by Ivan Jon Gentolizo

It’s been a few days since my used-to-be estranged father became the laughingstock of social media, specifically on that bird application that most people around my age are using. Well, nothing’s new, except that the most recent embarrassment was, by far, the worst. It’s not the typical embarrassment that most people end up on National or Universal Television, not the ones where you embarrass yourself by accidentally doing goofy stuff. This kind of embarrassment is far worse as it deals with the integrity of one’s character and values, something that my dad turned his back on a few years ago. 

In the most recent press conference made by the Office of the Supreme, Interstellar, and Inter-Galactic President of the entire Universe and its unknown reach, the spokesperson lashed out his frustration at the citizens of the Universal Association of Planets and yes, you guessed it right. The spokesperson is none other than my father, Daniel Kapurpurawan Quero. He basically said a lot of bad shit that’s not even acceptable on our National TV, much so on a platform accessed by trillions of species across multiple galaxies. As usual he spewed a number of fake news and went on having a serious meltdown to the point that he threw the microphone at the camera and said “uśhhhsj pësßñ ïÿuîbng!” in Gorum, the new universal language that literally translates to “Fuck you, all!”. He was immediately escorted out of the room and I literally heard everyone gasping from one star to another. 

It wasn’t always like this. A few years back when everything was seemingly normal and our planet and its people believed that they were the only ones out there, my dad used his

education and experience in helping the marginalized and less-fortunate that really inspired me even if I only see him a few times due to his work and of course his other family, the first one that is. I know my place and I’m not really one to complain since he provides everything for me and he’s there when I need him but everything suddenly changed when a mysterious floating vehicle landed in a city 6,000 miles away from our place. The visitors were an entirely new species that we have never encountered and warned us of the incoming danger, a virus that wiped out half of their population for hundreds of years. It was believed that this virus emerges once a planet reaches its critical threshold and that ours are nearing its time. Soon enough, the virus spread out like wildfire and most of us were either dead in months or displaced like us to a far-off world. We made it out because of my father but what he did in order to be exactly where we are right now is not that pleasing. 

There were stories looming around that he became the personal escort of the Supreme, Interstellar, and Inter-Galactic President of the entire Universe and its unknown reach, and his personal adviser as well but nothing’s really confirmed up to this day. The man I looked up to was now suddenly someone that I cannot recognize. It’s as if he just threw everything away, for what, for money? For our safety? For his goddamn dream? My disappointment and disgust of what he became is something that I cannot hide, especially on Social Media, something that survived the unification of multiple galaxies, unfortunately. 

Ever since we went off-world, my mother and I already lived with him since his first family died and all he has left is, well, us basically and his dog Chowder. As I was about to go upstairs to finish my university requirements in order to finally graduate, my right eye glanced at

what he was looking at. A meme with his face and body, distorted and edited to look like a giant pig snorting out toxic fumes, a caricature made by someone close to his heart, yes, I made it. Out of nowhere, I suddenly blurted out something that I’ve been trying to avoid that will eventually lead to a conversation that I will never agree upon and to be fair, I was right. 

I asked him if he’s not embarrassed by being the universal clown as every planet says. Everyone’s either bashing or making fun of him due to everything that he’s doing and all the lies and misinformation that he continues to spread every single day. He removed his glasses and let out a painful sigh, “It’s the price that I have to pay.” Right there and then he used a language that I’ve never heard of in years and in his eyes bore the feeling of guilt and desperation. 

I went to my room and thought about what he said. I figured, it’s too late for him to change. We’re nearing the end of this universal pandemic and after all of this, I honestly don’t know what will happen to us. Will my father go back to the principles and cause that he believed in, the very thing that made me love him even more before? Probably not. Will I still continue on making fun of him and rejecting the lies that he spews on Universal Television? Definitely. One thing’s for sure though, it will never be the same again. Nothing will ever be the same.