Violence at night-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
THE sound of a bottle breaking on the cement road rings out, the quiet of the night broken as well. Another riot is in the offing.
Having lived in this area for a decade now, the sound of a bottle crashing and breaking on the road is a sure warning that trouble is brewing.
Like before, the tinkling of the glass is followed by angry voices and running feet. The riot has started.
Run, run, run, everywhere. Motorcycles are revving up and speeding. I never dared peer out to check on what really is happening outside the high walls of the house. Thus, I don't know if the revving motorcycles are part of the riot or they are just hapless habal-habal drivers fleeing from being caught under a rain of bottles.
There was no gunshot this time, just more angry voices and stones being pelted.
What is it that drives these men to break each other's face? I wonder. Of course, it has to be at past midnight, after bottles have been consumed. I don't think they can afford to break bottles that still have liquor in them...
What is it that drives men to violence? Of course, there's intoxication. Although, I wouldn't relish being made to run for my life with alcohol sloshing in my veins. I don't even like taking a morning walk after a night of wine. But these men? Nah, they'd break out in violence any chance they'd get. Otherwise, there wouldn't be chugging down beer and liquor till way past midnight in an area that is notorious for riots.
It makes us wonder, however, why authorities would not just hang around there, where there is almost a certainty that trouble will break out. Maybe, they are wishing for these troublemakers to annihilate each other and live in eternal peace after that.
It's been a decade now and the riots are becoming more often. Last night's was early. The normal time these break out is between 2 to 4 a.m. I'd be awakened at the first sound of a breaking bottle, I'd wait for the sound of running feet to confirm my suspicion before dialing 911. Tonight, it was just 12:30 a.m. and I have just emailed the second to the last article I should be writing. Must be the weather, or maybe they started drinking early.
This brings up the number of rings it will take for the 911 phone to be picked up. An average of 20 rings. I'd get the same reply, "Yes, ma'am, naitawag na po iyan. Na-dispatch na po ang mobile." I'm just glad that I'm not the only one trying to call for assistance. It will be more frightening indeed if people will no longer care to report.
The last time, weekend last week, I didn't hear anything. Last night, there was the short woot-woot of a siren from somewhere down east. This stretch of road goes east toward downtown and west toward areas further down south, but it was already all quiet by then. Maybe, the mobile sneaks in where the rioting men are headed. I hope, but I will never know. Only a fool will leave the safety of one's home to see what is happening outside where obviously hotheads are trying to kill each other.
As yet another quiet evening is broken comes the evil wish that death will claim them all. But that is just wishful thinking, and a bad one. I will just have to satisfy myself with the fact that my sleep later tonight will most likely not be broken by raining stones and bottles.
Again, that is wishful thinking with a bit of scientific observation... never in the past decade has there been more than one riot breaking out in one night.
Comes one other observation brought about by those nights of being awakened with a jolt before dawn... I wonder why the stomping feet always run east. Yes, I'm rambling, that's what you will tend to do when you are still trying to listen for more sounds of trouble, ramble.
Just in case the ones in authority do not get it, this is a rambling criticism of men who break each other's face, of authorities that wait for trouble where trouble always comes, and everything else in between.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 21, 2012.