Catajan: Odd man out

I CAN zero in on the weird. Believe me I can lock in and build a camaraderie within minutes.

Put me in a room and I will spot you the difference in minutes coupled with the uncanny ability to read other people’s actions, I can pose a scenario out of a total stranger and give you a conclusion to a lively story to boot.

I do it when I’m bored. Which is most of the time.

Creatures of habit do the same thing. Boring for some but the commutability of routine is heaven to lonely nomads.

As I collect the oddities I encounter every day, I find their routine interesting.

The beggar at Session road, in his place since I was a child, is a landmark at the area of the former Skyworld, where I pass on most days and swear there is a whiff of Shakey’s (Pizza) as I pass.

That irritating store near the top of the road where they sell grossly overpriced stuff still stands and I always wonder why they are still in business over the years.

At times there are mimes, who irritates a friend of mine who swears he will box the living daylight out of one if the mime tries to go near him.

The toothless singer with striped socks who goes around with his guitar and just sings corny old songs to the delight of passersby who sometimes forget to give him coins.

In the market where I go to at least once a week, the same persons I see are doing the same things week after week. The drudgery of life as the curse goes.

At city hall where I work nowadays, the over helpful special boy who has made it his duty to station himself at the seat of power, trying to strike a conversation or just meddle into your business.

The barker near the bakery, the old lady selling tomatoes, the kids plying their plastic bags [which is on the brink of being phased out], the fruit moody vendor whom will never give you a smile when you ask about his prices. They are all in their positions, ready to give you the standard answers you expect to be given.

There is an old man along Kayang, who lives on his wooden karitoon. It serves as his bed at night and his sofa in the morning. He spends his time people watching and occasionally shouts instructions to queening jeepneys acting like a barker or sorts just because he is bored.

All of these make up my week. And at the end of it, I force myself to face another.

An oddity is a standout... takes one to know one.
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