I was driving home from work today when Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ was playing on the radio. If the car could steer itself I would’ve closed my eyes and I would be in the passenger seat of a red Honda Charade. It’ll be 7am and I will be in my blue and white baju kurung. Every morning the same thoughts and imagination will play in my head: if only I’m on my way to the airport so I can leave this place. I will go to school only to wait for recess so I could sit by the drain with my friends. We’d dig up an ant hole, hoping to find something bigger, the queen perhaps. In the midst of probing the earth, we’d exchange ideas of what could happen if we were suddenly taken away in a helicopter and flown off to another location. We didn’t really care where, as long as it was not here.
I’m not much of a morning person, the times when I wake up earlier than 8.30am are usually when the bladder beckons. But lately I’m enjoying these sleep interruptions as they give me an excuse to lean on the window and stare out on the road I used to take to school. The sky is right, the colours are blue and yellow, the weather is cooling and the birds still sing the same song. And to my limited senses, the lingering scent of carbon monoxide only speaks of one colour—school bus orange.
Seven years later, the red car is sold off and I’ve not worn a baju kurung since. We don’t see each other much these days but I’d like to believe that in our own ways, we’re still digging the ant hole, hoping to chance upon something bigger. Something bigger than ourselves.