We were on our way home last night when traffic slowed along Sumulong Highway and two police vans came into view. Further along the road, a man was sprawled on the shoulder, his leg broken and twisted at the knee. A hit and run victim: judging from the number of people surrounding him and the dust and debris that had settled on his corpse, he had probably been there for quite a while. I wondered how many people had already stopped to gawk before the cops arrived.

Just a little further along the stretch, a little boy was being pushed on a cart in the middle of the lane by an older child. In spite of the grief, the horror that took place just a little up the road, life still goes on within the same stretch of time and space.

I’ve never seen a dead body before, but I find myself insensate in the presence of one. I didn’t know the man, and people die every day in varying degrees of brutality or in the tender arms of sleep. It’s the only certainty we’re granted in this fickle lifetime. Me, I want two kids–both boys, an apartment in Malate, and a job in a museum. There are no guarantees to any of these but I do know that one day it will all end and the only thing that I won’t be able to change is the last thing I had on my mind the moment it happens.

I’d like to be on vacation when I die, I want the last thing on my mind to have nothing to do with work.

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