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!

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