The race has just started when I pedaled my way to the MOA grounds this crisp November morning. I caught up the tail end of the pack while the head is pushing somewhere along Marina Way, if not on the Boulevard. Haven’t had a finer day for biking in these rain months.
We have been seeing a lot of fun-run these days. Seems like there’s a growing passion for cardio activities and everybody’s either pedal-driven or running for their lives now. Meanwhile, I see only a few of the usual Sunday cyclists. A big bunch of this large biking species must’ve opted to ride it out some place else than go against the tide of surging marathoners. These race tournaments here at the MOA, coming from one hardcore biker, are nothing but disruptions to their established weekend routine. It hurts for a colony to be dispersed.
Now I was planning for a few laps around Seaside Boulevard before sunup when I spotted this salient figure of the bubblemaker, swinging a pair of wands in the air like a praying mantis. The color spectrums of his soap bubbles against the first morning light forced me to make a hard turnaround — like a moth to a flame.
The figure remained undistracted as I closed in for some snapshots. I remember getting shooed away twice for breaching in on other people’s photography session in the streets of Beijing. One was a wedding pictorial, and the other, a promotional crap. This time I hate to burst the man’s bubbles and so asked for permission. But of course I don’t really intend to wait for an approval and was merely being polite.
He was too preoccupied to even look at me as he spoke: “Do you always bring a camera with you everytime you bike?” The bubblemaker asks as though he was the blind Kung Fu Master Po talking to Grasshopper. The pitch-dark hides his facial expressions. “No,” I replied, “I always bring a bike with me everytime I shoot.”
Blowing bubbles is kid stuff. We used to delight ourselves with these air balls when it gets really boring back in the days. We’d crush gumamela leaves and whip it in a can of soap and water and then eventually fill the air with flashy globules. Such crazy little happiness. It’s a good thing insanity is permitted (in fact, expected) during that time of our lives.
Our bubblemaker here, however, has upgraded this special interest to adult-level highs just like so many others out there. He’s taken this as a sport. Maybe he’s inspirited to go beyond merely bubble-blowing and make one for the books. Or maybe he’s just half a bubble off plumb.
Wuht-ever, a happy child’s fascination bubbles up out of me today.