I was in a club in Makati with my friend Toph, looking down from a ledge at a large group of people dancing. Toph wasn't in a good mood, and when he's not in a good mood, he has a tendency to rant.
"Just look at them. It's so disgusting."
Eyebrow raised, I looked at him sideways, curiously. "What do you mean?"
"Everything is just so fake."
"Fake. I mean look at that guy." He pointed at a guy dancing on a small stage to our left. "I'm sure that when he's at home, he's a minimum wage worker who probably had to save money all week just to be able to get in here. But here he acts like he's the coolest guy ever created in the history of the world. It's so annoying."
"I'm sure that he's just here to have fun."
"Of course not. Look at him. That swagger, that annoying posture. He acts like he's God's gift to mankind."
I didn't really know what to say. So I kept quiet.
"See, I have a theory," Toph elaborated. "A lot of these people who act so cool, and so composed, and so goddamn perfect are really losers out in the real world."
He now had my attention. I looked at him directly. I wanted to see if he was sincere.
"See, look at that guy." He pointed to another guy dancing in a dark corner of the bar. "I know him. He's jobless, and practically homeless, and he sells soap to random people as a means to get by. I even know one person he slept with whom, right after they did the deed, he tried to sell soap to. It's just all so sad. But here, look at him. He acts like he owns the place."
"Well, he doesn't really act like he owns the place, but I get what you mean. He does seem a bit conceited."
"That's because he is. And I don't get it. These masks."
"We all wear masks Toph. You know that better than everyone else. Hell, it's your job to make something or someone look better than he really is. I think you call that marketing or advertising. In the real world, we call that lying."
"Hahaha. What can I say? I'm a corporate prostitute. And I get what you mean. But it's one thing to wear a mask and know it's a mask, and another to believe it is the real thing."
"I agree. But we all need to wear masks sometimes."