Half-smiles

I know. I know. This world is a sad one and my being sad now will not make it a little less sad. A sad company is still a sad company. It was raining today.

I went to school, did my perfunctory role as a student, listened attentively, and sometimes gave my opinions on matters that for me were not as pressing as, say, the current problems of the world such as hunger, wars, diseases, or the impeachment of the chief justice of my country. The pretentiousness of academic discourse. Everything after all is artificiality that mocks us in our face. This paragraph and the rest. All these are mirages.

I got out of the car and transferred to the seat in front. I forced myself to ask the priest some questions so he would not think I was some dumb Filipino who had no package of smart generalizations his kind usually carry around with them. I listened to his response to my inquisitiveness. It was one way. He never bothered to ask about me, what I like, what are my hobbies, what I think of him. I half expected it. I hate sounding like a child by asking stupid questions. Language has had endured too many brutalities and using it in order to drown silence was the basest insult one could hurl at it. It was still raining outside when he pulled over in front of the house I am staying. “Thank you, father, and you have a great afternoon,” I said to him with a forced smile.

From the side of my left eye I saw him returning the smile as forced as the one I gave.

I am thousand miles away from home, but it seems like I have not left. Travel has lost its appeal in me a long time ago since Google stripped the world off of all its mysteries.

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