Dinner rush begins in earnest at six in the early evening, as soon as jeepneys clog the three-lane highway and wary commuters file into the wide, flat fast food restaurant. Along this avenue, three fast food chains and two coffee shops compete for the heavy rush of patrons between six and nine in the evening. On the left side of the street, two restaurants and one coffee shop share the narrow loading/unloading bay set apart by a special, flimsy fence painted bright blue. Opposite them, a lone Jollibee squat, and decrepit beside a tired-looking cafe whose neon sign, grotesque in pink and blue, halfheartedly calling the crowd to "Get Buzzed".
When it began to rain and the cement dust began to cling to her skin, she craned back to look at the blind sky. Roiling clouds seem to cling at the tapers of light momentarily shifting through the gray. She should’ve worn jeans.
From the opposite side of the street, Aly could tell the fast food joints were near full capacity. It
Aly picked her way between jeepneys, pausing only to look down the street, as far as she can. Four or five jeepneys down, she loses sight of the distant, wide highway. From here, she can only inhale the fumes and listen: engine shaking with life underneath grumbling thin metal chassis chasing away the low hum of conversations. An L300 driver expels his mouthful of phlegm and spit. Some girl's long hair in a loose ponytail hangs out of another jeepney's wide windows, her shapely shoulders slouch. She must be asleep. For a second, Aly was tempted to reach out and touch her. Instead, she fondled the Hawaiian Hula Hoop Girl ornamenting someone's hood. The metal was hot and warm.
Skipping between two cars and after daring a wave at the woman driving one of them, Aly hopped up onto the pavement. The paper bag ,heavy with the breasts she collected all week, strained and gave way, the ripping impossible to hear. Breasts bounced away from her, scattering pedestrians who leapt out of the way. Swearing under her breath, she picked them up and dusted them off. Three she found clustered near the sewer.