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View Full Version : Things you've written that you think are okay



Backjob
03-01-2005, 11:22 AM
So many people on this forum are such fucking good writers that it'd be nice to have a thread in literature where people put down their own little pieces that they think are good, or link to them or whatever.

Me, I'm definitely in the special needs class compared to a lot of youse, but in that "first one on the dancefloor" spirit, here's a little anecdote i noted down about 8 months ago but was too embarassed to show anyone at the time. I was just re-reading it just now and thought "that's actually not bad".

Manila, May 8th
I was wandering around the Glorietta mall in Manila, looking for a Levi's store to take digital photos of, so that we could work out how to make them better eventually. And also looking for some sort of entertainment, I don't know what exactly. Maybe a bag I could buy to put the books I'd bought in. Maybe some item of clothing that I could buy to look good in.

An elderly Filipino man approached me. He had one bad eye, glassed over with that opaque pale blue colour that lets you know it doesn't work anymore. He looked honest, not like he was running a scam or something, but I was on my guard, knowing I'm a soft touch and usually get taken in by any scam. Some kind of hangover from my days with Wendy that makes me want to trust people even when I know I shouldn't.

He asked me where I was from, and when I said the UK, he got quite animated. I explained that I lived in Singapore now but he didn't seem to quite process it. He started telling me about his sister who was moving to Liverpool to be a nurse. This all seemed very genuine. Then he pulled out a wallet and asked me how much it would cost to buy a leather wallet in the UK because he wanted to get one for his sister. He asked me if I would buy one for him in the UK. I explained again that I didn't live there anymore and that anyway wallets were more expensive both in the UK and Singapore than they were in Manila. He kept talking about genuine leather even though the wallet he was showing me was obviously plastic and poor quality.

I didn't really mind having this conversation as I had nothing else to do and liked the idea of talking to someone. Maybe it would lead to an adventure or something. He asked me to come sit with him.

We walked upstairs to a Subway store and I bought a root beer, god knows why, and we sat at a table. He kept on about the wallet thing and I showed him mine. He held it and hung on to it and started talking about money clips and saying I should get a wallet with one, and that was the kind he wanted for his sister. I was nervous that he was holding my wallet, but figured there was no way he could outrun me, so it couldn't be all that bad.

We talked more, me with the constant impression that he wasn't really listening to what I said, he with a slight edge of desperation. For some reason I took the envelope of Filipino cash in my pocket and handed it to him. I think he was trying to tell me that I shouldn't carry money in my pockets because of thieves. I was nervous again.

Eventually I convinced him that I wasn't going to buy a wallet for him, but he asked me if I would come back and meet him and his sister and give her some advice for the UK.

I then had an hour to kill, so I wandered over to the nearby Greenbelt mall and browsed lots of luxury stores thinking about buying stuff but not seeing anything I liked. Time passed and I thought constantly about whether I should go back and meet him and his sister. I thought about whether it was some scam, but didn't really think so. I thought about how much advice I could actually give her, not having been to Liverpool in 10 years and that only for a day when I was 16 and on a Tall Ship course.

It got close to the time and I just decided I was tired and didn't want to go and didn't think there was anything I could offer them. But felt constantly that I'd had the opportunity to maybe do something nice, be kind to a stranger, and hadn't, for no good reason other than either I couldn't be bothered or I was too scared. It was a nasty feeling but an inevitable one - it felt like there was no chance I would ever have done anything else.