dinner was quick at oodys, plus a considerable amount of time spent at the powermac store. when the ladies went on their way, i tried to fill my lungs with the makati air. it smells familiar, hell, this was my playground 5 years ago.
this is where i have played, made friends with my demons, gambled and won... and lost. this is where i learned many things about me, some foundational learnings that have become so much more manifest these days.
i looked around, it seems that the only considerable change was in greenbelt. when i left in 2002, greenbelt 3 was still being constructed, greenbelt 1 was still the best shopping place for christmas shopping. but glorietta, landmark, park square were pretty much the same. maybe, i should move along and retrace my steps when i used to spend my days, and some nights in this city.
from greenbelt, i passed along the landmark, it is now closed for the day. the atm's still blink as if inviting people to withdraw cash some more. i felt for my yakan wallet inside my beltbag. yeah, its still there. not much money, but enough to get me home. headed on towards glorietta, the booming life in one of the hip places fronting the park squares were in contrast to the silent mannequins that guard the addidas display that i also passed by.
they watched me as i was quietly thinking, where were the places that i used to ride fx for malaya. hagen dazs still blitzed with its character... i remember sweet nights here when we would stop by for a quick bite, after a lot of beer. how about that.
i knew that i should be going to ayala avenue, so off i went. the young mother with here kid, i noticed a while ago is still waiting for a taxi. that is when i resolved that i would not take a taxi. am not a stingy at all, but i'd like to play a game and see if i can still find my way.
the night is warm and as i made my way in ayala, i stopped to wait for a bus. by now, right across the street is the makati stock exchange. such a nice building, i used to say. and i still said that night. i was alternately looking at the humongous cavern of the lobby and for the bus that would take me to quezon avenue. cubao ibabaw, no. crossing ibabaw, no. ortigas ilalim, no. then, i remebered that i would never find that perfect combination. if i want to have that quick trip home, i would just need to flag down a taxi and i should be on my way. but the red lights at the front of the windshields of the white cabs simply did not entice me. my soul thirsts for more adventure.
i continued to walk. on the sidewalks, on the streets. i would have certainly earned the ire of the traffic aide had i done this at daylight. but the night embraces the city, and the crocodiles and alligators in uniform are either fast asleep or spying on their new victims.
my feet slowed down as it sensed an all too familiar neighborhood. the familiar facade of the building on my right... hey, its the lkg tower. no wonder, a few buildings onward is ayala life fgu. and yes, there should be fx around here.
but no. there was none. nada. zilch.
is it my time to concede defeat? would the red meter lights at the front of the windshield rest for a while? i will give it 10 minutes.
then, as i shaked my head, i saw another familiar sight. a former officemate. michelle! we talked. well, she talked. i listened. i heard about stuff that i already know. but still i listened, looks like that i am not the only one that is tired and needed someone to pour out my thoughts. so i let her.
i interjected: thank you.
parang mas masaya ka dati...
i laughed. my droopy eyes always gives that impression. oh well, if she would just listen. but not this time i guess.
we talked some more. well, she talked some more, i listened some more. then a van came along and picked up the last passengers for nagtahan. well this is my ride. success, no taxis for me today. i checked the time its almost midnight. i dozed off for the trip. knowing that i would be home in a few minutes.
ps. my low eq caught up with me in dimasalang, half past 12 midnight. no more jeepneys that time, so i sucked it up and took a cab. oh well.