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Friday, November 30, 2018

Humour is my Lestrange Vault

(Written while still waiting outside on my own for the doctors to make a decision about dad.) 

29 November. It's 4.28pm. We've been here since 7.45am. It was supposed to be a short appointment with the nephrologist.  But he noticed the blood in my dad's urine (ayah has been wearing a cath since he was discharged from the hospital in Shah Alam last week), and asked us to go to the ER.  

It was only a few months ago that my dad was happy as a clam, climbing the tall mangosteen tree at age 70 like the monkey man that he is.  Then boom.  He got ill, wouldn't eat,  found infection in his blood and now here we are. 

I make jokes all the time.  I joke about how annoying he is at taking his pills, I joke about his memory that has been deteriorating since he got ill,  I joke about how mum pesters me too much.  I even made a joke with him about the colour of his urine,  that sometimes it looks like lemonade,  sometimes like fresh orange,  sometimes watermelon. 

Today,  it's the colour of Pepsi.

But the jokes,  they're the jar that kept the key in.  Because if I let the key out and unlock the drawer inside my mind,  everything will flood out and multiply.  You remember in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when the trio tried to get the Helga Hufflepuff's Cup from Bellatrix Lestrange's vault and Hermione accidentally knocked over a gold bangle in there and it multiplied? One by two,  two by four,  four by eight? Those are the things that I kept locked inside, worried that it would fall down on the floor and multiply. 

Humour is all I have. Humour is my biggest asset.  Thinking about what race your doctor is (who looks like a Filipino actor but has a name that sounded Thai) while he copies your dad's medical history kinda make it less overwhelming for me. Finding humour in the fact that the ER has six odd situations (let me get to that later) makes the migraine that I felt from standing so long inside a packed room of doctors and nurses and patients less unbearable.

The truth is, negativity overwhelms. The past six months have been overwhelming. This year should have been THE year, you know. Turkey was supposed to be the beginning of an awesome year. I was supposed to make a writing comeback, we're gonna go do our umrah, I was gonna make more money to repair my mum's kitchen, it would all be dandy. But it went downhill from there. I lost one third of my secured freelance job because of the "advent of technology". My siblings were faced with illnesses and financial woes. My mum added hypertension to her diabetes, then my cat got hit by a car and nearly lost his ability to walk. Then my dad suddenly got ill, lost his appetite, and now we're here.

Through it all, humour was my source of solace, though sometimes people thought that my jokes were just me being whiny about my dad's illness. I did an online questionaire about depression and was diagnosed mildly depressed, which is mildly depressing. Haha. 

All my life, I wanted nothing more than to satisfy. Not mediocrity, just satisfaction (that's another discussion). Not to be the number one writer in Malaysia, just to be satisfied when people send me messages about how my book cheered them up in times of trouble. Not to be the richest person in the world, just to be able to satisfy my family's needs. Not to be best most pious person in the world, just enough to satisfy God and win His love. To be satisfied, is to be jack of all trades, master of none.

But it's hard. It's getting harder, still. Sometimes, I couldn't help but ask, why some people always gets everything so easily and yet always whining about things, when it has always been hard for me - I got into SMKAKS in my third try. I got into IIUM without anyone's help. I worked my hardest to earn my lecturer's attention only to get it in my fourth year after taking five courses with him... when nobody could stand even one (yes, I know. I have a thing for melting ice). I was rejected by Alaf 21, and climbed my way back to it. I was turned down by one employer after another until Cinema Online accepted me (which is why I would always defend Chinese and Indian companies when being confronted by people calling them racist. Because THEY were the first ones who saw me for what I can be). A failed business broke me, but I scratched my way back. And the fall feels more painful each time, but the climb makes it more exhilarating.

In the words of my best friend Mun, this is usually the part in a romantic movie where the protagonist would book a flight and leave everything behind. Maybe go to Turkey again, find love and happiness under the Cappadocia sky. But in reality, life is more like a horror movie - you know your house is haunted and the ghosts are trying to kill you, and yet you couldn't leave because of the mortgage.

But then again, maybe to those living with hardship, I am that whiny bish.

(finally warded at 7.15pm)