I stood there stoned, reading a book of essays on Ernest Hemingway’s works, firmly holding it with my left hand; a black sling bag was hanging on my right shoulder; and my right hand is holding a tumbler of cappuccino. I was doing all these while humming the refrain of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I know I looked like a poor student eking my last, hard-earned peso bills to pay for the train ride from my condominium in Boni just to watch a free Japanese feature. For indeed I am, except that I am not anymore a student.
Still you stood next to me and even mustered the guts to ask me a stupid question which I only responded with an indifferent no. A response that articulately told you “I am not interested in commencing a conversation. I have far more important things to do.”
You hesitated a bit then turned your back on me. And in the tradition of bodily movements only admissible in the theater, you made a 180-degree turned, gave me a half smile then politely asked me to watch your line.
A more inert “Sure” was my answer this time.
You came back after two minutes with literally nothing added or deducted. I could not think for the reason of that action you did. But I felt it meant nothing. So there we were again with the dumb silence patiently waiting for our thinning chance to enter the cinema.
After a while you gave up standing like lame and left. I followed suit, but did not really follow you. In fact I walked too fast, too fast that I failed to notice that I overtook you. The last time I would see you, I thought. I took the escalator, descended to the ground floor, and bought my favorite un-dough-nut-like dough nuts there. Then I took another escalator up to the MRT station on Shaw Boulevard. You were on your way down. I acted as if I didn’t notice you. I did, but oh how I hate theatrics especially if they’re outside the theater.
I knew it would be the last time I shall see you.
And so here I am writing about what happened and looking at all the angles of my thoughts that time, asking myself why I did not try to be more earnest, why I did not allow a conversation to take place and from there to just let the moment take its course unbarricaded by our all-to-human tendency to shrink whenever we confront the unknown.