Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Monday, March 24, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (41)

That afternoon, Adi returned to Endang’s. Entering the lift in the spartan lobby of the innocuous looking building, he re-emerged a short ride later into a poorly lit corridor on the sixth floor. An arrow then led him left, in the direction of the reception counter. Adi felt his way along the corridor’s snaking S-bends that, acting as light traps, quickly enshrouded him in near total darkness. As he finally reached the counter, he could just about make out the shapes in the room that was situated to one side. Objects which, as his eyes became better accustomed to the poverty of light, gradually morphed into young, scantily clad women, with eyes that stared at him seductively, urging him to bring his trade their way.

“I came here a week ago, saw a young girl called Lulu in room… thirty-something?” he began. The woman at the counter threw him a blank look. “Young, perhaps eighteen. Long dark hair, brown eyes…” “That description fits everyone here, sayang,” the woman replied, sighing. Then Adi remembered the tattoo – Lulu’s branding, courtesy of the Laba-Laba gang. “Oh – she has a tattoo of a spider just above her… well, here.” He twisted his upper body and reached around to point at his coccyx. “Oh ya, sayang. I know her with tattoo.” “OK, can I–” “You can’t go her now. You wait with other girl over there.” “Why not?” “She with… friend.”

At this, Adi rushed past the woman, following the same route along which he had been led the previous week. As he arrived at her door a stout, balding expatriate was just emerging, while fastening the belt of his trousers. The bule shrugged as Adi flicked him a look of disgust, before chuckling to himself and going on his way. The young Detective then entered the room to be greeted with a flashing smile. In his mind, he tried desperately to convince himself that her welcome meant ‘recognition’, while in Lulu’s nothing registered, in particular. For it was a duty, something she gave freely to all customers. She was wearing nothing but a single garment – orange-red, long and silken – that perfectly complemented her skin tone. Wrapping her hands around his neck, Lulu looked up into Adi’s chiselled face as the sarong then fell open a little, parting up the middle to reveal the velvety skin in which her slender young body was sealed. For a moment, she appeared to him to be floating. High? thought Adi, silently. But when she spoke, her voice had a soft clarity. “I knew you’d come back,” she purred. Adi felt good upon hearing this – special, even. But the phrase was one she used with everyone. It carried with it no emotion.

There was a distinct stirring in Adi’s groin during the pause that followed, as she waited for him to make the next, obvious move. But Detective Adi was in no mood for self-indulgence at this time. For as he stroked her long, shiny hair, staring all the while into the deep wells of her eyes, the death mask of the driver was once more all around him, swamping his mind. “If it’s OK with you,” he said after a while, “I would just like to sit and talk.” And then the handsome young Detective told the girl everything…

When he was not trying to improve his mind or simply counting down the hours of another dull day, Anath spent his time contemplating the father he had never known. He was aware from the rare conversations he had had with his mother on the subject that there was a close physical resemblance between them. He also knew that his father was much loved. For despite the fact that he had apparently fled the scene at a time he was needed most, Anath’s mother had always been full of forgiveness, never allowing a bad word to be said about the man. And above all else, the fact that he had never known her to look at – let alone date – another man told Anath the most important thing of all about his parents: that at least one of them harboured the hope that they would one day be reunited. That coursing through the aether there was a vein of love that ran deep – reaching out constantly, to find its mate. And far down, within his anguished soul, Anath loved his father, too. Perhaps in a confused way – where twin brothers called anger and frustration also interloped – but with a flaming passion, nonetheless.

Sitting at his newsstand as a gust of wind suddenly blew up the dust all around him, Anath had an overwhelming urge to act – to simply walk away from his situation and search ceaselessly for the one thing that was missing from his life. He knew that his father had gone away to some foreign place, perhaps never intending to return. But did he come back, after all? And if so, where is he now? Here in Jakarta? What is he doing? Does my father have another family? Do I have any half-siblings? Defeated, Anath breathed in deeply, determining that some day – some day soon, now that he had established himself in the city – he would take time out to find this man, his father. The man he wanted to know, with whom he would share his thoughts. To whom, importantly, he wished to express his love, in spite of the man’s total abandonment of his family; his absence from the events and experiences of the first quarter-century of Anath’s life.

posted by Kirk at 1:11 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Good Blog. I will continue reading it in the future. Nice layout too.

    Aaron Wakling

    Comment by Aaron Wakling — March 24, 2008 @ 2:00 am

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