As I was nearing the corner, I saw a pudgy man standing outside a barbershop. His receding hairline seemed obvious. He was smartly dressed, with a red tie that some people prefer to call a power tie, and a grey suit. My first guess was he’s in his late 40s, waiting for somebody. Business maybe. It was kind of awkward since the dodgy neighbourhood seems to reject the presence of this man.

I, in the other hand was just passing through. Killing time some would say. Driving though such places opens my mind and makes me think about a lot of things. To be honest, most of them are sad things. Anyway, I looked at the man’s face. He was sweating like most people in this tropical climate. Maybe the suit made him sweat more. Our eyes met. I quickly looked forward as if I never even had a glimpse of him. From the corner of my eyes I can see him coming towards my car.

Damn! Why is the car in front not moving? Why must there be a traffic jam at this particular moment? I was at a stand still. I checked my doors. It was locked. Good. There was a knock on the opposite window. It was that pudgy man. He pointed his index finger at me and draws it to his lips. Hush was his signal. All of a sudden, he punched a pedestrian lady nearby, grabbed her bag and took off, disappearing into the crowds of hoodlums, layman and angels. I froze.

The traffic began to move. I realized it when somebody honked. I was still in shock. As I was just pushing down the handbrakes, a BMW X5 slotted itself in front of me, intentionally sideways. It was seated in full capacity. I seemed to recognize the driver. His co-driver was a dark, chubby man with excessive amount of eye shadows. The rest of his passengers were also softies playing ‘sep-sep-sep, tum-tum-tum’ with each other. The scene was appalling, or maybe it’s just me. The driver was waving at me. His hair was blonde and spiky. His foundation make-up level was out of this world. He was smiling widely and still waving his hands at me. From what I understand from his hand signals, he was inviting me to join them.

Now I know who he was. Aznil Nawawi. Yes, the Aznil Nawawi. Again I checked my doors. Locked. I can’t move forward. At the back a cab parked itself inches too close. The driver was nowhere to be found. I’m stuck again. In my stereotyped mind I thought, softies are much stronger than a normal male. I was scared. Another thirteen minutes inside my car, sitting still, stationary.

*****

Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

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