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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)

TITLE: Otherworlder
By Tim Liwanag


Jake loves the Fab Four, wears their mop-top hair style and, for some reason, owns seven reversible monochrome turtleneck sweaters. His passion is florid and jarring. He plays drums in a manic mood and beat out a rhythm that musically connects with a hippie band reviving classic rock music.

By his band’s familiarity, Jake is flamboyant and seriously weird. Before the gig starts, he always looks up, stares at the infinite sky, pause a second and notion about playing heavenly songs. What Jake wants more than anything is heaven, more than being with a band that sounded like alley cats in misery. Heaven to Jake is a definite place, not a psychedelic experience. As a result of his ideal, people tend to box and label Jake as otherworlder. Some of his churchmates do, as well. But Jake defines himself a citizen of heaven.

So much of Jake’s behavior is geared toward eternal paradise and perpetual rewards that it’s extremely puzzling to see him perform inside groovy bars every Friday night. His spirituality appeals to him in the same way that baby boom culture influences him to rock. He takes his talents and invests them in the unfortunate, the unwell, and the unclothed.

When Jake encounters a scoffer, normally, he always quotes a verse to explain his twin lifestyle or he immediately asks three questions. First, he will softly confront his detractor by asking “where do you want to go with your life?”, and he smiles after. If a scoffer is so blinkered, becomes unruly and hysterically yells foul language; Jake waits patiently until the sarcastic remark has been delivered. This does not seem to annoy him; indeed, he actually appears blissful in handling an outburst of temper. Hundreds of times, he has been mocked but he only smiles back and searches his critic’s face for acceptance.

Thirty-year-old Jake has been unwanted by his family for eight years. He is the oldest and the least significant member of a dysfunctional family that plays timeless music such as that of the Beatles and the Bee Gees. His stepfather (Jacob) is a lean, melancholic, jumpy old man who, as well as having an awfully insensitive accent and a slanderous expression suffers from splenetic bad humor and guilt delusions. He constantly belittles Jake, insists on him to get a decent job, marry, and go back to their aboriginal province.

In the last eight years, Jacob has become more and more distressed of Jake’s “something out there” persona. But more than that, Jake forces Jacob to feel the spirit world realistically. Yet Jake somehow miraculously endures every unsympathetic advice.

Without probing too deeply into Jake’s eccentricity, it’s plain to see that he is still trying to belong and to fill felt needs due to a conviction he was holding. Wholehearted, he is eager enough to fit in and take on the trust he mastered. He has so much faith that this burden of love is forever true; together we little by little searched to find confirmation that he is, indeed, a good drummer – and undoubtedly my long lost brother.

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This article has been read 748 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Phyllis Inniss03/08/05
Jake seems to fit in with the biblical adage of render your hearts and not your garments. He listens to his detractors without getting angry makes me think that he is seeing them as they are just as they refuse to see him as he is.
donna robinson03/09/05
Good story about the one who thinks out of the box and has learned that the world will never understand but it is enough that he does...
Tim Liwanag01/25/06
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this article.