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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Wal Asri

Been hacking up blood and phlegm all night. Went to Damansara Specialist yesterday and I was told a surface vessel burst from intense heat in my throat. Running a slight fever and I've got a migraine you wouldn't believe. My doc wanted me to be warded overnight for observation but I told him I had it under control. Just needed to soak in a tub for a bit, bring my body temperature down.

My brother, the Derrow, had always lived under my shadow. Wherever he went, they would say "aren't you so-and-so's brother?". He was a sweet kid when he was little. I guess being treated like a non-person but merely an extension of someone else can mess with your mind a bit.

Due to a genetic quirk I happened to inherit from my mother's side of the family, I can only think in pictures. So, when I was younger, instead of writing thank-you notes to my grandparents for a prezzie I received on my birthday, I would draw them a storyboard. A crude version of the sort we used in advertising but it was a storyboard nonetheless.

My brother could draw too. When I was 12, I quit drawing completely. Why should I steal someone else's thunder? That's one of the first things you learn when you're a first-born kid with younger siblings. Besides, I could write pretty well. Descriptive writing is what they call my style. It's like vivid images are trying to escape out of these tightly justified paragraphs. Like a bird within a cage trying to burst free.

I couldn't read until I was 6. From age 3 onwards I would lug around heavy books (mostly encyclopedias with big bright pictures in them) and study them intensely even though the words had no meaning to me. When asked what I was reading by a family member, I would proceed to concoct a wonderful story based on the colour of the cover. I learned to read in 2 days just before classes started for primary school standard one. I don't recall much of what happened but I know that it was just me and my dad and a lot of pain. I didn't need the physical pain, to be quite honest. It was the disappointment that came with the blows that spurred me to learn how to read. Until today, I still don't read properly. The internal filter within me is flawed or enhanced, depending on how you look at it.

I think in pictures but for the love of my brother I choose to write my thoughts out instead.

When I was 9, my father got sick and tired of my brother and I feuding so he handed us both switches and told us to tear into each other. I did it for about 2 minutes before I tired of seeing the blood and welts on my brother's body. He whacked me for about a good 12 minutes. My paternal grandmother and my mother stood onlooking, horrified. I could take a beating. I always could. It's love that ends up doing you in, like John Coffee said in the Green Mile. "He killts them with love, boss. It was love that killts them".

When I was 23, my brother was going through his angry young man phase. It culminated with him hammering my head with a CPU casing one day because I was tying up the phone line trying to download something. My only thought at the time was, "shit, I hope the download went through". Got my uncle to throw him in jail for a day to cool off.

Could I have taken him? That's neither here nor there, is it? I love him more than life itself. He's my brother. And this is what older brothers do. Mengalah. Give in. Pretend you're dumber and weaker than you are to make number 2 look good. Because you can take it. Your ego isn't as fragile. You were and are the firstborn child.

But the firstborn must always know never let his siblings know until they're ready to accept the truth. Reveal it not to harm but to be of benefit. I write this not to speak to my brother but to another.

We are but mirrors to each other. The more enlightened a man's soul is, the clearer the image he reflects. That is why there are men (oftentimes called pirs or walis) who make others weep for they see both the filth within their own soul and the potential for greatness, for ridhwan.

What does ridhwan mean? I take it to mean God is pleased. When you eat, He is pleased, so the food is pleasing to you. When you sleep, He is pleased, and the sleep is pleasing to you. The mark of God, similar to that worn by the biblical Cain but not with the same intent.

Who is student? Who is teacher? Does it really matter?

There are those who call me Gabriel in this current incarnation of reality. In Judeo-Christian lore, Gabriel is the angel of the lost, who walks the darkness with a candle, bringing those who stray back to the path. His sign is that of the lilly. In Islamic theosophical thought, Gabriel (or Jibrael) is the Messenger of God, who brings enlightenment (Nur) to Mankind.

For I was a treasure waiting to be found and I created Mankind to discover me.

Do not be like the Imam and the whore. Do not say, but be.

People often misunderstand why I play chess because I play it so horribly. I play chess not to win but to pass the time.

But these are all stories, bai. Hanya kiasan. The answer to the question is what is the question?

Wake up O ye who slumbers. Demi Masa, sesungguhnya manusia itu dalam kerugian...

What we hate in others is often what we hate in ourselves.

A lie cannot be the truth. That is Zoroastrian thinking, my friend.

And that is all I have to say on this subject.

1 Farts in the Wind:

Anonymous Deunan Knute said...

CPU Casing? I thought is was a modem? A USR Sportster 28.8Kbps modem to be exact! ... or something like that..

10:01 PM  

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