I detest Philippine Airlines. I could shrug off the
food (extra-stringy beef with rice), the nursemaids stomping down the aisle in
ill-fitting blazers of bilious camel, the in-flight magazines laid out by
desktop publishing sophomores. What does a pleasant flying experience add to my
life, anyway?

But they were
late. At
least thirty minutes coming and going. What if I had had only six months to
live? They stole an hour from my life and they can’t pay it back with a blanket
and a cheesy in-flight movie. In the hour they stole, I could have bumped
trolley bags with my soulmate, pitched my jewelry business to the Donald in an
elevator, stepped on the rat that would bite the cat that would jump on the
stove that would immolate the airport that would kill ten thousand families.
They apologized for the thirty-minute delay. What apology would suffice for lost
chances, lost intersections, lost

And we are so inured to it. We
roll our eyes, as we do for toadbellied policemen on the take, the confederacy
of beggars tapping in broken rhythm on our windows. We’ve hit our head on it so
often that our nerves have surrendered and gone elsewhere, possibly to Boracay,
where they can down fifteen tequila shooters and collapse twitching on the sand,
to be swept away by the next indifferent