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Eric Abalajon: A Mile In My Boots


Image: Unsplash, downloaded (https://unsplash.com/photos/KPnIrofPdg8) 3.10.2021.



End of Shift


for John Berger (1926-2017)


After my first birthday here, I spent the money I received to buy the cheapest pair of work boots at Walmart. The tempt agency said it was a good investment. Turns out I can’t fulfill morning shifts because they start too early

or afternoons since they end too late.

The buses here are worthless, a Portuguese co-worker later said amid the rhythm of boxing salad packs and stealing a moment to motion walking with her fingers, here, your car are your legs.

I eventually found a warehouse that matches bus intervals, though I have to walk for a bit after my shift

along bare industrial district structures in Harvester Road’s quiet sidewalks Winters are the horrible since these paths are cleared last.

My first boots are still with me, but when I tread into freshly fallen heaps the worn-out vamps retain snow. My socks getting moist alarms me to slow down and the need for a new pair.

For decades, strolls like these are numbing but I didn’t leave because it was without hope the stage for home just grew much larger.

This thought keeps me warm while I wait in the station.



About the Author: Eric Abalajon is currently a lecturer at the University of the Philippines Visayas, Iloilo. Some of his works have appeared in Revolt Magazine, Loch Raven Review, Ani, and Katitikan. Under the pen name Jacob Laneria, his zine of short fiction, Mga Migranteng Sandali, is distributed by Kasingkasing Press. He lives near Iloilo City.


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