Among Markets and Epiphanies

Photo by Ethan Christensen Cardaño/ THE FLAME

WITH EXCITEMENT in his voice, my father decided to take me to the night market as I had spent most of my days inside our house. Although I have been there several times, I avoided it as much as possible because of the overwhelming crowd. 

I dragged my feet and found myself welcomed by the overlapping voices attempting to bargain, trying to separate their products from others. I held the hem of my father’s clothes, afraid of being lost in the labyrinth of stalls. 

I noticed that not all vendors had the same flock of customers. Some of them watched customers pass by, ignoring their calls. As we scanned the area, one isolated kiosk drew me in. Its table was occupied with more goods than usual. 

The vendor’s body guarded the small space, but his stare went far beyond the vicinity. The bright hue of fabric served as his protection from the evening breeze. I accidentally glanced at his bag, where coins outnumbered bills.

His underlying sorrows suddenly became mine as the world revealed itself as unappeasable to me. 

Outside my shelter against this world’s biggest tragedies, others were left with no choice but to experience the world’s austerity—just to secure enough for a day.

Every street was once engraved in my mind, but now it seems that even with directions, I could get lost. The voices around me felt like echoes from another world. 

As much as I despise this place, it was the one that built the foundation of my existence. Hopefully, it will not be too late to introduce myself to it. F

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