by Esther Suson
[I have an earlier post, Framed and Stuck in a Box, which talks about how I save actual scenes that I see for possible story scenarios. Therefore instead of simply Snapshots, these are ideas that appeal to me for stories.]
On any fx, the front seat by the driver, which normally seats two, is the coveted seat of fx-regulars. Besides having less seatmates than the normal four in the fx body, it is not as likely that you’ll miss your stop because you can’t find the windows if you’re short enough. That and you don’t have to share the aircon. In addition, the seat by the door is the best. Besides getting most of the aircon, you don’t get squashed between fx driver and other passenger. Stickshifts are nightmare machines.
This ride around, I was there, in the perfect coveted seat, happy to be on my way home. As I turned and surveyed my seatmates (I always do this to let them know I saw their faces – a safety precaution, unless you’re in a you-saw-me-now-I-have-to-kill-you situation), I realized that my fellow passenger was, well, worthy of being a book character.
He wasn’t a paying passenger (I think). The driver called him pare, a term used by men to male friends. He was dressed only in a loose white t-shirt and thin blue jogging pants, and flipflops. His arms were the more fascinating thing. Both arms, on the forearms below the elbows, were scarred horizontally. They seemed almost like burn scars, with the licking, swirling edges, but they did not have the bubbling, blister-looking marks that burns do. In addition, there were gashes through the scars – white, as if the flesh below had been laid open and never sewn – and may have been scratched and infected, which would explain the spreading edges. The wounds were old, I suppose, or rather not new. His right hand had stitches down the forefinger over the knuckle, and his left hand had an assortment of white scars over the knuckles.
What a character! Lovely for a person with a colorful brawler’s background. Framed and Stuck in a Box.