by Esther Elizabeth Suson
While we were on our way home (one of the times I was picked-up), I happened to be on the right-most side of the backseat, the side nearest the sidewalk. Not my normal seat (I’m usually behind the driver, on the left), so I was enjoying the late-night mix of closed establishments and open bars.
A moving group took my eye, so I mentally sat up and took notice. It was a group of policemen, walking in concert. I’d only ever seen the white-clothed security guards and bright-blue-clothed MMDA officers in groups, and that when they were either standing at attention, or going off-duty en masse.
This group of policemen, around ten (maybe more), were not walking as men do off-duty. Without being in line and marching in step, the roll of the group as they walked was perfectly timed, as if it was one being in motion.
Curious, I craned my neck to see them better. They were all facing front, I noticed; not turning or leaning towards one another. The edges of the group were not rippling, as they would have been in a casual stroll. They were clearly outlined.
As the car moved further ahead, I noticed that they had one figure at their head. He was a little stockier and older than most of his followers. He walked up the sidewalk and stopped at a half-open truck shop, where a man with a shirt slung over his shoulder (as opposed to him wearing it) was standing, leaning with one arm in proper insolent fashion against the open gate. As the leader stopped, the entire group halted, again as one being.
Then and only then, did I realize: confrontation.
[My Framed and Stuck in a Box series encompasses sketches that have more place in a story than reality. Also, such sketches tend to have not enough of either beginning or end to make a Snapshot].