Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dusty Musty

It has been quite some time since I last came here. Like I said to Anedra and Ummi, I have become a stranger to my own blog. Coming here feels like coming into the store room of my Mak’s house in Kluang. The lighting is bad and there are too many shadows. Perfect hiding place for rodents, djinns and Jack the Rippers. *Shivers!* It smells musty, moldy with hints of mothballs. And although i don’t quite care to admit it, i thought I could smell albeit faintly – rat’s urine. Eeuww.. And don’t forget that I am treading very carefully, very quietly. I so don’t want to startle any loitering lizards. God forbids! If they fall on me, die.

But as wary as I am, as suspicious as I am of the seldom-entered room, there are things here that brings fuzzy warm memories too.

Just like Mak’s store room, rummaging through the tired boxes, there is simply no telling what things I could find. Granted, they may be junks to many, but treasures to me. Once not many years ago, I found my Buku Latihan Darjah 1. Looking at my spider-crawly huge writing I had when I was 7, I know now that it has not evolved much. My handwriting today is still as large as then. It made me smile looking at how proudly I wrote, ‘this bok belongs to Ood.’ Aaah… Possesive of my boks I sure was.

And I have also found my favourite bathing suite too. Blue and definitely THE in fashion once. Remember Audrey Hepburn? Yes, her no-less. The modest bathing suit that she would wear? Yes, with buttons and little pockets and all. But minus her perfect bulges and reduce the size to one that fit a 4 year old. And I found the Indian moccasins that Abah bought for me and my sis. Oh and we had suits too. Jacket and skirt for my ladylike sister and a miniaturised exact duplicate of Abah’s suit for me. Bathing suit Audrey-Hepburn style, Indian moccasins and the suit are now safely tucked in my kids wardrobe. Maybe one day I could force Dot into them. At the moment, she wouldn’t because my things are not pink or purple and had no pictures of Barbie or Barney.

I found a box full of letters too. I have always been an avid letter writer. In many ways, I feel emails totally kills the pleasures of letter writing. Emails are so impersonal whereas letters are more sincere, I think. Except for the bills, I kept most of the mails that came in. One day, who knows, I might be famous and I wouldn’t want to deprive the society from all trivial details about me. Yes?

There are letters that almost gave Abah a heart-attack. Example, he disapproved of one because the sender signed off as Mayat (corpse) and shouted his name all over the back of the envelope with pink highlighter. But Abah, his name IS Mayat. It was after all the 1980s, we had band groups parading around like zombies. ACDC, Ozzy and God knows what else. Being called Mayat was gory i know, but a cool gory, if that is even possible?

And there are letters that the postman disapproved too, because the sender pasted 20 pieces of one cent stamp all over the front and back of the envelope. The sender is now a teacher in Labuan. I bet now he would disapprove too. What with being a discipline teacher and all.

I still have the letters received from a pen-pal I got through the Big Blue Marble tv programme *Omid Mehdipour of Iran, heyho you!! If you are reading this, come in and say hi*. And there were also little notes of scented paper from a guy at school who was – can you believe it – leader of the pack that called themselves Kepala Anjing? For whatever reason. back during the Saturday Night Fever and then Ali Setan, being mean to girls and black jackets were very cool. Lan was one of those Travolta-wanna-be I guess. But despite the mean appearance, Loudness t-shirt and Kepala Anjing thing, he sent me baby-pink notes and signed off as ‘Your Secret Admirer, Lan’. Secret! But I know who you are what? How can?

Memories! Dusty and laden with allergen. Definitely they make me smile – in-between sneezes, of course.

Just like Mak’s store room, the spare pond in this anak ikan’s site is also unkempt. Maybe I need to spring-clean it too. Air it a bit and make sure the djinns don’t come. Or the rats. Or the lizards. Or the Rippers.