Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The boy who sang alms

He clung to the end of the jeepney. He sat on the platform where people rest their feet for a second before finally ascending into the vehicle for a convenient ride. For him, however, the way in is his couch -- a pleasing resting place where he can sit down for a while and heave a sigh of relief.

He mumbled words with a rather eerie melody. Oh, no. He sang. He was singing. He hummed notes that seemed to be going nowhere after giving away white, dilapidated envelopes. His friend alighted soon after he finished distributing his own set of envelopes. But this boy stayed and waited for strangers to slip even a penny into the crumbling pieces of paper.

A man seated on the edge portion of the jeepney alighted. The boy wasted no time to take his place for a brief comfortable ride. I caught a clearer, closer glimpse of him: he donned in brown shirt with gray neckline and sleeves. His shorts were white with stains of grease -- or whatever dirt it is. His slippers seemed to have chased pavements of a thousand miles. His feet were dark; his nails were long, jagged, and dirty. 

His collarbone vividly peeked into the open, while his shoulders held his shirt very loosely -- as if trying to mimic a hanger where an unwashed piece of clothing dangle freely. His brown skin seemed to have been made tanner by noontime sun washing his youthfulness away. If the eyes were indeed windows to one's soul, his soul was speaking of restlessness, grief, pity, and disgust. He looked hungry and tired. Yet helpless.

He got up to take back his white, dilapidated envelopes. He flattened every piece to check if anyone cared enough to slip a penny for a slice of loaf or a piece of pan de sal.

Yet no one did.

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