By Kenny Mah
The alarm goes off at 6:45 every morning. Your alarm. Then mine goes off, two minutes later and we really have to get up. You switch off the fan while I wander outside to fetch our towels and turn the water heater on. We stand over the toilet bowl, one trickle of pee followed soon by another. Tinkle, tinkle.
You put toothpaste on my toothbrush, hand it over to me, then repeat with yours. We don’t speak, only the sound of bristles and foam, then spit and rinse. We drink water from our mugs and we strip off our clothes. You get in the shower and I put my jogging gear on. You will steam up the entire bathroom, then take five minutes too long getting ready for work, which shirt to wear, which cologne to spray, the darn hair.
While you wrestle with these decisions, I’m hitting the pavement, the small roads of our neighbourhood. Kind slopes, a small hill. Every house built the same way, the same period as the next, yet they all grew up different. Pad, pad. The sun comes up. I hear some birds chirping (I’ve given up my iPod; music is unnecessary when you have nature). A couple of dogs barking, the usual. I know the houses they are confined in; I recognise the Indonesian domestic helpers who are out early, washing their employers’ vehicles.
By the time I reach the guard house of our condominium, you would have been ten, twelve minutes on your drive to the office. We miss each other by this much, every day.