Here I am picking up on one of my favourite bloggers’ posts, Andrea Whatever, when she wrote about simple pleasures. No, I am not going to write about my simple pleasures. They are quite bland and excruciatingly dull. Just how interesting can boiling one’s guitar strings so that they will sound new be? Yeah, just about a notch or two higher than cataloguing the relative merits of blue-black inks from different manufacturers (which I thoroughly enjoy). Instead, I am going to write about the simple pleasures of a few people I know.
Case One: Ramli, a forty-something manager at a construction company, takes pleasure in staying back very late at the office even when there is nothing to do. This is how he puts it, “No, Bangkai. I am not a workaholic. You obviously don’t know my wife.”
Case Two: Rudin, a thirty-something bank-teller, has a trunk full of X-men and Ultraman figurines – and he is intent on buying more. Rudin buys them for his son (who simply adores them). Earlier on, Rudin couldn’t afford to buy these toys for him. Now that he can, he can’t see his son anymore: his son is now somewhere in America with his ex-wife. His son won’t even talk to him on the phone because he has been poisoned into thinking that his dad is a useless-good-for-nothing-bum.
Case Three: Minah, now some twenty years after-the-fact, occasionally takes out the letters (tied with a blue ribbon) that her ex-husband wrote to her while he was studying abroad and reads them to herself. Her ex- is now married to a domineering, borderline psychotic control-freak and his step-children treat him with utter contempt. However, Minah says that there is nothing wrong with still being in love with the person he used to be.
Case Four: Bidin, a retired journalist, when having dinner at home, never fails to lay out an extra setting at his dinner table. It is for his wife who passed on over thirty years ago. He has never re-married because he feels that a new wife would object to this practice.
Case Five: Edna and Steve maintain a secret private blog. They use the blog to write long, passionate love letters to each other. This is their only form of contact. They can’t ever meet or call one another. These are things their spouses would violently object to.
And before anybody says it, I’ll say it first. Yes! I have some very sad friends