When Fanny came she cried. And she would not stop crying. There were moments when she was the baby she was meant to be, other times she screamed and screeched all day and night. We were lucky to get two hours of silence in a day. And you still ignored her, and me. I bleed, and she cries. I cry but she does not bleed. She suckles and she bites. Anxious, angry, turbulent and calm passes in under two minutes. I thought, I kept thinking amidst the clamour and the riot.
Bruised and purple. I bundle her up. I can hear you in the other room, with your woman for Monday. I take some chocolate bars, no money and a picture of you. Don't think I don't care for you. You may never have, but I did. I do this for her. I lost me, when I submited myself that evening, so long ago to your care. I will not loose her too. So I bundle her up, and start walking.
I am numb again. In my head, I see mental pictures of your face. In anger, striking out at Monday girl. Or will you only notice me gone when you find there is no dinner on the table waiting for you. Will it take longer, or will I only be able to get to the corner of the road before you drag me back, my fingers digging into the tar road. I calculate. And I know, you won't find me gone for awhile.
Her curls, that curve and ripple around her face, in steps and layers. Her perky nose, turned somewhat strangely upwards at the tip giving her a comic clown like disposition. Cafe late coloured skin, and thick pink lips. And her eyes, a dam storing enough water to cry through the night, and the day till the next day's morning.
Yet she is mine, the only thing that ever will belong to me. She is not somebody else's child like him. When in her anger she bites me, or scratches, I feel pain and I want to help her. Help her understand this world isn't a clock, it doesn't run in directions, it doesn't have any other purpose but to survive. And her anger and her disdain at the bark of the stray dog or even a sudden gust of wind brushing her face, is uncalled for, and in vain.
So when I've travelled far enough, from the place of my death, to rest I look at her face. Glad she's at peace, no longer tormented by the demon.
After about a day's travel through the padi fields and the hot sun, we came to meet a procession. It had been some time since I had been amongst a crowd of people, and the drums that beat and the blowing pipes tell me that it's a happy ocassion this crowd in celebrating. I hold Fanny close to me, afraid she'll start wailing, and with no hurry I join these people.
I know that they will take me to a road, and I know I'll feel less alone.All through the day's walk, my head remembered nothing of him. It didn't not look forward, I didn't have time to wonder what happens now. I just kept walking, and I now keep walking with numerous people. They do not notice me, a stranger amongst them.
Those that beat the drums, are busy balancing their sticks, sticking to the beats and wiping their faces off sweat from the sultry afternoon heat. Those accompanying them, and me, in the crowd, mind their children, while those in their early adulthood outline the borders of the procession with a frenzied dance.Three nights I followed the path of the procession. I do not remember the days, I do not remember stopping. Some where in this dream I lost Fanny.
Those curls would return to haunt me.
When I awoke from this travel without a destination, I found myself lying out cold in a ward. Blue steel beds and mattresses lined against the walls.My throat felt parched, and my lips had cracked. My hands were tied to the steel head of the bed, and I found a dripper with saline attached to my wrist. I looked around in my limited movement both ways, I was alone. My memory struggled to understand what had transpired from my last moment of consciousness to now. I could not distinguish what was a dream and what was reality. And for the first time in a long time, I was scared.