1:24 on a Thursday afternoon. With your hand in mine, determinedly walking ’round in circles, we found ourselves lost somewhere between Taft and Quiapo. The sun scorched us from overhead, and I could practically smell my hair burning. Crowds of unfriendly people jostled us back and forth. The scent of ihaw-ihaw wafted to our nostrils from the small stall we passed just a second ago.
“Where are we going?” you asked, fed up.
I shrug. “Dunno. I just wanna go somewhere new, somewhere beautiful.”
“Somewhere new and beautiful here in Vito Cruz? Are you kidding me?” Exasperation marred your tone.
“No,” I insisted, pulling away from your grip, “there must be some smidgen of beauty left in this city. I need some inspiration. Don’t you feel like that from time to time?”
“A smidgen of… Fuck that shit.” You folded your arms in that way I knew preceded a sermon, and I braced myself for the upcoming verbal assault on what you would call my folly.
“Every day with you, I learn something new, and it’s never too trivial for me. Never boring. It’s all new, and exciting, and refreshing.
And have you ever really looked in a mirror? You say you want to see something beautiful, but you don’t even try to see it in yourself.
I don’t need to go places to get inspired. I’m with you all the time, aren’t I?
You know what? Screw this shit. Let’s go home.”
Stunned into silence, I let you take my hand into yours. Suddenly, the sun seemed a little less hot, the people a little less unfriendly, and the smell of ihaw-ihaw the most delicious aroma I have ever inhaled.