Wednesday, September 10, 2008

let's beat street kids to death, they're not human!

I was reading John Bayley to while away the time as I queued for my ticket at the train station. He was talking about his boredom as a bourgeois kid in a golf course somewhere in Littlestone, England in the 1930s. His hobby was to collect used golf balls and bury them in the sand like crocodile's eggs.

This childhood nostalgia was cut short when I heard a commotion. A few paces from where I was standing, a security guard lifted a long cane and brandished it in the air. A boy, a street kid, wearing a soiled, oversize blue shirt and a pair of blackened shorts, cowered on the ground beside him, refusing to stand up. I thought the guard merely wanted to scare him off the train station's premises because beggars weren't allowed there, but he grabbed his scrawny arm to make him stand and whacked him hard on the butt. The child pretended it didn't hurt. Not a sound came from him but the impact sent him sprawling on the floor. He covered his behind with his grimy hands.

The guard forcefully dragged him away and sent the cane whirring down again. I'm not sure which body part it hit because I turned away and looked at the violent scene again just in time to see the boy grimace in pain. Still, not a sound came from him. His face was again stern and resolute, the grimace having faded as soon as it appeared. The people who were impatiently queuing for their train tickets craned their necks to get a better look. Some women gasped. But most of them surveyed the incident with curiosity, if not with indifference.

The guard dragged the boy toward the stairs, beat him some more, this time more vigorously, and hurled him down the steps. The boy, of course, did not fall as he got hold of the railing and clung there like a cat under attack. The guard turned away and walked proudly back to the station. I heard some unintelligible cuss words from the boy and then something flew and hit the guard's nape. From afar, it just looked like an empty plastic bottle of water or something lighter. Infuriated, the guard turned and ran toward the stairs again, his stick and his truncheon ready to attack.

They exchanged curses and threats. He, no doubt, hit him again with his two weapons because I saw both his cane and his club rising and falling from behind the low concrete walls of the stairwell.

Having beaten down his enemy, the guard hurriedly went back to his post. He had the air of a soldier who had just done something patriotic for his country. Apparently, the boy wasn't ready to surrender. He ran up the stairs again and shouted in Tagalog: “You son of a whore! You can only do such things because you're a guard! You wait and see!” And he let loose more Tagalog expletives.

I got my ticket and walked with big strides toward the turnstiles. I had seen and heard more than I should. I stowed Bayley's book inside my bag, suddenly losing interest in reading about the travails of rich, English school boys.

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13 Comments:

At 8:33 AM, Blogger R-yo said...

ei! there is such a thing against violence on children. let's file a case!

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

the kid sounds like an habitual offender.

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger ie said...

i won't want either way. i'm proud of, happy, and feel luck about my childhood, which was mostly about pawis and tubang-preso.

but the pain. my god.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger ie said...

that's feel lucky. sorry for not double-checking.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger ie said...

and sorry again for bombarding you with comments. i really don't know what happened, but i did reply to your email. i was actually thinking it was you who wasn't able to reply.

in any case, i'll send you something again. let's keep in touch this time. :)

and oh, isang taon kang nawala. grabe. kay tagal!

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you're back!

 
At 7:26 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

r-yo-- yup. and I felt i was also a perpetrator because i let it happen. and the people there didn't give a shit. it all seemed natural to them. i really felt sick after that. yeah, maybe we should sue!


rmacapobre -- even so. he shouldn't have been treated like that

ie -- good for you. not all chidlren are as lucky. that will be fun. ok, i'll try to wade through my sent folder and inbox. i was actually having probs with my email at that time. some mails were sent to my spam folder. damn yahoo. keep in touch

anonymous -- thanks. wish i knew who you were. drop by again.

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Analiza F. Villarin said...

hey chris, ana here..how are you? been trying to reach you. unfortunately, all my messages were sent to nowhere...after i knew your # from lorie. :) hope to see you!

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

hello anna! what's up? haven't received your messages. maybe you got the wrong number? i'll drop by your blog. keep in touch

 
At 10:16 AM, Anonymous palma tayona said...

hmmm...children. many times, we as adults don't give them much credit on how strong they are. i am actually more worried for the security guard. he showed violence towards a child, he'll get violence in return. individuals, when attacked by a big predator (the guard) would congregate later in numbers (the kid can simply call his posse later) and defeat the offender.

for street kids, it's a matter of survival. the beaten child concealed his pain from being beaten. and rightly so. to show defeat, would show weakness. weakness in street survival, will not augur him well.

it is also interesting to note the "urban trance" (a term by Daniel Goleman. he spoke at www.ted.com) being shown by those who are lining for tickets. and even us who read this post... including the writer. we are viewers of this urban tragedy and yet, we cannot do anything. we either rationalize it by saying "thank goodness, my childhood was safer" or we simply ignore it and let fate decide the kid and the guard's individual plights.

just some two-cents worth of comments.

 
At 12:24 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

palma -- yes, that's exactly it! It's either we cannot do anything about it or we choose not to do anything about it. and that's what really made me feel horrible afterwards.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger weng said...

oh my, so inhuman of the guard. but more apalling is the indifference of the rest of us. =)

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger AziL®™ said...

hey, what's up?

 

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