When I look down at the people walking along Ayala Avenue, I wonder: where are they going? As I do, someone catches my attention, and I wonder:what brings you here? If it’s a group, I wonder: what are you up to? Call me nuts, but I actually make up a story for that person or group to amuse myself. So who will it be today?
Today, a gloomy, rainy, Friday afternoon, most people are hidden under their umbrellas. I’m having difficulty trying to find my subject for the day. There’s somebody under a red, square McDonald’s umbrella (wait a minute, I think I saw you yesterday!) — but that’s all that is interesting about him or her. Here’s a couple sharing a small light blue umbrella — aw, that’s so sweet — but not worthy enough to merit a story. Oh well, it’s been raining since yesterday and my enthusiasm has gotten as glum as the weather.
Hey, wait a minute. Who’s this guy in a white t-shirt, unzipped navy blue jacket, denim pants, and what seems to be a pair of light duotone sneakers? Looks ordinary, except that he doesn’t seem to mind getting wet by the slight drizzle. He seems to be waiting for a ride as he looks up the road. From time to time, he reaches deep into his denim pants, take out what seems to be coins, and appears to count them. He does this about three times more in a span of thirty seconds. Do I feel like crying for this guy?
Here’s what I came up with: He looks like a Danny. He applied for a loan at a bank along Ayala Avenue and was told to come back after a few days or call to follow up on the status of his loan. He needs the loan because his wife was diagnosed with dengue. She needs blood transfusion, or she’ll die, say the doctors at Makati med. Now that he’s done, should he go back to work? Maybe I should take the rest of the day off and go see a movie instead. I need to clear my mind, he justifies. That’s when Danny counted his money from his pocket the first time.
This isn’t enough for a movie even in Greenbelt 1 or Glorietta 1. Ah, Starbucks kaya? Painit muna. That’s when he counted his money from his pocket the second time. At this point, he’s beginning to feel guilty at the thought of having expensive coffee when his wife is suffering. Besides, who needs expensive coffee when there’s free instant coffee in the office? But I don’t feel like giong back to the office nga e. Makauwi na nga lang. Bibili na lang ako ng DVD sa MCS. That’s when he counted the money from his pocket the third time.
At this point, I want to come down and ask him to join me for coffee at nearby Starbucks — on me! As if I’d do that to a complete stranger…but he looks so pitiful! I know how it is to be in his place. I’ve been in that situation before. There were times when I would even pass on a meal just to get me by for the rest of the day. There were even a couple of times when I rode a jeepney from Lawton to Baclaran and had to do a “1-2-3” because I had no money for fare! I have long asked God for forgiveness for that. But Danny…poor Danny…for all I know, his sick wife and five little kids have nothing to eat tonight…
Hold everything, I think Danny has finally made his decision. He took everything he had in his pocket, raised his other arm to flag down a jeep, bus, or FX, and...ANAK NG…SUMAKAY NG CRV SI DANNY! AT SA LIKOD, HA!