Tuesday, March 01, 2011

eyeshadows, face powders

night again  and i'm off to work. the sky is clear. stars are very clearly visible. i remembered what my dear friend said in the lecture he made last saturday -- these stars, we might not be realizing this, or we might have forgotten,  their shine that beautify the  night sky, might already be history. some of these stars might have already died long ago. it's that they are so far from us that it is just this time that their light had arrived and became visible to us.

ah, such is the grandeur of Creation! one can only assent to this with disbelief and wonderment.

this jeepney ride to work was smooth and quiet until this group of young girls boarded the vehicle. when they entered the jeepney immediately the air became suffused with the scent of their perfume. i don't know if its because they might be wearing cheap perfume but for me the scent was rather strong and somehow irritating. it's unlike when a wind blows and your nose somehow catches a  faint hint of perfume and you are gently disturbed by it and you could not help but follow the scent and try to trace its source. you are somehow mysteriously drawn to where the pleasant smell emanates. and you heave a sigh to find a person sitting or standing  a few paces from you, unmindful of you, unaware that you have been disturbed.

yet, with this group of young ladies, it is different. the scent hits you right smack in your face and you immediately know where it is coming  from. they willed it to be so. no subtlety. and you immediately know. it is an open invitation. it is related to their work. they are ladies of night. sweet-painted ladies, as one song goes. their conversation was very animated and loud. they do not care less for the other passengers. they are deliberately drawing attention to themselves. i observed them. they are heavily made up. cheeks and lips reddened. tight and revealing dresses. they are on their way to work too. perhaps they are dancers, or club girls, or bar girls. overhearing their conversation, you can say they love what they do. or, perhaps, pretend to love it. anyway, they seem to be happy.

they hailed the jeepney to stop right in front of a small building whose facade is adorned with bright, blinking lights. the sign in front of the building says "Happy Hour! ice cold beer 24 pesos."

eyeshadows and face powders in your bag
red lipsticks and bottles of perfume
fancy hair-do and a dress that reveal
a greater part of you;
well-fabricated smiles, inviting eyes,
deep drunken nights,
lonely hearts seeking comfort,
or, cheating hearts wanting pleasure,
escaping from pain;
they are all you need in your trade
they could explain all the money you made
and you say, "Blame me not,
you have no right to,
you gave me options how to live,
but, your own living chose for me!"

they alighted and walked towards the door of the building. the lights are blinking animatedly. their shine is not like the stars in the night sky. and they are not history yet.

our jeepney continued on its journey. the scent of the girls' perfume still hung in the air inside the vehicle for a few minutes more before it faded into the night adorned with stars ...

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