Sabtu, Mei 14, 2011

They Must Eat

Mat is a 27 years old sawo matang skin coloured Malay zombie. A typical Romero zombie would walk the earth to feed on human brains. But Mat has a different purpose. He’s here to settle his student loan – PTPTN.

From his grave in Sungai Besi, Mat walk slowly with his rotten calf to the nearest local bank in Salak Selatan. He was laid to rest last week (hence the skin tone). It took him six days to mangle free from his kain kapan and another day to dig out of the grave. It rains heavily thus in a way helps Mat to reach the surface quicker.

As Mat walk along the highway, an empty cab passes by. Mat has no intention of getting the cab. It was around 7:20 PM (Mat knows this from the subdued Maghrib prayer call). Surely out front there will be a traffic jam.

Mat takes a left turn into an abandoned kaki lima. It looks as if it was burned down by some ah longs. There is a sense of coercion. Further up the stairs a local bank come into sight. Mat owed RM20,000. In his bank account there was RM5,000 as he remembered. It was Mat first royalty from his best selling novel entitled Cinta.
“Sorry sir, the bank is closed,” says a handsome Nepalese guard.
Mat tries to say something but his jaw won’t move.
“But you can use the ATM over there.”
Mat nod and walks towards the ATM.
“Thank you sir.”
But Mat did not have his ATM card. What should he do? As Mat tries to think with his decomposed brain, an Aston Martin DB9 appears. A well-dressed Tan Sri walks out from the bank. Tan Sri sees Mat and stops walking. He turns back and says something to the Nepalese guard. The Nepalese guard walks towards Mat. He pushes Mat away from the ATM. Mat tries to stand his ground but his weak calf does not permit him. Poor Mat falls into a drain. He almost passes out.
“What have you done?” Tan Sri says to the Nepalese guard.
“No? I asked you to tell this young boy to come to me. Why on earth did you push him?”
“Why do you want to be near him? He’s a stranger.”
“I want to talk to him.”
“Talk? Huh…”
“Are you jealous?”
“What did you just say?”
“You are jealous aren’t you?”
“Say what you want, I’m outta here.”
“What about your OT? You need it.”
Somehow Mat was caught up in the middle of an inter-class, inter-national, same-sex relationship.
“Poor boy… let me help you.”
Tan Sri and his Malay driver help Mat out of the drain. His right calf is broken.
“This doesn’t look good. I’ll bring you to my house and we’ll get a private doctor.”
“But Tan Sri, this car only have two seats.”
“It’s okay, he can take the boot.”
“But Tan Sri, he’s our guest. Let me be in the boot.”
“Are you sure?”
“For you Tan Sri, I’ll do anything.”
“Okay then.”
With the driver locked in the boot, Mat drove Tan Sri to his house in Sri Hartamas. It is an automatic transmission car. Mat uses his healthy left foot to push the acceleration paddle. The Aston Martin moves swiftly in the emergency lane avoiding the law-abiding traffic jam. It took 20 minutes for Mat to reach Tan Sri’s house.

The façade of the house looks like a retaining wall in West Bank. It is artistically layed assymetrical so it has a post-modern sensibility. An Indonesian maid helps Mat enter the house. A red steel spiral staircase becomes the main attraction of the living hall. It has a semi-void quality as of those serambi in a traditional kampung houses.
“Don’t worry son, a doctor will help you in a minute,” said Tan Sri as he walk up the spiral staircase.
Mat was put on a steel table under a heavily ornate chandelier. It feels like a combination of a hospital and a hotel.

Mat feels grateful. He will ask Tan Sri to payoff his student loan with his savings. With Tan Sri’s kind generosity, Mat might as well settle his RM15,000 debt. Mat will do anything as the Malay driver in the boot did.

As Mat dreams on, Tan Sri and Datin sit next to him. On his right side, a young Eurasian couple in love (possibly brothers and sisters) sat. They say their prayer while the Indonesian maid stands in one corner. A grandfather clock chimes at 8 PM. Mat feels itchy.

The boy starts to slice Mat’s knee while Datin slices up his thigh; the girl slices Mat’s shoulder while Tan Sri works on his forehead. As Brahms fills the atmosphere, the Indonesian maid pours a glass of red wine for each of them. Tan Sri talks about his future plan as he slice open Mat’s skull. He uses a straw to suck all the juices from Mat’s brain (the action looks as one working on a ‘gearbox’ soup.) The girl chews Mat’s shoulder as Datin tries a whole piece of Mat’s undead penis. But then the boy stopped eating, as he was busy chatting through his iPad 2.

Ridhwan Saidi