It’s Friday. The wind was chilly with a dry feel to it. It was an overcast day. Not too dark. Just gray. I am waiting for a bus to take me to Legazpi City. I have a thick jacket with me, haven’t worn it yet. It’s in preparation in case some drizzle come pouring. I’ll never know. Fickle weather indeed.
I’m getting impatient. My mind’s flooded with anxiety. Will I be on time just before office hours put to a halt? I am doing some business and it was a part of my rebuilding. I took in a deep breath and tried to flush the anxiety.
Soon the bus arrived. I scoured for an empty window seat but no luck. So I settled to sit with someone already by the window. I just hope he’ll get off at the next stop so that I can have his seat. Gladly at the next bus stop indeed he got off. I shouted in my head, “NICE!“. I scooted over the window and got settled. Street vendors began flocking in the aisle of the bus. Sing-song punch lines reverberated inside. “Burger, Peanuts, Rice Pudding!” “Water, C2!” “Puto!” For a couple of minutes this scene just went on and on. I started to get annoyed because the TV on the bus was playing a movie too. The noise added to my anxiety. I looked outside. But the sound of the TV was so loud it got my attention. I looked at it and wondered what movie was playing.
I got it though I haven’t watched it yet.
Captain Phillips, the one starred by Tom Hanks. He’s one of my favorite actor so I listened and continued to watch while the bus was still waiting for passengers.
The movie kept me occupied and entertained for the sake of on the first hour of the ride. I can’t remember if I dozed off a bit. Or maybe I did. From time to time I’m looking outside. Vast rice fields. Greenery. Houses. And then back at the TV again.
The movie ends. I looked outside my window. The gray clouds converging to a darker shade. Then tiny, tiny spatter of rain began appearing on my window. I looked up and told myself that hope it won’t rain hard. The conductor stood up and pressed something on the monitor. I thought he was going to turn it off. He didn’t. Another movie just started.
I looked outside again. It was still drizzling. I’m cold. I decided to wear my jacket now and turned away to the sides the air vents above that’s pumping cold air directly on me. The movie was still playing. I’m not annoyed anymore because everyone was quiet. Doing their own things. Some have their ears pierced with headsets attached to their smartphones or mp3 players. Some are sleeping. No one’s snoring, thank God. Some were attentively eyeing as the movie starts with its opening credits and soon it revealed its title.
A sound of terror. .”World War Z”.
I felt anxious again because this trip was delayed already. I clearly understood the loading and unloading of passengers along the highway. But I got impatient a bit when it stopped at its second stop for half an hour. The movie scene was, just before Captain Phillips agreed to come with his Somalian abductors in exchange for his another crew held hostage at gun point by one of the pirates.
As the second movie went on, Brad Pitt (I can’t remember his character’s name) started cooking breakfast for his daughters I looked on my left and checked my seat mate. She maybe on her forties and she’s sleeping soundly but not snoring. Not really moving. Not even distracted that another movie was already playing. I checked outside and looked for landmarks. I’m familiar with the road landscape and if this bus continues to drive at this pace then I’m just forty-five minutes away from where will I get off.
The family was in the car. I think the couple will drop their 2 girls to school then they were caught in traffic. Brad Pitt turned the radio on and his wife asked to change it to BBC. He made a sweet banter at her that she’s not British anymore.
That’s what I understood upon hearing it four rows away from where I’m seated. The speakers were not bad at all. It’s not that loud enough. That’s what might the conductor tweaked a while ago. I haven’t noticed what exactly he did. Besides I haven’t watched this movie yet. My flat mate even bought a copy of this movie but was just sitting, gathering dust in the TV stand at my ex-apartment. Plus I’m totally disinterested at it that time.
The left side mirror was hit by a motorcycle. It was a cop on wheels. Brad Pitt checked and get off the car to chase the cop. I looked outside again. Greenery. Houses. Clouds closing in. It’s gray still. Then suddenly a loud bang. I looked at the TV again and see what will happen next until another cop on motorcycle shouted at him to get back inside the car now. Soon as he went in, the cop drove past his window and put on a face, shouting again to stay inside the car and then BANG! The cop was hit by something big. I wondered if it was a trailer or just a big truck and as the scene continued I figured it was a truck, a dump truck of sort. The sound effects got me. It made me move a bit uncomfortably in my seat. I can feel my stomach twitching inside. Maybe my anxiety lingering still added to this unknown reaction.
I’m barely moved by movies lest if I watched it on a big screen, where the ginormous theater screens make scenes come alive before your very eyes and the surround digital sound clear as a bell vibrates your eardrums. I adjusted my sitting position. I can feel my anxiety level went up a notch higher. My chest began throbbing.
My eyes still glued. As the scenes continued to escalate, from their car moving behind the dump truck on the loose then they were hit and they were at wreck. People were on the run from any directions. Police were moving in, flocking to an unknown site. The whole running, chaos and crashing scenes got me at the edge of my seat. I can feel my knees were going Jell-O. I moved again my sitting position. I was careful not to distract my sleeping seat mate.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathing. I can hear my breath increasing in pace. But I’m still conscious. I tried looking outside but eyes went back in the monitor. The speakers, I think, were starting to get louder and louder. I closed my eyes and breathed heavily in and out. The air out of my mouth.
That first few minutes was intense. Word War Z, I think, had me in just 9 minutes. I wasn’t expecting that. I began to go subdued after that. Maybe because of my anxiety, maybe of the sound effects, maybe of the cold temp or maybe because of the silence. No one was noisily chatting, or talking on the phone or snoring loudly. Just maybe these kind of made me crazy at that point.
The bus caught up on speed.
I’m okay now. I’m looking outside again, checking where I am, checking for landmarks how far away I am at the bus stop. As the movie progressed I tried remembering if that CD of this movie my flat mate bought is still there. I hoped that it was still there because I want to watch it again. I will never finish it on this trip. I will get off in 15 minutes.
I’m still anxious not because of the movie, I don’t know. As the bus continued to move, some memories flashed back in my head. My year 2013 in review up in my head. It was a journey of to and fro. Full of slacking. Never really knowing what to do next, what do I really want. Is this just a phase? Or this is me attracting and making all of this to myself. Again I’m figuring myself out towards that new beginning.
The bus stopped. It’s time for me to get off and do my business. I need to.