I felt numb from last night. It wasn’t a numbness in the touch, rather a numbness in the senses as a whole. Having exhausted myself yesterday, I can’t come up with sleep, so the dishes I did till it was way past midnight. Even then, after pulling the sheets over me, tucking the sides under my body and leaving the feet propped out, I still did not gather much sleep. I did slept till five in the morning, but it was as if I’d blinked, before the blink being one-ish in the morning, and after it dead five point zero. Dead, heh!
It was another early day, sending some things to my uncle’s in the house behind us for the orphanage, then chauffeuring my parents to the airport. Even then, even while behind the wheels, I still feel numb. It is as if I were in a dream. My consciousness gathered but my focus dissipated each and every time I try to garner them. A delta state of mind while awake. I drove without my usual tenacity. The usual roaring of the engine wasn’t there. Or if it was, I wholly didn’t recognize it. The drive to and from was a quite one. No conversation. No radio. Just silence. And silence needed, appropriately, it is.
I am not very good in Arabics, so it was on the back of my mind this whole time as to the true meaning of Habiba. It translates- in the simplest of English terms- into ‘Love’, but weather it is familial affection or burning desire, I can’t tell. In Malay, it would’ve been either kasih or cinta, words colloquially interchangeable and almost of the same notion, but very, very different meaning. Whatever it is, her name’s Love. And she was a gracious one, a kindhearted one, so kind it felt too sweet and sickening, yet I can’t hate it. Now, forever more.
I did my day as per usual, but I remember none the feeling of doing so. My mind’s still hazy, but I do not think I am. It only becomes apparent when I try to garner focus, to look back on today and last night that I realize I was very out of focus. Perhaps this is what they call shock? I asked myself. I do not feel shocked, but perhaps I am.
Coming back from the airport, I went to the house behind us and had a little chat with my maternal grandmother. She recounts the various in-laws she had and still have, and ponder out loud to the fate of hers and her husbands. They’ve had it done, no need to worry anymore. We still need to be prepared, she said. I think I conversed with her as per usual, but God knows what I did back then, as I hadn’t the focus to feel what I was doing this morning. Did I answered her lightheartedly, as did I yesterday? I don’t know.
I am not physically close with my paternal grandmother, but a lot of wisdom I get from her, one way or another. It always amazes me how her wisdom was never in ink and writing as she was illiterate to the end, but rather in the actions and thought. Through her wisdom is a bond binding us together, and although not having the chance to frequently visit her, I had a spiritual liking to her. She was ever so soft, her mannerism, her words, her actions, the palm of her hands, the soles of her feet. She was the kindest soul I had ever laid eyes upon, that I had ever met in person, so kind that sometimes it hurts to see her. Thank God, her suffering is no more, as also her life.
Rest in peace Nenek Haji. You will be missed, but never forgotten.
20th November 2016