It's 4 am, and this is my second entry for today. Quite a feat, considering I wrote less than 10 entries a year for the past 5 years. You can thank or curse the coffee I had at 9.30 pm last night.
Have you ever thought seriously about how you're gonna go? As in die. I gotta admit, I've never really thought about it seriously until I was 25. If you're an old reader of my blog, then you might know why, and what happened in 2010.
I had my usual paranoia and phobias about death. About dying on the road, or in the shower. But never really gave that much thought to it.
Then people started dying. My friends died from cancer, from sudden heart attacks and through road accidents. And they died young, in their early twenties. When it happened, I was devastated and it affected me deeply, but then life goes on, you know? They went, good for them, because really, they were in a lot of pain and I'd be selfish to want them to stay. I mean, sometimes it feels like this world is a shitty place to live in anyway.
But I still want to live in it. I still want to be a part of this world.
I don't really believe time heals all pain, by the way. I think you just store that pain in a box. You revisit that box sometimes, and when you do, it hurts just as much. I mean, time heals some pain, like pain over break-ups or shit like that. People who are replaceable. But some things, like the death of a family member, or someone really close to you, that pain remains raw. You just don't get over them because they're irreplaceable.
Then I noticed other people dying (wow, great observation there, Magenta). Well, not really friends or people I was close with. Friend of a friend. Friend of a family member. My friends' parents and grandparents. Celebrities I grew up admiring. War casualties. And they all die in various ways.
And I started wondering about what's a good way to go? A sudden death? Terminal illness?
People always say they'd like to die in their sleep. It sounds like a calm, fuss-free death. But would you be okay with dying in your sleep tonight, not knowing that you wouldn't wake up tomorrow? Without saying your goodbyes, your sorries and deleting what needs to be deleted in your computer? Would you be okay dying unprepared?
Or would you like to die after a long, terminal illness? Having had enough time for closure with other human beings. Knowing and accepting that you're surely about to die, having had the time to apologize and say your goodbyes to the people you knew. Having had the time to repent.
How about dying in a gruesome accident? Or being murdered? Imagine all the passersby gawking at your corpse or bits of it, posting it around on social media for others to gawk at it too. Imagine how the newspapers will sensationalize it.
How would you like to go? Would you like to die of old age? When everyone you've loved has passed on before you, and you're just waiting. Imagine being a 90-year-old widow when your husband has passed on at 50. Would you like to go with your mind intact? Would you prefer to have Alzheimer's? With all your limbs still intact?
It doesn't matter what you want, and unless you commit suicide or opt for euthanasia, you don't get to choose the way you go.
Death is inevitable, and there are a million ways to die.
The year was 2009, dan seorang lelaki, H, tengah menunggu aku di dalam kereta dia di depan rumah aku. As usual, aku lambat 5-10 minit, tapi aku tau dia akan tunggu dalam kereta sambil dengar lagu.
Tapi bila aku menuju ke arah kereta dia kali ni, aku nampak dia tengah berbual dengan seorang perempuan muda yang tengah dukung seorang bayi. Ada budak laki dalam lingkungan umur 10 tahun tengah berdiri sebelah perempuan tu.Perempuan tu nampak macam tengah panik. Bila aku datang, muka dia seolah-olah lagi panik. Aku dengar jap perbualan dorang. Perempuan tu tengah cerita pasal bagaimana suami dia suka dera dia and dia tengah lari daripada suami dia. Budak kecik tu pula menyampuk lebih-lebih at exactly the appropriate moments, untuk meyakinkan kami bahawa mak dia bukan tengah mereka-reka cerita. Aku terus masuk kereta and capai steering lock. I was scared. I was raised to be paranoid of strangers. Orang selalu kena mugged on my street. Hell, aku even paranoid dengan sesetengah pengemis. Aku selalu rasa they're part of some shady syndicate.
But my date, H, grew up in a small town where people knew each other, jadi dia tak lah suspicious of semua orang macam aku. Sebabtu gak aku langsung tak terkejut bila H nak tolong this so-called damsel in distress. Aku pulak dah curiga dengan perempuan tu dari saat pertama aku nampak dia.
And secara tiba-tiba, ada mamat muda random manatah appear out of practically nowhere and tegur perempuan tadi. Leher penuh tatu. Aku mengaku, I judged him for it. Aku terus genggam steering lock dengan erat and capai handphone untuk call polis in case apa-apa. I even started praying to God. For some reason, laki tu pandang aku dengan penuh marah, tapi menyapa perempuan tu dengan penuh mesra. Perempuan tu pulak layan dia macam dah kenal lama. Dia mintak untuk pinjam handphone H untuk call kakak dia. H keluar dari kereta. Mamat bertatu and perempuan tadi pandang each other dengan cuak. Mungkin dorang tak expect H to be so tall. You see, H is 6"1. Laki tu cakap dia dok area situ and dia selalu nampak aku. Masalahnya, aku tak pernah nampak dia.
Perempuan tu pun call kakak dia and bagitau dia kat mana. Bila dah bagitau lokasi, aku lagi lah paranoid. Rasa cam dia tengah call member-member dia untuk datang belasah and rob us. Aku rasa masa tu gak H dah rasa tak sedap hati gila, sebab dia terus buat alasan dah lambat and kena pergi somewhere. Perempuan tu mula merayu dekat H untuk tunggu sampai kakak dia datang. Dah macam orang gila aku tengok. Aku pun tak tau asal kami kena tunggu, since dah kawan dia, si mamat bertatu yang rupa macam gangster boleh teman dia. Jadi kami pun blah.
As soon as kami blah, handphone H berbunyi tak henti-henti. 'Kakak' dia fon H untuk tanya dia kat mana and macam-macam lagi. H explained dia dah tak ada kat situ, tapi kakak tu insist gak nak tau dia kat mana. H pun hung up. Tapi 'kakak' tu sambung call dalam 20 kali. Walaupun lepas kami asyik receive the calls and hang up. Finally, aku sedar minah ni takkan give up. Jadi aku pick up handphone H and cakap,
"Wei lei hei pin tou ah?"
Aku hampir tergelak sebab 'kakak' tu tetiba jadi confused as hell. Mungkin dia tak expect ada perempuan cakap Cantonese jawab handphone H. Tapi dia tanya gak aku kat mana. Aku jawab dengan nada yang marah,
"Lei gong mey ah? Lei hei pin tou ah?"
Sebenarnya aku tak tau pun aku tengah cakap apa tu. Aku belajar dari audibles Yahoo Messenger je.
Kalian bolehlah cuba kalau ada telemarketer ke apa call and korang malas nak layan. Tapi kalau orang tu reti Cantonese, nasib ah.
Oh yeah, the phone calls stopped immediately after that. Terima kasih Yahoo Messenger.
p.s.: 5 tahun lepas insiden tu berlaku, aku cerita kat bapak aku. Dia terus kata, "Lain kali buat-buat macam pura-pura kenal mamat yang tatu tu and tanya if nama dia Jason ke whatever name you made up. Kalau dia cakap ya, tipu lah tu."