Image credit: Sean T. Collins

 

***This post contains excessive vulgarities. If you can’t handle it, it is highly recommended that you DO NOT attempt to read this post. 

59-years-ago my forefathers lowered the Union Jack just so that you and I can sit in a packed train that takes us to skyscrapers where we, dressed in our John Master long-sleeved buttoned up shirts, clock in to work at an air-conditioned office fitted with a tiny pantry with endless supply of Milo and oats, gazing into a black box, sifting through confusing words and complex numbers for eight hours straight, day in and day out, and then we clock out and sit in the same packed train to go back home to do the same thing over again the next day.

Happy Independence.

And then when we return home and turn on the television, we chance on a news segment where the Prime Minister tells us that we should be grateful for the freedom and security we have and we must respect the elders, obey the leaders, heed the words of a god who demands us to not laugh too much, not joke at all, not draw cartoons and satire, not write poems and stories that are deemed controversial, not wear skirts – especially short revealing ones – just do nothing except take the packed train again tomorrow because you and I have to foot the bill to watch him tell us what to do through the screen at night.

“Appreciate the freedom you have,” he says as a grin plays on his lips and you and I know that he is not talking about our freedom.

Oh, no, no, no.

While you and I are onboard the packed train he will be on his jet plane to golf with the President before taking a detour to Paris for a short sightseeing trip and then ending it in the north to shop for a bunch of Birkin bags for his wife and probably get a jab on his face in Thailand.

He is not talking about our freedom.

While he does that our train stalls and we have to get off – all thousand of us stranded under the drizzle of rain while he sits in his air-conditioned office looking at his bank statement, smiling at himself because he just made another million. And another. And another..

He is talking about his own freedom.

And while you and I rush feverishly to find an alternative transport to go to work, our managers are wondering where the hell you and I are – it’s 9.15am and you’re never this late because the manager’s bootlicking superior said no one should be late because the bigger superior wants to instill productivity as the biggest superior hates delays and doesn’t want to be answerable to super superior who reports to.. well, turn off the television.

Let’s start once more.

Take a deep breath. See that remote? Tap on the red button.

Fuck him.

It’s 9.15am, so what? Some place else it’s still 9am. The other side of the world is 9pm.

Why the hurry? The world is not your’s or mine to take anyway. It never was for the taking. Never was.

So, what’s the rush?

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

Let’s start once more, you and I say to ourselves as we step into a puddle of water, ruining the brown Polo shoes.

But it doesn’t matter to us. It doesn’t. So you and I remove the shoes and chuck it in the nearest bin and walk barefooted to a Mamak to grab a warm glass of teh tarik.

And just then your manager calls you. He is wondering where you are.

Obviously. He is in a rush because it’s 9.30.

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

You and I don’t answer the phone. We’re too busy drinking tea. The waiter comes along and you order yourself a plate of pisang goreng.

Moments later, your superior calls you. Now he is in a rush too.

We don’t pick up the phone. I’m too busy having breakfast.

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

You and I are done with the breakfast and we order another glass of teh tarik. As you light the cigarette, the bigger superior drops you a WhatsApp message.

“Where you?” His message reads. The message is brief, clear and concise, exactly the way they want the ad you’ve been working on to be.

You and I don’t reply. I’m too busy smoking a cigarette.

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

And then you’re done and you pay up and you and I walk and we walk as long as we can walk home.

Halfway through crossing the road, you get a phone call from the biggest superior.

You and I don’t answer it. We don’t entertain phone calls while driving and crossing roads.

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

You and I reach home and the television is turned off. And we remove our clothes and plop onto the sofa naked and stare at the ceiling.

Moments later, you whip out your phone and discover an email from the manager CCing everyone right from his superior to the bigger superior to the biggest superior to the super superior.

“I tried calling you so has everyone else. You have a task pending today. No excuses. Where are you??”

And do you know what I reply?

Nothing.

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

Fuck everything.

We scratch our balls and sniff our fingers. Then we draw and paint. Naked.

We’re now truly free and independent. No need for a fucking flag to define this feeling of exhilaration. No need for a god to make us feel guilty. No need for a manager to manage us.

You and I, we’re done.

Fuck him. Fuck them. Fuck this.

It’s just you and me now.

Let’s see him count his notes.

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