Mars Story #25 (a story)

(This one is a continuation from this story I crapped out a month ago.)

March 24

It was a grueling week. I ate nothing but sweet potatoes all day. I couldn’t get out that much from my apartment because I don’t have money to spend. If I did, I have to pay for transportation, pay for food, and everything. It’s such a hassle. I don’t have energy to move either, because I only ate sweet potatoes.

One interesting thing: I had pork and beans left in the cabinet. It’s a year ago since it’s best before date, but I didn’t care. It’s best before date right? So I can still consume it if I want to. It just won’t be the best. I’m ok with that. I’m okay with being good enough.

But you know, I opened it, surprise, it’s a pork ‘n beans that has more pork in it than beans! All my life I’ve come to expect no pork in pork ‘n beans. But there it is! It’s so much pork! Now I see the ideal. I see the dream. I see the goal at hand for pork and beans.

They taste a bit soggy though. It is, truly, not the best. Oh well.

There’s another interesting thing during that week: I found a job! Or I guess it’s more of a gig. And it’s also all online, so I should have been more wary of it. It might be another scam, I don’t know.

This one’s a bit more legitimate though. And I get to meet up with the employer in person! Or at least my soon-to-be coworker. You see, it’s like a community moderation job. I need to sift through comments, block the ones deemed offensive, etcetera. It’s social media stuff. You guys all know that.

Not to brag but, they probably had a lot of people to choose from, and they chose me. That makes me feel so heartwarming and confident but to be honest? They probably want me because I said I can go full time on the work. Quite frank of them, but eh I’ll take it!

So for this work, I have to team up with this other cartoonist. We’ll make 3 posts everyday about the positive things this politician did. Then some other posts to bash the current election candidates. Sure, Black propaganda isn’t pleasant. But if you’ve seen the election candidates right now, I’m sure you’d also go all out with black propaganda.

The cartoonist had a fair idea on what to draw against Marites, a congressman who’s vying for senator. Marites is a pro-poor kind of candidate. She likes to pose on the camera together with poor people while they’re busy doing their poor people things. I’m getting sick at even looking at her. It doesn’t help that she’s also ugly looking.

She’s the most under-qualified candidate right now, if you discount the insane candidates. She only had one college degree, B.S. Tourism. Not even political, so no political training at all. She probably followed whatever her politician dad says. She’s basically just another prop in their political dynasty.

She’s an easy target, right? The cartoonist guy wants to make a comic about her pro-poor campaigns. So what she’ll do in the first panel is ride a helicopter over the slum areas and drop a cargo full of slippers. Afterwards they’ll be singing their campaign jingle. On the next panel would be the poor people all waving their hands so happy and ecstatic. And there would be a guy there saying “Slippers! I finally have dinner!”

He started working on a draft a day ago. I can’t wait to see it! I’ve seen his work on his facebook page and he’s real good at it. He also has a comic about the basketball player turned politician and it’s so funny. He also did fanart, and it’s so cute! I’ll link his fb page to you guys. Not gonna plug on anything!

Here’s a sample drawing from the cartoonist!

March 27

The cartoonist’s comic got approved. Not that there was a doubt about it. It was a genius plan! The higher-ups did some few tweaks though. They made the candidate to be shaded a bit darker. In fact. She’ll be so dark, that an aura of darkness is emanating around her. Kind of offensive, but it’s to be expected for a black propaganda. Can’t get any more literal with blackening your opponent!

So now it’s out. And it gained a ton of likes. All the reacts. It’s so scary. It’s like 10,000x the amount of likes that I usually get. It’s so different when you’re handling a page with a ton of followers. Like 40,000 followers. It’s a lot.

What’s worse is the comments. There’s a torrent of them and sometimes I have to reply to them. For honest questions about how to vote and which precinct to go, I make myself useful. But sometimes it’s a bit more personal.

You see, our higher ups told us a crucial thing: you have to hold your stance to get a lot of followers. You must be narrow-minded. If you see any bashers criticizing your arguments, you must strike back with all the flame you have. You must be passionate. There must be no flaw in your logic. You also must inspire the will of the community. If you recruit the people to make the arguments for you, then your job is done!

That’s our higher up’s theory at least. What really happens is just trench warfare. So for example, there’s this guy who posted a long rebuttal about a candidate. His comment got to the top of the comments section. Other commenters were eager to hear a reply from us, so we replied to him. I used my impeccable logic to shatter his arguments and to clear up misconceptions.

The response? Anger! First they berated my use of socialite language. I didn’t even know words like “unsatisfactory” have a socialite tone of it. Second, they berate my upbringing, and how I stayed by my parents until 20 and never had to do hard labor. I admit that’s true, but what can I do with it?

They also berated my logic. My foolproof logic! They told me I can’t sway them with my “philosophizing”. They see me as this smart-ass rich kid who’s just looking down upon them. Well they wouldn’t feel looked down upon if they had solid opinions wouldn’t they?

It’s so infuriating to do this, but it’s my job, so at least I get a pay for it. Just imagine if I had to do it for free, It’s undue stress! I just have this hope that one day, they’ll also get my viewpoints. They’ll come to understand that their candidate deserves no defense. That they’re defending an ugly moron who’s also ignorant of real world politics. But who am I kidding? That’ll be like the world turning upside down.

But who cares anyway? I’ll have my pay soon! I’m buy those headphones and maybe an umbrella! And I also have to sleep. Good night guys!

March 29

I wanna quit. This job is terrifying.

So I had this visitor the other day. She’s this old lady, very socialite looking. She handed me this pamphlet that reads “JUSTICE FOR MARITES”.

She told me in full English how offended and appalled she was at the facebook post we made. She shouted it so loud that my neighbors started peeking out of their doors.

I remember when I was a kid and I broke this glass wall clock. My mother then scolded me as if I killed a man. This is the same feeling. This old lady stared at me as if I killed a man.

I tried to reason with her. I asked first, how did she get in this place and how did she get permission. This just made her explode. She said she’s going to stay in the corridor until I formally apologize. She wants me to drop to my knees and apologize, then pay for the emotional damages she received.

She asked for $10,000. She was asking me to donate 2 months worth of rent to their foundation in order for me to be fully forgiven. I didn’t know there was even any valuation on emotional damage! What the hell.

I got frozen in place. My heart raced all over with fear that I can’t even recognize my room and the doorway I’m in. At that moment when the old lady demanded me to pay, I only had two recourse of action. It’s fight or flight. I can’t punch the old lady, of course, so I only had one choice.

I closed the door. I locked it. I even clipped the chain locks. I dragged the dining chair and put it in front of the door. Then I put a box full of CD cases on it. And then sat on it.

I can hear the old lady pounding on the door with her cane. She has the strength despite being old. Even the door’s paint is chipping off from the pounding.

None of the neighbors bothered to intervene. I heard neighbors closing their doors and going back to their rooms one by one. But the presence of the old lady on the opposite side of the door never leaves.

It took about an hour maybe until she left. But it felt like a whole day.

And I was just there on top of the CD box, staring at the floor. Introspecting about my life decisions. Of why I decided to move out of my parents’ house for college. And why I never found a job with my trash degree. Of why I accepted my mother’s allowance every month when my aim is to be independent. And why I’ll never get a boyfriend.

There’s the stockpile of dishes I still haven’t cleaned up since Tuesday. There’s also that grime in the floor that I couldn’t remove no matter how hard I try. I couldn’t even stay seated for long without getting startled by the outside noise. I’m still in fear of the old lady. She might have stayed.

I heard her going down the stairs. But one could never be too sure. I don’t want to open the front door. Her ghost might still be there. It feels like the corridor had the mark of Satan after the old lady’s visit.

It took me the next day to finally calm down. I had to go to the bank and get the allowance, so I had to open my front door somehow. No old lady in sight fortunately.

Later that day, I heard from the cartoonist that our pay will get delayed for a bit. They said they have to process the payments first and it’ll take a while. That’s mean no headphones for me. Also no umbrella. It’s a sad time.

I also told my old lady story to the cartoonist. He got amused. Then he told me the same lady visited him 2 days ago. She said she was looking for me, so he told her my address.

Ugh, I wanna snap his hand off!

But I know that hand’s his livelihood so I hesitated.

I haven’t gotten any call from the old lady or even an email, even the day after that. Still scary though. Who knows what kind of class action she’s stewing up for next time? Perhaps she’s silent because she’s stalking me every day, hidden in view? I didn’t want to imagine further.

I’ll update you guys what happens next. But I’m hoping nothing exciting happens. I know I can’t handle stress that well.

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