Living with the Enemy

Some people adjust pretty well to situations. Some, like me, not as well. 

I visited my office early this week to pick up a delivery. For the past two years, I’ve only been there three or four times because there was no reason for me to go. My team and I have been working from home since the pandemic.

The item I was supposed to pick up was left with the guard at the lobby of the building. Upon entering, he immediately recognized me despite wearing a baseball cap and a face mask. Only my eyes, their accompanying bags and a bit of wrinkled skin were visible. And without asking, he said that my item has been taken upstairs to my office.

It appears that Kuya guard has responded well to the call of the times. He may have been forced by the circumstances to make his job easier and safer, his adaption to the pandemic protocols, for me, is remarkable. 

I, on the other hand, have not. In one mall project walk-thru, I hardly recognized those who approached me. I cheated by looking at their IDs hanging around their necks. “Oh, she looked different without a mouth and a nose,” I kept arguing to myself. The eyes and sometimes the hair were merely pieces of a mental puzzle I had to put together. They weren’t faces. At my age, it’s already a big challenge to match faces with names. Let alone ninja covers. Shish kebab!

Koreans and Japanese have started using transparent masks that reveal the mouth and when they talk or laugh, the teeth, too. I have seen them on TV. Yay, more context clues! These, together with a person’s vertical and horizontal measure, voice pitch, and fashion style, maybe I’ll get better at profiling.

Like it or not, I need to adapt as well as our building guard did. I have a feeling this enemy ain’t leaving ’til all major pharmas have made their ten-year quota. 

Living with this unseen enemy, just about time.


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4 thoughts on “Living with the Enemy”

  1. My wife can tell you a bunch of stories, some very awkward because this has been my Waterloo: connecting names and faces. Go figure. I have memorized in the course of my career, thousands of arteries, nerves, muscles, and other body parts, even drugs and illnesses. But I could not remember the name of a person I met several times before. And now I meet them at the mall and I have to introduce them to my wife. Ugh! Awkward, but I sometimes have to pause while they take the cue and introduce themselves again. And now, they are masked! I still have to learn to accept this “flaw” but hey there is a silver lining somewhere. Every encounter is like meeting them for the first time again.

    Cheers Brother.

  2. Rene, you inspire someone and you may never know but of course it doesn’t matter, just pour it out. Keep it up my friend. BTW, can’t make a latte’ art like you do, so everyday, whatever figure comes out in my cup or my wife’s, I just consider it like a “tawas” reading of a manghuhula, hahaha, just for fun.

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