There was a train in Lauren’s head. Not a literal train, but one of thought. For all intents and purposes, however, it was very much like a literal train – and a fine one at that. Its state-of-the-art electric engine was fueled with thoughts of how lovely a day it was, supported by the facts that 1) She was in Moalboal, a haven for snorkeling; 2) The sun was nicely tucked in a blanket of clouds that morning; and 3) The creepy shirtless German tourist who never seemed to change his shorts was still sound asleep in the bunk underneath Marco’s. It was chugging merrily along right on schedule: 6:30am on-the-dot, perfect for a final round of swimming before she had to leave for Cebu City.
Moments later, however, a second train appeared on the track a short distance in front of the first. This train was a real clunker, weighed down by thoughts of how comfy her hammock was, how little would be missed with just five extra minutes of sleep, and how she had just gotten settled in after an alcohol-induced bout of insomnia just hours ago. The first train crashed into the second, resulting in a glorious mess of ideas and half-thoughts jumbled together into fits of incoherence. She resisted the strange notion that she could tuck the creepy shirtless German tourist into the hammock and toss him neatly into the ocean, and decided to go with the safer option: to sleep an hour more.
This left Marco with not much to do. He had, after all, tried to wake Lauren up for some last-minute snorkeling on their final day in Moalboal. Unlike his better half, Marco was energized by the sugar rush from last night’s drunken revelry, in which the only shots he, Lauren, and Rica made on the pool table were those blended with Bailey’s and butterscotch. Four hours of sleep was as good as ten, which would have been a good thing if Marco actually had something to occupy his time with while waiting for Lauren to finish her nap.
Marco silently retreated to the hostel lobby and brought out his laptop. He resisted the powerful urge to check his email – he was on a much-needed vacation from work, after all, and didn’t want to see any messages from his manager. He was at a crossroads in his life, a strange manifestation of quarter-life crisis that was far too light on the worry and far too heavy on the frustration. He wondered if panic – as he had seen in his friends going through said crisis – was a prerequisite to the dilemma. Marco was always a calm fellow, even in the face of total uncertainty.
There he was, sitting in the middle of an empty hostel lobby, fingers on the keyboard, wondering what he’d do with his time. The mood extended into thoughts of his life moving forward, and where he’d be a year from now. As he stared blankly into space, he soon realized the futility of coming up with a concrete picture and settled for a general idea: wherever he was, he’d be writing.
His current job didn’t allow that luxury at this point, so Marco opened himself up to the idea of working elsewhere. Somewhere, he had hoped, he could utilize his passion for writing. He opened up his word processor, and began to write.
After a few clumsy jabs at the keyboard, he realized he was rather rusty at word-smithing, and so he promised himself an opportunity to practice. He’d write into his blog as though it were an actual blog, complete with personal insights and random occurrences in his daily life. The difference was that he’d do it in third-person, like a true loony. Loonies, he believed, made the best writers, and so he needed to practice losing his mind first.
Marco wrote a draft, pouring every single bit of his soul into the effort, and fell in love with himself at least five times during the endeavor. He then read through what he had accomplished and questioned his taste in reading. With his finger firmly depressed onto the delete button, he cleared the slate. Okay, he thought, I guess I need more practice than I realized.
He glanced at the clock; it was 7:30a.m. It was time to wake Lauren up.