:: Wednesday Morning, Five AM ::
The five hour conversation with L ended past four, almost five.
We left the kayu prata shop. We took a few steps.
And then he latched onto another topic and started talking, again.
His left held a packet of beehoon goreng he lovingly bought for his wife.
His right articulated his point of view.
We then bade farewell in the light drizzle and he drove away.
I have always found L to be loquacious and then, a little bit more.
Tonight, though, I caught a glimpse of the soul.
Over teh tarik, L shared with us his experience during his varsity days in London.
L recollected his first trip, during the eighties, to a HIV camp where patients waited to die.
He donned a protective suit, complete with a mask and glove.s
"I went in to shake their hands," he recounted.
"But as I left the camp, my friend told me not to return anymore."
"My friend told me that the patients felt more uncomfortable than I was, and then I realised."
L then went back again, as himself, and gave every patient a tight hug.
"A few weeks later," he added, "while I was playing the piano in the hall, the patients started talking about the stranger in the protective gear that ostracized them."
"I stood up, and told them I was the one."
"I apologized," he confessed.
I was moved.
I was moved by the fact that he realised.
I was moved by the fact that he realised, and then, apologized, when he could have chosen anonymity.
That made him a different person, now, to me.
As I stood, in the light drizzle, waiting for a cab, an old song came back to me.
There's a new world somewhere
They call The Promised Land
And I'll be there some day
If you will hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I'll never find another you
Its that warm fuzzy feeling again.