Why I Could've Been a Better 6-year-old
December 20, 2012

When I was a child, I used to ask the adults around me this question,

"Why are you so tired?"

This includes my uncles and aunts whom I saw a lot at the time. My parents would drop me and my little brother at our grandparents’ place in the morning so we were always there to see people going in and out of the house for work. And they looked tired all the time.

I would often continue, 

"Why are you so tired? You go to the office -- which has air-conditioning all day -- sit on your desk, eat lunch, sit on your desk, and come back. I'm the one who’ve been running in the hot sun since morning. Shouldn’t I be the one lying flat in front of the TV refusing to take myself to the playground instead?"

As you can see, this conversation took place later in the afternoon, when they’d just got back from work, and the last thing they wanted was a kid to pester them endlessly. But I was six, and I had the empathy of a guillotine executioner. Plus to a 6-year-old, spending eight hours in an air-conditioned environment is no excuse to be tired.

So these days whenever I come back from the office, after an entire day of meetings and 17 hours in traffic, practically crawling into the house and onto the couch, I often look back to this period of my childhood and tell myself,

"I hate you."


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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

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