Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lennie develops on the night of the lunar eclipse

The blank Polaroid lay flat on the table. "Shake it! Shake it!" I said excitedly.

"No! That's the wrong way," said Rach. "You'll mix all the colours up." Tickled by the cleverness of the sentence in her head, Rach grinned and said, "Let's watch Lennie develop."

( |o }===:::

At times, the imposing nature of age—that always increasing, never decreasing number—gets the better of me. Almost. It is as if I were a subject strapped onto a sterile metal table in a lab, society and all her expectations giving me a curt, disdainful glance before proceeding with the mandatory exam.

Married? No.
Attached? No.
Car? Second-hand; purchased this year.
House? Parents'.
Income? Err... it's complicated.
Career success? Blank.
Goals? Blank.
Spiritual health?

And so they prod before the morphine kicks in and I am dreaming again that I am singing and playing in front of an audience, their monotonous queries fading into the background.

( |o }===:::

The office celebrated the August babies today, in what must have been a stroke of numerical genius in my favour. There were four candles side-by-side on the cake, and I had trouble blowing mine out without killing someone else's lifeline. You'd think that perhaps, one would get better at blowing out candles as they grow older, but no, that's simply not true. Your puff of candle-blowing power decreases from a developing bad posture, your accuracy suffers from neckache and your reluctance to answer to the call of a higher integer means that you need to try at least three times before you 'succeed', thus inadvertently prolonging the moment of symbolic aging in the spotlight.

( |o }===:::

I once bought a book at a warehouse sale that was about a white explorer who had been caught by the natives in some far-off land. As I don't remember the details, we shall imagine that they were bloodthirsty cannibals who hissed, snarled and sucked their ulcers dry at the chance to taste this exotic white meat. Did it taste like chicken? Or did it taste like the stillborns, only perhaps less tender (and much hairier)? While they danced around the fire and lowered him into the gigantic charcoaled pot, he suddenly remembered a piece of news he'd read a few weeks before embarking on this suicide mission. It had said that on this exact date, there would be a total solar eclipse happening in the region he was in. Battling fear and a semi-conscious urge to crap his pants, he cried out to the translator (for how else would the locals know what he was saying?) and the people: "WAIT!"

The croak came out dry, bouncing off the skin of the pounding drums and an earth that roared under the soles of hungry warriors. Again:


The celebratory march stopped. Cold eyes peered at him, spears lifted. Warily, the white explorer gazed for a hint of hope in the sky—and there it was. A sliver. Pacman nibbling into the sun. Pointing to it, he put on his best imitation of God and said, "I will kill the sun."

Needless to say, the white explorer lived to tell the story.

( |o }===:::

If you didn't already know, a total lunar eclipse happened today. Rach called it a 'happy birthday present to you from God' as we watched it live over the Discovery Channel website while engaging in collective oohs and aaahs. Sure, it was cool, very cool in fact, but a more meaningful 'present' were some simple acts of care showed by thoughtful friends. Overall, it was a very nice birthday, and a possible reminder to a weary cynic of 'churchese' that God cares. So thanks to you guys who rock so well.

"Lennie develops, 2007"

Polaroid: RM3.50. Company: Priceless. Line: So corny


HuiChuan said...

:) Blessed birthday. Glad you had a meaningful one.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, gd to know u enjoyed yrself... -Ps Tim

a passing cloud said...

Thanks, y'all! :)