i was on my way to pilates class last monday night when the lady beside me in the jeepney nudged me. i thought she was simply adjusting the way she was seated, and i let it pass. she nudged me again, and i looked at her. she was clutching her bag with her right, and the more she clutched it, her elbow would hit my left side. i sensed something was wrong in the way she held her guard and slanted herself away from the man beside her. the man would look at her looking incensed, and i felt she was daring him to make a move. at first i thought they were a couple in a fight, but changed my mind when physical judgment got the better of me. the lady could have picked someone with better looks, i thought. so i hugged my own bag and prepared myself to jump off (i was seated closest to the entrance/exit) should 'something' happen. i became extra alert and looked at the man, hoping his face would get imprinted on my memory should the need to recall how he looked like arise.
he was dark-skinned, skinny, had a white cap on, and looked a bit like, or a cross between, muggsy bogues and gollum in peter jackson's adaptation of the lord of the rings. he was panget. or okay, i'm sorry--he looked like someone who couldn't be trusted.
he got off at araneta avenue, and i heard the lady beside me say something like, "kapal" to which the (ugly) man spat back, "heh!" she followed him with her gaze.
"magkakasama pala silang tatlo o." i must have been daydreaming a lot because i didn't notice the other pangets she was referring to.
"nakita ko kasi may dinudukot siya dun sa ano (demonstrates by pointing to her side pockets), tsaka sa ilalim ng bag nung lalaki, kaya nilayo ko 'yung bag ko," she explained. "ewan ko lang du'n sa iba kung may nakuha."
she said she was too scared to warn the supposed victim, because the criminal might hurt her.
if i tripped the guy as he was getting off the jeepney, what could happen next? if i kicked him as he went out, would he come after me? i really wanted to hurt him.
araneta avenue corner quezon avenue. a lot of people got their pockets picked, wallets stolen, and cellphones snatched over there. once, a woman carrying a baby bag and her infant boarded our jeepney going to fairview. as she reached into the pocket of her bag to pay her fare she found her purse missing. she remembered a man near her before she climbed the jeep--she thought he was going to help her up then board the jeep himself.
deep thinking: how can we be "one" as a nation when you can't even trust other people? who do we blame for this: the government for not doing its job (providing jobs, catching thieves, laying off corrupt officials, cleaning up its ranks), the church for failing to instill good values among its members, parents and relatives for crappy child-rearing, the schools for not giving proper civic education, everyone and everything else ?
i asked because it seems it's what people here are good at: hating and blaming other people (and circumstances?). but really, it's what you do under those circumstances that matters, right?
(la la la. i'm just wondering a lot these days.)
before i say let's unite by holding hands and singing "if we hold on...together", let me just say i really, really hate thieves. i hope snatchers and pickpockets everywhere would get their eyes picked by crows, and their innards slowly, painfully eaten away by flesh-nomming bacteria.