strangers - all in one night

i normally wouldn't talk about it, or even entertain it in my thoughts, but i'm not talking about it with anyone else anyway, so...?

there's this guy - the one who studied in the uk and who works in a bank, and he said to me some days ago - in that part of the conversation where you're exchanging pleasantries - he said, that his day was tough but that it was alright because i had wished him a good day.

and though the comment to me has weight like less than a feather (probably), i wondered if it were comments like that (that things were fine because i had wished him a good day) that were supposed to signal to me that someone sort of likes me or not.

i actually don't think about it all that often. i just thought that maybe, for a change, i should maybe have that sort of wondering conversation with myself, because i don't think i really, truly let myself have that sort of self-conversation, you know?

and for some reason, this reminds me of that part that night - i'm reminded because it happened the same night - when i felt i had to get out of the office because it was suffocating for me.

i had gone down and round to the back of the building where i found a low steep of wide marble stairs and sat down upon it. it was twilight and getting dark and i sat there for some time and fiddled with the songs on my cellphone.

a short, stocky, middle-aged man passed me by (there were passersby). he had a cap on, and he was wearing slacks and a long-sleeved shirt, and he suddenly said, seemingly to me, "maganda".

i didn't understand his meaning, or even if he was talking to me, so i gazed at him blankly. he stepped and peered closer and asked, "aren't you filipino?"

"um, yes," i stammered uncertainly.

"i'm american," he said. and then, he was shaking his head. this time, he was clearly addressing me, "and you didn't even say 'salamat'!"

and he walked away. i was a bit flustered by the encounter, a moment before his meaning sank in. i realized i had just offended a stranger. i could just about hear him concluding in his head that filipinos were, on the whole, an ill-mannered denizen of a people, exemplified by me. don't even know how to say "thank you". sighing, i decided it was time to leave but i didn't want to go back yet so i just decided to walk my feeling of suffocation off by going around the block once before re-entering the building again.

and later that night, i was taking the long walk home, preferring it for more thought time, when i came across a talking stranger once again. he was tall, a foreigner. there are many foreigners in makati. i'm not guarded so i innocently took off one of my earphones to hear what he was saying. perhaps he was asking for directions. but what i heard was, "where are you going?"

he was instead asking me about my directions. i decided that that was question enough. my response was to wave awkwardly at some vague, distant point in the horizon and then abruptly walk away fast as i could. somehow, i felt i didn't need to think too hard about questions like that. i found myself grimacing inwardly at the character type displayed. too bad. he was cute. haha!

can't wait to update lala! (and simultaneously wondering if she is still all that interested in my life anyway, hehehe...)

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