One rainy night, I agreed to meet an old friend, who I have not seen in a while, for dinner and coffee. We haven’t got to an agreement as to where we will go so I suggested that we just meet first and then decide. Halfway was the pseudo-mall beside the Libertad Palengke, near the LRT station, since we live on the same side of Pasay City.
I got there first. 8:30 PM was the agreed time and I was there on the dot.
I stayed outside the pseudo-mall because it closes early. I waited on the sidewalk where it was dark, where people of all sorts pass by me from every direction. All sorts. From every direction.
The thing is I was carrying with me my new phone in one pocket, an office-issue phone on the other, and a wallet in the back pocket.
I couldn’t text. I couldn’t call. I could not even check my phone to see the texts that came in. Libertad is more challenging at nightfall. I was afraid that somebody would just swoop in and snatch my phone or that maybe a gang would swarm over and strip me naked (who knows?). These and other crazy thoughts ran through my head. Most people I saw were suspect, even the Lola who mans the fruit stand some feet away.
Praning. Big time.
He finally came after a few more praning minutes–much to my relief. Or maybe not. For while we were eating at a nearby fastfood, I had to look around to survey the people around us and those outside the store who may be able to see the phone I am using to text.
Well, I have waited long before I finally decided to buy this smartphone. I’ve obsessed on this one, big time. It was a dream phone so I moved heaven and earth just to get this one. I thought to myself, if I could only have this phone soon I’d be content and my techie-cravings would die down because it was the ultimate gadget I coveted.
I bought the phone over the Christmas break. And then just in less than two weeks, there’s this one crazy night at Libertad.
When I was walking home afterwards, I looked back at the whole kapraningan episode.
I thanked God for keeping me and my belongings safe. Some people are not as lucky. MBut then again… Were the anxieties really worth it? How come that the thing that I thought would make me content and secure would prove to be a source of a lot of insecurities? And how did I ever arrive at a point when my gadgets affected my life greatly, much so my peace of mind?
Something’s telling me that a healthy balance does not exist anymore and something’s broken. I need to be fixed. I need to be restored. This shouldn’t be happening.
On a practical and commonsensical level, though, I think I should also be careful in picking places to hangout in. Libertad on a rainy night. Really, Butch?