B

DEAR B, consider yourself my memoir. In reality you are always evading me. But here, within this line of words, you are my memoir. For you will never be able to escape until my last words are written upon your heart. Listen to me, my dear B, for you have failed to do so, all this time.
I walk upon this world B, not just as a man but also a writer. The world is a traveling book that inspires me wherever I go. I may look strange and passive, or maybe even gray in the eyes of others. However, I do not see the world as a dark curtain. Everything around me is like a blank page. Waiting to be poured words of wisdom and inspiration. But why would I choose a life of solitude and alienation? Wouldn’t it be better if I lived you’re life? Surrounded by friends and cheerfulness. Perhaps it would. But then I will be lying to myself, as a cat would pretend to be a lion.
I will tell you now, dear B, why I choose this road. It all happened on a very sunny afternoon. The sun was shining behind me as I sat near the door of my house. In my hand was a novel. A malay love novel. This might not come as a surprise to you because you have always despised my feminine side, which you consider repulsive for a man to have. Rest assure for I did not read this novel out of interest or hobby. I just wanted to answer one simple question that have been bugging at the back of my head for years, which is: why do people read popular novel? You see I used the term “popular” because malay love novels are so redundant, you can even find them at a local mini market. As I read the novel, two things came into my mind. One, this novel was crap, and people read this kind of thing as an alternative to bring out tears instead of watching soup operas – which never seems to end. Second, I realized that I wanted to write something better. From that day, my journey began, and I haven’t look back since.
However B, I do not think this brief description on me becoming a writer will be sufficient for you to understand me. Hear now some of the muse that has become part of my life.
When I was a boy, I always saw myself different from others. A bug. Like Gregor Samsa (Metamorphosis), I crawled everywhere during secondary school. Trying to find a place among the many faces that looked at me like a useless creature. I was not one of them. A city boy out of place. Even the teachers did not show any sympathy. For a parasite must stamped on. Amazingly, I survived my childhood years, and manage to go to a very respectable high school in Alor Setar. But do not think B that today I have completely transform into a creature of society. I am still a bug. Maybe part of me has evolved into the so-called ‘creature of society’, but the other half will never change. A writer never leaves his childhood days behind. It becomes his destiny.
Have you ever wanted something so badly B, that you were willing to go all the way until the end of the world? Friendship. That was what I wanted when I went to high school. To you maybe is just like picking out flowers in the garden, but to me, friendship is an adventure. In that adventure, I’m Captain Ahab searching for Moby Dick. Have you ever read Moby Dick? It does not matter. Let me tell you a story so you may understand.
It was June 2004. A friend invited me to his house because he had a confession to make. His house was very far from mine. I had to take two buses to get there. We were then sitting in his garden with two glasses of orange juice. He stayed quite for a while, and dare not look straight into my eyes. His behavior worried me because I have never seen him acting like this. After seeing my anxious face, he finally spoke up:
“I received an offer from UTM last week.”
“And?” My question was rhetorical for his words have already foreshadowed the inevitability I’m about to face.
“I shall not go to form six with you. My future is not there. I am sorry. We will stay in touch.”
“But you promised that you will follow me.”
“I know. And I am sorry.”
We did stay in touch, but things were no longer the same. So you see B, friendship to me is like Moby Dick. A whale I have been chasing all my life with passion and zeal. The obsession nearly consumes me at certain time, but I manage to carry on. Perhaps Moby Dick will forever be beyond my reach for its greatness is to big for my heart to bare. I pray to God I do not end up mad like Ahab. I have told you so far two of my muse. There is another one, and this muse gave the biggest impression in my life. The muse is you B.
When I first saw you B, you was just like another person in my eyes. I did not approach you immediately for I’m skeptical towards people. It was only when we had lunch together, I began to notice that you were someone special. You did not talk much that day, and I was enjoying my meal. However my eyes was constantly looking at you like a hawk, trying to understand your delicate nature. As time goes by, we became close, and I began to notice your dual attitude towards me. On one side, you have all the quality that any man could ever dream. You rarely portray this attitude to me for I can see that it contradicts the very person you are. As for the other side, you represent everything that I despise about life. Social expectation, gender stereotype, and idealistic form of love. It burns my heart every time I see this side of you. However, this heat that runs through my vein has inspire many of my recent works. For that, I thank you.
Lat week I was having lunch at Pizza Hut. The sky was dark as if no good news was coming that day. Then my phone began to vibrate. When I answered, I immediately recognized the voice at the other end:
“Adik, I have good news for you.” My father sound very excited.
“What news?”
“Dewan Bahasa is going to publish your short story.”
As I heard this, everything around me became silent. The only thing that was yelling was my beating heart, which said: “You done it!” I jumped in ecstasy, knowing I have succeeded with the help of my three muses.
Will I ever love you B? Perhaps no. You despise me for who I am. And I despise your dual attitude. Nevertheless, you will always be there in my heart, as a muse, that I will call upon whenever I require your voice of inspiration.

Comments

nikhalim said…
You are a natural. Keep it up.
Hi Azriq.

A friend of mine lend me DUBLIN last year and I couldn't bring myself to finish the book. I thought, it wouldn't be fair for the writer if I didn't finish his novel and so I bought a copy for myself and vow to finish them no matter how long it will take me. I discovered your blog the other day and was so happy to read all the posts here. Please keep on writing. Truly you are an interesting soul and an inspiration to me as well.

Your new fan,
Nazirah.

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