I was heading back up to my apartment when I encountered an old Arab guy and his Filipino girlfriend on the elevator. I was reading a book, so I didn't immediately notice that the old man was speaking to me.
"Korean? Japanese?" he asked.
He started to laugh, then began pawing my shoulders with his wrinkled hands. He was speaking in this weird language I couldn't understand. I backed away, while the Filipina took his hands and held it against his chest.
"I'm so sorry. He's drunk." The old guy smiled foolishly.
I gave her a half-smile. "No, it's fine. Don't apologize."
His hands wriggled out of hers and touched my shoulder. I backed off. She held him, and apologized again. I just shook my head, and hoped we'd get on my floor soon. She was smiling awkwardly, and I couldn't help but smile awkwardly back. My irritation melted. It turned into something I couldn't put my finger on until I looked at her. I realized then that I pitied them.
And I thought that it was the saddest thing, to be pitied.
One woman in particular broke my heart. She’s this dark-skinned girl who looks like she has Aeta blood, and who’s more than a little loopy in the head. When you pass through my red-light district, it’s almost impossible not to see her. She usually appears like she’s shouting at someone. Her hand gestures are huge, accompanied by facial expressions that would be comical if they weren’t so pitiful. She looked more like a caricature than an actual woman.
2am. I was in line at the 7-11 to purchase a lightbulb since the one in my bathroom conked out and I had to take a shower in complete darkness. Two foreigners were in front of me, while this crazy woman, was dancing, uhm, energetically near the entrance.
One of the guys said, "My friend thinks you're sexy. You should go do your sexy dance for him."
"Buy me a Coke!" she answered.
"Sure, if you do your sexy dance."
The girl shook her breasts and started chanting.
The guys laugh harder. I pay for my lightbulb and walk away, feeling uneasy. Perhaps it reminded me too much of kicking a person who's already down.
I was wearing my Persian-print pajamas. I didn't feel like changing into something more appropriate, and I figured I didn't particularly care if anyone saw me or not.
The bulb I bought wasn't as bright as the one I had before. I'd have changed it, but I figured I'm helping the world fight global warming by using less bright lightbulbs.
Photo taken here.