I was making a 90-degree turn into the corner spot to park my car when I saw him. An uncle, probably in his mid 40s, clad in dark blue uniform, sitting alone on the railing, his back facing me. He didn’t bother to look back to see who had parked. He kept his eyes looking ahead. I looked around. Nobody but him around the parking lot area. I left anyway.
2 hours later when me and LD got back to our car, we (I) saw him again. Sat alone on the railing, his back on us. Shifted a bit in his sitting position I noticed. Then I saw, as I got into the car and caught a sight of him at side view, him took off his glasses and wipe the lens vigorously with his uniform shirt, then put them back on, slide up to the bridge of his nose. And he continued watching. Waiting for his working hour to pass for what seem like eternity.
He must be lonely. A family of 6 to feed maybe. Kids to school, bills to pay. But he must be lonely on the job. But that’s life, people say.
I left the building struggling with this weird feeling. Was it plain apathy or some hypocritical compassion on display?
On a separate occasion, one morning I got out from the car parked near an automobile service shop, was walking on my way to workplace when a boy slightly younger than me approach me out of the blue and mumbled something incoherent. I caught his speech in between the lines of ‘cuci kereta’ and ‘RMsomeamountIcan’tremember untuk satu bulan’. I shooked my head and said ‘tak nak’ (no) and smiled sheepishly upon refusing his offer for car wash service, thinking that he might be from the service shop itself trying to solicit business or something.
He nodded, but looking somewhat disappointed and left. I glanced over at his direction as I continue walking, and saw that he went back to washing someone else’s car, scrubbing down the wheel rim. He was alone, with an old-fashioned rusty bicycle (reminded me of one that rubber tappers used to get around in estates) stood loyally by his side, a white plastic bottle (Clorox type) dangling on a string at the bicycle handle.
He must be lonely. Eldest son in the family, educated none too much, poverty state has driven him to work early at age where he should be chilling out on Timbaland songs, college life, girls.
What was this feeling again?