Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Malay Male's Family Values: The Incredibles

I have always found my family lacking. My parents were never rich, and had a tumultuous relationship with money. They believe in hard work over anything else.

Except for myself, we were forced to work since we're eight years old. I had a four year grace period, where all I did was rake leaves and water a quarter of an acre of maize. One cup at a time, in the sweltering heat. Backbreaking work. And for what? Two ringgits and 50 cents per plant. All that hard work for a profit of RM200 after two months. What fucking nonsense is this bullshit?

I believe that my parents were ill-prepared for kids, or even married life. If they wanted kids anyway, they shouldn't have had me. Cause they couldn't afford me.

I didn't have pocket money. All I had to play with were snakes and turtles and other things kids find in a swamp. And TV.

Yet, the only reason I stay with my family, despite all their idiosyncracies and stupidity, is the fact that no matter what, we are each and every one of us, willing to die for one another.

We will never betray the other in order to look good. We will never backstab each other for higher gain.

Funny thing. My family is actually quite well-connected, but every time I broach the subject, I get shot down.

Me: Can I see Najib?

They: What for?

Me: I want to ask for money.

They: Fuck you. We will NEVER, EVER, be bought by money.

That stupid pride stayed with me, somewhat.

The world can go to hell, and we wouldn't care. We wouldn't give a flying fuck.

My father started the village where I'm living in right now. He started it. He did. And for 12 years or so, he was the headman.

Got some people out of trouble. Mediated some bullshit crises here and there. Loaned his own money and never got it back.

He basically dragged the village kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

What did he get for all his troubles? Those whom he helped backstabbed him. They all betrayed him.

And he kept on going.

Me: What the fuck are you doing this for? They'll never appreciate you. They backstab you, bitch!

Father: Yes, but as smart people, we have a responsibility to help the idiots.

Me: Fuck responsibility!

My father's genetically Chinese, but he is more Muslim than anyone I know.

Father: In Islam, it is said that if you can lead, if you can fight, but you do not, then that is indeed very stingy of you. And God HATES stingy people.

Over the years, the conversation got reversed.

Me: I wanna save the world!

Father: For what? They will kill you for it. They will never understand. These idiots are better left for dead.

Me: I wanna fight!

Father: Why? I'm sure you can fight those in front of you. But when they knife you in the back, man... that sure stings.

Me: But... you were a superhero!

Father: I did only what I could.

Over time, I am beginning to understand. You do the work, but you don't. It's not your responsibility to bear. Not your burden. They will all suffer anyway. Because they're all idiots. Spiteful, hateful idiots. Backbiting, backstabbing stupids. Fucking morons with no capacity to understand The Truth. They can't even face themselves, let alone the world.

I'll stay with my family for as long as they don't try to sacrifice me in order to look good. For as long as I should. I'll do what I can. After that, I'm gone. One day, everyone will be gone.

I still appreciate the fact that they have at the very least, have never tried to use me for their own gains. My father told me, "I don't want to live with you when I'm old. I don't want to depend on anyone, biatch!"

And that's why I help him still. The day he starts demanding shit, I'm gone. I almost left them last Raya. Fucking bullshit they tried to pull on me. But I didn't, and I told them never, EVER, to do that again. And this year, I won't let them.

We all have a choice. We don't have to stay with our families even. We can always choose. I stay with mine, because they have always been in my corner. They may not be the sharpest tool in the shed (though they're smarter than most), but I know that I can rely on them.

Other people? They're all fuckers until proven otherwise.

I think about my family a lot these days. I don't know why. Maybe it's time I go home. Pack up and leave. Fuck everything, man.