7 days and the train lady

My futon on a sunny Saturday afternoon
For 20 years I haven't spent my birthday week without cramming. It's usually the time of the year where most deadlines are on a roll. In short, my birthday week always come up as the busiest of the year, but this one's different. Because amidst the chaos of deadlines and the anxiety of the upcoming board exam, I haven't felt this relaxed.
My day-to-day scenario could be represented by a fully-colored pie chart with extra concentric fragments on the side. Mornings aren't that much of a struggle, given that I should wake up at 6:30am and there is MRT to fix my travel time to 1 hour (and enduring extreme physical pressure inside the jampacked train.)
There are certain bonuses when riding the train though, especially when you happen to meet a 'beautiful' lady when you enter the automatic doors. Of course beauty is subjective, but there is something in this girl that caught my wandering eye -- innocence. Don't get me wrong, pervert. I know what you're thinking. It's just that we rarely encounter a perfect stranger that we like on the road or even on the train, but if you think about it, the span of time you spend with that person is limited, and those fleeting moments that pass by won't be rewound. Sometimes the encounter can be as short as a blink of an eye, and after that your paths won't cross forever.I can sense the apprehension in her. I thought maybe it's her first time to ride the train in the morning -- hands clutched tightly on her handbag, her head turning to the window every stop at the station and her eyes looking very much enthusiastic to the landscape below the elevated railways. When the train stopped at Cubao, the busiest and most crowded station, I held tightly to the railings and fortified my defenses because I felt the need to protect her small, fragile frame from the sudden influx of squeeze-freak men from the outside for it's the only way I could express my concern to this lady. She looked at me as an affirmation and probably that faint smile from her is an expression of thanks. I nodded as a reply.Finally as the train descended to the dark tunnels of Buendia station, she looked outside for maybe that's her cue that the station is near. The orange light flckered while the doors opened and there she vanished from the crowd.---I stayed mostly at home this week. Either I'm burning my eight hours at the office, absorbing everything I can from the three-hour review or snoring the night off at my bed. No travel itch for me. I planned on saving that in the next few weeks and months.  
Most often than not, we speak simply to fill the space with sound, because we feel too uncomfortable with the silence. But this silence is golden. Only in silence you can hear Him speak to you. Only in silence can a real prayer be born. Next time we start chattering, stop and feel into the silence, feel its shape, its texture, and then slowly and silently say only what really has to be said.


  1. "But this silence is golden"

    Nice writing Byron. You need all that silence to carry on with the stress sa boards. Goodluck on that!

  2. This made my day Byron. Nice entry young man. Keep 'em coming and the photos too. Hello from Thailand :)


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