Sunday, June 08, 2008


They had left only minutes before, Mom & a couple of my titas—I no longer remember w/c 1s. I had insisted on staying w/ Dad; he had promised himself the afternoon for work.

In a hotel across the street from a Bali beach, Dad started taking out files from his gray leather briefcase. I was pretending to play on the floor, in between the twin beds. I kept looking at Dad, by the desk, engrossed in all the papers, a small desk lamp shining brightly. I rolled my toy truck along the plain of 1 of the mattresses, my mind fixated on what I thought Mom might be doing right now.

Dad checked how I was; I asked if I could play by the hallway. The next thing I remember he took me out the door. I placed my truck on the ledge overlooking the beach across the street, a pool area nearby, just as blue as the ocean. Dad went back inside our room, leaving the door slightly open just in case I needed anything.

For a few minutes I rolled my truck on the rough surface of the ledge, hoping Dad could hear the scraping sound. I then tiptoed to the stairs, & made my way down to the lobby.

I don’t recall how the ground floor looked anymore; I just remember all the tall people. I exited thru the front entrance, & walked toward the street that separated the hotel building & the pool area. One of the tall men walked over. He was wearing a burgundy suit, a tall hat, & a gold whistle around his neck. I remember he smiled as he asked me where I was going, the sun glaring from behind his brown face. I told him the beach. He took my hand, blew his whistle to stop traffic, & guided me to the other side. From there, I found my way to the pool, & saw Mom & my titas lying on lounging chairs.

Mom was surprised to see me, though I don’t remember her appearing all that alarmed. She smiled & had me come sit w/ my titas. She asked me if I had come over all by myself. I told her I did; I could see the man in the burgundy suit from across the street. Mom went to a nearby phone, & I heard her speaking to Dad: “Yeah, he’s here. Yeah, he walked over all by himself.”

By the ledge overlooking the beach, just outside a room in a Bali hotel, a toy truck parked, its owner having left it there. The owner was 4.

* * *

Before there was this & this other thing, you & you, her & her, this person & that, there was...

Happy Birthday, Liana Lim (June 6)!


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