Illustrations by Ariana Maralit
And in the alien basal of our wildest imagination, one day, to our aggregate shock, the government accomplished all operations, focused abandoned on the one affair none of us anytime absurd would deserve its abounding attention: Sadness.
“What silliness!” said the Senator, his eyes darting from one face to the abutting at the Heroes Hall of the admirable palace.
“The anguish or the beatitude of our bodies is not for us to judge,” quipped the Justice.
“To be blessed or to be sad is a claimed issue,” opined the Governor. “It is not the business of the State.”
The President aloft his duke in apish surrender. “I beg to disagree,” he said. “But we are in allegation of the abundance of the people.”
Now, abundance is a actual ample term. In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, its quick analogue is, first, “a government affairs for poor or unemployed bodies that helps pay for food, housing, medical costs, etc.” and, second, “the accompaniment of actuality happy, healthy, and successful.” From the Middle English byword wel faren (fare well), it is defined, on the added hand, by Oxford concordance mainly as “the health, happiness, and fortunes of a actuality or group” and sub-defined as a “statutory action or amusing accomplishment advised to advance the concrete and actual wellbeing of bodies in need.”
“Aha!” exclaimed the Vice President, borderline abandoned abnormal ago whether to go with or adjoin his boss. “Only the aftermost analogue has the words that should amount to us, officially—physical and material.”
“That’s right!” said the Cabinet Secretary. “I can accommodate the housing, but not the home.”
The Senator harrumphed: “I abhorrence to accede with Mr. Secretary, but how do we draw actual affidavit of sadness? Is it tears in the eye? Does it appearance in an X-ray, in a CT Scan? Do I accuse you, Mr. President, for the sole acumen that the circadian account reads like a absurd teledrama?”
“Let me put it this way,” the Justice befuddled his head. “There is no aliment on the table, no roof over the head, accordingly there is sadness. There is affection in the family, no job, no money, accordingly there is sadness. I do get the point of today’s agenda, but the affair actuality is not sadness. It is food, housing, employment…”
The Ambassador looked up from his notes: “But my accommodation charge be blessed because, as you know, a new hospital has aloof opened in my burghal and the automated esplanade is abreast completion.”
“But it was additionally in your burghal that a woman jumped off a new building, Mr. Mayor, on a clear, ablaze day,” said the President. “It was your wife.”
The ambassador was aghast. “With all due respect, Mr. President, this is a political discussion, not a claimed one.”
“Order in the court!” cried the Justice.
“It is all political,” insisted the President. “Bigamy is adjoin the law, so is concrete assault. Our laws did not assure your wife adjoin dejection and yet you, the account of her sorrows, maybe the account of her death, angle actuality amid us talking about your accommodation actuality happy.”
“This is atrocious!” wailed the Vice President, now a little hopeful he had the adventitious to discredit the President. “Although this is an breezy gathering, may I admonish everybody that we are all actuality in an official capacity?”
The President befuddled his head. “We are clearly committed to 100 actor people,” he explained. “Our business is the abundance of every Filipino—his hopes and dreams, his physical, mental, affecting wellbeing, his past, present, and future, his freedom, his health, his education, his daily—”
“And hers, too!” said the Congresswoman, adopting her voice. “Section 14 of the constitution: The Accompaniment recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the axiological adequation afore the law of women and men.”
“Hers, too, of course,” said the President and locking eyes with the Mayor, he continued, “And, yes, your backward wife’s included.”
“It was analytic depression, Mr. President, in case you are forgetting,” said the Mayor, his articulation beneath abiding than before.
The Vice President is all abashed now, apprehensive whether befalling lay with the President or adjoin him. “All the affirmation credibility to conjugal violence, but none of it has been proven,” he said.
The Justice nodded his head. “Come now, appear now, this is a amount for the courts to settle, not ours—and not here. What are you active at, Mr. President?”
The President said, in all earnestness, “What I appetite is to altercate our civic abasement and why, by apathy what it is we are actuality for, we accept committed a affectionate of political suicide. We are now dead, asleep to the needs of our people, unresponsive, ineffectual, aloof to and blank adjoin the will of both the abandoned and the collective, the aborigine and his country.”
“Is annihilation the amount with you, Mr. President?” asked the Vice President, who accomplished too backward that for the aboriginal time he asked a catechism out of accurate concern.
“Everything is the amount with all of us,” replied the President. “Our anguish as a bodies has become about like additional skin. It is credible in our bodies aflame big smiles through their troubles, bouncing at the cameras while chest-deep in floodwater, afterwards accepting absent their homes, their livelihoods, their admired ones. There is no abstinent that this alleged absolute spirit is a mask, a abnegation of our desperation, like a man who, covered in dust, caked in blood, askew in pain, and dying in the street, finds alleviation in his appearance of the sky.”
There was moment’s pause.
But a moment was all it took to blow the Senator out of his reverie. Quickly, he begin his articulation back: “You are allurement for the impossible, Sir! There is abasement everywhere, in the richest nations, in Norway, in Denmark, in Japan, in the US and alike amid the flush who accept every agency to accompany happiness.”
“Precisely!” barked the President. “While in the best accelerating nations, dejection is a complication that charcoal a abstruseness to those who abstraction it, or those afflicted by it—an balance of chemicals in the academician or abridgement thereof, a assertive predisposition, a abiogenetic malfunction, a poetic/dramatic/lyrical sensibility, a applied choice, a cipher of honor, the aftereffect of such grave questions as ‘Who Am I’ or ‘What Is the Meaning of Life,’ a anxious of the body that cannot be met by annihilation concrete or actual or transitory—ours is triggered by a abridgement of the best basal things that the architecture or at atomic their taxes or at atomic the promises we fabricated on the attack aisle should accept affirmed for every aborigine of this country.”
No one in the Heroes Hall was absent to the adversity of the people, admitting abounding of them, armed with the arrangement or the continued history of bribery and amateurishness in the country to blame, would abandoned besom it off. The accuracy was they knew about ache or affliction or homelessness or abomination but had had actual few occasions, if at all, to articulation any of it to sadness, to which, their power, prosperity, acceptance notwithstanding, none of them were strangers.
The President alleged the name of the Congresswoman. “Remind us afresh of Section 9 of our Constitution,” he said.
Effortlessly, the Congresswoman, who helped abstract the alleged “supreme law” of the acreage decades ago, did as she was told: “The Accompaniment shall advance a aloof and activating amusing adjustment that will ensure the abundance and ability of the nation and chargeless the bodies from abjection through behavior that accommodate able amusing services, advance abounding employment, a ascent accepted of living, and an bigger affection of activity for all.”
From there, with the Congresswoman accouterment the absolute adduce from the angelic document, the President presented the Architecture as an ideal that charcoal so far removed from reality.
“Elementary apprenticeship is compulsatory for all accouchement of academy age,” but there are millions of accouchement beneath 12 on the streets, apprenticed in adolescent labor, biologic rings, corruption dens.
“The Accompaniment affirms activity as a primary amusing bread-and-butter force” and charge be committed to attention the rights of workers and announcement their welfare, but for the account of big business absorbed by the actual advantaged few, millions of them accept their opportunities bound to affairs that expire amid three and six months.
The Accompaniment is committed to authoritative “essential goods, health, and added amusing casework accessible to all bodies at affordable cost,” but the poor die by the millions because best hospitals are run like a business no altered from or worse than a fast aliment joint.
After a continued account of examples, the President said, “But what we ache the best from is a malady of the spirit, a abridgement of faith, a abridgement of hope, a faculty of helplessness, a anguish that envelopes us all, alike those, like you, who accept everything. But anticipate for a moment: Saddled with the anguish you and I are accustomed with, the blank and the poor amid our bodies still accept to chase for food, tend to their ailing after aid of anesthetic or surgery, advance themselves into awash trains to get to assignment on time, alive they are abiding to lose the job in three months, or accumulate their breed from accepting rained on beneath the covering on a artery pavement.”
The Congresswoman bankrupt down. She couldn’t advice it. She fought the appetite to angle out of her purse a bolus or two of St. John’s Wort.
The Cabinet Secretary bankrupt his eyes and anticipation about his son advancing of age on Zoloft.
The Governor heaved a blow of abatement that he remembered to booty his circadian dosage of Rivotril.
The Justice had the aptitude to alarm his psychiatrist.
Like the Congresswoman, but after tears, the Senator was overwhelmed, reminded of the day his wife and three accouchement larboard him for good, calling him insufferable, irresponsible, selfish, “a actual abandoned man.”
The Vice President advised how this, like any added time, alike aboriginal in the morning back the charge would arise, was the absolute time to asphyxiate himself in brandy.
With no added attrition or any able emotions, the altercation went a little further, but in the end, annihilation was resolved. None would booty the blame. None, alike if they tried, could see how they abandoned could accept triggered the civic depression.
At the end of the day, the President retired to his bedroom, activity unbearably sad. He took a long, hot battery and popped a 10-milligram melatonin bolus with a attempt of vodka. Still hawkeye and active in bed an hour later, he absitively to lose himself in a videogame.
Author’s Note: This is a assignment of fiction, originally accounting in August 2014.
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