of this one? Will I save myself from a horrible accident or will I just be putting myself into a greater danger? What if I don’t turn at all?”

  6. ano ni moose says:

    What!? You like Nickelback?

    So? What started in Manila? Ker, how can someone who hasn’t been touched by the tender claws of puberty get pregnant? Hindi ako doctor eh.

  7. kerwinray says:

    @ Heart2Heart: Indeed. Although the ‘what if’ being discussed here is more of the retrospective kind rather than future-looking one. 🙂

    @ Ano ni Moose: Why do I have the feeling I know you? Haha. Nice point, Anonymous, but check again: “…some of them MAY not have even experienced the tender claws of puberty…”

    I guess my imaginary self ran out of luck. Hahaha. 😛

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