I thought hard about editing things out but I don't think it can do good for assessing my writing in the past years. Still, it was a fun piece to write. Forgive the fuzzy use of sentences, words and phrases. It's part of my creative non-fiction writing. Please feel free to bash. I am kind of anxious about really posting it for more than my instructor to read but I remember what one of my former instructors told us in class: "Get used to people reading your work. How else can you be a writer?" Touche.
I. Every morning, different people wake up and imagine what the day has in store for them. In all the routines and the little things that make them an everyday ritual. Today, Reynato will wake up in his bed and fix his uniform before he takes a bath. It’s 5am and he needs to get to his office fast: in his case, it’s a busy intersection in one of the country’s most congested traffic destinations. He suits up, gets his reflective traffic gloves on and grabs his morning coffee. He walks to work, it being only 15 minutes away or less if he’s thinking on briskly jogging to work. He arrives at the disabled crossing line and marches into his position. All day he’ll signal cars to go whichever direction they need to. Every precise moment he waves his hand to a direction may well mean a perfect arrival time for an important meeting. Otherwise it will result in numerous rants and curses as appointments will need to be re-scheduled. He has a buddy to switch with in between breaks: time outs are usually for lunch or the afternoon coffee.
All day he keeps the traffic in motion, attempting to ease the already swelling of the intersection and the nearby junctions and turns. And by the time he finishes the job and the lights take over, he’s already ingested and inhaled more than a day’s worth of pollution even for a veteran commuter in the Metro. He goes on his way home, picking up another cup of coffee from his suki coffee vendor, passing by a local bakery for a quick merienda. He gets home, washes, eats dinner and then heads to bed. This is all in a day’s work for Reynato. He closes his eyes and wakes up the next morning.
Well, this is only in his mind. The next day, Reynato wanders off to the again busy intersection, only this time, the cars that are usually waiting for his signal now runs against the speed limit, not that the polluted city has one. Zipping by him, he wonders why these drivers don’t notice his hand signals, waves, gestures that he does day by day. Some drivers would even blow their horns, not just the simple beep-beep busina but the loud and booming ones. Some would even match it with glares and a curse at the end. Reynato is puzzled. Then he realizes, it’s already night time. Reynato’s way over his shift.
II. Sgt. Rigor Krisanto is one of the top police officers in his district. Well respected and respectful as well. He is liked by most of his colleagues not only because he is one of the top brass in their district but because he has a way with his fellow officers, treating them as if they all graduated in the same class in police school. Sgt. Krisanto, or as his fellow officers call him, Sarge, is also a decorated policeman. He was once shot in the chest trying to catch a gang suspected of stabbing a young school girl to death after she refused to drink with them. Sarge received honors for what he did in the line of duty, along with it some life-threatening wounds and vicious scars to prove it. Sarge is a good policeman according to most, one who wouldn’t mind taking a bullet, a stab or two in service.
And then one time in night patrol, the radio on his service mobile buzzed with static. Next comes a dispatch from HQ, saying that someone had been brutally shot in a street near the plaza. The perps were seen running towards a heavily populated residence area. Police officers are now on their way to the scene, Sarge rushed for pursuit. His mobile siren blares out into the night, he sews the crowded streets, anticipating the criminals’ go-to point. Sarge is familiar with the place, he was once a street rat there. A hungry street rat he was, just like the men he was after. He didn’t know how many was there, two, three? It didn’t matter, it was this ice-cold decision making that Sarge was well-known for in the force. Icy nerves and a quick trigger finger was what Sarge brought with him every time he went out for work.
Sarge stops the car, moves out quietly into an alley he knows can be a possible hiding place for the perps. Sarge thought as a street rat, contemplating the next moves the criminals might take. He reminisced the days when he was once a petty criminal himself. He shakes off the thought and continues with his quick but quiet sweep of the area. Clutching his service sidearm, a 9mm handgun that can empty an 11-round clip in under 6 seconds, he draws his knife with his left hand and positions it pointing it to the same direction with the barrel of his pistol. Sarge continues to walk the long alley, having gun and knife in hand. He felt something was coming, he just didn’t know what it was.
For a moment, he thought something was wrong. Then he heard footsteps, rushing, too fast and loud for people at this time of night. He followed the sound, it was becoming faster and faster as he goes for the pursuit. Sarge was sure, he got the perps he was looking for, he turns to his right and sees a shanty made of leftover plywood, tattered plastic for drapes and an old campaign tarp for a roof. He heard hushed voices, angry and exhausted. He knew that it was his guys. He inched towards the makeshift door, quietly he positioned himself for a door bust. He knew he can take them, a kick to the door would instantly disarm them of clear judgment of what was happening. Sarge kicked, there were shouting voices and a clear flash. Then there was a string of gunshots. Thuds fell to the floor so did empty shells.
Sarge opened his eyes to the bright of light. Unaware of what happened he stood up, took his gun and with the littlest memory of what happened last night, looked around. A bloody mess, household items were scattered all around, so did tattered clothes and destroyed makeshift furniture. At his boot heel was a pooling of dark liquid. He only feared the worst. A family lives here, well, they used to. Sarge realized this was where one of the perps lived, with three kids and his wife and little sister. He was fine, they were not. At least he’s going to find out in one lucid moment he was not all at fault. He knew he should have just taken the traffic enforcer course back then.
III. Maybe it’s not a matter of faith, good will but of simple courtesy and respect for people. Indifference begets indifference and upon a fellow man, it can probably be one of crime. Being indifferent or apathetic maybe should be kept to one’s self, unprofessed in respect or shame or helplessness. People need not be humanitarian-like in order to see this fact. Just being a human tells you that somewhere in your genes, there’s something that urges you to care, help and do something. To them, it’s not a laughing matter nor should they be butts of jokes. They are just those people who are unfortunate enough to meet this kind of fate.
Every day, people like Reynato roam the city streets with a mind full of who-knows-what. They are often laughed at, disgusted and even scorned. Yes, Reynato is a mentally ill person. He wanders to every imaginable place in this jigsaw city that few of us would even dare imagine venturing to.
He sleeps in the most uncomfortable places, braving the bitter cold of the night air and the brutal concrete with only a piece of cardboard divorcing it from his bare back. Reynato is just one of the many people who face realities of life, those that are far away from universities, boring day jobs and full stomachs. Reynato’s kind stare these realities face to face; realities that all of us wouldn’t dare and cannot imagine. But let’s talk about making through the night first.
Note that the formatting like the indenting and spacing is different from my recent posts. Stay true.