Piece of Cake
Shaw Boulevard/EDSA, 10:00 AM, August 21
I thought it was a working day. I walked back to the terminal to catch a bus home – or to wherever I was going – when I saw the old woman carrying the cake, wrapped in ribbons, placed in a red box. She didn’t look like a little old lady who can afford cake. Maybe some kind soul gave her the cake. Or maybe looks can be deceiving, and that her barefoot, gaunt, and frail body actually has some deep pockets, and can afford the cake.
I boarded the next bus, and she followed. It took her a while to board the bus; cane, cake, and all. By some accident of fate, the box slipped from her arthritic grasp, and fell on the pavement below. The bus gave a little heave upward. The cake was smashed underneath.
I kept walking to the back – the very back – of the bus, and jacked up the volume of my iPod, knowing that the old woman was crying. The conductor can’t do anything about it. I couldn’t do anything about it. The bus has to move on, we can’t go about crying and moaning and complaining about cakes given to old ladies when they’re run over by buses that simply do not care about anything else other than fares, destinations, and moving forward.
Apathy and indifference. In that very moment, I realized exactly how the world works.
How privy I am to it.
Such a piece of cake.