She grew up the daughter of the southern working class. Dad’s a taxi-driver, UMNO member and smokes 3 packs a day while discoursing on why Mahathir is god. Mum sings in a band, a beauty for the drunks to behold in the sodden, smoky dangdut halls of Kuala Lumpur. Her mother gave her the name she had always wanted for herself : Juita.
She knows men like her mother knows them. When you find one who doesn’t expect you to toe his line, keep him. Do anything and everything, once he’s yours, to protect him from the cruel world out there. Traps and snares everywhere. Usually in the form of one of your own. A full-blooded and lonely woman with so much to share and offer.
At 16, in school, she was often confronted by the teachers about the nature of her parents’ work. It’s easy enough to say her dad’s a driver. He drives. That much is apparent. But to her answer that mum’s a singer there would always be furrowed pedagogical brows. She sings? Where?
In my left ear canal, you dumbfuck, she would say silently before walking off to the toilets to smoke.