Here lies my favourite pair of Berms. 2011-2013. Torn while on a cab.
You have served me well these two years, been to different countries with me, and unwittingly forced to kiss different types of pants while we were struggling on the crowded bus... Oh man... Those days, those memories.
Today was probably your worst though. Today has been cruel to you.
First you were stranded in Jurong with me while we tried to get a cab in the evening rush hour. No cab at all for an hour and you were starting to stink from the long day of shoot. I prayed to God for a cab, afraid that we were going to be late for the evening sharing at Food For Thought (FFT) about While You Were Sleeping. Oh man... and to think you were there with me when I first gave out snacks and cards to strangers too for the initiative.
Anyway, I prayed for a cab and it appeared within a minute. Excited, I rushed to the cab (you were happy for me too I know), opened the door, and told the taxi uncle I was going to the National Museum. And then it happened. The moment I sat down in the cab, you were ripped apart. Split without mercy.
"Uncle, I think you go to Bukit Panjang instead."
The uncle sensed that something was wrong, but he didn't question the sudden change in destination.
My heart cringed as I felt my way through your fabric, still shocked by your sudden rupture. Suddenly, I felt my wallet and took it out. My heart sunk again at the idea that this might just be the last time that I'm retrieving my wallet from you. Oh how you guarded my wallet so jealousy.
As if I haven't been horrified enough, I discovered that I didn't have enough cash to pay the cab uncle.
"No nets." He said with disdain, as if it was a sin to own an ATM card.
"Sorry uncle, later you wait for me ok?"
"You make me wait I won't stop the meter one leh." Cardinal sin number 2. One should never make a cab driver wait.
When we arrived at the lobby, I apologized to the uncle and awkwardly slid out of the cab at a strategic angle. Never before have I felt so insecure and at that moment, I felt so ashamed that I have been taking you for granted. You were the soft gentleness that shielded my modesty and you were always responsible for filling the cracks (no pun intended) of my insecurity. Be certain that my underwear will miss you too.
Laying you by the side, I changed into my short house pants (you know him. He's your senior) and quickly grabbed the cash that was in my cupboard. I ran back to the cab driver and paid him. As I received my change, a sudden tug filled my consciousness. I've barely left you for a minute, could I have missed you already? Returning home, I soon learnt what that tugging feeling was all about. I had left my keys at home and a part of me was trying to make myself notice that I was going to be locked out.
Reality soon set in and I had to deal with the fact that I was still late for my sharing at the National Museum, FFT.
It never is easy to admit that you've ripped your pants to a total stranger (Thank you for being so nice about it Pearly). It's worse when you're supposed to do a sharing in fifteen minutes.
Apologetically, I explained to the contact person from FFT over the phone that I was going to have to miss my sharing session because of what happened. I felt so bad but then I thought that at least house pants was there when I made the call (I will never be sorry enough for missing the session Shiao-Yin).
The story doesn't end here. Like all tragedies, it gets better (or actually, rather, worse). While walking aimlessly with mismatched clothing, I found my keys lying on the floor at the lobby. It was the lobby where I had alighted the cab. House pants suggested that it might have dropped out of you while I was running back home. He said he knew this was a possibility because his right pocket had a hole too. I secretly think that it was that exact same right pocket hole that my keys fell out of, but having recently known what embarrassment can do, I decided to drop it and not confront house pants. Besides, one should never despise or blame the aged for their carelessness.
So I returned home and saw you lying there on my bed, ripped, torn, and slightly worn out (I never noticed how faded you looked until now). Being the good-hearted berms that you are, I knew that you would have wanted to serve me even in your death. I touched your fabric for one more time, hoping to let you know that I can never bear to use you as a rag. How can I at the turn of a moment use you to clean up the filth of my apartment?
But then I farted, and as house pants absorbed the wretched smell, he reminded me that you pants never did once let filth stop you from serving me.
"You wear the pants. You have the power to dictate our day, our week, our destiny. But more importantly, you have the power to dictate your own happiness. Never forget that," you suddenly said.
Maybe I was too stricken by the series of unfortunate events, but I swear I actually heard you speak. And then silence. And I knew, you were right.
Somehow, you had to be sacrificed to teach me the value of little things. You had to be torn to remind me that no one and no event should ever have the right to take my happiness away. You died to set me free (well... kind of.. although you'd know by going to church with me that I think only one person can truly set me free. But in our defense, you were rather holey in that moment weren't you?)
So thank you my beloved berms for teaching me to smile and laugh even when things don't go the way I want them to. I will miss you.
Once again, Shiao-yin Kuik, I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am for not being able to make tonight's session at Food For Thought. I've learnt to smile though. Haha. I hope you guys had fun with the other social initiatives sharing.