Love in a jeepney

Late in the afternoon, the sky is overcast, western wind blows cold but two people still in their college uniforms don’t seem to care. Sitting tightly in a half-full jeepney, the girl’s left arm hooks from under the guy’s right with both hands closing the romantic loop. The couple stares outside as if wondering when heavy downpour will eventually happen, yet they’re not. The rain is the least of their worries.

Almost cheek to cheek, their eyes don’t meet but their body language, despite the reserved movement from time to time to shift from one straining position to another, suggests that there’s more to the warmth of their proximity. It’s Friday and they’re looking forward to doing things but school works.

“Young and in love, I was once like them,” Bani talks to himself as if influenced by the weekly radio show’s new wave music. These are songs from his time, songs from more than a decade ago.

The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love continues playing; this time the volume is a lot lower that it used to be back in his youthful days – just in the background, just enough to mask the monotonous purr of his vehicle’s engine.

Bani cherishes this advantage of being in an enclosed and air-conditioned car where air is pure which the rusty and annoying jeepneys outside him obviously cannot boast. The void, however, inside the comfy sedan cannot be denied. Bani is in deep thought. A part of him wished that he can just be young and in love and be in a jeepney.

On cue, the music transitioned from the Robert Smith classic to The Cars’ Drive – another track Bani used to enjoy even while inside a packed jeepney.

“Who’s gonna tell you when, it’s too late Who’s gonna tell you things, aren’t so great You can’t go on, thinkin, nothin’s wrong Who’s gonna drive you home tonight…”

Traffic has begun to move and he glances from left and right to check the mirrors and quickly returns his sight in front of him. Through his lightly- tinted windshield, he can see that the young couple has huddled tighter. The rain has started pouring hard. The road is starting to get wet.

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Lyrics from Sing35.com2

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Half lies, half truth.)

Bani’s April Fools’ Day

 

Finally, after the feeding his almost 4-year old son, Bani gets his chance to have his own brunch. Eating another canned food, which has been his usual diet for about two months already, he glances at the calendar right across his table.

“So it’s now April Fools’ day,” Bani talks to himself, his son occupied with the Tom and Jerry show on TV. Life has been tough lately. Thoughts of cancelled weekend to a hot air balloon fiesta replaced by frequent trips to clinics and hospitals – with him behind the wheel and either his wife or kid waiting for their turn to see their respective doctors – race across his mind. He snaps back, he’s on his last spoonful of rice. Meal done, laundry next. Few more hours and Bani will be driving back to his in-laws where his wife’s been recovering.

                                 It’s April Fools’ day and Bani is obviously not amused