Saturday, October 19

Remnants of Childhood

photo by JOSE JAIME RAPHAEL B. TAGANAS/ THE FLAME

TODAY, he has decided to take the long route so he can clear his head. In his middle 30s, his life is still a far cry from successful; being stuck in a dead-end job with no family of his own. He strolled around the bustling city, yearning to find comfort in its dimly-lit alleys the way he did when he was a child. Faint memories of how he used to scout his old neighborhood for blank walls to paint on, or how he used to read the profanities written on backstreet walls, resurfaced.

Everything in the city was monochrome: the faces in the crowd, the shops he passed by — all of them were dulled to the core. He peeked between alleyways and was enlivened when he saw something with a tinge of color standing out from his surroundings of black and white.

It was a graffiti wall. He drew closer to it, becoming enthralled by its well-blended hues. A good portion of its concrete was a blank canvas so he took it upon himself to continue the unfinished paintwork.

Hearing the hiss of a can for the first time in decades made his heart leap in excitement. It was just like the old days, he thought. The thrill in graffiti had always been the possibility of getting caught, but the alleyway was desolate and only the starless sky bore witness to his crime.

He feels like a child again — carefree and untouched by adulthood. F DENISSE P. TABOR

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