Snapshots of June: Coins, Kisses, and Independent Steps

by Esther Elizabeth Suson

Tic.

While falling in line for the ticket-card at the Shaw Boulevard MRT station, I was looking around to keep occupied. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young man putting his change in his pocket. Suddenly he paused and glanced around wildly, like you do when you’ve dropped something small and liable to roll away. He hunted around a bit, then started on without picking anything up.

‘Yan, o!” (there!) a passer-by suddenly called, and pointed down.

The other glanced, then went there and picked up a ten-peso coin. “Thank you, kuya!” he called as he fell in line for the security check.

Tac.

I was in the MRT, too far to reach the vertical bars and too short to reach anything else. Balancing with the train’s rattle-and-sway, I settled myself by glancing around the car.

Across from me was a youngish man, late-twenties to early-thirties perhaps, with that spare leanness not created in a gym. In his arms was a little brown boy, perhaps under a year old, with a round, round head and round, round eyes.

The lips of the man were lightly pressed against the little boy’s head, is if that were their proper place. It was both kiss and caress, a gesture of love and comfort wrapped into one. No extra fuss, no added movement, he just standing like the ever-lasting kiss was the most natural thing in the world.

Toe.

While walking to SM Aura from Market, passing the parking lot, I saw two people in their mid-twenties, male and female, walking together and sharing that look that comes with seeing the same thing at the same time, and liking it the same.

But, they had an odd three feet of space between them. And then they both glanced down at the same time, and I saw, staggering there, a wee kid, in a red polo and jumper with a red cap reversed on his head. His eyes were wide, sparkling, his mouth open with delight.

His parents walked on either side, watchful sentinels but not holding him, moving with him as he walked with independent steps along the sidewalk.

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