From the bus stop I thought of doing the shortcut to the office, so I passed through SM Megamall. It's an excuse to breeze through Le Coeur de France. There I was, buying their buy-one take-one garlic bread. I always feel lightheaded after watching a film (that's why I've been disinterested with films for the past few years: it's either I fall asleep with any kind of film or end up having sex or making out with)--this time, it's from the last scene I found myself staring at before I got off the bus, where this nuclear submarine was lifted by Magneto aboard this stealth fighter with other mutants. I was so lightheaded I felt like I wasn't walking at all, that I made a beeline to the nearest ATM and fell in line behind two others.

The ATM was clearly malfunctioning, and the lady is trying to call the hotline through her smartphone. The two people ahead of me went off the line; I weighed my options and tried to ask the security guard.

So there I was, getting some cash on the ATM right besides National Bookstore, when there was this shriek coming straight from the nearby stalls selling soy products (Soy something) and nuts (House of Nuts). I thought it was just a friendly commotion, but the people involved where clearly not acquainted with each other: there was this man, quite good-looking (looks like 25 years old to me), probably waiting for his girlfriend; and there's this another man, around 19 years old, quite overweight, shrieking and clawing the good-looking man. All of us around the scene were frozen when the shrieking man went straight to the House of Nuts stall and grabbed the trinkets and the products on display.

The security guard popped out of nowhere, and responded by holding the hands of the shrieking man. Then a balding man, probably the father of the shrieking man, came into the scene and appeased the shrieking.

It's a good thing to notice that nobody dared to take videos to upload online.

After I withdrew cash I was very nervous, partly because of the incident, but mostly with the table in front of the bookstore, with the words SALE, white letters on red background. I found some familiar names on piles of Spanish and Arabic dictionaries, but what struck me the most is an Allen Ginsberg essay collection worth fifty pesos. What joy.

Then I went back to Le Coeur de France for a buy-one take-one cinnamon roll, for my wife.