11/28/2008
Or something like it

It was the usual set-up. Kris and Glenn, who constantly talked, were at the front. Neobie and I walked behind them, but we were the opposite. My hands were on the back pockets, although my pinky and my thumb would be outside the pocket, so that I'd feel the force going down on me. She had her jacket slung on her left arm, and it stayed in its position throughout most of the walk. And we were quiet.

The four of us were off to lunch again. It still felt unusual. The two in front always went out for lunch, unless they were inundated with work and had to get take-out instead. Neobie, on the other hand, always brought packed lunch, with was either a sandwich or a quaintly-packed microwaveable container. It's been going on for two weeks, and I had the feeling I shouldn't be going down for lunch by myself, even if it's obviously past noon. I was right.

So we walked along the side streets of Ortigas. For some reason, we all decided to eat at Tokyo Tokyo, although I'm not sure whether there was a previous agreement to do so. (Or I was, again, the last to know. Why else would Neobie not bring lunch?) I felt useful, at least, when I suggested that we go to the Shangri-la Plaza branch instead of the one at SM Megamall, partly because it's nearer, and partly because I didn't know where it exactly was.

And it felt weirder because, well, I was walking with three other people. My hands were in my back pocket for a reason; it literally slowed me down. Whenever I'm alone I always, although subconsciously, try to walk past others. I've always this urge to walk fast. Or, to better put it, I hate walking slowly. And yes, I said that before.

You can only imagine my thoughts, then, as we walked to the mall. We were now along St. Francis Avenue, with the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel's walls right beside us. The walk felt like a drag - it was too slow for me, I tell you - and I already felt like overtaking both Kris and Glenn. But I didn't, because that'd mean I'd walk ahead of them. No, not those thought bubbles, please...

But I still tried. Since Neobie was to my right and the rest of the sidewalk was to my left, I figured I can slowly inch my way and start walking at a more leisurely place. I didn't overtake; I just moved a little to the left, and then a little more, and then a mother and child walking in the opposite direction appeared. The kid was pestering the poor woman about airplanes, while wearing a pair of shades. I had to return to my place.

Five seconds later, I tried again. A little to the left, and then a little more, and it was all the same again. Yet another group of people, this time a group of employees, showed up. I returned to my place again, but I was already grumbling.

I've almost given up hope, but then I noticed someone moving to my right. It was a half-befuddled and half-amused Neobie, moving her arms, gesturing me to move to the left. And I thought I couldn't walk any faster.

And your responses...

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