by Esther Suson
In the fx last night (16 Feb 2015), I happened to be squished into the middle seat by the window, so looking out was easier than it would have been squashed either into the middle or the back. It was pretty late, few cars on the road, few people on the streets. It was too early for the BPO shifts to fill them up, but too late for the regular-day employees.
On the steps leading up to the Mega Plaza building, I saw a man in the classic long-sleeved work polo, light blue, sitting hunched over. He had on black slacks and dress shoes, and that classic black work-briefcase beside him. I remember thinking, why wasn’t he going home? Was he waiting for someone to pick him up, couldn’t even afford a coffee at a Ministop or 7/11? Or did he like the dark, the safety of it, and the lonesomeness? He wasn’t sitting at the top of the steps, or at the bottom, but safely midway, so that he was just a little lower than the passersby.
Along the sidewalk came a young man, long black t-shirt and long shorts, clean-shaven with his hair pushed back from his face. His clothes were fresh, his swinging movements untired. He put a cigarette to his mouth, but before he could hunt down a lighter that I assume was deep in his pockets, the working man in light blue held out a lit lighter. The young man leant over, cupping the flame until the cigarette caught, then went on his way with a casual nod of thanks. The working man put away his lighter and lowered his head again.
[Shout-out, of course. Imagine being the kind of man with enough problems to keep you in the streets that late, on the steps of a closed office-building, and still having enough presence of mind to offer a light to a passerby.]