Thursday, November 02, 2006

Candles in the Wind

I'm beginning to wonder... Will boys always be boys?

Having spent the holiday alone yesterday, I was attached to the bed reading Our Guys. I was totally hooked on the book, which is about an account of an actual rape case of a retarded girl by the town's jocks (about six of them). The jocks inserted a broomstick and bat in her vagina. The rape took place in an suburban, upper-middle class, all-white, New Jersey town called Glen Ridge.

More than a crime book, the author successfully analyzes the "jock culture", hence giving these high school athletes a sense of invincibility. The book is a clear illustration of how a community's attitudes towards its teens may breed today's brats and tomorrow's criminals. The second part of the book follows the protracted trial, which further explored class relations (to a certain extent) and the criminal justice system in America. The case eventually concluded with the boys being sentenced, albeit light ones.

It was a totally good read for a book that I found in Evangelista's thrift shops. I got it for P20.


After finishing the book, I went down to have some dinner. When I went out of the apartment I saw three lighted candles near the stairs. The candles really spooked the hell out of me. I thought some of the neighbors were doing voodoo stuff. It did not help that the stinking cat was intently looking at the flames. Was that the witch? When I reached the third floor a couple of candles were at the doorstep of one of my neighbors, and the same were found on the second and first floor. I was totally clueless what the candles were all about! As far as I knew, there was no power outage.

Reaching the street, I noticed that the laundry shop at the corner was closed. The internet cafe where rowdy school kids virtually reside was likewise locked. To my dismay, the restaurant where I eat often was close for the day. I said to my self that there must be something going on that I don't know about. First, there were the candles and then there were the closed shops. It's so "end of the world" ang feeling ha. Scary.

Aha, I realized it was All Saints' Day, which was what the holiday was all about! I felt super stupid not realizing that.

Back when I was younger we do not actually make too much fuss about these things. Yes, we visit the graves of my grandparents and some dead relatives, but those were perfunctory and nothing else. The candle lighting outside the house thing is so new to me. It must be a Manila practice because going the cemetery for them can be a lot of inconvenience (traffic, crowds, and all).

I went back to the apartment after dinner at the Chinese restaurant. It began to rain really hard just as I stepped inside. A few minutes later the power went out. I looked around the shelves for candles, found one but the lighter did not work. I was literally left in the dark.

Photo courtesy of PaperCuts.

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