The Flipout

I was sitting on one of those modern benches in Ayala Triangle, reading Etgar Keret's The Nimrod Flipout while smoking, feeling lucky enough to have found it on Booksale for 75 pesos, and also lucky to have signed a job offer from a good advertising agency. My back was aching thanks to these benches without any back support, probably to discourage people like me to lie down with my mineral water and my backpack and listen to sleazy music and doze off eventually. I heard the noise of roller skates and find the pair of its front wheels glimmer with different colors, and looked up from my book to find a boy of about four years old, his knees wobbly from a fall. He was wearing a helmet, knee and elbow protectors. It looked like it wasn't painful. He was trying to stand up from a supine position, but he couldn't raise himself up. His roller skates won't make him stand up. He was with his mother and a yaya not too far away, and when the mother approached, the boy reached out his hand for help, but the mother refused to. The yaya then decided to reach out but the mother hissed and shooed her away, discouraging her to do it again, in another language. I was taken aback by this, and wasn't pretending to read the book anymore. The child then tried standing up from other positions, but staggered as well. When the kid was able to stand up all by himself, the mother burst into clapping, cheering him up for a good job, all this in another language, probably Chinese. Her yaya followed suit and clapped. I returned to my reading and knew I had to write this down somewhere, and remember this very risk I've made to get this new job, as I am on probation, again, just like my first six months in my current job. My wife thinks I'm nuts to file the resignation letter last Monday. I think I'm just as nuts as Ron, Uzi and Miron in Keret's flagship short story, but a little uncertainty is fine. Later, the boy was striding around the park, getting glances and stares from men in business attire, smiling at him. The mother and the yaya still followed him from far away. It was getting dark when I left.