Low Blow
June 27, 2007

I have wonderful friends. But at times, they irk me to the point that I keep a barf bag handy whenever I’m around them; especially when we’re at home-hosted gatherings where small kids, and girls are around.

Apparently, one thing sets me apart from my friends. I lack the bionic superpower to sense the presence of a kid, with a cute girl no farther than 5-feet away from him/her.

More often than not, as I’m viciously filling my plate with food, one of them would already be on his way to the kid, armed with the broadest smile and widest arms no less. They couldn’t care less even if the kid was busy minding his own business with some Play-Doh.

"Ha... meh meh datang kat Abang Izzue meh... olololo... comeinye dier..."

And before I could even shove the first helping into my mouth, the kid would already be in his arms; with girls flocking around.

"Hey there! Comelnya budak ni... geram I. You’re really this nice with kids eh?"

Now if there’s a dirtier trick in the bag, it would be that of the Stiffmeister’s himself.

But why am I even complaining? It’s not rocket science. Just pick up a baby and you’ll be John Stamos in no time.

The answer lies upon a certain lady called Luck’s aversion of me.

I take my little sisters out to the movies every now and then. And I would liken my entrance into the cinema lobby to the infamous astronauts walking in a row scene from Armageddon; a scene that would flash the words hope, anticipation, desire and ambition through one’s mind.

Nevertheless, Lady Luck is quite the bitch. It’s already Shrek 3 and since Shrek 1, the closest I got was a very sweet old cleaner lady.

"Anak encik dua orang ni sekolah derjah berape?"

Man I hate my friends.



Abdul
June 12, 2007

I feel like writing about a friend of mine. His name is Abdul.

During my pre-college years in Bloomington, sometime in 2001, I volunteered to teach elementary Arabic on Sundays at the neighborhood mosque; together with my fellow course mates. We were divided into groups of twos and assigned to teach, per pair, 6 – 8 kids aged around 5 – 7. Abdul, 5, was one of my students.

Abdul is African; Senegalese if I'm not mistaken. And I believe his father was a graduate student at Indiana University at the time. His father is a really friendly guy; often seen chatting and having a laugh with the other guys after Friday prayers. Abdul, on the other hand, was Eric Cartman trapped in Charlie Brown's body.

We gave the kids some assignment to work on one day and Abdul was the only one who couldn't care less.

"Dude, why aren't you working on the paper?"

"Cause I don't want to."

"But you have to."

"Why?"

"Cause I say so."

"Why do I have to listen to you?"

"Cause I'm your teacher."

"But you're dumb."

"I know. But I'm still your teacher and older than you are. So you gotta listen to me."

"You're still dumb."

As he grabs a pencil and copy another kid's answers.

We also used to have a small assembly after class where the children would gather around, together with us, to listen to Kak Rohany, the head of the Sunday school. So, one day after giving her speech, Kak Rohany gazed upon the students and found Abdul at a corner, hugging his legs with his chin on his knees.

"Abdul, is something wrong? Is there something you'd like to say?"

Everyone looked at him for some five seconds before he opened his mouth and said...

"I love you Sister Rohany..."

"Oh my dear you're so adorable. Come here and gimme a hug."

And the room was filled with 999, 999 smiles. It was one short of a million as I was barely touched.

Once, during Ramadhan, as us Malaysians were laying on our backs around the main area of the mosque, eagerly waiting for the break of fast, Abdul came into the hall. He rolled his eyes across the room directly towards a friend of mine who was sleeping, with a cap covering his face. Nobody really cared for his presence until he took a few steps back, ran, jumped and stomped his feet onto my buddy's stomach and ran away.

My last, fondest memory of the little fella was during Friday prayer, some twenty minutes before the khutbah. I was sitting around with a few friends before Abdul appeared, walked to me and said...

"Loser, loser, loser..."

Whilst pointing his fingers right at my face. And he ran away never to be seen again.

Abdul, you're a legend.



As Seen On TV
June 03, 2007

Selamat pengantin baru sahabatku...



...thank us later.



Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

About
  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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