A little past noon. Reading "This World: Poems by Harvey Shapiro" while seated on a short concrete fence bordering between Royal Midway Plaza building and its parking lot. Two utility men wearing green shirts printed with "Royal Midway Plaza" approach and slide off the concrete cover of the manhole, a meter and at a forty-five degree angle left of me. It reveals three big pipes and one small one, all bent downward at a ninety degree angle. I close my book and ask, "Sa tubig ba 'yan?" ("Is that for the water?" Really my way of asking, "That's not the septic tank, is it?") The older guy replies, "Yes," and tells me and his companion about fixing the water supply with plumbing jargon. He'll buy a "floater" (yes, I believe that's what he said). They leave. The manhole, with its cover slid off (and perhaps an empty tomb laid at its bottom), remains open. My book of poetry remains closed.
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