…Finally, their eyes met. Mother became very quite. As the little girl
reached the head of the line…"
I think I am very lucky. I can't handle the sight of blood. Especially
in large quantity. It might be my curse and I have been this way as long as I can remember. I shiver every time I listen to bloody tales of wars or horrifying accidents. Once, when I was watching 'Resident Evil' with my friends, I nearly fainted in the cinema's toilet. As I was watching the movie, I felt cold sweats stating to appears all over my face. It was a scene with solders trapped in a hallway. Lasers slowly scanned through it and diced the poor solders to small pieces.
My lips were bloodless. My head was so light, it can be anywhere but attached to my neck. I know it was a mistake, but it was just a movie. It wasn't even real. I was legless all the way to the toilet and sat on the toilet bowl and stayed there for a while. It was dumb and I'd already missed a quarter of the movie when I came back. Din kambing think I was weird. "Hek eleh, kau ni lembik la." I do, sometime forget about this problem I had and that day I spend the rest of the day watching the movie with my baseball cap covering my eyes, peeking through scenes. It was my worse movie experience ever.
I'd first noticed about this when I was in primary school. It was Saturday and I was on my way for a football practice. I was quite active back then, the top fullback in Zone Tiram. Even made captain of the team. I don't have any special technique or have I ever think I am a good footballer. I think I was made captain because the other stars of the team are not even Malaysian. Majority of our players were Cambodian immigrants. The secret to be a good defender was a brutal, wholesome tackle. Of course back then harsh tackle doesn't mean an
automatic booking or a red card. And don't ever passed the ball back to fellow team mates 5 feet away from you, just sent it into the other's team penalty box. Don't worry about where it going to end-up, just let the striker do the running. It was no small feat and I still think that was the height of my football carrier. I could not bend the ball as beautiful as in 1990, though. Well, I have to take a taxi from Taman Bikut Tiram to school and as I was walking from my house to wait for taxi, a sudden pain made me checked my foot and found a thick piece of broken glass stuck to my right feet. A piece from the green Kikapo bottle. Blood was turning black and my left slipper was soaking wet. I took the glass out and realized that suddenly I wasn't feeling
too well. I laid on the backseat of the taxi and spend another half an hour lying on the wooden bench inside the small office at the taxi stand.
"Kau ni dah kenapa? Nampak macam demam. Dah pergi klinik Govind?"
"Tak tau la bang. Tadi okay je. Tak pasal-pasal macam nak pitam." I
still had my hand on my face. My cheek was so cold, my lips were numb.
"Kaki kau pulak ni apahal? Kau tak boleh tenguk darah kot."
Since then, everything was never the same again. My mother and my wife love to tease me and show even the smallest wound they had to me first before treating it. Just to see my reaction. I'm not afraid of blood. I can look at it but I know in a minute or so I will feel drowsy and
light headed. It is kind of stupid and silly. But I don't know what cause this and how to control this feeling.
But there were also time when the sight of goriness and blood doesn't have the slightest impact on me. My late father had to be hospitalized for nearly a year because of his serious illness. We had been to various kinds of hospitals around town and Melaka and I never had a problem hanging out with other patients even though they had tubes coming out from every hole on their body. I knew this uncle that was involved in an automobile accident. His condition was bad with broken bones and nasty scars. Physically, he was a mess. He was admitted to the hospital with little hopes of fully recovered or ever walked again. Wheelchair-bound, he'd refused to put give up and in a couple of months, he was back on his feet. Hospital, to me a place of many miracles, with good doctors plus some crappy ones that really give the occupation a bad name. And there was this time during hari raya korban that I took pictures of a cow being slaughtered and cut all the way to the last piece. Only after we had finished distribute the meat to everyone that I remembered I never ever seen a cow being slaughtered before. I couldn't not handle it.
There are downsides being this way but there are also many advantages. Media, such as newspapers and television often carry gruesome news about wars from all over the world. Some with horrid details, it just unbearable to watch. The cost of a human life doesn't look that expensive or important at some places, like Iraq and Afghanistan. To live is just a matter survival and perseverance. Luck and fate. Lives are so disposable, nobody even cries for it anymore. The image of children and women, lying hopeless with wound that will never heals.
Love one lost and lives divided by different believes and ideology. It sometime hard to believe in a where everything is possible, it is still impossible to stop wars, that can easily be avoided with
tolerance and understanding.
We can only imagine what it would be like to live in thee time of war. My late grandfather, the great storyteller has many tall and heroic tales about the wars. Brothers and sisters and mothers were parted during this time. He heard and seen friends lost their family member
in the most horrible way. Rice was a luxury. Khaki shorts and dirty boots. Anyone that were found to be defiance to the Japanese will have their head cut-off. Until today, the spirit of the Japanese solders that died during the war roams the wooden Islamic school, in front of
my grandfather's house. I don't know if this is true or not but it did feel scary whoever I looked out the front window in the middle of black, moonless night. I would sat in front of him with mouth wide open. Green and red. The teal and turquoise of that day. Pail looking Japanese men with small eyes and carefully trimmed hair rounding up town on foot or bicycle. No one even dare to stare back through their cold eyes and answer everything with 'hait' and a small and quick bow.
Majority of the time, wars were started by crazy leaders with personal vendettas and greed, rather than anything else. It is wrong, no matter how you look at it.
"Finally, their eyes met. Mother became very quite. As the little girl reached the head of the line, she look at the plate, the food and in a flash broke out of the line and rushed into Mother's arms.
"The need for affection, to be held by the arms of this mysterious woman, had surpassed, for that short moment, her need for survival."
That was lines from Audrey Hepburn's new book by his son Sean Hepburn Ferrer. I think I am very lucky, I may never be a doctor and save lives but I rather see red as the color of the beautiful roses then the color of meaningless bloodbath.