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He took a glimpse over the back of his shoulders while washing off the blood and dirt stains off his hands. He was supposed to be anxious but surprisingly he’s not. The clear stream became murky as he scrubbed his hands in the water. He was the only person there, squatting by the stream. The water was cold as midnight approached.

The blood was not his. No. Never would he spill his own blood over things like these. No, never. There’s no honour in spilling his own blood he thought. The blood was of the poisonous Nazrul.

After washing his hands he walked up the ascending, grassy clearings by the stream. His hands still showed traces of blood and dirt especially underneath his fingernails. He seemed to know his way in the darkness of the night. The moon wasn’t shining that bright because of the thick night clouds occasionally covering it. There was silence, no sounds of creaking crickets and not even any slight gust of faint wind. As the green clearings became level, he stopped at a spot with no grass beside a huge rain tree, pokok pukul lima. Apart from the tree, there was only a slight hump of fresh, moist, red earth on the grassless ground. It was a grave, obviously a recently made grave.

He grabbed a folded steel chair from its resting place by the tree trunk. There were also a hoe and an axe somewhere under the tree in the darkness. He unfolded the chair, placed it beside the grave and sat on it.

For a few minutes he was sitting silently, adding to the ghostly silence of the eerie place. He didn’t move. It was when the sky cleared and the moon showed its beam that he began to talk. But no one was there to listen.

“Nazrul was dangerous to us!”

“His mouth was poisonous!” “His mouth was poisonous!”

“Every words coming out of his mouth, darkens the hearts of whoever listening!”

“Every sentence he said turned people into evil!”

“Yes, I brought him to this place!”

“Yes, I knocked him unconscious at the back of his head with the hoe!”

“And yes, I chopped his limbs off with the axe!”

“Now he’s dead. Now he’s dead. He’s underground, unable to speak again!”

“His mouth was poisonous!” “His mouth was poisonous!”

“Now he’s unable to speak again!”

The scene was like Smeagol talking to his alter ego, Gollum in the Lord of the Rings. With the grin and the facial expression, he suddenly burst into a forced laughter, unable to actually feel the triumph of his recent feat.

He eventually stopped laughing but the grin was still on his face. His grin and his eyes were those of evil and darkness.

*****

“Bang!”, somebody suddenly banged the top of his office cubicle table. He was startled and came back to his senses.

“Hoi! You’ve been daydreaming eh?!”

“Where’s the Incident Report I told you to do? It should’ve been on my desk 10 minutes ago!”

“And why is it I see there’s less service tickets assigned to you compared to others this month?!”

“Also why is it I see there’s less emails from you compared to others?!”

“Are you doing your job or not?!”

“You want me to report you to the big boss? Remember the Incident Report, A.S.A.P or else!”

That person then walked away. Half of the office floor heard what has been said, including the bang on the table.

“Ohhhhh… Nazrul is still alive!” “Nazrul is still alive!”

“His mouth is poisonous!” “His mouth is poisonous!”

*****

In the trunk of his car, there was a folded steel chair, a hoe and an axe. It was already 6:05PM and Nazrul was in the distance, walking towards him.

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P/S
Maybe you could smile a little bit more? or don’t? or whatever. It’s up to you actually.

The other night Faris told me that I looked like a homeless busker. I’m pretty sure he was referring to my hair and beard. Truth be said, I kinda liked that look. An artistic look, I kept on telling myself. A day before I met up with Faris, I was at a Malay wedding and I was wearing a checked, long sleeved shirt (sleeves rolled up above the elbow), tight jeans and sneakers, and of course the early Kasabian-ish hair-do and beard. The official wedding photographer at the right time and at the right place exclaimed, Monoloque is here!”, while snapping a few shots of me, and only me. People noticed. I felt good.

But I was too lazy to care about my hair; it has always been that way since I was young. Shampoo had always been Selsun Blue Normal and hair cream had always been L’Oréal Out Of Bed. Those were the only chemicals I applied to my hair for the last six years. It’s either that or nothing at all. Sleeping at night was a hairy nightmare even if there’re no real nightmares (apart from the “haunting” thingy-lah!).

To cut the story short, two days ago, under certain irrelevant circumstances, I went to the barber and cropped my hair short. What was left on my head was no longer than a third of an inch of hair. I’ve also trimmed my beard and my face was eventually less scruffy (I maintained the word “scruffy” to preserve the machoistic vibe of this story). I didn’t really give any long thoughts before the trip to the barber. At the end I was kinda like freaked out with the end result but the moment I stepped out of the barber’s door, I felt good.

When I arrived home, my brother looked at me and bluntly sneered, “You look like fucking Samantha Ronson, fresh out of rehab!”. I grabbed the dirty laundry basket and threw it at him. Under the pile of dirty socks and underwears, I could still hear his muffled sardonicism, “The butch is off the leash, the butch is off the leash!”. Damn it!

Yesterday, on the first day of work with my new do, Kugs was the first person I met and the first thing he uttered was, “Did you just got out from prison?”. All I can say is, it was a horrendous day at the office. Colleagues were having a sarcastic field-day making fun of me. I just couldn’t wait to get out of there. Fortunately, at 3:00PM, Akaz wanted to meet up after work in KLCC with the rest of the gang; myself, Jim and Sailam. It was good news to anticipate.

*****

The gang was more open and accommodating, just as I expected. No hairy comments whatsoever. Half a mug of latte later, I excused myself for a while to take a piss downstairs. KLCC concourse level was as always, crowded with people; different sorts of people. After relieving myself at the public men’s room between Maybank and the row of ATM machines, I could see a gorgeous, Caucasian woman walking briskly towards me. She was a blonde, wearing a modern camisole, an Arafat scarf around her neck and a low-cut cargo pants. Out of all people on the concourse level, she stopped in front of me.

“I’m lost. Could you help me get out of here?” she asked in her German accent, or Austrian, or whatever you like it to be. Her face has distress written all over.

“Where do you want to go?”, I asked.

“I don’t want to go to the fountains. I don’t want to go to the LRT station”, she replied.

“Then I assume you want to go to the main entrance of KLCC?”, I asked again.

“Jå, jå. Yes, yes. Show me the way please”, she begged. Her eyes were droopy with hope.

“Here, hold my hand and I’ll walk you there”, I offered her my hand and she grabbed hold of it.

We walked across the sea of people, toward the huge elevators behind the centre court exhibition area. Her hand was still grasping mine as we reached the escalators in between Zara and Topshop. As we were ascending the escalator, I managed to eventually restart our conversation, “You were down there for quite a while, out of all the good people down there, you asked me for directions.”, i smirked.

“Well, it’s simple actually. You have the nicest face.”, she smiled. Her hand was still grasping mine, this time tighter.

*****

Malaysians sometimes have no sense of style. Hmmph!