The Stare

I was on my way back to my place at around 10:30 PM in a jeepney (this was way back in 2007).

As I got off my stop, two fellow passengers alighted from the same jeep and impulsively tried to cross the street. A fast going Toyota Corolla had to slam the breaks on full just to avoid hitting the two guys.

Then there was the stare.

You know the kind: the type that starts fraternity wars back in college. The kind given before a beat down ensues. The kind of stare that can get someone killed.

The guy in the car and one of the dynamic duo he almost ran over were trying to stare each other down.

Then they began screaming at each other.

I couldn’t really get the meaning of what they were screaming at the top of their lungs but I assumed it was not nice. I’m pretty sure they weren’t wishing for peace on earth and goodwill to fellow men by their tone.

After a few seconds the driver of the Toyota Corolla got down from his car and started walking towards the two guys. He was acting like he was trying to reach for something behind his back (implying that he had a knife or a gun stashed somewhere in his pants…or ass) shouting threats while he did.

The two guys didn’t want to take the chance that the driver did have a weapon and started walking away from the man.

The driver seems mortified a bit by this and starts to back down and, in fact, turns around and heads back to his car. But the more vocal (or stupid, however you want to look at it) of the dynamic duo finds his courage renewed and begins to shout insults which fires up the driver’s temper again.

He jumps back in his car, guns the engine, and proceeds to chase the duo down the street. It was a good thing there was a perya (carnival) in a vacant lot and they proceed to lose themselves in the crowd.

The driver, unable to find the two (and perhaps unwilling to foray into unknown territory), guns his engine one last time and drives off.

After the smoke from the Toyota’s exhaust has faded and the noise from the engine has died down, two figures peek out from one the perya’s stalls to check if the coast was clear. After a few more seconds they continue on their way chatting all the while about how they would have whipped the driver’s ass if he didn’t speed away with his tail between his legs.

I can hear their voice recede into the street corner.

Taking that as my cue, I proceed on home myself.


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