I, to you

by Chua Han Au

It is with certainty that he will go. It is likely that he was, out of all my uncles, one most capable of intellectual conversations relating to university, to marriage, to the abounding uncertainties as a father of three daughters who are so different in disposition and in beauty. I could sense the tense depression of my cousin—the eldest of the three. There was a tangible command to ensure consistency in treatment and to not let commiseration grow. Fatality is frightening and in the knowledge of being mortally helpless, one cannot help but simply invest in hope. Nietzsche would have scorned at that choice. But if it sustains the living, does sustainability constitute to a lack of utility? Seeing a vase of flowers, absent in reality, put my aunt in grave shock. A nebulous entity too, my grandfather perhaps? I was reminded of the poem Sylvia Plath wrote in the hospital; I was reminded of so many things; buried memories resurrected naturally and they walked, without flesh, without colour, in the funeral in my brain. The possibilities in that evening—for both him and her—seemed so enormous, so cosmic, that to be walking or simply reading in the veranda must belong to an experience that even joy cannot equate to.

His wife, my aunt, my mother’s sister, my cousins’ mother, has her torment stabbed, due to the repeated explanations to the pattern of visitors entering opaque doors, disrupting a possible peace understood only by two. I wonder, after we leave the room so comfortably dull and so cold, what happens to her breathing, to her fatigue and to her happiness?

To be conscious, to be watching a man once so full of metabolism wither like a flower, trivialises all human capacity to help. When will you speak in a language we can understand?