Waiting has always been a grudge.
Waiting for that second hand to move faster than usual, for the chauffeur to whizz through the traffic; for the letter that meant the world; for the world to finally end. Princess didn’t like waiting despite her calm demeanour she has always taught herself to be a little more patient than the rest of the third world country. Even the moon in her glory glided faster than these, on two legs pacing as if a year doesn’t mean anything.
It never is ever, the end of the world.
There will always be the morrow, irrespective whether the sun will rise in the west or not; whether the whole alignment is going to go through that dark rift … whether the Mahdi will ever come.
Twenty thousand years and these homo erectus are slower than ever — in thinking, decision making, courtship, and even talking intelligently. Hurricanes are never born overnight. Her condescending and haughty ego is having a field day and she is trying very hard to retain her furor.
She has prayed to return home for more than twenty years. It has been such a long time staying coup-up in a corner of the garden against her will. She had always had control of some things, even the cracking of the heart, and the tears that choked it, every time her father said no to her free spirited ways.
Princess has always believed, that flying the world was, and still is her one true passion, documenting it, even if nobody understood whatever she wrote. She had thought that the world is always busy documenting funerals, wars, eruptions, marriages and birthday parties, and rarely would anyone in their right mind document the garden. Princesses have that prerogative, but it took her twenty years to finally have the opportunity to be granted a ticket home, there.
A dream, perhaps … a prevarication. Commoners are often very good at lying, and not telling the truth — There’s always an agenda.
With the new government being reshuffled, that meant waiting. And Princess abhor tardiness. Seconds passed into hours, days into weeks. Weeks into months and the anguish into tubs of ice-cream. She wouldn’t allow a month to go any farther. She is apt at turning her back to mundaneness.
They have exchanged emails.
The chief of staff of the President and the Princess. Earlier on, she braced herself, practising and articulating her ‘r’s’ before calling upon the Ambassador in the city, only to be informed that Madame de l’Ambassadeur is ever too busy to return her calls, or away at some boring tea function instead of attending to her.
What can be most important than the Princess, she had thought.
Taking matters into her hands she decided to write the newly appointed head of state. Nobody works more systematically than the Princess. Everything would always have to be in order, colour coded if necessary, and prompt. Time, is after all of the essence and she could never understand how a simple email could take hours, if not months to be replied. The longer it took them to reply the less hopeful she was with the idea of returning, home. Perhaps home, should be elsewhere.
The morrow brought her a little joy.
Several days before she had decided to bring mother out to lunch. The rural was never her cup of tea, but it was a choice she didn’t have. Not very keen in leaving the house just a half hour drive from the beach for a couple of hours to take her mind off the complacency of how things move, they waited for the chauffeur to turn up. It must have been a kind of disease she thought. The more the world starts to be reactively conscious of something, the slower things seemed to bestirr. The only thing that clocked faster than the second was the torment tearing her within.
Finally the chauffeur turned up, and she had to ask for forgiveness in silence. The poor man was deuced a thousand times over for moving at a glacial pace. The garden snail would have easily made a return trip at the end of the garden without so much of a sweat, she thought.
She jumped off her Asian queen-sized bed in joy, a tear in her eye. Asian queen sized beds are rather small. For a European-sized bodied person, that meant having their feet jutting out at the end of the bed.
Everything is minuscule in the country … from their heights to the way they plan their cities. Thinking a hundred years ahead is unheard of. Napoleon would have rot in his grave a thousand times over if he knew that. Princess has tossed and turned in her bed a quadrillion times over.
Mother was in the garden, tending to her garden of sweet Thai basil. No tulips, orchids, or roses in this sweltering heat, but Thai Basil, freshly plucked would spice up any dull Malay cuisine. If one has seen a Malay, they wouldn’t be surprised at all — the lacklustre rarely shone with life, there’s always a hue of deadness in their skin tones. She was being very blunt, and truthful but mother would always tone her down.
“Finally!” she said almost jumping like an unruly little girl.
“Pray?” her mother answered, without lifting her eyes off the basil leaves hunching over the bed of spicy bird chilies, and carefully watering the pots.
“He’s here …”
Mother, looked up, a glint of joy welled in her eyes.
“It is only in the states of state that one is truly contented … that journey of a thousand … and one nights, if not incessantly interposed, no happiness or joy would ever be conceived” — AainaA-Ridtz A R
“Wedi Ombo Beach, Yogyakarta — Indonesia” Image courtesy and copyright Wawan Gilang